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I've searched and can't find where to do this, so i'm just going to ask.

My friend is having some issues with his computer and wants to erase everything from it.

My first question is, if you reinstall XP (delete the partition, format, and install over it) will that erase all data already on the drive?

Second question is, how do you do a low level format in XP?

Thanks. :)
 
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Hello Joker,

Low Level Format is a formatting method that creates the tracks and sectors on a hard disk. Low-level formatting creates the physical format that dictates where data is stored on the disk. Also see high-level format.
Modern hard drives are low-level formatted at the factory for the life of the drive. A PC can not perform an LLF on a modern IDE/ATA or SCSI hard disk, and doing so would destroy the hard disk. Older MFM drives could be low-level formatted to extend the life of the disk, but modern hard drives no longer use MFM technology.
A low-level format is also called a physical format. (source webopedia)

format vs quick format in xp : click here for Microsoft Knowledge Base Article

So after all I can say if applicaple low level format is the best way to format a hard drive.

How to a low level format : You should go to the manufacturers (HD) website and download the Low Level Format Utility. Copy it to a floppy disk. And boot from your floppy drive. You can change the boot sequence in your BIOS. This will erase everything permanently.
 

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As mentioned, you can't do a real LLF. You can use the manufacturer's diagnostic to clean off the drive, or just partition and format it during the XP install, which is how I'd do it.
 

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A hard drive manufacturers disk utility that is called "Low Level Format" will write zeros to all the sectors of the drive. Technically it will bring the drive to a "as new" state. You will have to partition and format the drive afterwords.
 
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