superformat




Note
       This  manpage  has  been automatically generated from fdutils's texinfo
       documentation.  However, this process is only approximative,  and  some
       items, such as cross-references, footnotes and indices are lost in this
       translation process.  Indeed, these items have no appropriate represen-
       tation  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  fol-
              lowing commands:

                     ./configure; make dvi; dvips fdutils.dvi



       *      To generate a HTML copy,  run:

                     ./configure; make html

              A       pre-made       HTML      can      be      found      at:
              `http://www.tux.org/pub/knaff/fdutils'

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

                     ./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
          superformat [-D dos-drive] [-v verbosity-level] [-b begin-track]
          [-e end-track] [--superverify] [--dosverify]
          [--noverify] [--verify_later] [--zero-based]
          [-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 avail-
       able density for that drive, using standard parameters (i.e.  no  extra
       High  capacity formats are sensitive to the exact rotation speed of the
       drive and the resulting difference in raw capacity.  That's why  super-
       format performs a measurement of the disks raw capacity before proceed-
       ing 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 perform-
       ing  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
       Many options have a long and a short form.

       -h
       --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.

       --superverify
              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.

       -B
       --dosverify
              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.

       -V
       --verify_later
              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.

       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 pur-
              poses.  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 sec-
              tors used during formatting. They are used to  handle  heteroge-
              neous sector sizes (i.e. not all sectors have the same size) and
              negative formatting gaps.

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

       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.  This skew value is used for the first
              formatted track.  It is expressed in raw bytes.

       --head_skew head-skew

              Set the head skew. This is the skew added for passing from  head
              0 to head 1.  It is expressed in raw bytes.

       --track_skew track-skew

              Set  the  track  skew. This is the skew added for seeking to the
              next track.  It is expressed in raw bytes.

       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)



       N.B. For simplicity's sake, this example expresses skews  in  units  of
       sectors.  In  reality, superformat expects the skews to be expressed in
       raw bytes.

Media description
       Please see the Media description section in the full fdutils documenta-
       tion:
       - Texinfo documentation (info fdutils)
       - HTML documentation in /usr/share/doc/fdutils/Fdutils.html
       - or DVI documentation in /usr/share/doc/fdutils/Fdutils.dvi.gz

Examples
       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/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
       FDC busy, sleeping for a second
              When  another  program  accesses  a  disk drive on the same con-
              troller 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  parame-
              ter, and add the suggested margin parameter to the command line

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