Dec 122017
 
How to low level and high level format RLL, MFM, ESDI, and SCSI drives.
File FORMAT.ZIP from The Programmer’s Corner in
Category HD Utilities
How to low level and high level format RLL, MFM, ESDI, and SCSI drives.
File Name File Size Zip Size Zip Type
FORMAT.TXT 6878 1911 deflated
TPCREAD.ME 199 165 deflated

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Contents of the FORMAT.TXT file


1. MFM and RLL ST412 Interface
2. AT Bus Interface
3. ESDI Interface
4. SCSI Interface

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1. FORMATTING MFM and RLL (for ST412 interface drives)

PLEASE NOTE THAT FORMATTING A DRIVE WILL DESTROY ALL DATA AND
PROGRAMS STORED ON THE DRIVE. If the drive was previously in use,
be sure the data is backed up before proceeding.

There are 3 main steps to format a ST412/506 Interface (MFM or RLL)
drive. First is the low level or physical format, second is
partitioning, and third is the high level or logical format.

*LOW LEVEL FORMAT - if the controller has a ROM BIOS on board (refer
to the controller manual) set the system drive type to 0 or 1 and
proceed with the DEBUG command on DOS to access the low level format
routine on the controller card. Refer to the controller manual for
the correct bios address to use. The most common method to access
this low level format routine is "g=c800:5."

If the controller does not have a ROM BIOS, then set the drive type in
CMOS to a type that matches the drive geometry shown above. If there
is not an exact match predefined in the CMOS drive type table look for
a "custom" or user definable drive type. If not available find a
type which does not exceed the head and cylinder count of the drive.
An exact match for the number of heads and then less cylinders would
be a preferred type.

Once the drive type is set the low level format will be performed with
initialization software. In some cases, the computer manufacturer or
dealer will provide this software. Otherwise software such as IBM's
Advanced Diagnostics or Ontrack's Disk Manager will work.

If the hard error map attached to the drive shows any hard errors be
sure to mark them out during the low level format.

*PARTITIONING - This is accomplished through DOS FDISK.

*HIGH LEVEL FORMAT - This is done with DOS FORMAT.

Consult your DOS manual for FDISK and FORMAT command options.

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2. FORMATTING AT Bus Interface

DO NOT LOW-LEVEL FORMAT SEAGATE AT INTERFACE DRIVES. THIS MAY
OVERWRITE FACTORY WRITTEN DEFECT AND SKEWING INFORMATION, thereby
causing the drive to either run inefficiently or not at all. If
the drive was previously in use, be sure the data is backed up
before proceeding.

There are two main steps to format an AT Interface drive. First is
partitioning, and second is the high level or logical format.

Before proceeding, a drive type must be entered in the system CMOS
during setup. If this has not been done, refer to the above section
on Drive Type Geometry on how to set drive type, before continuing.

*PARTITIONING - This is accomplished through DOS FDISK.

*HIGH LEVEL FORMAT - This is done with DOS FORMAT.

Consult your DOS manual for FDISK and FORMAT command options.

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3. FORMATTING ESDI Interface

PLEASE NOTE THAT FORMATTING A DRIVE WILL DESTROY ALL DATA AND
PROGRAMS STORED ON THE DRIVE. If the drive was previously in use,
be sure the data is backed up before proceeding.

There are 3 main steps to format an ESDI Interface drive. First is
the low level or physical format, second is partitioning, and third
is the high level or logical format.

*LOW LEVEL FORMAT - most ESDI controllers have a ROM BIOS on board
which may or may not be enabled (refer to the controller manual). If
the drive being installed has more than 1024 cylinders it is best to
ENABLE the ROM BIOS on the controller to utilize its translation
abilities because DOS is unable to access cylinders beyond 1024. (If
the drive has less than 1024 cylinders you may either continue with
the ROM BIOS enabled or refer to the paragraph which describes the
formatting process with the ROM BIOS DISABLED.)

ROM BIOS ENABLED. Set the system drive type to 0 or 1 and proceed
with the DEBUG command on DOS to access the low level format routine
on the controller card. Refer to the controller manual for the
correct bios address to use. The most common method to access this
low level format routine is g=CC00:5."

ROM BIOS DISABLED. Set the drive type in CMOS to a type that matches
the drive geometry shown above. If there is not an exact match
predefined in the CMOS drive type table look for a "custom" or user
definable drive type. If not available find a type which does not
exceed the head and cylinder count of the drive. An exact match for
the number of heads and then less cylinders would be a preferred type.
Once the drive type is set the low level format will be performed with
initialization software. In some cases, the computer manufacturer or
dealer will provide this software. Otherwise software such as IBM's
Advanced Diagnostics or Ontrack's Disk Manager will work.

If the hard error map attached to the drive shows any hard errors be
sure to mark them out during the low level format.

*PARTITIONING - This is accomplished through DOS FDISK.

*HIGH LEVEL FORMAT - This is done with DOS FORMAT.

Consult your DOS manual for FDISK and FORMAT command options.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

4. FORMATTING (for SCSI interface drives)

PLEASE NOTE THAT FORMATTING A DRIVE WILL DESTROY ALL DATA AND
PROGRAMS STORED ON THE DRIVE. If the drive was previously in use,
be sure the data is backed up before proceeding.

There are 3 main steps to format a SCSI Interface drive. First is
the low level or physical format, second is partitioning, and third
is the high level or logical format.

*LOW LEVEL FORMAT - Many SCSI drives have already been low level
formatted at the factory with a 1:1 interleave so BEFORE PROCEEDING
WITH THE LOW LEVEL FORMAT VERIFY THE DRIVE CAN NOT BE PARTITIONED. If
the system does not recognize the drive, proceed with the low level
formatting instructions below.

If the drive is being installed into a PC/XT or compatible system,
proceed with the low level formatting instructions below (disregard
information regarding drive type). This will allow the interleave to
be changed to a more optimum setting.

Set the system drive type in CMOS to 0, none, or "not installed."
Proceed with the DOS DEBUG command to access the low level format
routine on the SCSI Host Adaptor. Refer to the host adaptor manual
for the correct bios address to use. The most common method to access
this low level format routine is "g=c800:5."

*PARTITIONING - This is accomplished through DOS FDISK.

*HIGH LEVEL FORMAT - This is done with DOS FORMAT.

Consult your DOS manual for FDISK and FORMAT command options.


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