Summary:(was)iomega Jaz drives...Jaz drives revisited

From: Systems Administrator (
Date: Tue Jun 04 1996 - 13:52:30 CDT


Sorry it took so long for the summary (for the first posting). I wanted
to wait until I actually succeded in installing the drive before I
summarized. Halfway thru I had reposted as JAZ DRIVE REVISITED and got
the correct info.

Basically, it was quite easy (once I got the right numbers to put into
the partition table). I had to make sure that the Jaz driver had it's
internal termination enabled (factory default). I connected the drive
to the scsi bus and touched /reconfigure (I'm not sure if I needed to
but I did this just incase). I then rebooted and used the disks command
(from what I remember I just typed disks and it did the rest. That
created the /dev/dsk and /dev/rdsk links (/dev/rdsk/c0t4d0s[1-8]).

Then I added the correct info in the /etc/format.dat file as follows:

disk_type="Jaz 1GB"\

partition="Jaz 1GB"\
   :disk="Jaz 1GB":ctlr=SCSI\

I ran format, chose the disk, chose Jaz 1GB for type and then entered
the partition menu. Chose select partition and chose Jaz 1GB. Labeled
the disk and then back in the format main menu formated the disk.

When fully formatted, I ran newfs (newfs -v -m 0 /dev/rdsk/c0t4d0s2[note
-m=0 leaves 0 reserved space on the disk])

I then mounted the drive and it was all set.

My original post:
I know I have seen discussions about the zip and Jaz drives here before
but I can't find any answers.

Will the Jaz drive work in UNIX under SunOS or Solaris? We would be
hanging the drive off of a sparc station scsi buss.
Second Post (Jaz revisited):
A few weeks ago I posted regarding the Jaz drive. Mostly, the responses
pointed me to articles that I have not been able to find (although one
sent a format.dat entry...THANKS!)

Here's where I'm at:
On a Sparc20 running Solaris 5.4
I added the following inthe format.dat

# iomega jaz, hacked by mikeV. NOT real numbers!
    disk_type = "Jaz 1GB" \
        : ctlr = SCSI : fmt_time = 4 \
        : ncyl = 1018 : acyl = 2 : pcyl = 1020 : nhead = 64 : nsect = 32
        : rpm = 3600 : bpt = 16384
    partition = "Jaz Data" \
        : disk = "Jaz 1GB" : ctlr = SCSI \
        : 0 = 0, 1 : 2 = 0, 2085930 : 7 = 1, 2085440
I touched /reconfigure and rebooted.
I ran format and it saw the disk. When I tried to select the partition
I entered into format.dat I got an error saying that the number
(2085930) is out of range. I then proceded to lable using the default
partition map. when I tried to label the disk I received:
WARNING: Error writing VTOC
WARNING: no backup labels exist
I then just tried to format the disk. It formated and after eah pass of
the verify it told me the there were no defects but that it could not
write to the VTOC.
After it was formated the first time I tried to use format's backup
option and it told me that there was a primary label. Using verify I
was told that it could not read the primary label.
Searching ore I tried using fmthard -n Jaz /dev/rdsk/c0t4d0s2 and got an
error cannot open device /dev/rdsk/c0t4d0s2 No device or address.
What am I doing wrong? This is the first time I tried to install any
kind of disk under Solaris (I'm used to SunOS 4x)
I suppose that I need to format each disk, newfs it and then mount it
(and unmount) for each disk. Is that correct?
Summary for original post:
The answer is that the Jaz and Zip drives can be used on a machine
running SunOS/Solaris. Following are some references to articles in
SunExpert and Unix Review which talke about using such drives with unix.
There is also a format.dat entry gratiously sent by Mike Vevea
Thanks to all!
From:Wis Macomson <>
The Zip drive goes in easily: refer to the July, 1995 issue of
_Sun Expert_ magazine. Richard Morin went through the steps
for 4.1.x .
I would hazard a guess that the Jaz drive is very similar.
From:John Justin Hough <
In Unix Review or SunWorld there was an article by a guy who used
  BSD 4.4 sources to build a file system for them in particular.
  So, I know that it is realy possible. But I don't know if you
  have to go to all that trouble. The point of the article was
  basically that you build anything ontop of vfs in Solaris. so
  it is pretty neat.
Mike Vevea <>
I've used Zip and Jaz drives on both SunOS 4.1.[34] and Solaris 2.[345]
systems. They work fine. The Zip is rather slow, and small enough that
it is somewhat hard to build a bootable disk, but it can be done. The
Jaz is reasonably fast (a touch slower than my older hard drives). I
a disk crash, and ran the machine on my own desk with a Jaz for my boot
for a couple of weeks, with no problems. I don't have any Zips, and
keep my format.dat data for them (they're too small for my needs, plus
slow.) But I'm about to order a Jaz drove for each of my workstations.
it helps, here is the format.dat data which I'm using:

=>***********NOTE*******THE FOLLOWING IS INCORRECT*********************
**See Jaz drive revisited summary later in this message**

    # iomega jaz, hacked by mikeV. NOT real numbers!
    disk_type = "Jaz 1GB" \
        : ctlr = SCSI : fmt_time = 4 \
        : ncyl = 1018 : acyl = 2 : pcyl = 1020 : nhead = 64 : nsect = 32
        : rpm = 3600 : bpt = 16384
    partition = "Jaz Data" \
        : disk = "Jaz 1GB" : ctlr = SCSI \
        : 0 = 0, 1 : 2 = 0, 2085930 : 7 = 1, 2085440
    partition = "Jaz Bootable" \
        : disk = "Jaz 1GB" : ctlr = SCSI \
        : 0 = 0, 62720 : 1 = 128, 125440 : 2 = 0, 2085930 : 6 = 384,
637000 \
        : 7 = 1684, 1260770
I use the first layout for one big data only partition. I use the
second for
a bootable drive. Both work quite nicely.
Jaz Drive revisited Summary:
Thanks to:
Mike Fletcher <>
 Can't remember the exact URL, but check on Iomega's web page.
They've got format.dat entries for Jaz under something like "using
iomega drives with UNIX" or some such. I grabbed the zip ones from
them and it worked with no problems.
------------------------------------------------------------------------ (Robert Pasken)
You asked for too many cylinders in the disk. THe Solaris formatter
has an auto partition/format under the menu entry for type choose 0 and
should dtermine for itself what the best layout of cyliners heads and
to get the most space out of the drive.
***NOTE*** for some reason choosing 0 (autosense) did not work?*****
Richard Pieri <>
Check the FAQ at

It includes detailed instructions on connecting Jazz and Zip drives to a
variety of systems, including Sparcs.
------------------------------------------------------------------------ (System Administrator)
Sounds like a termination problem on the SCSI bus. Check to make sure
that you have correctly terminated the device...

I spent two days researching a similar problem with an internal hard
drive before figuring this one out.
(luckily not a problem in my case)
------------------------------------------------------------------------ (Mark S. Anderson)
he disk, then format it. You may want to repartition it too.

    : 0 = 0, 1 : 2 = 0, 2084864 : 7 = 1, 2084863

Note that the reason for creating a slice 0 with only one block, is to
protect the disk label in the first block in the event that you use the
disk as a raw device. If you write to /dev/rdsk/c0t4d0s7, you will not
overwrite the label. If you create a filesystem on the disk's
partitions, you can safely include the first block in a partition
because mkfs knows not to overwrite the label. By partitioning your
disk the way you have, you can write to either /dev/dsk/c0t4d0s7 or
/dev/rdsk/c0t4d0s7 without worrying about overwriting the label.

You have to have a good label in order to format the disk.

Try that; maybe it will work. You might also want to try extracting
and then committing the manugacturer's defect list. This may not do
anything at all, but sometimes it is necessary to satisfy the format

                      Systems Administrator
                   Space Sciences Building CRSR
   Mail all system related problems to one of the following: 
                              or see 
Vic Germani in room 402

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