Summary: Anything special about partition #2

From: Thomas M. Payerle <>
Date: Mon May 13 2002 - 13:50:49 EDT
First off, thanks to the many prompt responses, including those who reminded
me that in Sunspeak it is "slice" #2 not partition #2.

The question was basically if one could redefine slice #2 of a disk to be
something other than the whole disk.

Though I didn't make an official tally, the responses overwhelming recommend
not touching it, though most responses in this vein sounded of religious
proscription ("thou shalt not mess with slice #2") rather than reasoned 
explanation.  One or two mentioned that some unspecified utilities may break
if it is changed, while another claimed Veritas and other disk management
software may break as use this partition to read the disk size.  One person
also claimed that it is used to access the initial cylinders for things like
partitioning a disk.

On the other hand, there were a few responses from adventurous spirits who
claimed that it is doable (at least for Solaris >= 2.6) and at least one person
who has successfully used it.  Most seem to believe that is a remnant from
pre-Solaris 2.6 days, and that basically the only thing preventing its use
is tradition and/or convention (coupled with the caveat that some utilities
may assume the tradition holds and get confused).

In short, a sharply divided response.  I'm inclined to side with the minority
(can be done, may break some questionably coded software).  However, as this
is a system disk, and may install Veritas at some point, and I don't absolutely
need all 8 partitions, I will probably take the advice of the majority and
leave it alone (for now, may play with it on data disks if need the extra

Thanks to all who responded, including:
Ray McCaffity, Callum Hughes, Vinnie German, Mike Salehi, Jonathon Hays,
Peter Kunst, Michael Kalus, Mark Neill, Deborah Santomauro,  Darren Dunham ,
Andrew_Rotramel,  Fabrice Guerini,  Randy Romero , David  Harrington,
Ramiro Santos,  Eric Priebe, and Jay Lessert (my apologies if missed anyone).

Tom Payerle 	
Dept of Physics
University of Maryland			(301) 405-6973
College Park, MD 20742-4111		Fax: (301) 314-9525
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Received on Mon May 13 13:56:49 2002

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