Intel® High Performance Solid-State Drives
When to Run a Low-Level Format on an Intel® Solid-State Drive?

When to run a low-level format on an Intel® Solid-State Drive?

If one or more of the following scenarios are met, then a low-level format should be run on an SSD:

  • Operating system experiences slowness or freezing
  • Before reinstalling an operating system
  • If the Intel® SSD Toolbox fails the read or write diagnostics
  • If performing a regular format or partition on the SSD results in an error
  • If any other data integrity issue is suspected
  • Secure erase included in the Intel® SSD Toolbox (this option will only work on a non-bootable secondary SSD)
  • There are several free tools which can be used to run a low-level format:

NOTE: Always back-up your software before running secure erase or a low level format.

Note 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 will scan the entire disk for defects. A low-level format, on the other hand, queries each cell if it has been written to and then will write a zero to this cell. This may also be referred to as 'zeroing' the drive or 'flushing' the drive.
Related topics
Intel SSD Toolbox
Intel Solid-State Drive Community
Intel Customer Support


Intel Knowledge Base Article Disclaimer

This applies to:

Intel® SSD 310 Series
Intel® SSD 330 Series
Intel® SSD 530 Series
Intel® SSD DC S3610 Series
Intel® SSD DC S3710 Series
Intel® SSD Pro 2500 Series
Intel® SSD Toolbox
Intel® SSD X18-M Series
Intel® SSD X25-E Series
Intel® SSD X25-M Series
Intel® SSD X25-V Series

Solution ID: CS-032319
Last Modified: 09-Feb-2015
Date Created: 22-Feb-2011
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