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I have an old usb hdd and Im trying to fix it by running a low level format. A regular format will not work. The problem started after using windows ...
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  1. #1
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    What app can be used to perform a low level format


    I have an old usb hdd and Im trying to fix it by running a low level format. A regular format will not work. The problem started after using windows to run a format on the drive. Its a mini usb hdd. A low level format may not work either as Ive read somewhere that the firmware is sometimes saved on the disc platters and if so then I guess Im screwed cuase I cant find any firmware for this drive anywhere. Its a WD Passport Pocket. Not really worth the time I guess but now I'm just interested to see if it can be done.

  2. #2
    Administrator jayd512's Avatar
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    Hello and Welcome!
    Provided the drive is detected properly, this isn't hard to do. Connect your drive, open a terminal, and do:
    Code:
    dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/<target device>
    This will write a zeros to every bit of the device. Alternatively, you could write a mix of zeros and ones by doing:
    dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/<target device>
    So if you're USB drive is detected as sdb, that's your target device.
    Either way, this may take a while. But when it's finished, everything will be completely overwritten on that device. The truly paranoid may want to do this multiple times.

    *NOTE*
    Be extremely careful when executing these commands! A typo here could render your system unbootable, perhaps irreparable.
    Jay

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    Thanks

    I did try that one but wasn't sure if it was just a normal format or what. Throws an IO error. I'm guessing the drive is just shot. If I could just find the firmware that might work. I looked into using sg_raw to load it but I cant find it anywhere.

  4. #4
    Administrator jayd512's Avatar
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    Make sure that the drive isn't mounted when you try to format.
    You could also try using GParted. It's included in most distros. If not, you can download it here.
    Jay

    New users, read this first.
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  5. #5
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    Thanks for the suggestion. I made sure the drive was unmounted but nogo. It's gotta be the firmware. I broke the drive after performing a format using windows xp so it has to have something to do with the format. As i said I found an article that states western digital drive sometime store part of the firmware on the platters. I just wish I could find the firmware. I've already tried every tool western digital provides for things like this. Anyway I appreciate the help. Guess it's time to throw this thing away. Oh well I did learn a few things along the way atleast.

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