OpenWindows Advanced User's Guide

G.3.1 Formatting a PCMCIA Memory Card

Before you can use a PCMCIA memory card, you may need to format it. The fdformat utility allows you to format both diskettes and PCMCIA memory cards.

Caution - Caution -

Formatting deletes any data that may already be resident on a PCMCIA memory card.

To format a PCMCIA memory card:


    % fdformat option device_name

    Note -

    The format utility cannot be used with PCMCIA memory cards. Only the fdformat utility will work.

Table G-1 lists the available options for the fdformat utility.

Table G-1 fdformat Utility Options




Unmounts the PCMCIA memory card 


Installs an MS-DOS file system (UNIX file system is the default) 


Does not display confirmation messages before starting to format 


Disables print status messages 


Installs a Solaris label or an MS-DOS file system; it does not format the PCMCIA memory card 


Specifies a UNIX or MS-DOS label on a PCMCIA memory card 

-t dos

Installs an MS-DOS file system (UNIX file system is the default) 

-B filename

Installs a special boot loader 

Note -

There is no option in the fdformat utility for installing a NEC-DOS file system on a PCMCIA memory card.

If you want to format a PCMCIA memory card, you must specify a device name for the PCMCIA memory card. Otherwise, the fdformat utility automatically specifies the diskette drive as the default device.

The format for a device name of a PCMCIA memory card is




For example, the device name /dev/dsk/c1t6d0s2 represents a PCMCIA SRAM memory card with a logical socket controller number 1, a technology number 6, and a slice number 2.

Table G-2 list the available device name options for the fdformat utility.

Table G-2 fdformat Utility Device Name Options

Device Name Option 



Represents a decimal number 


Represents controller n


Represents technology region n

0x1 ROM, 0x2 OTPROM, 0x3 EPROM, 

0x4 EEPROM, 0x5 FLASH, 0x6 SRAM, 0x7 DRAM 


Represents technology region in type n


Represents slice n (This release supports only one partition on the PCMCIA memory card. Therefore, the partition number sn for the device name must be s2.)