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Old 04-10-2005, 07:52 PM   #1
Registered: Apr 2004
Distribution: Fedora & Debian
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Low-level format under Linux with an AHA-1522


I have a VERY old AMD 386-40 system with a VERY old Adaptec AHA-1522 SCSI adapter. I use it as a light-duty server.

About a week ago, the IDE boot drive in this system bit the dust. I have another hard drive I would like to install and use as the boot disk, but it's SCSI. That in itself is not a problem, but, whenever you install a SCSI hard drive into any SCSI chain, you should ALWAYS low-level format it, otherwise mysterious things are liable to happen.

The easy way to do the low-level format would be to get a DOS boot disk and then run SCSIFMT from Adaptec. The problem with that is I do not have a DOS boot disk handy. And, the only older Windows system I have has a defective floppy drive, so I cannot make a boot disk. (It's also a notebook, so it's not a simple matter of just replacing the floppy drive.) I have PC-DOS 7 around here somewhere, but I have no idea where it is.

The other way to do this would be to run DEBUG in DOS and enter the command "G=DC00:6". This would execute the on-board SCSI Select utility in the SCSI BIOS. But, again, no DOS, so no DEBUG.

So, here's my question:
Has anyone ever done a low-level format of a hard drive in Linux? If so, how did you do it? What utilities (if any) did you use?

Failing that, does anyone know of a way to tell Linux to execute something out of /proc/kcore? If there was a way I could tell the system to execute at a particular address (a la DOS DEBUG), that would probably fix my problem.

Old 04-10-2005, 08:53 PM   #2
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welcome to LQ!!!


there's several sites hosting floppy images of dos all over the web... for example:

since they are IMG files you can put one on a floppy using the "dd" command from a linux box... something like (for example):
dd if=MSDOS71B.IMG of=/dev/fd0
in fact, the "dd" command can also be used to wipe-out a hard disk, by writing pure zeros to it... like, to zero a scsi disk it's basically:
dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda
do a "man dd" to see all the other options...

just my two cents...

Last edited by win32sux; 04-10-2005 at 08:59 PM.
Old 04-12-2005, 02:33 PM   #3
Registered: Apr 2004
Distribution: Fedora & Debian
Posts: 38

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Awesome! Thanks! This is good to know.


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