System Administration Guide, Volume 1

How to Format a DOS PCMCIA Memory Card

You can format a DOS PCMCIA memory card on a SPARC or IA based platform. The steps are similar, except that instead of a SunOS file system being placed on the PCMCIA memory card, a DOS file system, either MS-DOS or NEC-DOS, is put on the file system.

Caution - Caution -

Formatting a PCMCIA memory card erases any pre-existing content.

  1. Quit File Manager.

    File Manager automatically displays a formatting window when you insert an unformatted PCMCIA memory card. To avoid the window, quit File Manager. If you prefer to keep File Manager open, quit the formatting window when it appears.

  2. Make sure the PCMCIA memory card is not write-protected.

    Write-protection is controlled by a small slide switch in the end of the PCMCIA memory card.

  3. Insert the PCMCIA memory card.

    Make sure the PCMCIA memory card is completely inserted. It must drop down into the drive.

  4. Invoke formatting.

    $ fdformat -v -U [density-options convenience-options]


    Verifies whether the PCMCIA memory card was formatted correctly. 


    Unmounts the PCMCIA memory card, if it is mounted. 


    If the drive density is 1.44 Mbytes, density-options are:



    Formats for MS-DOS.  


    -t nec -M

    Formats at 1.2 Mbytes for NEC-DOS. 



    Lists all the options to the fdformat command, but does not format the PCMCIA memory card.





    Ejects the PCMCIA memory card when done formatting. 



    Does not ask for confirmation before formatting. 


    -b label

    Name for the PCMCIA memory card. label must be eight characters or less, upper or lower case.



    Lists all the options to the fdformat command, but does not format the PCMCIA memory card.

    Note -

    If you try to format a 720 Kbyte (DD) diskette for 1.44 Mbytes, fdformat will not stop you unless you include the -v option. With the -v option, fdformat will format the diskette, but the verification will catch the error and notify you with the following message: fdformat: check diskette density, I/O error

    The fdformat command displays a confirmation message, indicating the type of formatting to be performed:

    Formatting 1.44 M in /vol/dev/rdiskette0/unformatted
    Press return to start formatting floppy.
  5. Select one of the options in the table below.

    To ... 

    Press ... 

    Confirm the type of formatting 

    Return (unless you used the -f option in the previous step, in which case no confirmation is necessary)

    Cancel formatting 


    As the formatting progresses, a series of dots is displayed. As the verification progresses, a series of Vs appears beneath the dots. When the series stops, the formatting is complete and the PCMCIA memory card is ready for use on a DOS system.

  6. Use the volrmmount command with the -i option to notify Volume Management that the memory card is inserted.

    $ volrmmount -i pcmem0

    Volume Management mounts the PCMCIA memory card under /pcmem/pcmem0.