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FORMAT(8)							     FORMAT(8)

       format - how to format disk packs

       There  are  two	ways to format disk packs.  The simplest is to use the
       format program.	The alternative is to use the DEC standard  formatting
       software which operates under the DEC diagnostic supervisor.  This man‐
       ual page describes the operation of format, then	 concludes  with  some
       remarks about using the DEC formatter.

       Format  is a standalone program used to format and check disks prior to
       constructing file systems.  In addition to  the	formatting  operation,
       format  records	any  bad sectors encountered according to DEC standard
       144.  Formatting is performed one track at a time by writing the appro‐
       priate headers and a test pattern and then checking the sector by read‐
       ing and verifying the pattern, using the	 controller's  ECC  for	 error
       detection.   A  sector is marked bad if an unrecoverable media error is
       detected, or if a correctable ECC error too  many  bits	in  length  is
       detected	 (such	errors are indicated as ``ECC'' in the summary printed
       upon completing the format operation).  After the entire disk has  been
       formatted and checked, the total number of errors are reported, any bad
       sectors and skip sectors are marked, and a bad sector forwarding	 table
       is  written  to the disk in the first five even numbered sectors of the
       last track.  It is also possible to reformat sections of	 the  disk  in
       units  of  tracks.   Format  may be used on any UNIBUS or MASSBUS drive
       supported by the up and hp device drivers  which	 uses  4-byte  headers
       (everything except RP's).

       The  test  pattern used during the media check may be selected from one
       of: 0xf00f (RH750 worst case), 0xec6d (media worst  case),  and	0xa5a5
       (alternating  1's  and  0's).  Normally the media worst case pattern is

       Format also has an option to  perform  an  extended  “severe  burn-in,”
       which makes a number of passes using different patterns.	 The number of
       passes can be selected at run time, up to a maximum of 48, with	provi‐
       sion  for additional passes or termination after the preselected number
       of passes.  This test runs for many hours, depending on	the  disk  and

       Each  time format is run to format an entire disk, a completely new bad
       sector table is generated based on errors encountered while formatting.
       The  device  driver,  however, will always attempt to read any existing
       bad sector table when the device is first opened.  Thus, if a disk pack
       has never previously been formatted, or has been formatted with differ‐
       ent sectoring, five error messages will	be  printed  when  the	driver
       attempts	 to  read  the	bad  sector table; these diagnostics should be

       Formatting a 400 megabyte disk on a  MASSBUS  disk  controller  usually
       takes  about  20 minutes.  Formatting on a UNIBUS disk controller takes
       significantly longer.  For every hundredth  cylinder  formatted	format
       prints  a  message  indicating  the  current  cylinder being formatted.
       (This message is just to reassure people that nothing is is amiss.)

       Format uses the standard notation of  the  standalone  I/O  library  in
       identifying  a drive to be formatted.  A drive is specified as zz(x,y),
       where zz refers to the controller type (either hp or up), x is the unit
       number  of the drive; 8 times the UNIBUS or MASSBUS adaptor number plus
       the MASSBUS drive number or UNIBUS drive unit number; and y is the file
       system  partition  on  drive x (this should always be 0).  For example,
       ``hp(1,0)'' indicates that drive 1 on MASSBUS adaptor 0 should be  for‐
       matted;	while  ``up(10,0)''  indicates	that  UNIBUS drive 2 on UNIBUS
       adaptor 1 should be formatted.

       Before each formatting attempt, format prompts the user in case	debug‐
       ging  should  be	 enabled in the appropriate device driver.  A carriage
       return disables debugging information.

       Format should be used prior to building file systems (with newfs(8)) to
       insure  that  all sectors with uncorrectable media errors are remapped.
       If a drive develops  uncorrectable  defects  after  formatting,	either
       bad144(8) or badsect(8) should be able to avoid the bad sectors.

       A  sample  run  of  format  is  shown  below.  In this example (using a
       VAX-11/780), format is loaded from the console  floppy;	on  an	11/750
       format  will be loaded from the root file system with boot(8) following
       a “B/3” command.	 Boldface means user input.  As usual, ``#'' and ``@''
       may be used to edit input.

	    >>>L FORMAT
		      LOAD DONE, 00004400 BYTES LOADED
	    >>>S 2
	    Disk format/check utility

	    Enable debugging (0=none, 1=bse, 2=ecc, 3=bse+ecc)? 0
	    Device to format? hp(8,0)
	    (error messages may occur as old bad sector table is read)
	    Formatting drive hp0 on adaptor 1: verify (yes/no)? yes
	    Device data: #cylinders=842, #tracks=20, #sectors=48
	    Starting cylinder (0):
	    Starting track (0):
	    Ending cylinder (841):
	    Ending track (19):
	    Available test patterns are:
		      1 - (f00f) RH750 worst case
		      2 - (ec6d) media worst case
		      3 - (a5a5) alternating 1's and 0's
		      4 - (ffff) Severe burnin (up to 48 passes)
	    Pattern (one of the above, other to restart)? 2
	    Maximum number of bit errors to allow for soft ECC (3):
	    Start formatting...make sure the drive is online
	    (soft ecc's and other errors are reported as they occur)
	    (if 4 write check errors were found, the program terminates like this...)
	    Bad sector: 0
	    Write check: 4
	    Hard ECC: 0
	    Other hard: 0
	    Marked bad: 0
	    Skipped: 0
	    Total of 4 hard errors revectored.
	    Writing bad sector table at block 808272
	    (808272 is the block # of the first block in the bad sector table)
	    (...program restarts to allow formatting other disks)
	    ( abort halt machine with ^P)

       The diagnostics are intended to be self explanatory.

       Warning:	  These	 instructions  are  for people with 11/780 CPU's.  The
       steps needed for 11/750 or 11/730 cpu's are similar, but not covered in
       detail here.

       The  formatting procedures are different for each type of disk.	Listed
       here are the formatting procedures for RK07's, RP0X, and RM0X disks.

       You should shut down UNIX and halt the machine to do any	 disk  format‐
       ting.  Make certain you put in the pack you want formatted.  It is also
       a good idea to spin down or write protect the disks you don't  want  to
       format, just in case.

       Formatting  an RK07.  Load the console floppy labeled, "RX11 VAX DSK LD
       DEV #1" in the console disk drive, and type the following commands:
	      DIAGNOSTIC SUPERVISOR.  ZZ-ESSAA-X5.0-119	 23-JAN-1980 12:44:40.03
	      DS>ATTACH DW780 SBI DW0 3 5
	      DS>ATTACH RK611 DMA
	      DS>ATTACH RK07 DW0 DMA0

       Formatting an RP0X.  Follow the above procedures except that the ATTACH
       and SELECT lines should read:
	      DS>ATTACH RH780 SBI RH0 8 5
	      DS>ATTACH RP0X RH0 DBA0(RP0X is, e.g. RP06)

       This is for drive 0 on mba0; use 9 instead of 8 for mba1, etc.

       Formatting an RM0X.  Follow the above procedures except that the ATTACH
       and SELECT lines should read:
	      DS>ATTACH RH780 SBI RH0 8 5

       Don't forget to put your UNIX console floppy back in  the  floppy  disk

       bad144(8), badsect(8), newfs(8)

       An  equivalent facility should be available which operates under a run‐
       ning UNIX system.

       It should be possible to reformat or verify part or all of a disk, then
       update the existing bad sector table.

4th Berkeley Distribution	 June 5, 1993			     FORMAT(8)

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