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Windows 7: How do you do a High Level Format


09 May 2012   #1

32 Bit Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 
How do you do a High Level Format

If I am not mistaking, most formats are low-level formats correct?
How would I go about doing a high level format?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

09 May 2012   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

You are mistaken. A real low level format is only done at the factory. Unfortunately, the term LLF is thrown around a lot, but the closest you can do is to fill the entire drive with zero value bytes and do error checking of the drive, which isn't really recommended. There are utilities available to do that, if you feel the need - and there isn't a need, unless you plan on giving the drive to someone and you are worried they may try to recover whatever data you stored on it.

A high level format is the format you do whenever you format a drive on your PC.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2012   #3

32 Bit Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

Well, I changed a setting in MSCONFIG by accident. It screwed up my pc horribly. I can't have many programs open at the same time without everything crashing, and my resolution going from 1920x1200 to 640x480 (or whatever it is). Chrome crashes like 10 times a day if Im lucky. I cant keep many tabs open in chrome. Every time I restart my pc I get this error message:

mem.png picture by AlmostArtafact - Photobucket

I have tried:

•Changing the setting back (didnt fix it)
•Formatting and doing a clean install (6 times!)
•Restoring my bios to default
•Taking the ram out, and turning the PC on. After it beeps turn it back off, and put the ram back in. (This worked, and I could run as many programs as I wanted and everything was fine! The second my computer goes to sleep, or restarts though its back to the same thing, crashing all day).
•Creating a system managed paging file.

Seriously even after ALL of that, I still get that message everytime Windows starts (even after complete formats!).

Here is where my memory idles out at when I first boot up the PC:



Here is the setting I changed that caused all of this (trying to make my startup faster):



I accidentally left the "Maximum Memory" box ticked.


Any idea what file leaving "Maximum Memory" checked, changed? If I could go into wherever it is and edit it, that would be awesome. That is why I was wanting to do a High Level Format (thanks for the clarification).

I am going to try and run a Memtest using Hiren's Boot CD to see what it says.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


09 May 2012   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Well, there's no setting you can change that will break your hardware, so don't worry about that. Can you post the error message? That picture doesn't show an error message, it's just a screen cap of your performance and memory settings.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2012   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Yep, LLF's been in the domain of the manufacturer's exclusively for a long time now. Extremely precise equipment required. Amazing to see how often the term gets mentioned (even by some of the manufacturers) considering it's been gone for around a decade or longer.

I too see no errors in your posts. It looks like the animated image reveals that you actually made no change.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2012   #6
Microsoft MVP

 

Those msconfig settings are for diagnostics and can't really hurt anything as far as I've ever seen. But they are unnecessary for running Windows 7. You can look at how your RAM is apportioned on a chart in the Memory tab of the Resource Monitor.

All of those settings are set back to Windows 7 defaults when you reinstall anyway, as long as you're not reimporting AppData settings along with your files which is a corruption path.

I think you're on the right track to test your RAM using Memtest86 for 5-6 passes or overnight to stress it.

We'll be able to know more once we finally see the error message that's missing, however is it possible you are doing something unusual during install? The best practices for a perfect Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 are also the same for retail.

Edit: Just noticed paging file. Leave it set to System Managed on OS drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2012   #7

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 / WinXP Pro x86 on (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TheCause View Post
Well, I changed a setting in MSCONFIG by accident. It screwed up my pc horribly. I can't have many programs open at the same time without everything crashing, and my resolution going from 1920x1200 to 640x480 (or whatever it is). Chrome crashes like 10 times a day if Im lucky. I cant keep many tabs open in chrome. Every time I restart my pc I get this error message:

mem.png picture by AlmostArtafact - Photobucket
As was mentioned, your screenshot isn't that "error message" you get. Please tell us what exactly this "error message" is, and whether it's coming from your hardware (i.e. machine BIOS) or from Windows as the startup process proceeds.

Also, is that a 2TB C-partition? Can you post a screenshot from DISKMGMT.MSC (maximized please, with columns spread so we can see what's in each cell). Is this a new drive? New machine? Do you have an EFI BIOS on your motherboard supporting booting from 2TB+ drives?


Now... I am puzzled why your configuration shows "no paging file" checked on C, and why your setup shows 0 allocated for all paging files on all drives? Obviously that's wrong, and the root of all your other issues. Insufficient memory for Windows 7 to work, as you only have a 3GB machine (according to your screenshot).

Normally, a fresh install from scratch would establish the system defaults of letting Windows 7 have "automatically manage paging file size for all drives" get checked. And the size of the page file (which by default would be allocated on C) would all be handled automatically. "System managed size" would also be checked. You'd need to do nothing.



Is there some reason you can't uncheck the "no paging file" and instead check "system managed size" for C, and then also check "automatically manage paging file size for all drives" so that everything below it gets grayed out as in my screenshot of my setup??

Why is there 0 paging file allocated, if not because you've checked "no paging file"?? If you really have done a clean install 6 times, I can't imagine how this default arrangement isn't what you see immediately (unless you've changed something subsequently)?


NOTE: Start -> Control Panel -> System and security -> System -> Advanced system settings (on left) -> System Properties, Advanced tab -> push Performance "SETTINGS" button -> Performance options, Advanced tab -> Virtual memory, push "CHANGE" button

Then un-check "no paging file" by checking "system managed size", etc.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 May 2012   #8

32 Bit Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

Hey guys,
Thank you for all of your replies!

Here is an update:

1)I ran Memtest for 2 passes. I would have let it run for more, but I didn't realize it would take that long. The first pass took about 53 minutes, and the second took about an hour and a half. It had 0 Errors though. I will run it overnight tonight and see what happens.

2)
Quote:
As was mentioned, your screenshot isn't that "error message" you get. Please tell us what exactly this "error message" is, and whether it's coming from your hardware (i.e. machine BIOS) or from Windows as the startup process proceeds.
I apologize, it's not an actual error message. I was referring to this: mem.png picture by AlmostArtafact - Photobucket

It pops up every time I restart my PC, even after a format. I did what you suggested, and checked "Automatically manage paging file size for all drives." The problem is, when I restart my PC again, and the same box pops up as usual, I have to press the "Change" button and get into the Virtual Memory window and check the box again. It resets back to where it was before when I restart.

3)
Quote:
Also, is that a 2TB C-partition? Can you post a screenshot from DISKMGMT.MSC (maximized please, with columns spread so we can see what's in each cell). Is this a new drive? New machine? Do you have an EFI BIOS on your motherboard supporting booting from 2TB+ drives?



4)
Quote:
Is there some reason you can't uncheck the "no paging file" and instead check "system managed size" for C, and then also check "automatically manage paging file size for all drives" so that everything below it gets grayed out as in my screenshot of my setup??
As mentioned, when I check the "Automatically manage paging file size for all drives" box, it goes back to the same settings I showed you in the previous picture when I restart. If I check the "System Managed Size," it still goes back to the old settings when I restart. I have to check them all again every time.

5)
Quote:
Why is there 0 paging file allocated, if not because you've checked "no paging file"?? If you really have done a clean install 6 times, I can't imagine how this default arrangement isn't what you see immediately (unless you've changed something subsequently)?
Someone on another forum told me to create a paging file at 0. That is why that is like that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 May 2012   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

If any of those six clean installs was truly successful, your problem should have been eliminated, as virtual memory and msconfig settings would've gone back to defaults.

So I would wonder how well those formats/reinstalls went. Did you follow either of these:

Clean Install Windows 7

Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7

If you went through either of those successfully I would continue with doing the extended memory check that you said you would do later, as well as checking the hard drive itself.

If you do an sfc /scannow in an elevated command prompt does it report any errors?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 May 2012   #10

32 Bit Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by sibbil View Post
If any of those six clean installs was truly successful, your problem should have been eliminated, as virtual memory and msconfig settings would've gone back to defaults.

So I would wonder how well those formats/reinstalls went. Did you follow either of these:

Clean Install Windows 7

Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7

If you went through either of those successfully I would continue with doing the extended memory check that you said you would do later, as well as checking the hard drive itself.

*Edit* Hmm, not sure what changed. My memory still idles out at about 1.75 gigs when I turn the PC on.

*edit* Hmm, not sure what changed. My memory still idles out at about 1.75 gigs when I turn the pc on.

If you do an sfc /scannow in an elevated command prompt does it report any errors?
Yes sir, that is exactly what I did. On some of the formats, I deleted all the partitions too.

Here is what SFC showed:

"Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files and successfully repaired
them. Details are included in the CBS.Log windir\Logs\CBS\CBS.log. For
example C:\Windows\Logs\CBS\CBS.log

The system file repair changes will take effect after the next reboot."

The log file was over 5 mb, so not exactly sure what I'm looking for =)

I'm fixing to restart my pc. I'll edit my post and let you know what happens.
Also thinking about flashing my bios, if this doesn't work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 How do you do a High Level Format




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