Can you "unformat" a drive?

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

Is it possible to "unformat" a drive? i.e. get it to preinstal stage
as it left the factory?
12 answers Last reply
More about unformat drive
  1. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

    "DRSAP" <a@nospam.com> wrote in message
    news:8fvu21tb7b24lvhqq4t2o7iobvjsi4dld4@4ax.com...
    >
    > Is it possible to "unformat" a drive? i.e. get it to preinstal stage
    > as it left the factory?

    yes...
    go to the mfg's website and see if they have diagnostic tools...
    many mfg's have a lo-level format utility.

    if not, just run fdisk and delete everything
  2. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

    DRSAP wrote:

    > Is it possible to "unformat" a drive? i.e. get it to preinstal stage
    > as it left the factory?

    You can delete any partition you have put on the drive, but to put it
    back to the original condition, you must use a utility that writes
    either Zeros, "0", or the letter 'F' to every bite of the drive to
    indicate is is "un-initialized." Most OEMs, such as Maxtor and Seagate
    have utilities to do this.
  3. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

    No.

    --
    DaveW


    "DRSAP" <a@nospam.com> wrote in message
    news:8fvu21tb7b24lvhqq4t2o7iobvjsi4dld4@4ax.com...
    >
    > Is it possible to "unformat" a drive? i.e. get it to preinstal stage
    > as it left the factory?
  4. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

    DRSAP wrote:
    > Is it possible to "unformat" a drive? i.e. get it to preinstal stage
    > as it left the factory?
    I got to agree with Philo. Do a low level format with the manufacturers
    utility. The utility is not Fdisk so there is not a problem on 48 bit
    drives. It will take quite a while, probably over 5 hours.
  5. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

    DRSAP wrote:
    > Is it possible to "unformat" a drive? i.e. get it to preinstal stage
    > as it left the factory?

    A partition is simply some data written onto the raw disk that an O.S. uses
    to specify what sectors will be used as a "logical drive."

    The "format," when an O.S. 'formats' a partition, is simply some data
    written onto the disk that the file system uses to organize how it handles
    sector assignments to files.

    Remove the partition information (like with fdisk, or some other partition
    utility) and it's logically as it came from the factory. I.E. 'unorganized'.
  6. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

    philo wrote:

    > "DRSAP" <a@nospam.com> wrote in message
    > news:8fvu21tb7b24lvhqq4t2o7iobvjsi4dld4@4ax.com...
    >
    >>Is it possible to "unformat" a drive? i.e. get it to preinstal stage
    >>as it left the factory?
    >
    >
    > yes...
    > go to the mfg's website and see if they have diagnostic tools...
    > many mfg's have a lo-level format utility.

    You cannot do a "low level format" on modern drives. You can write all
    zeros to the sectors, and some call that a "low level format," but it's
    not, really, as the low level sector formatting remains unchanged. It
    simply writes data to them: zeroes.

    >
    > if not, just run fdisk and delete everything
    >
    >
  7. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

    On Wed, 9 Mar 2005 17:08:20 -0600, "philo" <philo@privacy.net> wrote:


    >yes...
    >go to the mfg's website and see if they have diagnostic tools...
    >many mfg's have a lo-level format utility.
    >
    >if not, just run fdisk and delete everything
    >

    but Fdisk being DOS based, does it recognise large drives, say 160gb?
  8. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

    On Wed, 09 Mar 2005 23:09:32 GMT, DRSAP <a@nospam.com>
    wrote:

    >On Wed, 9 Mar 2005 17:08:20 -0600, "philo" <philo@privacy.net> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>yes...
    >>go to the mfg's website and see if they have diagnostic tools...
    >>many mfg's have a lo-level format utility.
    >>
    >>if not, just run fdisk and delete everything
    >>
    >
    >but Fdisk being DOS based, does it recognise large drives, say 160gb?

    no it doesn't recognize them as 160GB, it recognizes them as
    segments of 64MB, so a pseudo-160GB drive (~ 150GB) would
    show up as roughly (150 - 64 - 64 = ) 22 GB, but yes, it'll
    work on large drives if you keep that issue in mind.
  9. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

    "kony" <spam@spam.com> wrote in message
    news:rj8v2115img497aans7e6gm3ushlo8grb1@4ax.com...
    > On Wed, 09 Mar 2005 23:09:32 GMT, DRSAP <a@nospam.com>
    > wrote:
    >
    >>On Wed, 9 Mar 2005 17:08:20 -0600, "philo" <philo@privacy.net> wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>yes...
    >>>go to the mfg's website and see if they have diagnostic tools...
    >>>many mfg's have a lo-level format utility.
    >>>
    >>>if not, just run fdisk and delete everything
    >>>
    >>
    >>but Fdisk being DOS based, does it recognise large drives, say 160gb?
    >
    > no it doesn't recognize them as 160GB, it recognizes them as
    > segments of 64MB, so a pseudo-160GB drive (~ 150GB) would
    > show up as roughly (150 - 64 - 64 = ) 22 GB, but yes, it'll
    > work on large drives if you keep that issue in mind.


    The latest version of fdisk will easily recognize a 160GB drive and
    correctly report its size, it was the older (Win98) version that displayed
    partition sizes over 64GB incorrectly, but could still be used as long as
    you used percentages instead of MB's to create your partitions. Fdisk can
    create partitions up to 512 GB's :-)
  10. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

    On Thu, 10 Mar 2005 02:02:55 GMT, "John E. Carty"
    <jecarty@NOSPAMsbcglobal.net> wrote:


    >>>but Fdisk being DOS based, does it recognise large drives, say 160gb?
    >>
    >> no it doesn't recognize them as 160GB, it recognizes them as
    >> segments of 64MB, so a pseudo-160GB drive (~ 150GB) would
    >> show up as roughly (150 - 64 - 64 = ) 22 GB, but yes, it'll
    >> work on large drives if you keep that issue in mind.
    >
    >
    >The latest version of fdisk will easily recognize a 160GB drive and
    >correctly report its size, it was the older (Win98) version that displayed
    >partition sizes over 64GB incorrectly, but could still be used as long as
    >you used percentages instead of MB's to create your partitions. Fdisk can
    >create partitions up to 512 GB's :-)
    >


    Can I have a link to that? I was once aware of the fix for
    > 64GB apparently, as I have it archived several times but
    checking MS's 'site it apparently doesn't support 48bit LBA,
    drives over 137GB,
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;263044

    Is there yet another patch or are they being conservative
    when they claim no support beyond 137GB? I know I've used
    FDISK to partition larger drives but don't recall when it
    did report sizes correctly so much as when it didn't (which
    could've just been due to an old copy of FDISK instead of
    the more recent).
  11. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

    > but Fdisk being DOS based, does it recognise large drives, say 160gb?
    >

    Fdisk may report the size wrong on drives over 60 something Gig (depends
    on BIOS and HD). so it could show a 80 gig drive as being about 20 gig
    in size, that being the size difference between it's limitation and the
    drive size, probably still work ok (I havn't tried fdisk on large
    drives) but would tend to be confusing. you can use free fdisk up to
    about 120gig size http://www.23cc.com/free-fdisk/

    I reckon your better off using xp to format and partition your drive or
    a 3rd party software product.

    If you want to "unformat" a drive to sell or something like that to
    remove all info, then your better off with one of the software products
    that wipe the drive. they usually work along the lines of zero filling
    the whole drive to wipe the info.

    Dee
  12. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

    "kony" <spam@spam.com> wrote in message
    news:8mtv21pai4ij6cvk3qrpsloq81p77hraog@4ax.com...
    > On Thu, 10 Mar 2005 02:02:55 GMT, "John E. Carty"
    > <jecarty@NOSPAMsbcglobal.net> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>>>but Fdisk being DOS based, does it recognise large drives, say 160gb?
    >>>
    >>> no it doesn't recognize them as 160GB, it recognizes them as
    >>> segments of 64MB, so a pseudo-160GB drive (~ 150GB) would
    >>> show up as roughly (150 - 64 - 64 = ) 22 GB, but yes, it'll
    >>> work on large drives if you keep that issue in mind.
    >>
    >>
    >>The latest version of fdisk will easily recognize a 160GB drive and
    >>correctly report its size, it was the older (Win98) version that displayed
    >>partition sizes over 64GB incorrectly, but could still be used as long as
    >>you used percentages instead of MB's to create your partitions. Fdisk can
    >>create partitions up to 512 GB's :-)
    >>
    >
    >
    > Can I have a link to that? I was once aware of the fix for
    >> 64GB apparently, as I have it archived several times but
    > checking MS's 'site it apparently doesn't support 48bit LBA,
    > drives over 137GB,
    > http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;263044
    >
    > Is there yet another patch or are they being conservative
    > when they claim no support beyond 137GB? I know I've used
    > FDISK to partition larger drives but don't recall when it
    > did report sizes correctly so much as when it didn't (which
    > could've just been due to an old copy of FDISK instead of
    > the more recent).

    I know the WinMe version I use correctly shows the drive/partition sizes of
    both my drives which are larger then 137GB, and here is where Microsoft
    states it has a partition creation limit of 512GB's :-)
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;280737
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