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Run a Low-Level Format on Intel® Solid State Drives

Last Reviewed: 07-Oct-2016
Article ID: 000006198

If one or more of the following scenarios are met, then a low-level format should be run on the Intel® Solid State Drive (Intel® SSD):

  • Operating system experiences slowness or freezing
  • Before reinstalling an operating system
  • If the Intel® SSD Toolbox fails the read or write diagnostics
  • When doing a regular format or partition on the Intel® SSD results in an error
  • If any other data integrity issue is suspected

Here are some free tools you can use to run a low-level format:

Always back up your software before you run a low-level format or secure erase.

A quick format done through Windows* sets up an empty file system on the disk and installs a boot sector. The full format in Windows does the same as a quick format and scans the whole disk for defects.

A low-level format queries each cell to see if it has been written to, and then writes a zero to the cell. This type of format can also be called zeroing the drive, or flushing the drive.

Related topics
Intel SSD Toolbox
Intel Solid-State Drive Community
Intel Customer Support