Summary :Format & Disk capacity

From: Varun Seth (
Date: Wed Aug 06 1997 - 15:29:03 CDT

My original posting was ...
> Greetings sysadmins/managers ...
> Have a quick , simple question ... I just got this brand new Quantum
> Fireball ST external disk ... It is supposed to be 3+GB ( How do I know
> that ? . One - the invoice says so two - my probe-scsi shows
> <QUANTUM-FIREBALL ST3.2S cyl 7066 alt 2 hd 4 sec 159> ....
> )
> The problem is everytime I use format it says I have only 2.14 GB as
> shown below ....
> Part Tag Flag Cylinders Size Blocks
> 2 backup wu 0 - 7065 2.14GB (7066/0/0)
> I actually formatted it once but no change ... What am I doing wrong here
> ... Am I missing something here or is it a known bug or what ...
> BTW it is an Ultra SCSI drive came pre- formatted ( which is normal for
> the new drives these days ...) .. hooked it to an IPX running Solaris 2.4
> ... I don't have an entry for this drive in the format.dat since I booted
> with the reconfigure option - boot -r ...

Thanks a ton to all the people (mentioned below) who responded ..
This list - as always - is way to cool ...
Special thanks to Kevin Sheehan <>.
I think I have mentioned everyone - my apologies to people who responded
but are not mentioned here ...

From: Richard Skelton <>
From: Ric Anderson <>
From: My Full Name <>
From: Kevin Sheehan {Consulting Poster Child} <>
From: "K.Ravi" <>
From: Joe Garbarino <>
From: John Malick <>
From: Michael Pavlov <>
From: Jim Harmon <>
From: Douglas Purdy <>

Sorry, this going to be long ....:)))

Most of the people said that either the label on the disk was wrong or
I was sold the wrong disk - on purpose or accidentally ... I was tempted
to open up the enclosure/box and read the bar code to determine the
quantum hard drive .. but didn't because my mail order seller ( APS
Technology) wouldn't have taken it back ... I got the rite specs from
Quantum's home page - called their tech support which BTW is free but
it wasn't all that great...
For some reason I was determine to write the rite label ( giving me my
3GB) on my own without using scsiinfo/scsiping ... I tried to write the
specs I got from quantum to the disk but it kept on complaining ( even
tried formatting with those settings but - duh - it didn't work ) ..
One hint or consolation that I wasn't fleeced was when I tried to boot
with boot -rv ( reconfig and verbose) it would tell me that the label was
corrupt since the label said disk capacity tobe 3.05GB and the disk
with 3.02 GB...
I called up APS technology help desk too - the lady gave me a shocker
saying that the disk was partitioned for a MAC ( - a MAC what the ****)
and had 2 partition a) 2GB and b) 1GB ... no wonder format was stuck on
2GB as the total capacity of the disk instead of 3GB .. Hey, when you
buy from mail order you should brace yourself for shockers like this ..
but hey they are definitely cheaper than say SUNEXPRESS and others ..
Eventually , I gave up and compiled scsiinfo and it spitted out the rite
specs for the disk and created the format.dat entry for me ...
Now format sees it as a 3 GB disk and I have partitioned it to my hearts
content ... I am going to send an email to the author scsiinfo ..
thanks Mr Author...
The real test will be creating fs on it and writing and reading the files
and checking their integrity ... DOES anyone know of a share/freeware ..
which would do this ?
I was going to write a script and use checksum and diff to compare
the files ....
So, the moral of the story is not be a stubborn jerk like me and use
scsiinfo from the get go ....
Acording to :-
a 3.2GB Quantum Fireball ST should have 6,256 Cylinders 16 Heads and 63
and 4 recording surfaces.
It looks like probe-scsi is not reading the manufactures lable right or
the wrong drive!You could use scsiinfo to look at the drive from:-
From: My Full Name <>
Well the problems is the way which the filesystem is created on your disk.
When you do a "newfs" on the disk it uses some default parameters which
not very disk space friendly. Look at -i (Inode size - no. of files) and
(Free space) The default for -m is 10% which works out to be 300MB.
Have a look at the manual page.
But one thing is sure you never get the FULL disk to play with anyway.
Thats life!!!!

From: Kevin Sheehan {Consulting Poster Child} <>
get scsiinfo and use -p or -f to find out about the real drive paramaters.
Looks like somebody either mislabelled it, or lied about the type.

From: David Mitchell <>
On the other hand, suppliers often assume Gb is 10^9 rather than 2^30;
this would give a figure of 2.3Gb.

Even then, details on the label (cyl 7066 alt 2 hd 4 sec 159) do not
necessarily reflect the true geometry of the disk, depending on what
program or human wrote the label.
If you run format, select the disk, then do

format> type
Specify disk type (enter its number)[15]: 0
(ie Auto configure), it should show you the real capacity of the drive.

From: Joe Garbarino <>
 To determine actual disk space on a disk, use

  #Gigs = (heads * sectors * cylinders) / (2 * 1024 * 1024)

For your disk you get

  #Gigs = (4 * 159 * 7066) / (2 * 1024 * 1024) = 2.14

So the partitioning in format is correct, however, it appears that
your invoice is not. Perhaps the disk has an incorrect low-level
format, you'll need to investigate this with your distributor.

From: John Malick <>
Based on the format utility, your drive is definitely a 2.14GB drive. It
may not be that the drive is actually that small but that the
are wrong, ie. number of data cylinders, etc.
Call Quantum and give them the model, they can then give you the specs
to get the full capacity out of the drive. Thats really the only thing you
can do.
You will only get 2.14GB if you use the settings you have.

From: Michael Pavlov <>
Doing format - select
modify - modify a predefined partition table
 1. All Free Hog
From: Jim Harmon <>
You don't say, but you probably are using SunOS instead of Solaris.
SunOS has a 2.0 GB limit to device size.

From: Douglas Purdy <>
The drive that you have is a 3.2GB raw disk this will format down in
size as the addressing takes up a large chunk. I have an ST43400N Which
is about the sam size as the one you have and it formats down from 3.4Gb
raw to
2.68 formatted. This amount will be reduced further when you put your file
systems on it.

From: David Mitchell <>
Yoiur best option is to get the real geometry with scsiinfo,
but failing that, set the number of cylinders to a smaller value, eg 7032

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