Low Level Format

  SmiffyRebel 22:37 30 Apr 2003

I am experiencing a problem with a hard drive although The BIOS and some emergency software recognises the hard drive when I try to format it I get the error message that the correct paramaters could not be found. I think it may need a low level format, can anyone recomend a program that will boot from floppy so that I can carry out this operation.

  LastChip 22:59 30 Apr 2003

Low level format's are normally only carried out with the hard drives manufacturers involvement and blessing.

Would you not consider downloading your HD manufacturers diagnostic software, and see what it comes up with?

If it then tells you there is a fault that requires this operation, your HD's technical department can help you through the process correctly. Who knows, it may even lead to a replacement drive!

  eccomputers 23:15 30 Apr 2003

Is the bios seeing the hard drive as the correct size?
I dont know what machine you have, but look at the parameters written on the hard drive and check that the bios is set the same.

  pj123 23:28 30 Apr 2003

There shouldn't be any need to do a Low Level Format. You might try a floppy boot disk and then Fdisk and partition the Hard disk and then format.

  SmiffyRebel 10:53 02 May 2003

Thanks for all the advice but still no improvement in case I did'nt mention it the H/D is a IBM 40Gb DeskStar.The BIOS paramaters for the H/D are correct. I've tried using IBM's Drive fitness software which tells me the H/D is OK both FDisk and Ranish tells me that there was an error getting the hard drive paramaters. I've also tried booting up using another H/D (set as master) with windows 98SE and partition magic installed and changing the IBM to the slave. The system boots up OK but when I use partition magic it will not find the IBM H/D.

  Elrond 11:39 02 May 2003

It may be just that the HDD has had it. I do believe the IBM Deskstars are prone to failure

  DieSse 12:12 02 May 2003

You can't do a real low-level format - but you can do a "zero-fill" sometimes (incorrectly) called a low-level format - this should set the drive back to the condition it was in when it came oiut of the factory.

I would say, in agreement with the above, that if you get error messages about can't find parameters - either your BIOS is incorrectly set, or the drive has likely "had-it"

In the IBM fitness test software, the zero-fill utility should be called EraseDisk. it removes all aprtitioning, boot, data, etc etc from the drive.

Also set your BIOS to Auto for best results, rather than manually entering parameters.

  Legolas 14:02 02 May 2003

As DieSse says low-level formats cannot be carried out by the user as hdd have a build in mechanism to prevent this, try the zero fill and if this does not help I think the drive may be faulty.

  MAJ 14:29 02 May 2003

What!!!! a faulty IBM drive?? There's a novelty. :-)

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