formatting MFM drives on a IBM PC

Christian Corti cc at
Fri Sep 29 03:11:39 CDT 2017

On Thu, 28 Sep 2017, Chuck Guzis wrote:
> "Low level format" is pretty much a relic of the old non-servo MFM
> drives.   I recall that early Maxtor IDE drives implemented a LLF

Lowlevel formatting has to be done for *all* ST-506 interface drives (e.g. 
"MFM" and "RLL" drives). It is the disk controller that needs to write its 
sector and track layout to the drive (ID marks, data marks, GAPs, CRC, ECC 
and so on). This is also true for SMD drives, for example. So it didn't 
make much sense in selling preformatted drives until when disk drives
exposed only the disk blocks to the host. Whether a drives uses servo 
information or not is irrelevant. I don't consider writing servo 
information as lowlevel formatting.


More information about the cctech mailing list