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format(1M)		System Administration Commands		    format(1M)

NAME
       format -	disk partitioning and maintenance utility

SYNOPSIS
       format  [-f command-file]  [-l log-file]	 [-x data-file]	[-d disk-name]
       [-t disk-type] [-p partition-name] [-s] [-m] [-M] [-e] [disk-list]

DESCRIPTION
       format enables you to format, label, repair and analyze disks  on  your
       system.	Unlike	previous  disk maintenance programs, format runs under
       SunOS. Because there are	limitations to what can	be done	to the	system
       disk  while  the	system is running, format is also supported within the
       memory-resident system environment.  For	 most  applications,  however,
       running format under SunOS is the more convenient approach.

       format  first  uses the disk list defined in data-file if the -x	option
       is used.	format then checks for the FORMAT_PATH	 environment variable,
       a  colon-separated list of filenames and/or directories.	In the case of
       a directory, format searches for	a file named format.dat	in that	direc-
       tory;  a	 filename  should be an	absolute pathname, and is used without
       change. format adds all disk and	partition definitions in  each	speci-
       fied  file  to  the  working  set.  Multiple  identical definitions are
       silently	ignored. If FORMAT_PATH	is  not	 set,  the  path  defaults  to
       /etc/format.dat.

       disk-list  is a list of disks in	the form c?t?d?	or /dev/rdsk/c?t?d?s?.
       With the	latter form, shell wildcard specifications are supported.  For
       example,	 specifying  /dev/rdsk/c2* causes format to work on all	drives
       connected to controller c2 only.	If no disk-list	is  specified,	format
       lists  all  the disks present in	the system that	can be administered by
       format.

       Removable media devices are listed only when users  execute  format  in
       expert mode (option -e).	This feature is	provided for backward compati-
       bility. Use rmformat(1) for rewritable removable	media devices.

OPTIONS
       The following options are supported:

       -d disk-name
	     Specify which disk	should be made current	upon  entry  into  the
	     program. The disk is specified by its logical name	(for instance,
	     -d	c0t1d0). This can also be accomplished by specifying a	single
	     disk in the disk list.

       -e    Enable  SCSI expert menu. Note this option	is not recommended for
	     casual use.

       -f command-file
	     Take command input	from command-file rather than the standard in-
	     put.  The	file  must  contain  commands that appear just as they
	     would if they had been entered from the keyboard.	With this  op-
	     tion,  format  does not issue continue? prompts; there is no need
	     to	specify	y(es) or n(o) answers in the command-file. In  non-in-
	     teractive	mode,  format does not initially expect	the input of a
	     disk selection number. The	user must specify the current  working
	     disk  with	 the  -d  disk-name  option when format	is invoked, or
	     specify disk and the disk selection number	in the command-file.

       -l log-file
	     Log a transcript of the format session to the indicated log-file,
	     including	the  standard input, the standard output and the stan-
	     dard error.

       -m    Enable extended messages. Provides	more detailed  information  in
	     the event of an error.

       -M    Enable  extended  and diagnostic messages.	Provides extensive in-
	     formation on the state of a SCSI device's mode pages, during for-
	     matting.

       -p partition-name
	     Specify  the  partition  table for	the disk which is current upon
	     entry into	the program. The table is specified by its name	as de-
	     fined in the data file. This option can be	used only if a disk is
	     being made	current, and its type is either	specified or available
	     from the disk label.

       -s    Silent.  Suppress	all of the standard output. Error messages are
	     still displayed. This is generally	used in	conjunction  with  the
	     -f	option.

       -t disk-type
	     Specify  the  type	 of  disk which	is current upon	entry into the
	     program. A	disk's type is specified by name  in  the  data	 file.
	     This  option  can only be used if a disk is being made current as
	     described above.

       -x data-file
	     Use the list of disks contained in	data-file.

USAGE
       When you	invoke format with no options or with the -e, -l, -m,  -M,  or
       -s options, the program displays	a numbered list	of available disks and
       prompts you to specify a	disk by	list number. If	the machine  has  more
       than 10 disks, press Space to see the next screenful of disks.

       You can specify a disk by list number even if the disk is not displayed
       in the current screenful. For example,  if  the	current	 screen	 shows
       disks  11-20,  you can enter 25 to specify the twenty-fifth disk	on the
       list. If	you enter a number for a disk that is not currently displayed,
       format prompts you to verify your selection. If you enter a number from
       the displayed list, format silently accepts your	selection.

       After you specify a disk, format	displays its main menu.	This menu  en-
       ables you to perform the	following tasks:

       analyze
	     Run read, write, and compare tests.

       backup
	     Search for	backup labels.

       cache Enable,  disable, and query the state of the write	cache and read
	     cache. This menu item only	appears	when format  is	 invoked  with
	     the -e option, and	is only	supported on SCSI devices..

       current
	     Display  the  device name,	the disk geometry, and the pathname to
	     the disk device.

       defect
	     Retrieve and print	defect lists. This option is supported only on
	     SCSI devices. IDE disks perform automatic defect management. Upon
	     using the defect option on	an IDE disk, you receive the message:

	     Controller	does not support defect	management
	     or	disk supports automatic	defect management.

       disk  Choose the	disk that will be used in subsequent operations	(known
	     as	the current disk.)

       fdisk Run the fdisk(1M) program to create a fdisk partition for Solaris
	     software (IA based	systems	only).

       format
	     Format and	verify the current disk. This option is	supported only
	     on	SCSI devices. IDE disks	are pre-formatted by the manufacturer.
	     Upon using	the format option on an	IDE disk, you receive the mes-
	     sage:

	     Cannot format this	drive. Please use your
	     manufacturer-supplied formatting utility.

       inquiry
	     Display  the vendor, product name,	and revision level of the cur-
	     rent drive.

       label Write a new label to the current disk.

       partition
	     Create and	modify slices.

       quit  Exit the format menu.

       repair
	     Repair a specific block on	the disk.

       save  Save new disk and slice information.

       type  Select (define) a disk type.

       verify
	     Read and display labels. Print information	such as	the number  of
	     cylinders,	alternate cylinders, heads, sectors, and the partition
	     table.

       volname
	     Label the disk with a new eight character volume name.

ENVIRONMENT VARIABLES
       FORMAT_PATH
	     a colon-separated list of filenames and/or	 directories  of  disk
	     and  partition  definitions.  If a	directory is specified,	format
	     searches for the file format.dat in that directory.

FILES
       /etc/format.dat
	     default data file

ATTRIBUTES
       See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attributes:

       +-----------------------------+-----------------------------+
       |      ATTRIBUTE	TYPE	     |	    ATTRIBUTE VALUE	   |
       +-----------------------------+-----------------------------+
       |Availability		     |SUNWcsu			   |
       +-----------------------------+-----------------------------+

SEE ALSO
       fmthard(1M), prtvtoc(1M),  rmformat(1),	format.dat(4),	attributes(5),
       sd(7D)

       See  Disk  Management in	System Administration Guide: Basic Administra-
       tion

   IA Only
       fdisk(1M)

WARNINGS
       When the	format function	is selected to format the Maxtor  207MB	 disk,
       the following message displays:

       Mode sense page(4) reports rpm value as 0, adjusting it to 3600

       This  is	a drive	bug that may also occur	with older third party drives.
       The above message is not	an error; the drive will still	function  cor-
       rectly.

       Cylinder	 0  contains  the  partition  table (disk label), which	can be
       overwritten if used in a	raw disk partition by third party software.

NOTES
       format provides a help facility you can use whenever format is  expect-
       ing  input.  You	can request help about what information	is expected by
       simply entering a question mark (?) and format prints a brief  descrip-
       tion  of	 what  type  of	 input is needed. If you enter a ? at the menu
       prompt, a list of available commands is displayed.

       For SCSI	disks, formatting is done with both Primary and	Grown  defects
       list  by	 default. However, if only Primary list	is extracted in	defect
       menu before formatting, formatting will be done with Primary list only.

       Changing	the state of the caches	is only	supported on SCSI devices, and
       not  all	 SCSI  devices	support	 changing  or  saving the state	of the
       caches.

SunOS 5.9			  12 Jul 2001			    format(1M)

NAME | SYNOPSIS | DESCRIPTION | OPTIONS | USAGE | ENVIRONMENT VARIABLES | FILES | ATTRIBUTES | SEE ALSO | WARNINGS | NOTES

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