When launching, Lowvel enumerates all the storage devices connected to a PC.
Also the tool detects whether it is possible to lock a device for exclusive access.
If a device cannot be locked (e.g. in case of a system disk), "cannot lock" will be indicated next to the device name.
You can still erase such a device, but in this case there is no guarantee that all data will be erased.
Select a drive to erase
When you click Select a drive to erase, a drop down list appears.
It lists all the available storage devices connected to a PC with information about whether a device can be locked.
When you click Start, the warning window appears where you can find the detailed information about the selected device.
Information on volumes contained on the physical device:
- serial number, if available
- connection type, if available, indicating an USB or a Firewire drive.
- logical drive letter and volume name, if any,
- volume size,
- filesystem type.
Once you have finished with the device information, you can:
- click Erase and start to erase data off the device;
- click Cancel and return to the main program window.
When you click the button, irreversible process of zero-filling all the sectors on the selected device is started.
In some cases you can get one more warning telling that Lowvel cannot lock the device for exclusive access.
For example, it may happen if you are going to erase all the data from a system volume or from a non-system volume which is in use,
e.g. one of the files on the volume is opened. Your options are:
click Yes and start the process of zero-filling.
However, you should realize that not all the data will be overwritten with zeroes - sectors related
to the files which are in use may be not erased.
click No and return to the main program window.
Close all the open files and Windows Explorer folder views, then try again.
There is a disk map in Lowvel which allows you to monitor the process of zero-filling the device.
The disk map is colored as the data is erased.
The following colors are used:
- black - shows that the data block has been already zero-filled,
- red - shows that there is at least one bad sector in the data block,
- cyan - indicates the data block which is currently being erased.
Status Bar displays how much data has been already overwritten, and a number of bad sectors encountered.
The button becomes active when the process of zero-filling is started.
When you click the button, you can stop erasing data but sectors which have been already overwritten with zeroes cannot be recovered.
When you restart erasing data on the same device, all starts over.
It is located in the bottom of the main program window and shows the current state of Lowvel.