I am posting here to ask if I can low level/zero fill my HDD using DiscWizard. I have read over this article despite it being for ATA/IDE—I am running Serial ATA; it’s the bottom bit I am interested in.
My problem is: I have a 160GB HDD (Seagate ST3160023AS) but Windows XP – Home Edition setup disc and other software (e.g. Partition Magic) are only recognising 131GB of this; when I get Windows XP installed it recognises my hard drive as 127GB capacity. I did, at one time, have three partitions on my hard drive: BACKUP: [Hidden Partition] This was created by Packard Bell for, what I believe, the Packard Bell Recovery Software (this software I deleted/removed ages ago). Windows: I think this one is self-explanatory. Shared: I created this one as a network drive. However, some time ago I deleted the first partition (BACKUP) and this left about 7+GB of hard disk space unused at the beginning of the HDD so I decided to delete all partitions and format the whole HDD, now, at this point I cannot remember how much space I had access to but it was a little more than 131GB but not more than 140GB. This I didn’t really cotton on to and wasn’t too concerned about ‘cause I was going to look into it when I did another format at Christmas, but my dad got us a virus on Wednesday so I decided to do the format then and this is when it came to my attention that I had only access to 131GB and then 127GB in Windows. I told a College tutor (who has experience as a IT Technician) and he recommended a low level format and after doing some research I agreed, so I did a search for low level formatting software and found Seagate DiscWizard where I believe in the Utilities menu there’s a Zero Fill (i.e. low level formatting) option.
Now my problem is I am unsure—in fact almost certain, that I cannot run this low level formatting utility whilst using the hard disk, am I right? I have tried using a second HDD to boot onto (which coincidently is also Seagate) but my system wouldn’t recognise it (find it/detect it) but that’s another story (though, I did try all the jumper options and different plugs on the IDE cable). So, I can’t use a second HDD I have only my original system HDD to use.
So, in conclusion: Can I zero fill/low level format my HDD using DiscWizard whilst on it? By “on it” I mean: booting up onto it and running Windows from it to then run DiscWizard. Also, after reading at the bottom of that linked FAQ article I believe a quick version may be sufficient.
System Details Operating System: Windows XP Home Edition Computer Manufacturer: Packard Bell Computer Model: iMedia 1508/2 HDD: Seagate ST3160023AS 160GB Internal Serial ATA BIOS/CMOS: CMOS 10f
NOTE: I do NOT have any CDs from Packard Bell/with this system. My Windows XP Home Edition setup disc is from a previous computer. When I bought my current system I received absolutely NO discs.