|The user cannot low level format a modern hard disk drive. That has been the case ever since ATA drives where invented. A true low level format is performed by the manufacturer and is dependent many things that the user has no control over. Among other things a true low level format determines how many tracks on the disk, how many sectors per-track, sector interleave, the number of heads, the number of platters and the number of cylinders.. Not things the user has any control over.|
These software utilities that claim to do a low level format simply write zeros to the data area of the disk. It does not touch the area where the low level format information put there by the manufacture resides. To use there utilities the drive first has to be recognised in the BIOS and in order for it to do that it needs the low level format information. Degaussing may well have destroyed this information.
There is software that will also destroy this information but that is designed as a security measure to render a disk that may contain sensitive information unusable before it is disposed of.