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Last Updated May 24, 2021 7:47 am
(n.) Short for low-level format, 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.

Floppy disks must also undergo low-level and high-level formatting, but these two are generally performed at the same time. On PCs, for example, the FORMAT command performs both a low-level and high-level format the first time a floppy is formatted.

(v.) The process of performing low-level formatting.