System Administration Guide, Volume 1

Adding a Third-Party Disk

The Solaris environment supports many third-party disks. However, you might need to supply either a device driver, a format.dat entry, or both of these.

If the third-party disk was designed to work with standard SunOS operating system-compatible device drivers, creating an appropriate format.dat entry should be enough to allow the disk to be recognized by the format utility. In other cases, you'll need to load a third-party device driver to support the disk.

Note -

Sun cannot guarantee that its format utility will work properly with all third-party disk drivers. If the disk driver is not compatible with the Solaris format utility, the disk drive vendor should supply you with a custom format program.

This section discusses what to do if some of this software support is missing. Typically, this occurs when you invoke the format utility and find that the disk type is not recognized.

Supply the missing software as described in this section, and then refer to the appropriate configuration procedure for adding system disks or secondary disks in Chapter 30, SPARC: Adding a Disk (Tasks) or Chapter 31, IA: Adding a Disk (Tasks).

Creating a format.dat Entry

Unrecognized disks cannot be formatted without precise information about the disk's geometry and operating parameters. This information is supplied in the /etc/format.dat file.

Note -

SCSI-2 drives do not require a format.dat entry. Starting with the Solaris 2.3 release, the format utility automatically configures the SCSI-2 drivers if the drives are powered on during a reconfiguration boot. See "How to Automatically Configure a SCSI Drive" for step-by-step instructions on configuring a SCSI disk drive automatically.

If your disk was not recognized, use a text editor to create an entry in format.dat for the disk. You'll need to gather all the pertinent technical specifications about the disk and its controller before you start. This information should have been provided with the disk. If not, contact the disk manufacturer or your supplier. See Chapter 32, The format Utility (Reference) for more information on adding an entry to the /etc/format.dat file.

How to Create a format.dat Entry

  1. Become superuser.

  2. Make a copy of the /etc/format.dat file.

    # cp /etc/format.dat /etc/format.dat.gen
  3. Modify the /etc/format.dat file to include an entry for the third-party disk using the format.dat information described in Chapter 32, The format Utility (Reference).

    Use the disk's hardware product documentation to gather the required information.