Solaris 8 (Intel Platform Edition) Device Configuration Guide

SRAM and DRAM PC Card Devices

Solaris Device Driver:


Device Types:

Static RAM (SRAM), Dynamic RAM (DRAM) 

Bus Type:

PC Card 

Note -

Flash RAM devices are not supported.

Preconfiguration Information

If a PC Card memory device is recognized, the pcram device driver is automatically loaded, the physical address allocated, and special files created (if they don't already exist).

Known Problems and Limitations

Configuration Procedure

Initial Installation and Configuration

  1. Install the Solaris software.

  2. Boot the system.

  3. Insert the card.

Identifying an Unrecognized Device

If you insert a memory device and it isn't recognized (no special files created), use the prtconf command.

  1. Become root.

  2. Run the prtconf -D command to display the configuration recognized by the system.

    A recognized device will appear in the prtconf output. For example:

    # prtconf -D
    .  .  .
    pcic, instance #0 (driver name: pcic)
        .  .  .
       memory, instance #0 (driver name: pcmem)
             pcram, instance #0 (driver name: pcram)
  3. If your memory device does not appear at the end of the prtconf output, it is not supported and cannot be used with the pcram device driver.

Special Files

The special files created for PC Card memory devices act like disks and have names in the form /dev/dsk/c#t#d#p# or /dev/dsk/c#t#d#s#. See pcram(7D). Abbreviations used in the names are:

c# Controller #

t# Card technology type #, defined as follows:

0 Null--no device


2 OTPROM (One Time PROM)



5 Flash EPROM



d# Device region of type #, usually zero

p# fdisk partition #

s# Solaris slice #

Note -

A device name can be specified either by a partition name (p#) or a slice name (s#), but not both.

Using PC Card Memory Devices

Since the Solaris Volume Management software recognizes PC Card memory devices, no special vold configuration is required.

    If you don't want to use vold to manage your PC Card memory devices, comment out the "use pcmem" line in the /etc/vold.conf file.

To comment out a line, insert a # character at the beginning of the line.

PC Card memory devices don't need to have file systems on them, though typically, before using a new PC Card memory card, you will want to create a file system on it. DOS PCFS is the best format to use. (You can use virtually any file system format on a PC Card memory card, but most other file system formats are platform-dependent, making them unsuitable for moving data between different types of machines. See "Using a PCMCIA Memory Card" in the OpenWindows Advanced User's Guide.)

Note -

If you want to redirect the output of a tar command (or dd or cpio) to a PC Card memory device, first create a file system on the card, using the fdformat command without arguments. The card must be reformatted before it can be written on again.


If a memory card is removed while in use, the device driver returns errors until the memory card is inserted into the appropriate socket. Close and reopen the device with the card reinserted, and the memory card will work.