By Dylan / Last Updated March 20, 2020

What does low level format mean?

Low level format(LLF) is a formatting method that empties your storage devices like SD card, HDD, USB drive and creates the tracks and sectors of it.

According to the Wikipedia information, if your low level format an SD card, it would mark the surfaces of the SD card and indicate the start of a recording block and other information to be used later, in normal ways, by the disk controller to read or write data. It can last for a long time.

Compared to the high level format, or standard format, which erases “bookkeeping” information of disk, and do some simple testing, the low level format of SD card erases all the data on the disk much more completely and permanently and initializes every sector individually, making your SD card like new and ready to start fresh.

Why low level format a SD card?

Because it is a time-consuming formatting way, it is not used as widely as high level format, but in the consideration of following needs, LLF should be taken.

  • Low level format is a good option when your SD card and other storage device got some bad sectors or tracks, and they cannot be resolved by normal ways.

  • You want to give the SD card away when you have a new card. In this situation, you can adopt LLF to erase all sensitive data and protect them from being stolen.

  • Your SD card is getting full, and you can LL format it to free up the capacity. If there is something you need, please clone the SD card to another SD card with SD card clone software.

But, how to low level format an SD card for Windows 10/8/7?

Best SD card low level format tool

There is an SD card low level format tool called AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard Edition that provides zero-filling method (the common low level format method) to low level format SD card, USB drive, HDD in Windows 10/8/7. Compared to tons of low level formatting software, this tool owns several outstanding features to make it the best.

  • Easy-to-use interface: You can just follow the instructions to format a disk in the GUI interface easily, whether you are a computer expert or beginner.

  • Only one partition format: It supports low level format only one partition on your SD card. If you just want to format one partition, you won’t lose other partitions on the disk.

  • Comprehensive Windows OS support: It supports low level formatting a storage device in different Windows systems including Windows 10/8/7, Windows XP, Windows Vista.

  • More erasing methods: Besides writing zeros to SD card, it has 3 more erasing methods that could wipe SD card more thoroughly and more difficult to restore.

How to low level format SD card for Windows 10/8/7?

Insert your SD card into a computer with an SD card adapter, and ensure it is detected. And install this low level format tool, and follow the steps.

Step 1. Open AOMEI Partition Assistant. Right-click the SD card on the main interface, and select “Wipe Hard Drive”.

Wipe Hard Drive 16gb

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

Fit Sectors With Zero 16gb

✍Tips: Filling sectors with Zero is a general method to low level format a SD. But if you have some private files you really want forever gone, you can upgrade to Professional Edition and choose other wiping methods that provide higher security.
● Fill sectors with random data (Safe, Quick): It overwrites SD card with random data, which is hard to restore information data.
DoD 5220.22-M (very Safe, Quick, PRO): it writes a zero, a one, and a random character to the disk. It gets rid of all software-based and most hardware-based recovery methods to restore data.
● Gutmann (35 passes, Very Safe, Very Slow, PRO): It involves 35 patterns to write the disk, which makes your data very safe but takes much more time.

Step 3. Then you will see the main interface, and click “Apply” > “Proceed” to confirm the operation.

Proceed 16gb

Just wait for a whole, your SD card will be low level formatted.

Conclusion

Low level format is a safe and common way to format a disk, a USB stick, an HDD, and other storage devices. I hope this article can help you to format your SD card safely and protect your data from information thefts.

What’s more, AOMEI Partition Assistant not just can LL format a disk, but also perform high level format by "Format Partition" feature. And it works well in managing and protecting computer and disk.

If you upgrade it to Professional Edition, it provides more functions, like the other 3 wiping methods mentioned above, and securely erase SSD which can’t be completely cleared with normal ways, and change file system from FAT32 to NTFS without formatting/losing data, etc.