Working with disks, tapes, and CD-ROMs

Formatting floppy disks

Before a new floppy disk can be used it must be formatted. Formatting is a one-time process that writes essential information on the surface of the disk. If you format a disk that already contains information, you will destroy the previous contents of the disk. To format a floppy disk, ensure that it is in the appropriate drive, ensure that it is writable, and then use the following command:

format [drive]

The drive argument is an optional device file to use if you want to format a device other than the default one named in /etc/default/format. (See ``Identifying device files'' for an explanation of how to identify the device file to use for a given disk drive.) Note that only raw devices can be formatted.

For example, to format a high-density 3½ inch double-sided floppy disk in the second disk drive, type the following:

   $ format /dev/rfd1135ds18
The format(C) command will print out a brief status message and ask if you want to continue. If you have made a mistake, you should type n at this point.

See also ``Formatting a DOS floppy''.

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SCO OpenServer Release 5.0.7 -- 11 February 2003