System Administration Guide: Devices and File Systems

Adding a Third-Party Disk

The Solaris OS supports many third-party disks. However, for the disk to be recognized, you might need to supply either a device driver, a format.dat entry, or both. Other options for adding disks are as follows:

If the third-party disk is designed to work with standard SunOS compatible device drivers, then the creation of an appropriate format.dat entry should suffice to allow the disk to be recognized by the format utility. In other cases, you 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 disk formatting program.

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

Supply the missing software as described in this section. Then, refer to the appropriate configuration procedure for adding system disks or secondary disks in Chapter 12, SPARC: Adding a Disk (Tasks) or Chapter 13, x86: 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 disks do not require a format.dat entry. The format utility automatically configures the SCSI-2 drivers if the disks are powered on during a reconfiguration boot. For step-by-step instructions on configuring a SCSI disk drive automatically, see How to Automatically Configure a SCSI Drive.

If your disk is unrecognized, use a text editor to create an entry in format.dat for the disk. You 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.

ProcedureHow to Create a format.dat Entry

  1. Become superuser or assume an equivalent role.

  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.

    Use the format.dat information that is described in Chapter 15, The format Utility (Reference).

    Also, use the disk's hardware product documentation to gather the required information.