Provided by: sformat_3.5-1.1_i386 bug


       sformat - SCSI disk formatting/partitioning/analysis/repair utility


       sformat [options] target lun [scsibus]
       sformat [options]

       The first form will select the named disk directly.  Have a look at the
       chapter about Following The Main Thread for more details.

       The second form will scan all SCSI busses and enter a  selection  menu.
       Have  a  look  at  the  chapter  about The SCSI Selection Menu for more

       Sformat will  never  destroy  or  modify  any  data  unless  explicitly
       confirmed  just  before the (possibly) destructive action.  Have a look
       at the chapter about How To Answer Questions first.


       Sformat is the first SCSI  disk  formatting  utility  that  runs  under
       SunOS.  Long before Sun decided that formatting and partitioning a disk
       from a stand alone program is less convenient than doing this job  from
       a running UNIX, sformat has been available.

       Sformat  leads  the  beginner  through  a  thread  menu  and allows the
       experienced user to do more things than he could  do  with  other  disk
       maintenance  programs.  All  partitioning  jobs can be done without the
       need for a desc calculator.

       If you want to do more than simple things, you  should  carefully  read
       the  whole  manual. It contains many tips and tricks that will help you
       to recover disks that would have to be sent back  to  the  manufacturer
       for repair otherwise.  Sformat includes the competence of more than ten
       years in disk handling and will be able to repair more disks than other
       disk maintenance programs.  Sformat offers special maintenance tests to
       find the reason for complex disk failures.

Disk Database Entries

       Be nice to other  users  of  sformat.   Create  database  (sformat.dat)
       entries  for  disks that are not in the data base using the -Proto flag
       and mail them to the author.  This helps other users and you too.   See
       section on Creating Disk Database Entries below.


       -help, -h         Print  a  summary  of  the most important options for

       -xhelp            Print a summary of less frequently used  options  for

       -version          Prints  the sformat version number string and exists.

       -ask              Ask again at certain  critical  sections.  This  will
                         currently  prompt  before  modifying the disk when in
                         repair mode.

       -auto, -a         autoformat mode (for production systems).  When  this
                         option  is in effect, sformat will not ask whether to
                         modify the format and partition parameters  and  will
                         only  format  disks  that are known in the data base.
                         There will be only one question to answer.  This will
                         immediately  start the formatting process.  The -auto
                         option enables certain additional verifications  that
                         will  guarantee  that the disks have a known firmware
                         release and will inform the user that the disk is bad
                         if  certain  quality tests failed.  The disk will not
                         be formatted if the signature code in the  data  base
                         is bad.  This option has not been verified during the
                         last three years.  If you  need  this  mode  ask  the
                         author for additional verification of the code.

       Cveri=#, C=#      Number  of  blocks/verify.  Sformat normally will try
                         to verify 1000 sectors with one  SCSI  command.  Some
                         old  disk firmware may not able to deal with a number
                         that will imply to read a number of sectors that will
                         not fit in the local memory of the disk.

       CWveri=#, CW=#    Number  of blocks/write-verify.  The limitation noted
                         with the Cveri option applies here again and even  on
                         newer disks.

       data=name         Name  of disk database file (default: ’sformat.dat’).
                         Use this option to force sformat to use  a  different
                         disk database than the default.  In any case, sformat
                         will search in the current directory  first.   If  no
                         file of the appropriate name was found in the current
                         directory, sformat looks in the following path:
                         /opt schily/etc, /etc, /usr/etc.

       debug=#, -d       Set the misc debug  value  to  #  (with  debug=#)  or
                         increment  the  misc debug level by one (with -d). If
                         you specify -dd, this equals to debug=2.

       kdebug=#, kd=#    Tell the scg-driver to modify the kernel debug  value
                         while SCSI commands are running.

       xdebug=#, xd=#    Set  the  debug  level for the parser of the external
                         disk database.

       -defmodes         Get  default  mode  parameters  from  disk.  Normally
                         sformat  retrieves  the default modes parameters from
                         the disk by default when the disk is  unformatted  or
                         has  no  sun  label and the current mode parameter if
                         the disk has a valid sun label.   This  option  tells
                         sformat  retrieve  the default mode parameters in any

       -dmdl             Do not use manufacturer defect list when formatting a
                         disk.   This  implies  that  a disk that is formatted
                         with this option will have bad blocks.  However  some
                         disks   that   may   not  be  formatted  because  the
                         manufacturer defect list is broken may become  usable
                         again when this option is in effect.

       ESDI=#            Pass  ESDI  command  #  to  the  drive  and print the
                         result.  This  will  only  work  if  an  EMULEX  MD21
                         SCSI/ESDI bridge controller is present.

       -force            Force  to  continue  at  certain  errors.  This  will
                         currently prompt after the format command fails.

       -greassign        Reassign blocks.  This is the guru  mode,  don’t  use
                         this.  Read  the description for the -reassign option
                         for more details.  This option will simply prompt for
                         block numbers and then reassign them regardless of if
                         they need to be reassigned or not. On some disks  the
                         block may seem to be defective even after reassigning
                         it because the old data is copied to the new location
                         without  recomputing  the CRC.  On other disk the old
                         data will be lost. These problems will not  arise  if
                         you use the -reassign option instead.

       -ign_not_found    Ignore  record  not  found errors while verifying the
                         disk.  This option is useful when  trying  to  repair
                         disks  with  many  defects  (see maxbad option). Some
                         disk errors may cause the whole track to appear  bad.
                         If  the  reported  error in these cases is record not
                         found, You should first try to repair as many  blocks
                         as  possible  with  this  option  in  effect and then
                         repair the remaining blocks without this option.

       -inq              Retrieve and print SCSI inquiry data for any type  of
                         device.  This  is  useful  even  on  tape  drives and

       maxbad=#          When  sformat  is  doing  a  surface  analysis  after
                         formatting  the  disk,  it  collects  a number of bad
                         blocks (usually up to 1023), then reassigns them  and
                         then  reformats  the  disk to guarantee that the disk
                         speed will not be reduced by mapped bad blocks.  Some
                         disks  with  many  defective blocks will seem to have
                         more defective blocks  than  they  really  have,  but
                         these   false   defective   blocks  need  not  to  be
                         reassigned.   This  case  may  be  triggered   if   a
                         defective  block directly follows the index.  In this
                         case the whole track seems to be bad.   If  you  tell
                         sformat  to reformat the disk after repairing one bad
                         block (maxbad=1), this problem will go away.

       -modes            Intercative  modesense/modeselect.   Each  mode  page
                         exists in 4 versions:
                         default  (PROM),  current  (RAM),  saved  (DISK)  and
                         changeable (BITMASK).
                         You may currently view any page if  you  specify  the
                         page number.  This is currently under construction.

       -noformat         Force  not to format disk even when formatting of the
                         disk has been confirmed.  This option may be used  to
                         modify mode parameters without formatting the disk.

       -nomap            Do  not  map  SCSI  address  to  logical  disk  name.
                         WARNING: If you use this option, sformat is not  able
                         to  check  whether  the  disk has mounted partitions.
                         This may damage mounted file systems.

       -noparity         Try to disable parity checking on all  SCSI  commands
                         that  are  sent by sformat.  This may not be possible
                         in all implementations of the scg-driver.

       -nowait           Do not wait  after  formatting  the  disk.  Normally,
                         sformat  will  prompt  for a modification of the disk
                         label and partition table before starting  to  verify
                         the  disk.  If this option is in effect, sformat will
                         immediately  start   to   verify   the   disk   after

       -no_defaults      Do  not  set heuristic defaults. If this option is in
                         effect,  all   disk   parameters   must   be   either
                         retrievable  from disk or, if not available, provided
                         by the user.

       -prdefect         Get and print defect data. This may be used to  print
                         the manufacturer and grown defect list that is stored
                         on the disk.

       -prgeom           Get and print geometry data. This is  an  old  option
                         but  it  is  useful  to  get  all mode pages that are
                         supported by this disk.

       -prcurgeom        Get and print geometry data. This  is  basically  the
                         same  as  -prgeom except that -prgeom will obtain the
                         default  mode  pages,  -prcurgeom  will  report   the
                         current values.

       -Proto            This  option  will  cause  sformat to generate a data
                         base entry for the current disk.  Make sure that this
                         data  base  entry  will be generated with the correct
                         format time.  Sformat is able  to  compute  a  format
                         time  from the disk geometry, but newer disks seem to
                         need more time than computed.  If the format time  is
                         too short, the formatting may be aborted and the disk
                         will  not  be  accessible   until   formatted   again

       -r                reformat  only  mode  (gives  less  messages on label

       -randrw           The random  read/write  test  is  a  method  to  find
                         problems  that  may be a result of first seeking to a
                         new place on disk and then writing data to it  as  it
                         is  frequently done by the unix file system.  This is
                         usually caused by an inode  or  super  block  update.
                         The above problems may be a result of bad bearings in
                         the disk.  If the disk does not produce errors  while
                         this  test is running, there will no harm to the data
                         on disk. However, if you assume that the disk is bad,
                         the  data on disk may get corrupted.  To minimize the
                         risk of data loss, the  first  block  containing  the
                         disk  label (partition) and the last block containing
                         the sinfo data (a sformat specific area)  will  never
                         be written to.

       -reassign         Reassign  a  list  of blocks sformat will prompt for.
                         This is the preferred command when trying to repair a
                         block  or  a  list of blocks with already known block
                         addresses.  If  you  don’t  know  the  address  of  a
                         defective  block,  use  the  -repair option.  Sformat
                         will first  try  to  read  the  old  content  of  the
                         defective  block  and then try to refresh the data by
                         writing the old data to the block.  If  it  fails  to
                         write   to  the  block,  sformat  will  reassign  the
                         defective block.  If the block does not cause  errors
                         after  rewriting  the data in it, sformat will ask if
                         the block should be reassigned anyway.   NOTE:  there
                         are many cases in which a block seems to be defective
                         but actually is not.  If for  any  reason,  the  disk
                         will  be  powered  off  during writing or if there is
                         electro magnetic noise the CRC for a  block  may  get
                         corrupted  without  any physical harm to the magnetic
                         media. These cases can be repaired by  writing  again
                         to the block.

       -refresh_only     Sformat  will  not try to reassign a block that still
                         fails after rewriting (refreshing) the  data  in  it.
                         This   option  is  useful  in  conjunction  with  the
                         -reassign and the -repair option.

       -repair           This is a combination of the  -verify  and  -reassign
                         option.   Sformat will first verify the disk and then
                         use the list of bad sectors found to repair the disk.

       RW=#              Number  of  random  R/W  loops  that is used with the
                         -randrw  option.   The  default  is  the  number   of
                         physical  sectors / 100.  This will not last too long
                         and is enough to cover every cylinder of the disk.

       -scsi_compliant   Be as SCSI-compliant as possible. This will some  old
                         disk  cause to fail in reporting mode pages correctly
                         and may be used to see if a disk has these  problems.

       -seek             Do random or full stroke seek tests on the disk. This
                         is done by reading data; trying  to  do  full  stroke
                         seek  tests  my be impossible because of the cache of
                         the disk.

       -setmodes         Do a SCSI modeselect with all parameters, that  would
                         have  been  necessary for a format, but do not format
                         the disk.  This allows to modify the mode pages of  a
                         disk  without reformatting it.  If the -smp option is
                         used  in  conjunction   with   -setmodes   the   mode
                         parameters  will not be saved. In this case, the mode
                         parameters of the  disk  will  return  to  their  old
                         values if a reset or a power cycle occurs.

       -silent, -s       Do not print out the status of failed commands.

       -smp              Do not try to save mode parameters when setting them.
                         This option is useful if  a  nearly  totally  damaged
                         disk  must  be reformatted. Some disk controllers, in
                         this case will reject to format the disk if the  area
                         on  disk  where  this  data  will  be  stored  is not
                         accessible before formatting the disk.

       -start            Send a SCSI START UNIT command to  the  device.  This
                         will normally spin up the spindle motor of a disk.

       -stop             Send  a  SCSI  STOP  UNIT command to the device. This
                         will normally spin down the spindle motor of a  disk.

       timeout=#         This  option  will set the default kernel timeout for
                         all SCSI commands that  are  send  by  sformat  to  #
                         seconds.  The  default  value  is  20  seconds.  This
                         option does not affect the  timeout  for  the  format

       -tr, -t           This  is  an  option  that  is  only  useful with old
                         Adaptec SCSI bridge controllers.   These  controllers
                         are  not  able to deal with logical sector numbers in
                         some  cases.  Therefore  these  numbers  have  to  be
                         translated  to  the  cylinder/head/bfi  form  before.
                         This is done  by  seeking  to  the  named  block  and
                         reading  the  sector header. It may fail if the block
                         has a bad sector header.

       VL=#              Set the number of verify passes that are  done  after
                         formatting  a  disk to #. The default value is 5.  In
                         write verify mode, this  number  is  doubled  because
                         sformat  will  alternate write verify and read verify
                         passes in this case.

       -verbose, -v      outdated verbose option for SCSI commands.

       -V                Increment  the  verbose  level  in  respect  of  SCSI
                         command  transport  by  one.   This  helps  to  debug
                         problems   with   SCSI   commands.    If   you    get
                         incomprehensible  error  messages you should use this
                         flag to get more detailed output.  -VV will show data
                         buffer  content  in  addition.  Using -V or -VV slows
                         down the process and may be the reason for  a  buffer

       -verify           This  options  starts sformat in verify disk (surface
                         analysis) mode.  Verifying a disk is  a  method  that
                         allows  to scan for defects without modifying data on
                         the disk.  In this mode, the controller will read the
                         disks without transferring data to the computer while
                         all error recovery is disabled.

       Vstart=#          Set the first block for the -verify, -repair, -randrw
                         or  the  -seek option to #.  This is recommended when
                         doing a surface analysis on large disks where  is  is
                         known  that  the  bad  sector  is near the end of the

       Vend=#            Set the last block for the -verify, -repair,  -randrw
                         or  the  -seek option to #.  This is recommended when
                         doing a surface analysis on large disks where  is  is
                         known  that the bad sectors are not at the end of the

       -wrveri           If this option is used in while formatting a disk, it
                         tells  sformat  to  write  verify the disk instead of
                         only read verifying it after formatting.   If  it  is
                         used  in combination with the -verify option, sformat
                         will write verify the disk without prior  formatting.
                         In  both cases, the old data on disk will be damaged.
                         Write verifying a disk is recommended if the disk  is
                         older  than  two  years or has unusual defects. Usual
                         defects in this context are recovered read errors and
                         defects  that  disappear  when  simply writing to the
                         defect sector.

How To Answer Questions

       There are four types of questions.

       ·      Questions that can be answered with  yes  or  no.   Yes  may  be
              abbreviated with ’y’ or ’Y’.  These questions are always assumed
              to be answered with no if  you  simply  enter  carriage  return.
              NOTE:  the  latter  is always a safe answer.  All questions that
              request confirmation for actions that may damage or modify  data
              on  disk are formed in such a way that answering them with no or
              carriage return will not harm any data.   All  answers  to  this
              type of questions except [y]es or [Y]ES are interpreted as if no
              has been entered.

       ·      Questions that need a string as  input.   If  you  simply  enter
              carriage return to this type of question, no modification of the
              default string will be done.

       ·      Questions that need a word selected from a list of  valid  words
              as  input.   If  you  enter ’?’, you will get a list of possible
              input to that question.  Each word is on a separate line an  (in
              some cases) is followed by a explanation how to use it.

       ·      Questions  that  need a number within a certain range.  For this
              type of questions, sformat displays the current  value  and  the
              valid  range  in  parenthesis.  The default radix for numbers is
              ten. If you need to enter a hexadecimal number precede  it  with
              0x if you need to enter an octal number, precede it with 0.

              ^      Entering  an  accent circumflex ’^’ will set the value to
                     the smallest possible

              $      Entering an dollar sign ’$’ will set  the  value  to  the
                     greatest possible

              +      Entering  a plus sign will increment the current value by

              -      Entering a minus sign will decrement the current value by

              <CR>   Entering  a  carriage  return will not modify the current
                     value.  If the default value is -1, you need to supply  a
                     valid value to be allowed to leave the question menu.

       All  questions  that  do  not  request  a simple string (second type of
       question) will accept a question mark ’?’ to display online help.

The SCSI Selection Menu

       When Sformat is started without or with  insufficient  parameters,  the
       SCSI menu mode is entered.  A typical output in this case looks like:

       sparky joerg > sformat
       sformat SCSI format/analysis/repair utilities
       Release 3.1, Copyright J. Schilling

       scg0 at esp0 initiator id 7
       scg1 at esp1 initiator id 7
       c0t0d0           0) ’Quantum ’ ’XP34300         ’ ’F76D’ Disk
       c0t1d0           1) ’SEAGATE ’ ’ST11200N        ’ ’8334’ Disk
                        2) *
       c0t3d0           3) ’TOSHIBA ’ ’MK537FB/        ’ ’6258’ Disk
                        4) ’WANGTEK ’ ’5150ES SCSI-36  ’ ’ESB6’ Removable Tape
                        5) ’EXABYTE ’ ’EXB-8500-85QUE  ’ ’0428’ Removable Tape
                        6) ’TOSHIBA ’ ’XM-3401TASUNSLCD’ ’3593’ Removable CD-ROM
                        7) HOST ADAPTOR
       c1t0d0,c1t0d1   10) ’EMULEX  ’ ’MD21/S2     ESDI’ ’D00 ’ Disk
                       11) *
       c1t2d0          12) ’Maxoptix’ ’T3-1304         ’ ’1.1c’ Removable Disk
                       13) *
                       14) *
                       15) *
                       16) *
                       17) HOST ADAPTOR
       Select target -1 (0 - 12)/<cr>:

       The line:

       c0t0d0           0) ’Quantum ’ ’XP34300         ’ ’F76D’ Disk

       shows  the  canonical logical disk name (in this case c0t0d0), the menu
       number, the SCSI inquiry string and a description of  the  device  type
       that  was  found  on  this  SCSI  target.   The menu number is directly
       related to the SCSI target id of the device and the  SCSI  bus  number.
       Number  3 is SCSI target # 3 on SCSI bus # 0.  Number 12 is SCSI target
       # 2 on SCSI bus # 1.  Sformat is currently not able to deal  with  more
       than 8 targets on a bus.

       When selecting a target (.e.g. # 0), a logical unit selection menu will
       be displayed.

       Select target -1 (0 - 6)/<cr>:0
       scsibus0 target 0:
       c0t0d0           0) ’Quantum ’ ’XP34300         ’ ’F76D’ Disk
                        1) ’Quantum ’ ’XP34300         ’ ’F76D’ unsupported
                        2) ’Quantum ’ ’XP34300         ’ ’F76D’ unsupported
                        3) ’Quantum ’ ’XP34300         ’ ’F76D’ unsupported
                        4) ’Quantum ’ ’XP34300         ’ ’F76D’ unsupported
                        5) ’Quantum ’ ’XP34300         ’ ’F76D’ unsupported
                        6) ’Quantum ’ ’XP34300         ’ ’F76D’ unsupported
                        7) ’Quantum ’ ’XP34300         ’ ’F76D’ unsupported
       Select lun -1 (0 - 7)/<cr>:

       The logical unit menu has the same structure as the SCSI  target  menu.
       If the device description contains the word unsupported, the controller
       is not able to support a logical unit of this number.   If  the  device
       description  contains the word unit not present, the controller is able
       to support a logical unit of this  number  but  there  is  actually  no
       device connected.

       When  selecting  a specific logical unit, the main thread is entered as
       if a complete SCSI target  specification  has  been  entered  from  the
       command line.

Following The Main Thread

       If  the  main  formatting  thread  is entered, the following stages are

       Mapping and checking
                           The first thing sformat does, is to  map  the  SCSI
                           target/lun/busid  triplet  into a logical disk name
                           and to check if some part of the disk is  currently
                           mounted.   This  mapping  will  be  skipped  if the
                           -nomap  options  is  specified.   If  the  disk  is
                           mounted,  the  user  will  be  asked if it is ok to
                           Note: this is currently the one and only  question.

       Inquiry             The  second action is getting the inquiry data from
                           the device.  The device  type  is  determined  from
                           this data.

       Test if device is ready
                           The  next  action  is to test whether the device is
                           ready and to wait for the device to  become  ready.
                           When the device is ready, it is recalibrated.

       Exit for wrong device type
                           When  the  device  is  not  a disk, a worm media or
                           optical memory, sformat terminates.

       Read sinfo data     When the device is a disk, sformat  tries  to  read
                           the sinfo data from the disk.  This allows the user
                           to see  if  the  device  has  been  formatted  with
                           sformat  before.  If so, sformat will print out the
                           number of reformats and the date of the  first  and
                           last  format.   Sinfo  is  .B sformat specific data
                           that is hold on the last block of the disk.

       Process special commands
                           If options tell sformat  to  take  special  actions
                           (like  -start  or  -prdefect),  they are done here.
                           Sformat terminates after processing them.

       The formatting procedure starts
                           The next actions are in preparation for  formatting
                           the  disk.   Several  other things can be done from
                           this thread.  Modifying the disk label will be  one
                           example.  You need not to be in fear that following
                           this thread will modify or harm data on  the  disk.
                           There  will  be  extra  questions  that secure this

       Test whether the disk is formatted
                           Several procedures differ if the  disk  is  already
                           formatted and has a valid label.

       The  next  parts  of  the  main  thread will give you some questions to
       answer.  You may skip most of the questions  if  you  do  not  want  to
       modify anything.

       If some data that is definitely needed by sformat can not be determined
       from the disk or the data base, sformat will force you  to  answer  all
       questions  of  a  group.  Sformat will only ask question for parameters
       that are definitely needed or may be changed on the current  disk.  The
       content of the menus differ from disk to disk.

       Read mode data
              Several  mode  pages  of  the  disk are read.  This data and the
              inquiry data is used to search in the disk data base.
              Sformat asks:
              Ignore database disk parameters from sformat.dat?
              If you don’t want the data  from  the  data  base  to  be  used,
              negotiate  the  appropriate  question.   Some  disks  cannot  be
              determined from the fetchable data.  This are mainly disks  that
              are  connected  to  a  bridge controller e.g.  a controller from
              ESDI to SCSI.  Sformat is able to detect the right data  in  the
              data  base  for  disks  with changeable media e.g. optical disks
              that  support  different  media  with  different  capacity   and
              geometry.   If  there  is  more than one possible entry for this
              disk in the data base,
              sformat asks:
              Select alternate disk type?
              If the disk type menu is entered, all possible data base entries
              are  displayed.   The  current  entry  is  marked  with ’*’, the
              default entry is marked with ’+’ and the entry most  similar  to
              the  current  disk  is  marked  with  ’~’.  A matching factor is
              displayed in parenthesis. Higher values are indicating a  better

       Read in label data
              If the disk is already formatted, sformat reads in the label and
              ask whether to remember this data.
              Sformat asks:
              Ignore old disk Label?
              I you confirm this question  and  reformat  the  disk,  the  old
              partitioning information will be lost.

       Disk Parameters Menu
              If  you  want  to  modify  some  disk parameters answer the next
              question with ’y’.
              Sformat asks:
              Modify Disk Geometry Parameters?
              This enables to modify basic data on geometry, the  interleaving
              factor  and  the  defect  management  system.  If you want to do
              spindle synchronization, activate it here.

       Error Recovery
              Error recovery parameters include  read/write  retry  count  and
              Sformat asks:
              Modify Error recovery Parameters?

       Disconnect Parameter
              Disconnect  parameters  are  buffer  full/empty  ratio  and  bus
              inactivity limit.
              Sformat asks:
              Modify Disconnect Parameters

       Alternate Label
              If you want to use an alternate label that may be  in  the  data
              base go into the next menu.
              Sformat asks:
              Select alternate Label?
              The  current  entry  is  marked  with  ’*’, the default entry is
              marked with ’+’.

       Logical Label Geometry
              Sformat uses an abstract geometry in the label. This  allows  to
              have  one  label  for  a group of disks. The label geometry menu
              allows to modify this abstract geometry.
              Sformat asks:
              Modify Label Geometry Parameters?

       SCSI Parameters
              This menu contains questions about command queuing, defect  list
              format and similar.  Some disks do not support the default block
              defect list format. Specify another format in this case here. If
              the disk does not support the SCSI write-verify command, sformat
              allows to split this  into  a  SCSI  write  and  a  SCSI  verify
              command.  The data cannot be compared in this case.  If the disk
              type is generally flaky a data base entry can be set  up  to  do
              write  verify as default after formatting.  If the disk will not
              handle 1000 blocks per verify command because of a firmware bug,
              a smaller value may be specified here.
              Sformat asks:
              Modify SCSI Parameters?

       Grown Defect List
              If a disk has not been formatted before or has been refurbished,
              you should clear the old grown defect list to get a clean start.
              If  the  disk  has  bad  blocks,  sformat  will  find them after
              formatting while doing the surface analysis.  If  the  disk  has
              known defects you should negotiate the next question to keep the
              defect list.
              Sformat asks:
              Clear old grown defect list?

       Mode pages
              If you want to format the disk, you need to set the  mode  pages
              Sformat asks:
              Set mode pages (needed for format)?
              However,  if  you  do  not  want  to  format  the  disk, you may
              negotiate  this  question  and  will  be  lead  to   the   label
              modification menu.

       Formatting the disk
              The  next  question  is  the  last  one you will be asked before
              starting to format the disk.  If  formatting  has  started,  you
              will  see  the progress of this process indicated in the used up
              percentage of the estimated time.
              Sformat asks:
              Format Disk destroys all Data. Really?
              If you only want to set the mode pages, you  may  this  question
              with ’n’.

       Creating and modifying the disk label
              After  the disk has been formatted or if the formatting has been
              denied, the label menu is entered.
              Sformat asks:
              Print disk label?
              If you want to see the current layout of the disk  label,  enter
              Sformat asks:
              Modify disk label?
              If you want to modify the disk label enter ’y’.

       Inside the label modification menu
              Sformat asks:
              Label: <Quantum XP34300> change ?
              If you want to retain the old label name, enter <CR>, else enter
              ’y’.  Sformat will ask for the new Label name.
              Sformat asks:
              Enter disk label: Quantum XP34300
              You are left in the tty line edit mode and may modify the  input
              line (see termio(7) manual page).
              Sformat asks:
              Volume Name: <> change ?
              If you want to retain the old label name, enter <CR>, else enter
              ’y’.  Sformat will ask for the new Volume name.
              Sformat asks:
              Change partition table?
              If you want to change the partition table enter ’y’.
              Sformat asks:
              Part      Tag  Flag   Cylinders  Startsec  #  of  Sec       Size
              0        root  wm      0  -    30         0    67580     32.99MB
              Change ?
              If you want to modify this partition enter ’y’, otherwise  enter
              <CR> until sformat asks for the partition you want to change.
              Sformat asks:
              Enter partition id Tag [root]:
              Enter  <CR>  if  the  partition  tag  is  ok for this partition,
              otherwise enter ’?’ to get a list of  valid  partition  tags  or
              enter the new partition tag.
              Sformat asks:
              Enter partition permission Flags [wm]:
              Enter  <CR>  if  the  partition  flag  is ok for this partition,
              otherwise enter ’?’ to get a list of valid  partition  flags  or
              enter the new partition flag.
              Sformat asks:
              Enter starting cylinder 0 (0 - 3851)/<cr>:
              Enter  <CR>  if  the starting cylinder is ok for this partition,
              otherwise enter ’?’ to get a list of possible input.  XXX
              Sformat asks:
              Enter number of blocks 67580, 31/0/0 (0 - 8395180)/<cr>:
              Enter <CR> if the size is ok for this partition, otherwise enter
              ’?’ to get a list of possible input.  XXX
              Sformat asks:
              Part      Tag  Flag   Cylinders  Startsec  #  of  Sec       Size
              0       root wm      0  -    30         0     67580      32.99MB
              Ok ?
              Enter  <CR>  if  you  still want to modify the partition record.
              You then  will  be  asked  again  for  all  parameters  of  this
              partition.  Enter ’y’ if this partition is now ok.

              If  all  partitions are cycled through, sformat will display the
              current label.
              Sformat asks:
              Use this label?
              If you enter ’y’, sformat will update the label on disk  and  go
              into the verify mode.  Anything else will put you into the label
              modification mode again.

       Disk Verification
              In disk verification mode, sformat will do a  surface  analysis.
              If  a  bad  block is encountered, sformat will reassign this bad
              block.  XXX

How To Format A Disk

       The number of defects that SCSI disks can handle depends on the  defect
       mapping system they use. There are several possible systems:

       The mapping system depends on the # of tracks per zone in the SCSI disk
       parameters.  Mapping area in this table means spare location.

       1)     One mapping area at the end of the disk. (tpz == 0)

       2)     One mapping area per track.         (tpz == 1)

       3)     One mapping area per cylinder.           (tpz == nhead)

       4)     Some mapping areas on on the disk   (tpz > nhead)

       If all the space in the defect spare locations above is used up,  there
       still  may  be an additional mapping area at the end of the disk.  This
       is controlled by the alternate tracks per volume parameter.

       If your disk says no defect spare location, you  may  be  able  to  get
       extra space by going into the disk parameter menu of sformat and change
       a value. Note: some  disks  tell  you  that  some  of  the  values  are
       changeable  (there  is  a range in parenthesis) but actually ignore the
       new value. You will have to read the values after formatting to see  if
       the new parameters are in effect.

How To Modify A Label

       Remember,  don’t panic. You need no desc calculator to create or modify
       a partition table.

       The alternate cylinders are historic relics. In good  old  days  (1982)
       when  SMD disks that were not able to do defect mapping have been used,
       these alternates were added to do the defect mapping in the driver.  In
       these  days the space occupied by these spare cylinders really has been
       used as alternate (spare) space.

       Currently they are only used for some copies of the primary disk  label
       and  an  outdated  copy  of  the  defect  list is only able to hold 127
       defects :-(.

       The label geometry cannot be changed in the partition menu. It must  be
       set before from the Label Parameters menu.

       Print disk label?             If  this  question  is answered with ’y’,
                                     the label and partitioning info  will  be

       Modify disk label?            If  this  question  is answered with ’y’,
                                     the  label  modification  menu  will   be

       Label: <Toshiba 1015MB> change ?
                                     If  this  question  is answered with ’y’,
                                     the name of the label nay be modified.

       Volume Name: <5.3> change ?   If this question is  answered  with  ’y’,
                                     the  system V volume name may be altered.

       Change partition table?       If this question is answered with ’y’,  a
                                     partition menu will be displayed.

       Use this label?

Graphical Label Display

       When  printing the label or partition data, sformat uses a simple ASCII
       graphical display to visualize  the  layout  of  the  partitions.   The
       symbols used in this graphic display are described below.


       a I--/
       b    /-----------/
       c I----------------------------------------------------------------------I
       d partition not defined
       e             <--/
       f                /--------/
       g                                        <-------------------------------I
       h                         /----------------------------------------------I
       part ’e’ has unaligned start.
       part ’g’ has unaligned start.

       Used symbols:

       I         Used to mark the start end the end of the disk (no error).

       X         Partition starts before zero or exceeds end of disk.

       /         Partition has an adjacent start or end with another partition
                 (no error).

       +         Two or mode partitions have the start or the end at the  same
                 position  on the disk but no other partition connects to this
                 point.  This is an error that indicates  that  there  may  be
                 unused space on the disk.

       <         This  partition does not connect to another partition on it’s
                 beginning.  This is an error that indicates that there may be
                 unused space on the disk.

       >         This  partition does not connect to another partition on it’s
                 end.  This is an error  that  indicates  that  there  may  be
                 unused space on the disk.

       *         Internal error in the check routines (should never happen).


       ends behind lncyl   Partition is bigger than possible.

       One or more parts are not within range of part ’c’!
                           Partition  ’c’  (2) should be the whole disk.  This
                           warning indicates a disk that  deviates  from  this


       unaligned start     The  partition starts not in conjunction to another

       unaligned end       The partition ends not in  conjunction  to  another

       space before start  There  is  no partition that uses the space between
                           the beginning of the disk and the beginning of this

       space after end     There  is  no partition that uses the space between
                           the end of this partition and the end of the  disk.

Creating Disk Database Entries







       This is a draft of the manual changes may be daily.


       Joerg Schilling
       Seestr. 110
       D-13353 Berlin

       Mail bugs and suggestions to: or