The magnetic bead-based Direct-zol procedure on the Hamilton Microlab STAR platform bypasses phase separation/precipitation and enables high-throughput automated magnetic bead-based purification of high-quality total RNA directly from samples treated in TRIzol or other acid-guanidinium-phenol based reagents. Direct-zol effectively isolates total RNA from a variety of sample sources including cells, tissue, serum, plasma, blood, and biological liquids for downstream applications, like miRNA profiling, RNA-seq, and viral detection.