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Low level format program for Linux?

Posted on 2008-06-13
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Does anybody know if there is a low-level format program for Linux (like the kind you can get for Windows at http://hddguru.com) ?  
I have googled but can't seem to find one.  I know about using "dd" but I don't believe that is a real low-level format.
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Question by:mvid
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:rid
ID: 21784347
"Low-level formatting" isn't really done anymore. Older hard drives (MFM, RLL, some fairly ancient SCSI) could be low-level formatted. That meant that the underlying structure for the sectors was (re-)created. Some media (platter surface) errors could be rectified during the process, but the general idea was to prepare the drive to be "high-level formatted" by the operating system that you wanted to use (as in the DOS format command).

I guess you're after a "zero-fill" utility that will write zeroes to every position on a hard drive to erase data or in the hope it will correct a bad sector (which it sometimes will).

Such utilities are usually run from a bootable media and not from within your ordinary O/S. The Ultimate Boot CD has a number of such options and I can recommend that download for other reasons, as it has a lot of useful tools.
/RID
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by:Tintin
ID: 21784447
Is your ultimate aim to wipe all the data from the disk?
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Author Comment

by:mvid
ID: 21786536
Not primarily to wipe data (although that is an obvious consequence), but to make my usb key automount under Sabayon Linux.  I was following the steps on the following page...

http://wiki.sabayonlinux.org/index.php?title=HOWTO:_USB_pen_drive_will_not_automount

which requires the usb key to be low level formatted as I was having this particular problem.  I have already gotten access to a windows machine and low-level formatted the key... which is now working well under Sabayon Linux.  I am just wondering if there is a Linux equivalent to low-level format.
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rid earned 200 total points
ID: 21786567
Well, I haven't come across that kind of problem so I haven't had the need for that sort of software. Interesting... I know that the U3-capable USB sticks have to be treated with a windows utility if you want the U3 thingy to go away, GParted can't do anything about it, for some reason. Probably something in the firmware that hides or protects the embedded software functions. My guess is that there is something like that on the stick you have been working with as well.

My previous comment was related to hard drives and is still valid as a general remark, but not helpful in your case, I assume. I still doubt that the software referred to in the page you link to, actually does a low-level format of proper hard drives, but thats a matter for a thread of its own, perhaps.

Cheers
/RID
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by:brycen
ID: 32771194
You in fact want http://home.comcast.net/~SCSIguy/SCSI_FAQ/RMiller_Tools/scu.html
the SCSI Command Utility (scu).  You can even reformat drives with 520 bytes per sector (and extra 8 for checksums), and other esoteric tasks.
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by:brycen
ID: 32771211
Also try http://sg.danny.cz/sg/ sg3_utils and sg_utils
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