low-level formatter for linux

Tony Nelson tonynelson at georgeanelson.com
Wed Aug 5 04:21:11 UTC 2009

On 09-08-04 23:34:04, Markus Kesaromous wrote:

> Sorry I did not clarify - By low level, I do  not mean Filesystem
> creation.  I mean it the level at which bad-block forwarding takes 
> place (i.e. all blocks are tested for sanity, and the bad blocks are 
> forwarded to good blocks. This  in some cases may result in reduced 
> total number of blocks, and thus might (emphasis on might) affect the 
> disk geometry.


> Now that all I have is linux, and my HD has developed many bad 
> blocks, I need to back it up and do low level formatting. So, I need 
> a Linux based low level formatting tool.

The low-level formatters I have used are all floppy-based, mostly using 
some free version of DOS (FWIW).  Find the drive manufacturer's 
utilities disk, copy it to a floppy (or whatever), and boot it.

On the drives I've low-level formatted, the process eliminates sector 
remapping, but does introduce "gaps" in the good sectors.  The capacity 
might be reduced, but mostly it just works into the spare blocks area, 
reducint it in size.

If, after such a low-level format, you still accumulate bad blocks, you 
should give up on that disk.

To reduce the amount of data loss as blocks go bad, use smartctl to 
enable Automatic Offline Data Collection.  It will scan the disk "every 
four hours", which gives the disk a good chance to catch blocks as they 
go bad but are still recoverable.

TonyN.:'                       <mailto:tonynelson at georgeanelson.com>
      '                              <http://www.georgeanelson.com/>

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