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System Administration Guide: Devices and File Systems
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format Menu and Command Descriptions

The format main menu appears similar to the following:

FORMAT MENU:
        disk       - select a disk
        type       - select (define) a disk type
        partition  - select (define) a partition table
        current    - describe the current disk
        format     - format and analyze the disk
        fdisk      - run the fdisk program (x86 only)
        repair     - repair a defective sector
        label      - write label to the disk
        analyze    - surface analysis
        defect     - defect list management
        backup     - search for backup labels
        verify     - read and display labels
        save       - save new disk/partition definitions
        inquiry    - show vendor, product and revision
        volname    - set 8-character volume name
        !<cmd>     - execute <cmd>, then return
        quit
format> 

The following table describes the main menu items for the format utility.

Table 16-1 The Main Menu Item Descriptions for the format Utility

Menu Item

Command or Menu?

Description

disk

Command

Lists all of the system's drives. Also lets you choose the disk you want to use in subsequent operations. This disk is referred to as the current disk.

type

Command

Identifies the manufacturer and model of the current disk. Also displays a list of known drive types. Choose the Auto configure option for all SCSI-2 disk drives.

partition

Menu

Creates and modifies slices. For more information, see partition Menu.

current

Command

Displays the following information about the current disk:

  • Device name and device type

  • Number of cylinders, alternate cylinders, heads and sectors

  • Physical device name

format

Command

Formats the current disk by using one of these sources of information in this order:

  1. Information that is found in the format.dat file

  2. Information from the automatic configuration process

  3. Information that you type at the prompt if no format.dat entry exists

This command does not apply to IDE disks. IDE disks are preformatted by the manufacturer.

fdisk

Menu

x86 platform only: Runs the fdisk program to create a Solaris fdisk partition.

The fdisk command cannot be used on disks with an EFI label that are greater than 1 terabyte in size.

repair

Command

Repairs a specific block on the current disk.

label

Command

Writes a new label to the current disk.

analyze

Menu

Runs read, write, and compare tests. For more information, see analyze Menu.

defect

Menu

Retrieves and displays defect lists. For more information, see defect Menu. This feature does not apply to IDE disks. IDE disks manage defects automatically.

backup

Command

VTOC – Searches for backup labels.

EFI – Not supported.

verify

Command

Displays the following information about the current disk:

  • Device name and device type

  • Number of cylinders, alternate cylinders, heads and sectors

  • Partition table

save

Command

VTOC – Saves new disk and partition information.

EFI – Not applicable.

inquiry

Command

SCSI disks only – Displays the vendor, product name, and revision level of the current drive.

volname

Command

Labels the disk with a new eight-character volume name that you specify.

quit

Command

Exits the format menu.

partition Menu

The partition menu appears similar to the following:

format> partition
PARTITION MENU:
        0      - change `0' partition
        1      - change `1' partition
        2      - change `2' partition
        3      - change `3' partition
        4      - change `4' partition
        5      - change `5' partition
        6      - change `6' partition
        7      - change `7' partition
        select - select a predefined table
        modify - modify a predefined partition table
        name   - name the current table
        print  - display the current table
        label  - write partition map and label to the disk
        quit
partition> 

The following table describes the partition menu items.

Table 16-2 Descriptions for partition Menu Items

Subcommand

Description

change `n' partition

Enables you to specify the following information for the new partition:

  • Identification tag

  • Permission flags

  • Starting cylinder

  • Size

select

Enables you to choose a predefined partition table.

modify

Enables you to change all the slices in the partition table. This command is preferred over the individual change `x' partition commands.

name

Enables you to specify a name for the current partition table.

print

Displays the current partition table.

label

Writes the partition map and the label to the current disk.

quit

Exits the partition menu.

x86: fdisk Menu

The fdisk menu appears on x86 based systems only and appears similar to the following.

format> fdisk
             Total disk size is 14169 cylinders
             Cylinder size is 2510 (512 byte) blocks

                                               Cylinders
      Partition   Status    Type          Start   End   Length    %
      =========   ======    ============  =====   ===   ======   ===
          1       Active    x86 Boot          1     9       9      0
          2                 Solaris2         10  14168    14159    100

SELECT ONE OF THE FOLLOWING:

  1. Create a partition
  2. Specify the active partition
  3. Delete a partition
  4. Change between Solaris and Solaris2 Partition IDs
  5. Exit (update disk configuration and exit)
  6. Cancel (exit without updating disk configuration)
  Enter Selection:

The following table describes the fdisk menu items.

Table 16-3 x86: Descriptions for fdisk Menu Items

Menu Item

Description

Create a partition

Creates an fdisk partition. You must create a separate partition for each OS such as Solaris or DOS. There is a maximum of four partitions per disk. You are prompted for the size of the fdisk partition as a percentage of the disk.

Specify the active partition

Enables you to specify the partition to be used for booting. This menu item identifies where the first stage boot program looks for the second stage boot program.

Delete a partition

Deletes a previously created partition. This command destroys all the data in the partition.

Change between Solaris and Solaris2 Partition IDs

Changes partition IDs from 130 (0x82) to 191 (0xbf) and back again.

Exit (update disk configuration and exit)

Writes a new version of the partition table and exits the fdisk menu.

Cancel (exit without updating disk configuration)

Exits the fdisk menu without modifying the partition table.

analyze Menu

The analyze menu appears similar to the following.

format> analyze
 
ANALYZE MENU:
    read     - read only test   (doesn't harm SunOS)
    refresh  - read then write  (doesn't harm data)
    test     - pattern testing  (doesn't harm data)
    write    - write then read      (corrupts data)
    compare  - write, read, compare (corrupts data)
    purge    - write, read, write   (corrupts data)
    verify   - write entire disk, then verify (corrupts data)
    print    - display data buffer
    setup    - set analysis parameters
    config   - show analysis parameters
    quit
analyze> 

The following table describes the analyze menu items.

Table 16-4 Descriptions for analyze Menu Items

Subcommand

Description

read

Reads each sector on the current disk. Repairs defective blocks as a default.

refresh

Reads then writes data on the current disk without harming the data. Repairs defective blocks as a default.

test

Writes a set of patterns to the disk without harming the data. Repairs defective blocks as a default.

write

Writes a set of patterns to the disk then reads back the data on the disk. Destroys existing data on the disk. Repairs defective blocks as a default.

compare

Writes a set of patterns to the disk, reads back the data, and then compares it to the data in the write buffer. Destroys existing data on the disk. Repairs defective blocks as a default.

purge

Removes all data from the disk so that the data cannot be retrieved by any means. Data is removed by writing three distinct patterns over the entire disk (or a section of the disk). If the verification passes, a hex-bit pattern is written over the entire disk (or a section of the disk).

Repairs defective blocks as a default.

verify

In the first pass, writes unique data to each block on the entire disk. In the next pass, reads and verifies the data. Destroys existing data on the disk. Repairs defective blocks as a default.

print

Displays the data in the read/write buffer.

setup

Enables you to specify the following analysis parameters:

Analyze entire disk? yes
Starting block number: depends on drive
Ending block number: depends on drive
Loop continuously? no
Number of passes: 2
    Repair defective blocks? yes
Stop after first error? no
Use random bit patterns? no
Number of blocks per transfer: 126 (0/n/nn)
Verify media after formatting? yes
Enable extended messages? no
Restore defect list? yes
Restore disk label? yes

config

Displays the current analysis parameters.

quit

Exits the analyze menu.

defect Menu

The defect menu appears similar to the following:

format> defect
 
DEFECT MENU:
        primary  - extract manufacturer's defect list
        grown    - extract manufacturer's and repaired defects lists
        both     - extract both primary and grown defects lists
        print    - display working list
        dump     - dump working list to file
        quit
defect> 

The following table describes the defect menu items.

Table 16-5 The defect Menu Item Descriptions

Subcommand

Description

primary

Reads the manufacturer's defect list from the disk drive and updates the in-memory defect list.

grown

Reads the grown defect list and then updates the in-memory defect list. Grown defects are defects that have been detected during analysis.

both

Reads both the manufacturer's defect list and the grown defect list. Then, updates the in-memory defect list.

print

Displays the in-memory defect list.

dump

Saves the in-memory defect list to a file.

quit

Exits the defect menu.

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  Published under the terms fo the Public Documentation License Version 1.01. Design by Interspire