Provided by: fdutils_5.6-2_amd64 bug


       superformat - format floppies


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          superformat [-D dos-drive] [-v verbosity-level] [-b begin-track]
          [-e end-track] [--superverify] [--dosverify]
          [--noverify] [--verify_later] [--first-sector-number n] [--zero-based]
          [-G format-gap] [-F final-gap] [-i interleave] [-c chunksize]
          [-g gap] [--absolute-skew absolute-skew] [--head-skew head-skew]
          [--track-skew track-skew] [--biggest-last] drive [media-description]

       superformat is used to format disks with a capacity of up to 1992K HD or  3984K  ED.   See
       section  Extended  formats, for a detailed description of these formats. See section Media
       description, for a detailed description of the syntax for the media  description.   If  no
       media  description  is  given, superformat formats a disk in the highest available density
       for that drive, using standard parameters (i.e. no extra capacity formats).

       When the disk is formatted, superformat automatically invokes mformat in order to  put  an
       MS-DOS filesystem on it. You may ignore this filesystem, if you don't need it.

       Superformat  allows  one  to  format 2m formats.  Be aware, however, that these 2m formats
       were specifically designed to hold an MS-DOS filesystem, and that they take  advantage  of
       the  fact  that  the MS-DOS filesystem uses redundant sectors on the first track (the FAT,
       which is represented twice). The second copy of the FAT is not represented on the disk.

       High capacity formats are sensitive to the exact rotation  speed  of  the  drive  and  the
       resulting  difference  in  raw capacity.  That's why superformat performs a measurement of
       the disks raw capacity before proceeding with the formatting.  This measurement is  rather
       time consuming, and can be avoided by storing the relative deviation of the drive capacity
       into the drive definition file file. See section Drive descriptions, for more  details  on
       this  file.  The  line  to  be  inserted  into  the  drive  definition  file is printed by
       superformat after performing its measurement.  However, this line depends on the drive and
       the  controller.   Do not copy it to other computers.  Remove it before installing another
       drive or upgrade your floppy controller.  Swap the drive numbers if you swap the drives in
       your computer.

Common Options

       Many options have a long and a short form.

       --help Print the help.

       -D drive
       --dosdrive dos-drive
              Selects  DOS  drive  letter  for  mformat (for example a: or b:).  The colon may be
              omitted.  The default is derived from the minor device number.  If the drive letter
              cannot be guessed, and is not given on the command line, mformat is skipped.

       -v verbosity-level
       --verbosity verbosity-level
              Sets  the  verbosity  level.  1  prints  a dot for each formatted track. 2 prints a
              changing sign for each formatted track (- for formatting  the  first  head,  =  for
              formatting the second head, x for verifying the first head, and + for verifying the
              second head). 3 prints a complete line listing  head  and  track.  6  and  9  print
              debugging information.

              Verifies  the  disk  by first reading the track, than writing a pattern of U's, and
              then reading it again.  This is useful as some errors only show up after  the  disk
              has once been written.  However, this is also slower.

              Verifies  the  disk using the mbadblocks program.  mbadblocks marks the bad sectors
              as bad in the FAT.  The advantage of this is that disks which  are  only  partially
              bad can still be used for MS-DOS filesystems.

              Verifies  the  whole  disk  at the end of the formatting process instead of at each
              track. Verifying the disk at each track has the advantage of detecting errors early

              Skips the verification altogether.

              Does  not  format, but prints the drive deviation. If file /etc/driveprm exists and
              provides a deviation for the  drive,  nothing  is  printed  and  the  disk  is  not

Advanced Options

       Usually,  superformat  uses  sensible default values for these options, which you normally
       don't need to override.  They are intended for expert users.  Most of them should only  be
       needed in cases where the hardware or superformat itself has bugs.

       -b begin-track
       --begin_track  begin-track
              Describes  the  track  where  to  begin formatting.  This is useful if the previous
              formatting failed halfway through.  The default is 0.

       -e end-track
       --end_track end-track
              Describes where to stop formatting. end_track is the last  track  to  be  formatted
              plus  one. This is mainly useful for testing purposes. By default, this is the same
              as the total number of tracks.  When  the  formatting  stops,  the  final  skew  is
              displayed (to be used as absolute skew when you'll continue).

       -S sizecode
       --sizecode sizecode
              Set  the  sector  size to be used. The sector size is 128 * (2 ^ sizecode).  Sector
              sizes below 512 bytes are not supported, thus sizecode  must  be  at  least  2.  By
              default  512  is  assumed,  unless you ask for more sectors than would fit with 512

       --stretch stretch
              Set the stretch factor. The stretch factor describes how many  physical  tracks  to
              skip  to  get  to  the  next  logical track (2 ^ stretch).  On double density 5 1/4
              disks, the tracks are further apart from each other.

       -G fmt-gap
       --format_gap fmt-gap
              Set the formatting gap. The formatting gap tells how far the sectors are away  from
              each other. By default, this is chosen so as to evenly distribute the sectors along
              the track.

       -F final-gap
       --final_gap final-gap
              Set the formatting gap to be used after the last sector.

       -i interleave
       --interleave interleave
              Set the sector interleave factor.

       -c chunksize
       --chunksize chunksize
              Set the size of the chunks. The chunks are  small  auxiliary  sectors  used  during
              formatting.  They  are  used  to  handle  heterogeneous  sector sizes (i.e. not all
              sectors have the same size) and negative formatting gaps.

              For MSS formats, make sure that the biggest sector is  last  on  the  track.   This
              makes the format more reliable on drives which are out of spec.

       --first-sector-number n
              Formats  the  disk  with  sector numbers starting at n, rather than 1. Certain CP/M
              boxes or Music synthesizers use this format.

              Shorthand for --first-sector-number 0

Sector skewing options

       In order to maximize the user data transfer rate, the sectors are arranged in such  a  way
       that sector 1 of the new track/head comes under the head at the very moment when the drive
       is ready to read from that track, after having read the previous  track.  Thus  the  first
       sector  of  the  second track is not necessarily near the first sector of the first track.
       The skew value describes for each track how far sector number 1 is  away  from  the  index
       mark.  This  skew value changes for each head and track. The amount of this change depends
       on how fast the disk spins, and on how much time is needed  to  change  the  head  or  the

       --absolute_skew absolute-skew

              Set  the  absolute skew. This skew value is used for the first formatted track.  It
              is expressed in raw bytes.

       --head_skew head-skew

              Set the head skew. This is the skew added for passing from head 0 to head 1.  It is
              expressed in raw bytes.

       --track_skew track-skew

              Set  the  track  skew. This is the skew added for seeking to the next track.  It is
              expressed in raw bytes.

       Example: (absolute skew=3, head skew=1, track skew=2)

          track 0 head 0: 4,5,6,1,2,3   (skew=3)
          track 0 head 1: 3,4,5,6,1,2   (skew=4)

          track 1 head 0: 1,2,3,4,5,6   (skew=0)
          track 1 head 1: 6,1,2,3,4,5   (skew=1)

          track 2 head 0: 4,5,6,1,2,3   (skew=3)
          track 2 head 1: 3,4,5,6,1,2   (skew=4)

       N.B. For simplicity's sake, this example expresses skews in units of sectors. In  reality,
       superformat expects the skews to be expressed in raw bytes.

Media description

       Please see the Media description section in the full fdutils documentation:
       - Texinfo documentation (info fdutils)
       - HTML documentation in /usr/share/doc/fdutils/Fdutils.html
       - or DVI documentation in /usr/share/doc/fdutils/Fdutils.dvi.gz


       In  all  the  examples  of this section, we assume that drive 0 is a 3 1/2 and drive 1 a 5

       The following example shows how to format a 1440K disk in drive 0:

          superformat /dev/fd0 hd

       The following example shows how to format a 1200K disk in drive 1:

          superformat /dev/fd1 hd

       The following example shows how to format a 1440K disk in drive 1:

          superformat /dev/fd1 hd sect=18

       The following example shows how to format a 720K disk in drive 0:

          superformat /dev/fd0 dd

       The following example shows how to format a 1743K disk in drive 0 (83 cylinders  times  21

          superformat /dev/fd0 sect=21 cyl=83

       The  following  example  shows how to format a 1992K disk in drive 0 (83 cylinders times 2
       heads times 12 KB per track)

          superformat /dev/fd0 tracksize=12KB cyl=83 mss

       The following example shows how to format a  1840K  disk  in  drive  0.  It  will  have  5
       2048-byte sectors, one 1024-byte sector, and one 512-byte sector per track:

          superformat /dev/fd0 tracksize=23b mss 2m ssize=2KB

       All  these  formats  can  be  autodetected  by  mtools,  using the floppy driver's default


       FDC busy, sleeping for a second
              When another program accesses a disk drive on the same controller as the one  being
              formatted,  superformat  has  to  wait until the other access is finished.  If this
              happens, check whether any other program accesses a drive (or whether  a  drive  is
              mounted),  kill  that program (or unmount the drive), and the format should proceed

       I/O errors during verification
              Your drive may be too far out of tolerance, and you  may  thus  need  to  supply  a
              margin  parameter.   Run  floppymeter  (see  section   floppymeter)  to find out an
              appropriate value for this parameter, and add the suggested margin parameter to the
              command line


       Opening  up  new window while superformat is running produces overrun errors. These errors
       are benign, as the failed operation is automatically retried until it succeeds.

See Also

       Fdutils' texinfo doc