Subject: Re: Can't partition and format Sun3 disk
To: Brett Glass <>
From: Jason Thorpe <>
List: port-sun3
Date: 12/29/1995 10:19:56
On Fri, 29 Dec 95 10:48:02 PST 
 "Brett Glass" <> wrote:

 > A disk "labeling" tool cannot work on a disk that has not yet been
 > low-level formatted. You need to low-level format the disk before you can
 > write ANY information to it, including the "label" (a misleading term; it
 > actually holds information about the disk's physical geometry, media
 > defects, and partitioning). 

(Label isn't _that_ misleading :-)

Well, every SCSI disk I've ever purchased has been low-level formatted at 
the factory.  A SCSI formatting utility shouldn't be that hard to write 
(it's a matter of setting a couple of page parameters and sending a 
format unit command), but a nice, well-rounded SCSI device manipulation 
tool is a little harder :-)

 > To sum up: if your disk drive has not previously been used with SunOS (or
 > an earlier version of NetBSD), you cannot install NetBSD from the currently
 > provided install tape. To fix this "can't get there from here" problem,
 > NetBSD must add a low-level formatting utility to the install tape.

That statement is extremely misleading.  I know of cases where a disk was 
fresh-from-the-factory and NetBSD installed on it.

Jason R. Thorpe                             
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