Low Level Format

From: Mail List <mail.list_at_analog-and-digital-solutions.com>
Date: Thu Aug 21 02:34:00 2003

Hello Paxton,

> I was lucky and they were MFM drives I could low level format.

I'd hate to have to do that anymore. I can remember it literally taking
all night to run SpinRite ( apparently I had forgotten it's proper name
in my previous message ) doing a deep level surface analysis.

It seems different people have different opinions of Steve Gibson and
SpinRite. That might partially be due to industry insider politics. I found
it to be an easy to use and useful utility.






One way to make the data on an MFM drive extra difficult to recover
might be to change out the controller. Those things weren't plug and
play. A controller, a drive, and it's format were all tied together. Another
extra complication that also might be added could be to give it a different
interleave than it previously had.

Best Regards

At 01:25 AM 8/21/03 -0400, you wrote:
>In a message dated 8/20/03 9:39:49 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
>mail.list_at_analog-and-digital-solutions.com writes:
> > . I've found the partitioning utility that came with
> > OS2 Warp to be useful when FDISK sometimes wouldn't work.
> >
>Thanks for the tip. I, too, have run into partitions like you mentioned that
>would not delete. I was lucky and they were MFM drives I could low level
>IIRC removing and replacing the partition table should effectively destroy
>the links to the data on the drive. True the data bits are still there and
>sophisticated analysis could get them off but I don't think it is easy
>knowing the original geometry of the drive. Then regular formatting the drive
>writes a new File Allocation Table to the drive.
>If it is important you could use Norton to write zeros to all the data bits
>in each partition and then FDISK it. That would probably make the disk
>I know there are utilities out there to low level format IDE drives but have
>never found it or used it. I don't think it is common. Generally I have just
>pitched bad IDE Drives into Al breakage. For Certified destruction I have
>a sledge hammer.
>Astoria, OR
Received on Thu Aug 21 2003 - 02:34:00 BST

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