reformatting a HD

in Genius Bar edited January 2014
I'm using Disk Setup. I want to do a low level format, but this option is grayed out for me. Why is it like this? Do I have to do something special to allow this option to become available?

I suspect there is a bad block where the volume information is kept, but doing a regular surface scan will only reveal bad blocks in the "user" area of the HD. I read that doing a low level format would apply this test for the whole disk, hopefully circumventing the scenario where the volume information gets intentionally written in a space that contains a bad block (yielding an ineffectual disk initialization).


  • Reply 1 of 8
    709709 Posts: 2,016member
    That's strange. You're selecting the HD 'icon' (with the disk size next to it) and not the 'name' just below it, right?

    10.2 Startup Disc?
  • Reply 2 of 8
    randycat99randycat99 Posts: 1,919member
    Oops! Guess I should have given more details. This is all in Mac OS9. I have the particular disk highlighted, but the low level format option is just not available in the "initialization options" menu. I also tried this using my main HD, but the option is still grayed out. So basically the option is locked-out altogether for some reason.
  • Reply 3 of 8
    709709 Posts: 2,016member
    Ahh. I've long-forgotten my OS9 voodoo tricks, and don't have my only OS9 machine available to check it out. Sorry.
  • Reply 4 of 8
    randycat99randycat99 Posts: 1,919member
    Is there any other software that will do a low-level format?

    If only I had a PC (never thought I'd be saying that)... You could do low-level formats from the BIOS or DOS shell, no?
  • Reply 5 of 8
    curiousuburbcuriousuburb Posts: 3,325member
    you're booting from system CD rather than the internal (active) HD, right?

    Drive Setup won't let you bake the drive you're currently booting from

    got access to Diskwarrior? (both diagnosis of bad sector, and fix-it tools while booted from CD)
  • Reply 6 of 8
    randycat99randycat99 Posts: 1,919member
    I'm not booting off a CD, but the drive I want to reformat isn't my primary drive, either. It is entirely separate both physically and partition-wise. Should this make a difference?

    I will check out the DiskWarrior thing, though. Thanks.
  • Reply 7 of 8
    1337_5l4xx0r1337_5l4xx0r Posts: 1,558member
    I doubt this is the problem, but you should prob'ly unmount the disk in question before running DU on it. If it says 'drive in use' or whatever then that may be the source of your prob. Failing that, boot from the OSX CD.
  • Reply 8 of 8
    randycat99randycat99 Posts: 1,919member
    Is there any pre-Mac OS X'er out there who can open up their Disk Setup and see the "low level format" option as available in their "initialization options" menu? I just want to know if there is somebody out there where this feature is actually available.
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