Low Level Format

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by Dead Eyes, Jan 23, 2006.

  1. Dead Eyes

    Dead Eyes Guest

    Hi, someone I know has just done the following:

    1. Used Award Bios Low Level Format Tool on a WD64AA (6gb HD)
    During the interleaf scan, the computer stoped responding after
    scanning the HD with an interleaf of 1
    2. He restarted the computer hoping all was going to be alright again
    3. BOOTDISK FAILURE mesage
    4. He created a fat32 partition which he didn't format since he then
    remembered he had some info left on his disk that he needed.

    Now I got to fix it and try to recover the files but I got no idea how
    to do it...

    http://www.ameriwebs.net/groupworks/george/llf.htm
    "If a large hard drive is accidentally formatted using this utility,
    any damage can be undone with programs such as Ontrack's Disk Manager,
    PC-Technician by Windsor Technology and Micro-2000's Microscope..."

    The problem is...: He used to have 2 partitions, at 33 and 66% of disk
    capacities + those programs aren't free + WD only offers somekind of
    ridiculous rebate on those products.

    So, I'd like to know if any of you have any idea of how I could recover
    the data? Is it possible since it only crashed during the interleaf
    scan?

    thx
     
    Dead Eyes, Jan 23, 2006
    #1
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  2. Dead Eyes

    PC Guest

    "Dead Eyes" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Hi, someone I know has just done the following:
    >
    > 1. Used Award Bios Low Level Format Tool on a WD64AA (6gb HD)
    > During the interleaf scan, the computer stoped responding after
    > scanning the HD with an interleaf of 1
    > 2. He restarted the computer hoping all was going to be alright again
    > 3. BOOTDISK FAILURE mesage
    > 4. He created a fat32 partition which he didn't format since he then
    > remembered he had some info left on his disk that he needed.
    >
    > Now I got to fix it and try to recover the files but I got no idea how
    > to do it...
    >
    > http://www.ameriwebs.net/groupworks/george/llf.htm
    > "If a large hard drive is accidentally formatted using this utility,
    > any damage can be undone with programs such as Ontrack's Disk Manager,
    > PC-Technician by Windsor Technology and Micro-2000's Microscope..."
    >
    > The problem is...: He used to have 2 partitions, at 33 and 66% of disk
    > capacities + those programs aren't free + WD only offers somekind of
    > ridiculous rebate on those products.
    >
    > So, I'd like to know if any of you have any idea of how I could recover
    > the data? Is it possible since it only crashed during the interleaf
    > scan?
    >
    > thx






    From http://www.data-recovery.adopto-computers.com/glossary.html
    <quote>
    Low Level Format

    Normally when you format a disk, all that happens is that the File
    Attributes Table is cleared out. The actual data that is stored on the disk
    is not actually deleted or overwritten. A low level format actually goes
    across the entire disk and deletes and resets all the disk sectors,
    effectively destroying all the information stored on the disk. If you have
    performed a low level format, you typically cannot recover any information
    from the disk.

    </quote>



    However further research found this at: http://www.ameriwebs.net/groupworks/

    <quote>

    BIOS FORMAT UTILITIES
    Of the various methods to format an IDE hard drive, the easiest is with the
    527 Mb and smaller non-intelligent IDE hard drives, on an x486 computer.
    Many of the earlier Award Bios chipsets had a low-level format utility built
    into the CMOS. All you have to do to format these hard drives is to press
    the <Del> key while booting the computer, and choose hard drive utilities
    from the menu. After running the format utility, reboot with a DOS floppy,
    run FDISK to partition the hard drive, then do a standard DOS format. This
    utility appears no longer to be available on newer computers, due to the
    introduction of hard drives larger than 527 Mb. The only thing to really
    remember using the Award Bios format is that it usually recommends an
    interleave of 3. This needs to be changed to 1, as all IDE hard drives use
    an interleave of 1. The only possible damage to these drives when doing a
    low-level format is overwriting the bad-track map, and possible alteration
    of skew factors.

    If a large hard drive is accidentally formatted using this utility, any
    damage can be undone with programs such as Ontrack's Disk Manager,
    PC-Technician by Windsor Technology and Micro-2000's Microscope. Free,
    manufacturer-specific versions of Disk Manager or EZ-Drive are available
    from your drive manufacturer. If you have trouble using these utilities,
    check the links below for more instructions.

    </quote>



    Maybe your friends low level format hung because it had reached the 527MB
    limit!

    You may find some tools that work for you here:

    http://www.freebyte.com/filediskutils/#datarecovery

    Somehow I think your friend may be screwed without the help of a data
    recovery specialist though.

    Best luck

    Paul.
     
    PC, Jan 23, 2006
    #2
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  3. Dead Eyes

    dogsBollix Guest

    "Dead Eyes" <> wrote in
    news::

    > Hi, someone I know has just done the following:
    >
    > 1. Used Award Bios Low Level Format Tool on a WD64AA (6gb HD)
    > During the interleaf scan, the computer stoped responding after
    > scanning the HD with an interleaf of 1
    > 2. He restarted the computer hoping all was going to be alright again
    > 3. BOOTDISK FAILURE mesage
    > 4. He created a fat32 partition which he didn't format since he then
    > remembered he had some info left on his disk that he needed.
    >
    > Now I got to fix it and try to recover the files but I got no idea how
    > to do it...
    >
    > http://www.ameriwebs.net/groupworks/george/llf.htm
    > "If a large hard drive is accidentally formatted using this utility,
    > any damage can be undone with programs such as Ontrack's Disk Manager,
    > PC-Technician by Windsor Technology and Micro-2000's Microscope..."
    >
    > The problem is...: He used to have 2 partitions, at 33 and 66% of disk
    > capacities + those programs aren't free + WD only offers somekind of
    > ridiculous rebate on those products.
    >
    > So, I'd like to know if any of you have any idea of how I could recover
    > the data? Is it possible since it only crashed during the interleaf
    > scan?
    >
    > thx
    >
    >

    1) search for hirems boot cd; it contains a lot of proggies to check,test
    and repair your computer.
    2) can't remember if win98 boot floppy will read fat32 but i think it does
    so you could find a copy of nortons utilities (have a look at
    a.b.boneless) and see if that can help you out
    3) use a linux livecd to get the machine up and running linux and search
    for linux tools to repair a fat32.
    perhaps a tool to read physical disk sectors and write them to another
    disk as a file might help to recover textual data.
    anything else then you'll need to read up a lot about the fat32 file
    structure and manually try to extract binary data

    good luck

    dB
     
    dogsBollix, Jan 24, 2006
    #3
  4. Dead Eyes wrote:

    > Hi, someone I know has just done the following:
    >
    > 1. Used Award Bios Low Level Format Tool on a WD64AA (6gb HD)
    > During the interleaf scan, the computer stoped responding after
    > scanning the HD with an interleaf of 1


    While I guess this was a write scan to determine the possible interleave
    (not applicable for newer harddrives, therefore the hang), there may be
    data left - but forget about the filesystem. You need "raw recovery".

    > 2. He restarted the computer hoping all was going to be alright again
    > 3. BOOTDISK FAILURE mesage


    Obviously the boot+partition sector has already been overwritten.

    > 4. He created a fat32 partition which he didn't format since he then
    > remembered he had some info left on his disk that he needed.
    >

    Doesn't matter anymore, as the original partition table went south already.

    > Now I got to fix it and try to recover the files but I got no idea how
    > to do it...
    >

    Probably you are short of money to pay professionals, or the data isn't just
    that valuable.
    First, add a 2nd bigger drive to save recoverd data.
    2nd, use some imaging tool (knoppix dd, ghost with sector-copy switch) to
    create a backup image.

    Then, you may try "pc inspector file recovery", which still is freeware.
    If you want and are used to linux, use the knoppix "gpart" tool to at least
    restore the 2nd and 3rd partition table entries. If you are lucky, you find
    files in good condition there, after remounting.
    --
    vista policy violation: Microsoft optical mouse detected penguin patterns
    on mousepad. Partition scan in progress to remove offending
    incompatible products. Reactivate MS software.
    Linux 2.6.14-mm1 [LinuxCounter#295241,ICQ#4918962]
     
    Walter Mautner, Jan 24, 2006
    #4
  5. Dead Eyes

    Duane Arnold Guest

    Dead Eyes <> wrote in message
    <>...

    > 1.


    1?

    > Used Award Bios Low Level Format Tool on a WD64AA (6gb HD) During the
    > interleaf scan, the computer stoped responding after scanning the HD
    > with an interleaf of 1 2.


    After what?

    > He restarted the computer hoping all was going to be alright again 3.


    I don't use that so can't help with your questions.

    > BOOTDISK FAILURE mesage 4.


    4?

    > He created a fat32 partition which he didn't format since he then
    > remembered he had some info left on his disk that he needed.


    Which he did not format since he then remembered he had some info left
    on his disk that he needed? Are your for real?

    > Now I got to fix it and try to recover the files but I got no idea how
    > to do it.


    It's good to know yourself. [Condescendingly]

    > http://www.


    Donuts are getting sophisticated these days.

    > when will this depression ever go away???


    Yes, Eyes, you need encouragement and support. You have issues; it shows.

    > ameriwebs.


    But better.

    > I'm afraid of the dark. The doctor says I need behavioral therapy.


    It could be worse, Eyes. Your insides could be rotting and falling out of
    your arse.

    > net/groupworks/george/llf.


    Classic inferiority complex, as evidenced by your need to cut someone
    down to a level lower than the one at which you perceive yourself to be,
    Eyes.

    > htm "If a large hard drive is accidentally formatted using this
    > utility, any damage can be undone with programs such as Ontrack's Disk
    > Manager, PC-Technician by Windsor Technology and Micro-2000's
    > Microscope.


    I wouldn't know about that but I can tell you don't start a new thread
    with the same question.

    > ".


    You get over being in a panic by being in one.

    > The psychiatrist said my premature ejaculation problem was from
    > stress!!! CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT SHIT!!!???


    It could be worse; you could have ejaculation problems.

    > The problem is.


    Why is it a problem?

    > : He used to have 2 partitions, at 33 and 66% of disk capacities +
    > those programs aren't free + WD only offers somekind of ridiculous
    > rebate on those products.


    He's nothing; he's really inconsequential. [Your father]

    > So, I'd like to know if any of you have any idea of how I could
    > recover the data? Is it possible since it only crashed during the
    > interleaf scan?


    Who gives a **** what you do?

    > thx.


    I am so good, I can have anything I want.

    > Crying I can?t stop crying


    Is your mother heartbroken about that, Eyes?

    --
    Duane :)
     
    Duane Arnold, Jan 24, 2006
    #5
  6. Dead Eyes

    Plato Guest

    Dead Eyes wrote:
    >
    > 1. Used Award Bios Low Level Format Tool on a WD64AA (6gb HD)
    > During the interleaf scan, the computer stoped responding after
    > scanning the HD with an interleaf of 1
    > 2. He restarted the computer hoping all was going to be alright again
    > 3. BOOTDISK FAILURE mesage
    > 4. He created a fat32 partition which he didn't format since he then
    > remembered he had some info left on his disk that he needed.
    >
    > Now I got to fix it and try to recover the files but I got no idea how
    > to do it...


    Recover files after writing zeros to the drive? No way to get files
    back.



    --
    http://www.bootdisk.com/
     
    Plato, Jan 24, 2006
    #6
  7. Dead Eyes

    Guest

    Greetings,


    Actually, I suppose you using Active@ Undelete or Uneraser (DOS) tool
    to bring data back. These are truly powerful data recovery tools that
    never failed me before. It's restore methods are simply great. It even
    never corrupted any of mine restored info. I'm pretty sure that will
    help your to solve your problem.

    http://www.active-undelete.com/

    http://www.uneraser.com/
     
    , Jan 25, 2006
    #7
  8. Dead Eyes

    Guest

    Why does anyone outside of the manufacturer want to do a low level
    format?
    Because they dont know that its not necessary for one and dangerous to
    do if not done properly as your friend found out.
    Never do an LLF with data you need still on the disk.
    You aint gonna get it back.
    Now you'll probably need to take it to a data recovery specialist to
    get the data back which may not happen and that aint cheap either.
    I'd hand the thing back to him and tell him he toasted it.
    Then tell him to understand what he's doing before he does it.

    If it was a maxtor drive, maxtor has a utility available that resets
    the drive back to factory conditions as if it were brand new.

    A low level format should never be performed except at the factory,
    period.
     
    , Jan 26, 2006
    #8
  9. Dead Eyes

    Dave Keays Guest

    wrote:
    > Why does anyone outside of the manufacturer want to do a low level
    > format?
    > Because they dont know that its not necessary for one and dangerous to
    > do if not done properly as your friend found out.
    > Never do an LLF with data you need still on the disk.
    > You aint gonna get it back.
    > Now you'll probably need to take it to a data recovery specialist to
    > get the data back which may not happen and that aint cheap either.
    > I'd hand the thing back to him and tell him he toasted it.
    > Then tell him to understand what he's doing before he does it.
    >
    > If it was a maxtor drive, maxtor has a utility available that resets
    > the drive back to factory conditions as if it were brand new.
    >
    > A low level format should never be performed except at the factory,
    > period.
    >


    I know that wasn't true a few years ago. Magnetic storage isn't 100% and the
    signal would fade with time. Some utilities (Steve Gibsons 'Spinrite') let you
    refresh the formatting on live data. I don't think this is still a concern today.

    But there is a big worry about not leaving information on a harddisk. For a
    small company without access to a scredder that can handle harddisks, a low
    level format or a sledge hammer would do the trick. I also have "WipeDrive"
    from White Canyon.

    I've talked to some data recovery people for the Government who claim even a LLF
    isn't good enough. They say that they can read the resonance from even a small
    portion of a platter. They claim the DoD wiping standards are out of date. You
    need to physically shred the drive to be safe.

    --

    Dave Keays
     
    Dave Keays, Jan 26, 2006
    #9
  10. Dave Keays wrote:
    <snip>
    > I've talked to some data recovery people for the Government who claim even a LLF
    > isn't good enough. They say that they can read the resonance from even a small
    > portion of a platter. They claim the DoD wiping standards are out of date. You
    > need to physically shred the drive to be safe.
    >


    It all depends whose eyes you are wishing to protect the data from and
    what resources they have and are going to deploy to recover it.

    If you are a Government trying to protect things from the resources
    another Government /could/ deploy - then you may easily need to stick
    the drives through a purpose-built shredder.

    For most people, simpler measures are probably enough to protect the
    information enough to give even a professional data recovery company a
    headache.

    Putting the drive under a bench drill and drilling a 1/4" hole through
    the thing will probably be more than adequate even for the paranoid..

    Overwriting the whole drive with repeated copies of "White Christmas",
    et al, will be better if the drive is ever to be used again - plus the
    added joy of what it would do to the the sanity of a data recovery
    expert, should it ever fall into the hands of one..

    --

    Sue
     
    =?UTF-8?B?UGFsaW5kcuKYu21l?=, Jan 26, 2006
    #10
  11. Dead Eyes

    Ace Hung Guest

    Hi, I use a 5 lb hammer on the harddrive that I disposed of to the
    recycling people.


    Palindr☻me wrote:
    > Dave Keays wrote:
    > <snip>
    >> I've talked to some data recovery people for the Government who claim
    >> even a LLF
    >> isn't good enough. They say that they can read the resonance from even
    >> a small
    >> portion of a platter. They claim the DoD wiping standards are out of
    >> date. You
    >> need to physically shred the drive to be safe.
    >>

    >
    > It all depends whose eyes you are wishing to protect the data from and
    > what resources they have and are going to deploy to recover it.
    >
    > If you are a Government trying to protect things from the resources
    > another Government /could/ deploy - then you may easily need to stick
    > the drives through a purpose-built shredder.
    >
    > For most people, simpler measures are probably enough to protect the
    > information enough to give even a professional data recovery company a
    > headache.
    >
    > Putting the drive under a bench drill and drilling a 1/4" hole through
    > the thing will probably be more than adequate even for the paranoid..
    >
    > Overwriting the whole drive with repeated copies of "White Christmas",
    > et al, will be better if the drive is ever to be used again - plus the
    > added joy of what it would do to the the sanity of a data recovery
    > expert, should it ever fall into the hands of one..
    >
     
    Ace Hung, Feb 1, 2006
    #11
  12. Ace Hung wrote:
    > Hi, I use a 5 lb hammer on the harddrive that I disposed of to the
    > recycling people.
    >

    <snip>

    From a recycling viewpoint - they would have been better off if you
    kept the drive and sent them the hammer...

    On a technical point - in the scheme of hammers being teensy, big,
    bigger, biggest, the UK nearest is probably a 4lb hammer. Perhaps you
    should scrape the bits of the old drive off, before hitting the next
    one? Or maybe you are in the US? We all know that everything is bigger,
    across the pond. Well, almost everything - some things just look bigger
    in a mirror..

    --
    Sue
     
    =?UTF-8?B?UGFsaW5kcuKYu21l?=, Feb 1, 2006
    #12
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