Subject: Re: Formatting disks
To: None <port-vax@NetBSD.ORG>
From: Roger Ivie <>
List: port-vax
Date: 04/11/1996 08:10:34
> On April 10, you wrote:
> > Why can't you just format the drive on a PC system?  All you'd need to know
> > presumably is the interleave.
>   Nope...Different disk controller designs format their disks
> differently.  In this case, *very* differently.  Sector layouts, bad
> block handling, numbering...many differences.

Actaully, unless you're using an Adaptec MFM controller in your PC or an
RQDX1 in your VAX, chances are very good that the low-level disk format is 
the same. The major hard-disk controller chip makers standardized on a 
format, so the SMC controller used in the RQDX3 and the WD controllers 
prevalent in the PC market place use the same low-level format.

Come to think of it, I'm not certain whehter the RQDX2 uses the 
industry-standard format or not. I know they reworked the controller and 
dropped the number of sectors per track from 18 to 17, but I don't know if 
they used the industry standard format.

The VAX does require some additional high-level information that PC for I 
haven't come across one yet.

Roger Ivie