How to low-level format a Mac hard drive using Drive Setup?

Low-Level format Mac Hard Drive To low-level format a hard drive using Drive Setup, follow these steps:

  1. Start by selecting the hard drive you wish to low-level format.
  2. Under the Function menu select Initialization Options
  3. Select Low Level Format (a check mark will appear) and click OK.
  4. Click Initialize at the bottom of the main screen.
  5. Again click Initialize.

Drive Setup will low-level format the drive and prepare it for use with the Mac OS, after which it can be loaded with software.


  • Low-level formatting a hard drive will destroy all data on the drive and destroy any chance of data recovery. We suggest you make a reliable back up of all data before attempting this.
  • Canceling a low-level format of a SCSI hard drive before it has completed can render the drive permanently inoperable.
  • Low-level formatting can take several hours depending on the drive.