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|Low Level Formatting|
Low Level Format
The hard disk drive management also has a part in it that can be termed as the formatting. The formatting of the hard disk drive is also an important task that is to be performed by the system administrator. The system administrator has the job responsibility of installing the operating system, maintaining the system, managing the resources that are involved in it etc.
The formatting of the hard disk drive or any storage media is just erasing the data that is present over that device. It may be a hard disk or even a floppy or any other secondary storage device. An important observation is that the primary memory need not be formatted.
Since the primary memory is usually the volatile memory and in the volatile memory the contents are wiped out as soon as the power is turned off. But in case of the secondary storage device like the hard disk the data is permanently stored and the data is not lost in the case there is any power failure. The secondary memory is non volatile.
There are two types of the format that can be performed over a secondary storage device. They are the high level format and the other is the low level format. In the high level format the data is just deleted from the hard disk drive.
The high level formatting of the storage media is easy and quickly performed. The high level format in case of the Disk Operating System or popularly called as the DOS is done by the command that is known as the ‘format’.
The syntax of this command is “$> format c:” The format is the name of the command that is used to format the hard disk drive and the C: is the drive letter that will be formatted with the command. The high level formatting can be done for the floppy disks also. The floppy drive letter should be used in place of the drive letter C.
The high level formatting in the DOS checks the disk integrity and carries out the bad sector fixation also. In case of the windows formatting can be done in this way. Right click the drive in the explorer, go to properties, and then format the drive. The format in this case is also does the same function as that discussed in the Disk Operating System - DOS.
The other type of format that can be carried out is the low level format. The low level format was used in the earlier systems. Also in the earlier systems there used is an option in the BIOS that could perform the low level formatting. The difference between the low level formatting and the high level formatting is that the low level formatting of the disk behaves as if the data is erased and again overwritten with some other data.
Suppose is the data is just deleted then also resides in the disk. The only thing is that it is not visible. The data is permanently deleted only when some other data is overwritten to the location of the data that was deleted. Hence the data in case of the low level formatting acts as if it is overwritten. This is the main difference between the low level formatting and the high level formatting.
The only thing in the case of the low level formatting is that the data is not overwritten, it just appears that it is overwritten. In other words the data is completely or permanently deleted from the storage media over which the low level formatting is done.
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