Jump to content United States-English
HP.com Home Products and Services Support and Drivers Solutions How to Buy
» Contact HP
More options
HP.com home
HP-UX Reference > F


HP-UX 11i Version 3: February 2007

Technical documentation

» Feedback
Content starts here

 » Table of Contents

 » Index


format — format an HP SCSI disk array LUN


format device_file


format formats one LUN of the HP SCSI disk array associated with device file, device_file. The format will usually be a soft or zeroing format, in which the controller writes zeroes to the data area and parity area, if any, of the LUN.

NOTE: The above should always be true of a sub-LUN, but the controller might decide, based on certain conditions, to do a full format of a regular LUN, which consists of sending a mode select and a media initialization command to the physical drive(s) in question, followed by zeroing the data and parity area, if any. The conditions which will cause a full format to be done are as follows:


The controller received a Mode Select command which requires a drive sector size change.


The controller received a Mode Select command which changed a parameter in the Format Device Page (0x03).


The LUN contains one or more failed drives. In this case only a certain subset of the drives containing the failed drives will be formatted.


Either the FmtData or the CmpLst bit in the Format Unit CDB is set.


format returns the following values:


Successful completion.


Command failed.


Errors can originate from problems with:

  • format

  • SCSI (device level) communications

  • system calls

Error messages generated by format:

usage: format <special>

An error in command syntax has occurred. Enter command again with all required arguments, in the order shown.

format: device busy

To ensure that format does not modify a disk array that is being used by another process, format attempts to obtain exclusive access to the disk array. If the disk array is already opened by another process (for example, LVM — the Logical Volume Manager), a "device busy " error message is returned by the driver. To eliminate the "device busy " condition, determine what process has the device open. In the case of LVM, it is necessary to deactivate the volume group containing the array before formatting array LUNs (see vgchange(1M)).

format: LUN # too big

The LUN number, which is derived from the device file name, is out of range.

format: LUN does not exist

The addressed LUN is not configured, and thus is not known to the array controller.

format: Not a raw file

Utilities must be able to open the device file for raw access.

format: Not an HP SCSI disk array

The device being addressed is not an HP SCSI disk array.

SCSI (device level) communication errors:

Sense data associated with the failed operation is printed.

Error messages generated by system calls:

format uses the following system calls:

  • malloc(), free(), stat(), open(), close(), read(), write(), and ioctl().

Documentation for these HP-UX system calls contains information about the specific error conditions associated with each call. format does not alter the value of errno. The interpretation of errno for printing purposes is performed by the system utility strerror().


To format the HP SCSI disk array LUN /dev/rdsk/c2t0d0 on a Series 800:

format /dev/rdsk/c2t0d0


The format command will destroy all user data on the addressed LUN.


The HP C2425 and HP C2427 disk arrays are only supported on Series 700 systems running HP-UX version 9.0X.

The HP C2430 disk array is supported on Series 700 and 800 systems running HP-UX versions 9.0X and 10.0X.


format was developed by HP.

Printable version
Privacy statement Using this site means you accept its terms Feedback to webmaster
© 1983-2007 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.