Intel® High Performance Solid-State Drives
When Do You Need 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 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
  • If performing a regular format or partition on the Intel® SSD results in an error
  • If any other data integrity issue is suspected

There are several free tools you can use to run a low-level format:


Always back-up your software before running 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 entire disk for defects.

A low-level format, on the other hand, queries each cell, if it has been written to, and then writes a zero to this cell. This is also 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-Mar-2015
Date Created: 22-Feb-2011
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