Subject: Re: Can't partition and format Sun3 disk
To: Mauricio Tavares <>
From: Brett Glass <>
List: port-sun3
Date: 12/27/1995 22:47:58
> AFAIK, there is a command called rzdisk that allows you to low
> level format a hard drive.

This command was not on the install tape's RAM disk file system. In
fact, there's nothing there that would let you low-level format a
disk. Could the command have been omitted by mistake?  Can I tftp it into
the RAM disk file system from a host on the Net somewhere?  Or will the RAM
disk kernel let me mount an NFS volume somewhere out on the Net that has
it? (If I want to do the latter, I'll need to find a willing soul who will
give me access.)

Formatting the new drive under the old SunOS would be difficult, because
this shoebox wasn't designed to accommodate a second drive even
temporarily. The ESDI control cable doesn't have two headers, there's no
second data cable, the remaining power connector can't reach another drive,
and the bridge board is buried under the tape drive, the tape controller,
and a big metal plate with no room to spare.

In the long run, the best answer would be to create a new RAM disk kernel
with a low-level format command built in. Portmasters, could you help do
this? (I'd do it myself, but I don't have the tools.) This would be
immensely useful for ANYONE starting with a bare ESDI drive.


P.S. -- Once I get the disk formatted -- however I do it -- I will need to
learn the Sun convention for partition tables: what letters are used, what
letters are skipped, how big each partition should be, and what the numbers
mean. I understand that, by convention, some of the partitions overlap,
with "c" spanning the space used by all the others -- and that they all
have a starting cylinder of "0" in the table, even though some don't really
start there. Is there a FAQ on this?