Not sure why you would really need a low level format as hard drive today should never need a low level format and can infact destroy the hard drive.
I'm sorry but i'm going to throw you under the bus...
1st don't listen to this guy, he does not know what he's talking about. You should always low lvl a drive before reusing it again. The most common reasons to Zero Fill or Low Level a SATA or ATA (IDE) hard drive are:
to remove a virus that cannot be removed without destroying the boot sector.
to change from one operating system to another and wish to remove everything from the drive.
to erase confidential information for privacy reasons.
to scan for bad sectors that can be detected and replaced with good spare sectors when writing to the sectors.
I'm sorry, but I believe both OP and bossmann do not understand what a "Low-Level Format" means.
A Low-Level Format starts with a disk surface that is completely empty of ANY signals and tracks, and creates the tracks and sectors that will be used later. That is, in each track it writes a series of Sectors, each consisting of start and end signals, some initial "data" that really is meaningless, the appropriate checksums, spacers, etc. Once that is done for the entire disk surface(s), those sectors can be accessed and used to write real data and read it back. In the early days of PC's and other computer systems, that process is exactly what a Full Format did, BOTH for floppy disks and for hard drives. It may still be done for Full Formats on a floppy drive with a FAT32 File System. But decades ago (about when MFM systems were introduced for data storage on HDD's) such "Low-Level Format" processes were no longer used by end users. The data storage details are too complex to allow home users to try it themselves.
In fact, in today's systems the HDD's themselves have on board a circuit board that contains a microprocessor, some RAM and EEPROM, a BIOS, controller chips - a whole microcomputer system dedicated to controlling the HDD. It is programmed for that specific type of drive and keeps its own records and structures. One of its functions, for example, is to translate between the sequential Logical Block Address is uses in communicating with the mobos's HDD controller and the Track / Sector / Head co-ordinates it uses internally to access the disks inside. I has a whole bunch of other background functions never "seen" by the outside world, including testing for and managing bad sectors and substitutes, a job unique to each HDD unit. Getting all this set up is complex and is done ONCE in the factory when the HDD is first made, as part of the real "Low-Level Format" for the unit. Nobody re-does that work after it is put into use!
There are no user-accessible tools to do a "Low-Level Format". There ARE tools to allow you to write data to the existing sectors and tracks.
The most common are the tools to Create and Delete Partitions, and to Format those Partitions. These tools fundamentally write data to specific sectors of the HDD unit to define where user data is to be located. As part of that job, many format tools (like A Windows Full Format) may write actual test data to some or all sectors of the Partition and read it back, as a way to look for faulty sectors.
At a slightly lower level, a Zero Fill utility will write all zeroes to EVERY sector of the unit - NOT just of one Partition. In doing this, it actually triggers one of the hidden internal routines of the HDD's own microprocessor system so the it does its own testing of sectors (completely unknown to the Operating System); any it finds weak, it replaces from its stock of spare known-good sectors - it knows about these and manages this because of the information it set up at tghe time of its real Low Level Format at the factory. At the end of a Zero Fill, ALL of the HDD's accessible sectors should have been written to, tested, and replaced if necessary so that ALL of the sectors the outside world can "see" are good ones. Thus a Zero Fill does two things - it overwrites ALL old data, and it "repairs" every part of the HDD. In that way it is better than what a Windows Full Format or CHKDSK can do. But it is STILL not a "Low-Level Format" - it only writes and reads to existing sectors and tracks.