How to Low Level Format USB Flash Drive?

Why and how to low level format USB flash drive? You can find out answers in this paper.


By Bryce / Updated on May 12, 2023

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About low level format

Low level format (LLF), a formatting method, sanitizes your disk and creates the tracks and sectors of it. Low level formatting USB flash drive can blank the drive and replace its bad sectors with redundant sectors. The real LLF is done in the factory and it is just to zero fill the USB flash drive when we talk about low level format it. After zero writing USB flash drive, all existing data saved on the drive will be replaced with zeros.

Why need to low level format USB drive

Usually, low level format is time-consuming and you may need to low level format (zero fill) USB flash drive for those reasons:

Erasing all sensitive data and information and preventing them from retrieved easily before donating or selling your old USB drive.
Eliminating unknown virus from USB flash drive.
Changing USB drive to normal status when it is unable to access and format.

USB flash drive low level format tool free download

Here I would like to introduce a great low level format tool for USB flash drive, AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. This free partition manager works smoothly under different editions of Windows 10/8.1/8/7, XP and Vista. With modern and concise GUI, it’s easy to operate even for a green hand. It can be used to low level format (zero fill) SD card, external hard drive as well. Now, free download the tool and have a look at how it works.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Install and run the low level format tool for USB flash drive. Right click the flash drive and choose “Wipe Hard Drive”. 

Step 2. Choose “Fill Sectors with Zero (Safe, Quick)” as the wiping way. Then, click “OK” button.

✍ You can upgrade AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard to Professional edition, if you need to choose one of the other three options:
● Fill sectors with random data: Fill USB flash drive with random data, which spend more time and is more secure than zero-filling.
● DoD 5220.22-M (7 passes): A software-based data sanitization way, writing a zero, a one and a random character to the drive. It is very safe but takes a longer time.
● Gutmann(35 passes): Involving 35 patterns to write the disk, it can prevent all software-based and most hardware-based recovery methods from recovering data from the erased USB flash drive.

Step 3. You’ll get back the main interface. Click “Apply” and “Proceed” to commit the operation.

The partition manager is featured with many other functions, like cloning USB flash drive, creating a bootable USB drive, etc.
If you need to completely erase all data on solid-sate-drive (SSD) and restore its performance, you can use SSD Secure Erase function in AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional.

Further reading: After low level format USB flash drive

What should you do if you want to use the USB flash drive for data storage after low level format? To reuse a wiped USB flash drive, you need to partition it. Here are the detailed steps:

Step 1. Install and run the partition manager. In the main interface, right-click the unallocated space on the USB flash drive and choose “Create Partition”.

Step 2. In this window, you can specify the size, drive letter, file system, partition label of the new partition. Then, click “OK”. 

Note: You allowed to create FAT32, NTFS, exFAT, Ext2, Ex3, or Ext4 partition the USB flash drive. Choose a proper file system based on your specific demand.

Step 3. Click “Apply” and “Proceed” to execute the operation.

Bryce · Staff Editor
Bryce is an editor of AOMEI Technology, he covers backup & restore, hard disk & partitions management, cloud files transfer, website & database backup and so on for AOMEI. He enjoys helping people find solutions to their problems. He loves traveling, Sleeping, reserching and so on. He enjoys helping people find solutions to their problems. He loves traveling, Sleeping, reserching and so on. He would like to spend all time on reaserching computer problems. He is a very cute boy.