hdd formatting

Posted on 1998-11-02
Last Modified: 2012-06-22
I'm trying to fomat my hdd (Maxtor 71084A),but whenever I try to format it using low level it terminates the process. Are there any utilities available to format my hdd to factory default in case there are already physical damage on the hdd surface?
Question by:rollette
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Expert Comment

ID: 1128256
You shouldn't low level format any newer HDD, it could damage the drive.  To correctly format your HDD, use your windows startup disk or boot disk, boot to Dos prompt and type 'format c:' to proceed.  If you want the HDD to be bootable type 'format c:/s' for system transfer.  c=drive's letter to be format.

Expert Comment

ID: 1128257
If you *really* do need to do a low level format of the drive, try getting hold of the low level formatting utility from the Maxtor site at (look for llfutilexe) that should do the trick and not cause any problems.
It is rare however that a low level format of a drive is needed unless bad sectors have started appearing,hich in itself is a sign that the drive is usually on its way out.

Author Comment

ID: 1128258
I've already tried formatting my hdd by typing "format c:" at DOS prompt,however it always terminates the process. I guess there are already bad sectors thats why I can't format it anymore. But a friend told me that there is a site here in the internet which you can download a utility to format a maxtor hdd to its factory default. Unfotunately,there is no such thing in the Maxtor site and my friend is nowhere to be found. Does anybody knows about that site? Or is my friend only trying to fool me?
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Author Comment

ID: 1128259
I've already tried formatting it using "format c:" at dos prompt however it still terminates the process after some time.

Accepted Solution

ajdawson earned 100 total points
ID: 1128260
You can download the file llfutil.exe from the Maxtor site at - this will allow you to do a full low level format of the drive and will give you error codes and diagnotics of the drive has errors or problems that cant be fixed.

Expert Comment

ID: 1128261
Ive heard a lot of conflicting advice at the "experts exchange" about the low level formating of hds. Some experts say you can.... some say you cant, it will trash your drive...... Does anyone know a definitive answer? Seagate support once told me you shouldnt, but theyre the last people im going to believe (except maybe microsoft support! ).

Expert Comment

ID: 1128262
Im refering to formatting via the bios

Expert Comment

ID: 1128263
Strictly speaking, you should not *need* to low level format the drive.  Most disk manufacturers supply some sort of utility these days to pseudo low level format the drive (ie write zeroes to the whole disk) which seems to be the recommended way of low level formatiing the drive.
The only time I have recently had to low level format a drive was when trying to eliminate bad sectors on a couple of disks that were going in an old computer for a friend.  In 3 out of 4 of the cases the bad sectors turned up again immediately either during the low level format or at the first scandisk afterwards (disks immediately dropped in the round filing cabinet) - the last of the 4 recovered fine and has been running quite happily ever since.  Other than that, the only time I have had to low level format a drive was (strangely enough) with a Maxtor drive that had failed - I was attempting to determine quite what was wrong with it before sending it for replacement.

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