SUMMARY: Formatting and using a Seagate Elite 9 (9GB drive)

From: Joel L. Seber ... CH210 (
Date: Sun Apr 17 1994 - 01:24:08 CDT

This message summarizes my query concerning 9GB Seagate Elite 9 drives.

Basically, the majority said that (given the drive is pre-formatted by the
manufacturer or reseller) format is OK if you have the correct format.dat
entry (which I don't have as we don't have the drives yet). You should still
be able to use format to partition and label the disk as normal.

Almost all respondants noted that 4.1.3_U1 (Solaris 1.1.1) can only address
2GB file systems, so one would have to break the drive's space into at least
5 partitions to work. It has been suggested that Sun's Online Disk Suite
handles larger volumes, but I don't have that at my site to test.

A personal observation: it would be an exceptionally bad idea to have a
large 'c' partition as generally done on Sun drives!

The following response bears inclusion in the summary, as you will see:

>From Louis Brune:

I found this in /sys/scsi/targets/sddef.h as distributed with this copy
of 4.1.3:


         * 2 hours is an excessively reasonable amount of time for format
         * operations.

#define SD_FMT_TIME 120*60

The problem, of course is that 9 GB is "an excessively reasonable
amount" of disk space on a single drive. This sucker takes about 2
hr. and 10 to 20 minutes.

You could change this in the above mentioned sddef.h or sd_conf.c
(which uses it) in the same directory. Whichever, follow it with a
make in the appropriate /etc/config-generated, uppercase-named
directory. Worked for us.


I will try this if the drive(s) ever need reformatting.

BTW, one asked about Solaris 2.x and these drives. Most respondants stated
that it was OK as is under that OS. Should be no problems.

My original query:
Setup: Sun Sparc 1,2,IPC, or Classic; SUNOS 4.1.3_U1; 16MB RAM.

Question: We are seriously considering the purchase of two Seagate Elite 9
(9GB) drives and have heard disturbing things concerning Sun's 'format'
utility and the possibility that 4.1.3_U1 can't use such a large capacity
drive. I am soliciting information from the net concerning this, especially
if you are running such drives at your site.

I will summarize for the benefit of all who are contemplating such a


Thanks to all who responded:

Rick Weisner
Sean Dillman
Jim Dempsey
Steve Hanson
Stephen Reilly
Daniel Pommert
Louis Brune (Thanks!!)
Denis Courtier
Robert Ogren
Vesa Halkka
Glenn Satchell
Berry Shein
Donald Molaro
Colin Allison

Joel L. Seber | Dry humor is wasted around here.
SUN Workstation Laboratory Manager | -Joel L. Seber
Center for Manufacturing Research |
      and Technology Utilization | recursive, adj.
Tennessee Technological University | See 'recursive'
Cookeville, TN 38505 |
                                        | What if there were no hypothetical | situations? -Steven Wright

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