How to Use Hirens Boot CD for Low-Level Format

How can I use Hirens Boot CD to low-level format? Is there any other method that can achieve the same purpose? Not only can I teach you how to do it, but also shows you an easier way.


By Dervish / Updated on October 8, 2023

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What is Hirens Boot CD?

First, let me explain what exactly is a boot CD. It is an all-in-one emergency CD solution. If your computer breaks down frequently or you need to manage disks, etc. This boot CD can bring you very important help. Hirens Boot CD is actually a CD with many Windows repair tools installed, so you can choose different tools according to your needs.

If you encounter hard drive failure, computer infection with annoying viruses, forget your password, do not know how to recover your password, or accidentally lose all data, etc., then Hirens boot CD will be your savior. Next, I will teach you how to use it for low-level format.

The method to low-level format with Hirens Boot CD

First, you need to download the Hirens boot CD. But please note that the downloaded file is an ISO file, and the ISO file cannot be opened directly on the computer. You need to burn the ISO file to bootable CD/USB (because nowadays computers rarely have CD-ROM, so in this article, I will introduce you to how to burn ISO to bootable USB). After the burning, set the bootable USB as the boot program in the BIOS, so that after restarting the computer, you can enter the Hirens boot CD interface and perform the low-level format. I will explain to you in three parts below.

▶ Part 1. How to create Hirens bootable USB

Step 1. Download the Hirens boot CD(Click the link, scroll down to File name, and click download)

Step 2. Download Rufus, Rufus is a free tool for creating bootable USB, with the help of Rufus you can burn ISO to Bootable USB. Then, insert your USB device and run the app.

Step 3. In the main interface, select FAT32 for the file system.

Step 4. Check the Format Options, then change the option next to Create a bootable disk using ISO Image.

Step 5. Select the little CD icon next to this box and browse to the location of the ISO file in the HBCD folder.

Step 6. Finally, click Start when ready.

Step 7. After that, you've installed HBCD on your USB.

▶ Part 2. The way to set USB as boot drive

In this part, we need to allow the bootable USB to boot the computer. The specific operations are as follows:

Step 1. When the computer shows the startup screen, then press the "Esc" key to enter the BIOS settings. (Some computers may be Delete, F2, or F6)

Step 2. Enter BIOS FEATURES SETUP and set Boot (boot sequence) to USB.

Step 3. After the setting is completed, return to the main BIOS interface, and then select Save and Exit.

Step 4. Insert the bootable USB created in Part 1 into the USB port. After restarting the computer, you will enter the main interface of Hirens Boot CD.

▶ Part 3. Low-level format with Hirens Boot CD

After completing the above steps, we can perform low-level format on Hirens Boot CD.

Step 1. Open "Utilities" on the desktop, find "Security" in "Hard Disk Tool", and double-click "HDD Low Level Format Tool"

Step 2. Choose the hard drive you want to format. and click “Continue”.

Step 3. In the "LOW-LEVEL FORMAT" option, click "FORMAT THIS DEVICE" in the lower right corner.

Step 4. Confirm the hard disk you want to format again and click "YES".

This is the whole process of using the HDD LOW-LEVEL FORMAT TOOL built-in Hirens Boot CD.

Tip: The above is the whole process of using Hirens Boot CD for low-level format. But do you think it is too troublesome to have to do so much preparatory work to perform low-level format, most users are not professionals after all, and the operation is too cumbersome. I will introduce you to another alternative method below, the effect is the same as using Hirens Boot CD, and the operation is simple and less time-consuming.

An easier way to replace Hirens Boot CD for low-level format

Using AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard to complete the low-level format is a simpler method than the Hirens Boot CD. The most important thing is that it does not need to download the ISO file or create a bootable USB, which saves a lot of time.

AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is a completely free disk management tool, it supports Windows 10, Windows 8.1/8, Windows 7, Vista, and XP. The interface is not only simple, but also easy to use. But the Standard version can only be used for low-level format HDD(This article takes low-level format HDD as an example). If you want to low-level format SSD, please upgrade to AOMEI Partition Assistant Pro  and refer to the specific steps in this article: How to Low-Level Format SSD Easily and Safely in Windows?

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Step 1. In the main interface, right-click the hard drive you want to low level format (Take disk 4 as an example) and select “Wipe Hard Drive”. 

Step 2. Choose “Fill sectors with Zero (Safe, Quick)” as the wiping method. And click “OK”.

Fill sectors with Zero (Safe, Quick): Fill sectors with zeros is a general method of low-level format.
Fill sectors with random data (Safe, Quick, PRO): Write random data to all sectors on the disk, which is safer than the first method.
DoD 5220.22-M (Very Safe, Quick, PRO): This is a software-based data cleaning method that erases the hard disk and other storage devices by overwriting the existing data on the hard disk. This hard disk erasing method can make almost all None of the software-based recovery tools can list data and information.
Gutmann (35 passes, Very Safe, Very Slow, PRO): A software-based data cleaning method that prevents all software-based file recovery software and most hardware-based file recovery tools from recovering data.

The last three methods can be obtained through the Pro version. In addition, it also supports more advanced features, such as Wipe System Disk or SSD Secure Erase, etc.

Step 3. Back to the main interface. Click “Apply” and “Proceed” to commit the operation.

How to use HDD after low-level format

After low-level formatting, you also need to partition and high-level format the hard drive. Because in simple terms, low-level formatting is to empty the hard disk. The hard disk after the low-level format is blank. You need to partition the hard disk. Use the high-level format to create the Boot area (Boot), File Allocation Table (FAT), and Data storage area (DATA). Only after these treatments, The system can recognize and use the hard disk. Fortunately, the operations mentioned above can be completed by AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. 

▶ How to create partition

● In the main interface, select the target hard disk and choose “Create Partition”. 

● In the pop-up window, you can decide the size, drive letter, file system (NTFS, FAT, or EXT), partition label as well as partition type (primary or logical) of the new partition.

● Finally, click “Apply” on the upper left to start the creation of the new partition.

▶ How to high-level format

After creating the partition, you can high-level format the new created partition.

● Right-click on the partition and select “Format Partition”. 

● You can change the Partition Label, File System, and Cluster Size. Click “OK”.

 Finally, click “Apply”.

Now, your hard disk can be used normally.


In summary, I believe you have a clear understanding of how to use Hirens Boot CD in low-level format. In addition to using the built-in tools of Hirens Boot CD, the AOMEI Partition Assistant I introduced for you can help you complete the low-level format more quickly and conveniently. I sincerely hope that this article will help you.  

Dervish · Staff Editor
Dervish is an English editor of AOMEI Technology; He is delicated to offering users easy and effecitve solutions for issuses related to disks and partitoins. In his spare time, he enjoy wathcning films, playing footable, traveling and so on.