Thursday, August 16, 2007

using fdformat and mkdosfs from terminal

fdformat does a low level format on a floppy disk. device is usually one of the following (for floppy devices, the major = 2, and the minor is shown for informational purposes only).

The generic floppy devices, /dev/fd0 and /dev/fd1, will fail to work with fdformat when a non-standard format is being used, or if the format has not been autodetected earlier. In this case, use setfdprm(8) to load the disk parameters.

The only option available for this linux command is:

-n No verify. This option will disable the verification that is performed after the format.


fdformat device


# fdformat /dev/fd0
# fdformat /dev/fd1

Other choices for device are

/dev/fd0d360 (minor = 4)
/dev/fd0h1200 (minor = 8)
/dev/fd0D360 (minor = 12)
/dev/fd0H360 (minor = 12)
/dev/fd0D720 (minor = 16)
/dev/fd0H720 (minor = 16)
/dev/fd0h360 (minor = 20)
/dev/fd0h720 (minor = 24)
/dev/fd0H1440 (minor = 28)
/dev/fd1d360 (minor = 5)
/dev/fd1h1200 (minor = 9)
/dev/fd1D360 (minor = 13)
/dev/fd1H360 (minor = 13)
/dev/fd1D720 (minor = 17)
/dev/fd1H720 (minor = 17)
/dev/fd1h360 (minor = 21)
/dev/fd1h720 (minor = 25)
/dev/fd1H1440 (minor = 29)

# man fdformat


mkdosfs linux command creates MS-DOS file system using linux. msdosfs can also check the device for bad blocks before the creation of filesystem begins. File allocation table (FAT) types can also be an argument on formatting floppy disk using this command. msdosfs also has this feature of setting up volume ID, volume name and custom sector per cluster and logical per cluster customization for the floppy.

mkdosfs is based on mke2fs which also based on mkfs


# mkdosfs /dev/fd0
# mkdosfs /dev/fd1

Format with bad blocks checking

# mkdosfs -c /dev/fd0

For 32 bit FAT types with bad block checking

# mkdosfs -c -F 32 /dev/fd0

For 32 bit FAT types with bad block checking with volumd ID and volume name

# mkdosfs -c -F 32 -i 2e24ec82 -n volumename /dev/fd0

Alternatively, there is another linux command that is functions exactly the same like mkdosfs.
I am referring to mkfs.vfat, which can create MS-DOS file system using terminal in linux.

# ls -la /sbin/mkdosfs
-rwxr-xr-x 3 root root 29880 2007-04-03 20:17 /sbin/mkdosfs


# ls -la /sbin/mkfs.vfat
-rwxr-xr-x 3 root root 29880 2007-04-03 20:17 /sbin/mkfs.vfat

Noticed the difference? See more

# man mkfs.vfat
# man mkdosfs

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