*nix Documentation Project
·  Home
 +   man pages
·  Linux HOWTOs
·  FreeBSD Tips
·  *niX Forums

  man pages->Linux man pages -> superformat (1)              



Name    [Toc]    [Back]

       superformat - format floppies

Note    [Toc]    [Back]

       This  manpage  has  been automatically generated from fdutils's texinfo
       documentation.  However, this process is only approximative,  and  some
       items,  such as crossreferences, footnotes and indices are lost in this
       translation process.  Indeed, these items have no appropriate representation
  in  the	manpage  format.  Moreover, only the items specific to
       each command have been translated, and the  general  information  about
       fdutils	has  been  dropped  in	the  manpage version.  Thus I strongly
       advise you to use the original texinfo doc.

       *      To generate a printable copy from the texinfo doc, run the  following

		     ./configure; make dvi; dvips fdutils.dvi

       *      To generate a html copy,	run:

		     ./configure; make html

	      A       premade	    html       can	be	found	   at:

       *      To generate an info copy (browsable  using  emacs'  info	mode),

		     ./configure; make info

       The  texinfo doc looks most pretty when printed or as html.  Indeed, in
       the info version certain examples are difficult	to  read  due  to  the
       quoting conventions used in info.

Description    [Toc]    [Back]

	  superformat [-D dos-drive] [-v verbosity-level] [-b begin-track]
	  [-e end-track] [--superverify] [--dosverify]
	  [--noverify] [--verify_later]
	  [-G format-gap] [-F final-gap] [-i interleave] [-c chunksize]
	  [-g gap] [--absolute-skew absolute-skew] [--head-skew head-skew]
	  [--track-skew track-skew] [--biggest-last] drive [media-description]

       superformat  is	used to format disks with a capacity of up to 1992K HD
       or 3984K ED.  See section Extended formats for a  detailed  description
       of these formats. See section Media description for a detailed description
 of the syntax for the media description.  If no media  description
       is  given,  superformat formats a disk in the highest available density
       for that drive, using standard parameters (i.e. no extra capacity  formats).

       When  the  disk is formatted, superformat automatically invokes mformat
       in order to put an  MS-DOS  filesystem  on  it.	You  may  ignore  this
       filesystem, if you don't need it.

       Supeformat  allows to format 2m formats.  Be aware, however, that these
       2m formats were specifically designed to hold an MS-DOS filesystem, and
       that  they  take  advantage of the fact that the MS-DOS filesystem uses
       redundant sectors on the first track (the  FAT,	which  is  represented
       twice). The second copy of the FAT is not represented on the disk.

       High  capacity formats are sensitive to the exact rotation speed of the
       drive and the resulting difference in raw capacity.  That's why	superformat
 performs a measurement of the disks raw capacity before proceeding
 with the formatting.  This measurement is  rather  time  consuming,
       and  can  be  avoided  by  storing  the relative deviation of the drive
       capacity into  the  drive  definition  file  file.  See	section  Drive
       descriptions  for  more	details  on this file. The line to be inserted
       into the drive definition file is printed by superformat after performing
  its  measurement.  However, this line depends on the drive and the
       controller.  Do not copy it  to	other  computers.   Remove  it	before
       installing  another  drive or upgrade your floppy controller.  Swap the
       drive numbers if you swap the drives in your computer.

Common Options    [Toc]    [Back]

       Many options have a long and a short form.

       --help Print the help.

       -D drive
       --dosdrive dos-drive
	      Selects DOS drive letter for mformat (for  example  a:  or  b:).
	      The colon may be omitted.  The default is derived from the minor
	      device number.  If the drive letter cannot be  guessed,  and  is
	      not given on the command line, mformat is skipped.

       -v verbosity-level
       --verbosity verbosity-level
	      Sets  the  verbosity  level.  1  prints a dot for each formatted
	      track. 2 prints a changing sign for each formatted track (-  for
	      formatting  the  first head, = for formatting the second head, x
	      for verifying the first head, and +  for	verifying  the	second
	      head).  3 prints a complete line listing head and track. 6 and 9
	      print debugging information.

	      Verifies the disk by first reading the  track,  than  writing  a
	      pattern  of  U's,  and then reading it again.  This is useful as
	      some errors only show up after the disk has once	been  written.
	      However, this is also slower.

	      Verifies	the  disk  using  the  mbadblocks program.  mbadblocks
	      marks the bad sectors as bad in the FAT.	The advantage of  this
	      is that disks which are only partially bad can still be used for
	      MS-DOS filesystems.

	      Verifies the whole disk at the end  of  the  formatting  process
	      instead  of  at each track. Verifying the disk at each track has
	      the advantage of detecting errors early on.

	      Skips the verification altogether.

Advanced Options    [Toc]    [Back]

       Usually, superformat uses sensible default values  for  these  options,
       which  you  normally  don't  need  to  override.  They are intended for
       expert users.  Most of them should only be needed in  cases  where  the
       hardware or superformat itself has bugs.

       -b begin-track
       --begin_track  begin-track
	      Describes  the  track where to begin formatting.	This is useful
	      if the previous formatting failed halfway through.  The  default
	      is 0.

       -e end-track
       --end_track end-track
	      Describes  where to stop formatting. end_track is the last track
	      to be formatted plus one. This is mainly useful for testing purposes.
  By  default,  this  is  the  same as the total number of
	      tracks.  When the formatting stops, the final skew is  displayed
	      (to be used as absolute skew when you'll continue).

       -S sizecode
       --sizecode sizecode
	      Set  the	sector	size to be used. The sector size is 128 * (2 ^
	      sizecode).  Sector sizes below 512 bytes are not supported, thus
	      sizecode	must  be at least 2. By default 512 is assumed, unless
	      you ask for more sectors than would fit with 512 bytes.

       --stretch stretch
	      Set the stretch factor. The stretch factor  describes  how  many
	      physical	tracks	to  skip to get to the next logical track (2 ^
	      stretch).  On double density 5 1/4 disks, the tracks are further
	      apart from each other.

       -G fmt-gap
       --format_gap fmt-gap
	      Set  the	formatting  gap.  The formatting gap tells how far the
	      sectors are away from each other. By default, this is chosen  so
	      as to evenly distribute the sectors along the track.

       -F final-gap
       --final_gap final-gap
	      Set the formatting gap to be used after the last sector.

       -i interleave
       --interleave interleave
	      Set the sector interleave factor.

       -c chunksize
       --chunksize chunksize
	      Set  the size of the chunks. The chunks are small auxiliary sectors
 used during formatting. They are used to  handle  heterogeneous
 sector sizes (i.e. not all sectors have the same size) and
	      negative formatting gaps.

	      For MSS formats, make sure that the biggest sector  is  last  on
	      the  track.  This makes the format more reliable on drives which
	      are out of spec.

Sector skewing options    [Toc]    [Back]

       In order to maximize the user  data  transfer  rate,  the  sectors  are
       arranged  in such a way that sector 1 of the new track/head comes under
       the head at the very moment when the drive is ready to read  from  that
       track,  after  having read the previous track. Thus the first sector of
       the second track is not necessarily near the first sector of the  first
       track.  The skew value describes for each track how far sector number 1
       is away from the index mark. This skew value changes for each head  and
       track.  The  amount  of this change depends on how fast the disk spins,
       and on how much time is needed to change the head or the track.

       --absolute_skew absolute-skew
	      Set the absolute skew. (The skew value used for the  first  formatted

       --head_skew head-skew
	      Set  the	head  skew. (The skew added for passing from head 0 to
	      head 1)

       --track_skew track-skew
	      Set the track skew. (The skew added  for	seeking  to  the  next

       Example: (absolute skew=3, head skew=1, track skew=2)

	  track 0 head 0: 4,5,6,1,2,3	(skew=3)
	  track 0 head 1: 3,4,5,6,1,2	(skew=4)

	  track 1 head 0: 1,2,3,4,5,6	(skew=0)
	  track 1 head 1: 6,1,2,3,4,5	(skew=1)

	  track 2 head 0: 4,5,6,1,2,3	(skew=3)
	  track 2 head 1: 3,4,5,6,1,2	(skew=4)

Examples    [Toc]    [Back]

       In  all the examples of this section, we assume that drive 0 is a 3 1/2
       and drive 1 a 5 1/4.

       The following example shows how to format a 1440K disk in drive 0:

	  superformat /dev/fd0 hd

       The following example shows how to format a 1200K disk in drive 1:

	  superformat /dev/fd1 hd

       The following example shows how to format a 1440K disk in drive 1:

	  superformat /dev/fd1 hd sect=18

       The following example shows how to format a 720K disk in drive 0:

	  superformat /dev/fd0 dd

       The following example shows how to format a 1743K disk in drive	0  (83
       cylinders times 21 sectors):

	  superformat /dev/fd0 sect=21 cyl=83

       The  following  example shows how to format a 1992K disk in drive 0 (83
       cylinders times 2 heads times 12 KB per track)

	  superformat /dev/fd0 tracksize=12KB cyl=83 mss

       The following example shows how to format a 1840K disk in drive	0.  It
       will  have  5 2048-byte sectors, one 1024-byte sector, and one 512-byte
       sector per track:

	  superformat /dev/fd0 tracksize=23b mss 2m ssize=2KB

       All these formats can be  autodetected  by  mtools,  using  the	floppy
       driver's default settings.

Troubleshooting    [Toc]    [Back]

       FDC busy, sleeping for a second
	      When  another  program  accesses	a  disk drive on the same controller
 as the one being	formatted,  superformat  has  to  wait
	      until  the  other  access  is  finished.	If this happens, check
	      whether any other program accesses a drive (or whether  a  drive
	      is  mounted),  kill that program (or unmount the drive), and the
	      format should proceed normally.

       I/O errors during verification
	      Your drive may be too far out of tolerance,  and	you  may  thus
	      need to supply a margin parameter.  Run floppymeter (see section
	      floppymeter) to find out an appropriate value for  this  parameter,
 and add the suggested margin parameter to the command line

Bugs    [Toc]    [Back]

       Opening	up  new  window  while superformat is running produces overrun
       errors. These errors are benign, as the failed operation  is  automatically
 retried until it succeeds.

See Also    [Toc]    [Back]

       Fdutils' texinfo doc

fdutils-5.3			    02Jul99			superformat(1)
[ Back ]
 Similar pages
Name OS Title
Copyright © 2004-2005 DeniX Solutions SRL
newsletter delivery service