System Administration Guide, Volume 1

Specifying Block Numbers to format Commands

Whenever you are required to specify a disk block number, there are two ways to input the information:

You can specify the information as an integer representing the logical block number. You can specify the integer in any base, but the default is decimal. The maximum operator (a dollar sign, $) can also be used here to let format select the appropriate value. Logical block format is used by the SunOS disk drivers in error messages.

The other way to specify a block number is by the cylinder/head/sector designation. In this method, you must specify explicitly the three logical components of the block number: the cylinder, head, and sector values. These values are still logical, but they allow you to define regions of the disk related to the layout of the media.

If any of the cylinder/head/sector numbers are not specified, the appropriate value is assumed to be zero. You can also use the maximum operator in place of any of the numbers and let format select the appropriate value. Below are some examples of cylinder, head, and sector entries:

Enter defective block number: 34/2/3
Enter defective block number: 23/1/
Enter defective block number: 457//
Enter defective block number: 12345
Enter defective block number: Oxabcd
Enter defective block number: 334/$/2
Enter defective block number: 892//$

The format utility always prints block numbers, in both of the above formats. Also, the help facility shows you the upper and lower bounds of the block number expected, in both formats.