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System Administration Guide: Devices and File Systems
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Document Information


1.  Managing Removable Media (Overview)

2.  Managing Removable Media (Tasks)

3.  Accessing Removable Media (Tasks)

4.  Writing CDs and DVDs (Tasks)

5.  Managing Devices (Overview/Tasks)

6.  Dynamically Configuring Devices (Tasks)

7.  Using USB Devices (Overview)

8.  Using USB Devices (Tasks)

9.  Using InfiniBand Devices (Overview/Tasks)

10.  Managing Disks (Overview)

11.  Administering Disks (Tasks)

Administering Disks (Task Map)

Identifying Disks on a System

How to Identify the Disks on a System

Formatting a Disk

How to Determine if a Disk Is Formatted

How to Format a Disk

Displaying Disk Slices

How to Display Disk Slice Information

Creating and Examining a Disk Label

How to Label a Disk

How to Examine a Disk Label

Recovering a Corrupted Disk Label

How to Recover a Corrupted Disk Label

Adding a Third-Party Disk

Creating a format.dat Entry

How to Create a format.dat Entry

Automatically Configuring SCSI Disk Drives

How to Automatically Configure a SCSI Drive

Repairing a Defective Sector

How to Identify a Defective Sector by Using Surface Analysis

How to Repair a Defective Sector

Tips and Tricks for Managing Disks

Debugging format Sessions

Labeling Multiple Disks by Using the prtvtoc and fmthard Commands

12.  SPARC: Adding a Disk (Tasks)

13.  x86: Adding a Disk (Tasks)

14.  Configuring Oracle Solaris iSCSI Targets and Initiators (Tasks)

15.  The format Utility (Reference)

16.  Managing File Systems (Overview)

17.  Creating ZFS, UFS, TMPFS, and LOFS File Systems (Tasks)

18.  Mounting and Unmounting File Systems (Tasks)

19.  Using The CacheFS File System (Tasks)

20.  Configuring Additional Swap Space (Tasks)

21.  Checking UFS File System Consistency (Tasks)

22.  UFS File System (Reference)

23.  Backing Up and Restoring UFS File Systems (Overview)

24.  Backing Up UFS Files and File Systems (Tasks)

25.  Using UFS Snapshots (Tasks)

26.  Restoring UFS Files and File Systems (Tasks)

27.  UFS Backup and Restore Commands (Reference)

28.  Copying UFS Files and File Systems (Tasks)

29.  Managing Tape Drives (Tasks)


Automatically Configuring SCSI Disk Drives

The format utility automatically configures SCSI disk drives even if that specific type of drive is not listed in the /etc/format.dat file. This feature enables you to format, create slices for, and label any disk driver that is compliant with the SCSI-2 specification for disk device mode sense pages.

Here are other options for adding disks:

The following steps are involved in configuring a SCSI drive by using automatic configuration:

After the reconfiguration boot, invoke the format utility. The format utility will attempt to configure the disk and, if successful, alert the user that the disk was configured. For step-by-step instructions on automatically configuring a SCSI disk drive, see How to Automatically Configure a SCSI Drive.

Here's an example of a partition table for a 1.3-GB SCSI disk drive that was displayed by the format utility.

Part    Tag    Flag     Cylinders     Size        Blocks
   0     root    wm       0 -   96    64.41MB      (97/0/0)
   1     swap    wu      97 -  289   128.16MB     (193/0/0)
   2   backup    wu       0 - 1964     1.27GB    (1965/0/0)
   6      usr    wm     290 - 1964     1.09GB    (1675/0/0)

How to Automatically Configure a SCSI Drive

  1. Become superuser or equivalent role.
  2. Create the /reconfigure file that will be read when the system is booted.
    # touch /reconfigure
  3. Shut down the system.
    # shutdown -i0 -gn -y

    Brings the system down to init level 0, the power-down state.


    Notifies logged-in users that they have n seconds before the system begins to shut down.


    Specifies that the command should run without user intervention.

    The ok prompt is displayed after the system is shut down.

  4. Turn off the power to the system and all external peripheral devices.
  5. Ensure that the disk you are adding has a different target number than the other devices on the system.

    Typically, a small switch is located at the back of the disk for this purpose.

  6. Connect the disk to the system, and check the physical connections.

    Refer to the disk's hardware installation guide for details.

  7. Turn on the power to all external peripherals.
  8. Turn on the power to the system.

    The system boots and displays the login prompt.

  9. Log back in as superuser or assume an equivalent role.
  10. Invoke the format utility, and select the disk that you want to configure automatically.
    # format
    Searching for disks...done
    c1t0d0: configured with capacity of 1002.09MB
    0. c0t1d0 <SUN1.05 cyl 2036 alt 2 hd 14 sec 72>
    1. c0t3d0 <SUN1.05 cyl 2036 alt 2 hd 14 sec 72>
    Specify disk (enter its number): 1
  11. Type yes in response to the prompt to label the disk.

    Typing y causes the disk label to be generated and written to the disk by using SCSI automatic configuration.

    Disk not labeled. Label it now? y
  12. Verify the disk label.
    format> verify
  13. Exit the format utility.
    format> q