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 > I


Integrity Systems Only
HP-UX 11i Version 3: February 2007

Technical documentation

» Feedback
Content starts here

 » Table of Contents

 » Index


idisk — create partitions for disks on an Integrity system


idisk [-p |-a |-l |-b |-q |-v |-r |-R |-w ] [-f {- | partition_description_file}] device


idisk creates operating system partitions for disks on an Integrity system. It reads in the partition information from a data file that may be specified in the command string or redirected from stdin.

By default, idisk operates in read-only mode and displays the partition information that is currently on the disk. To write new partition information on the disk the user must specify the -w option.


idisk recognizes the following options:


Print the primary EFI partition header and partition tables.


Print the alternate EFI partition header and partition tables.


Print the legacy partition table that resides in the master boot record. idisk writes partition information for the first four partition in the partition table in used by legacy DOS and Windows. This information is used as a backup in the event all the EFI information is corrupted.


Print the first usable and last usable block numbers that are available to create partitions. First usable is the first block a partition can start on. Last usable is the last block that can be contained in a partition. These numbers are relative to the whole disk and do not take into account any partitions that may exist. They represent the total disk space that can be partitioned. Use the -q option to only print the values without headings.


Work silently. No user prompts or warnings. For use in shell scripts.


Validate EFI partition information. Does the same checks the driver does verifying that both the primary and alternate EFI partition headers and tables are correct. Returns two if either is bad and zero if both are correct.


Restore the EFI partition headers and tables. This option checks both the primary header and tables and the alternate header and tables. If one is found bad it is restored from the other good version. One of either the primary or alternate header and tables must be good for this option to succeed. The -w option must be specified for information to be written to the disk.


Remove all EFI partition headers and tables from the disk. This option also destroys the information contained in the MBR (master boot record). The -w option must be specified for information to be written to the disk.

-f { - | partition_description_file }

The partition_description_file contains the number of partitions to be created and the type and requested size of each partition. The filename may be specified here or redirected from stdin when the dash (-) is used.


Enable write mode. By default idisk operates in read-only mode. To create and write partition information to the disk you must specify the -w option.

Partition Description File

The first entry in the partition description file is the number of partitions to create. The maximum number of partitions allowed is 12. This is followed by a line containing the type and size for each of the partitions.

Recognized partition types are: EFI, HPUX, HPDUMP, and HPSP.

At least one EFI partition is required to create a valid partition table. Size may be specified in megabytes or as a percentage of the whole disk.

Internally, idisk creates the partitions whose size is specified in MB first then creates those whose size was specified as a percentage. Those partitions specified as a percent are assigned space from what is available after the MB partitions are created. If the size of a partition is specified as 100% then all space remaining is assigned to that partition.

An example partition description file is shown below:

2 EFI 100MB HPUX 100%

The first entry specifies the number of partitions to create. The second specifies an EFI partition of 100 megabytes. The last entry specifies a HPUX partition consisting of all the remaining space on the disk after the EFI partition has been created.

When creating partitions, the device file name must be that of the whole disk. Legacy device files must not have any partition number bits set in the minor number. For legacy disk devices, the last eight bits of the minor number represent the option bits.

For Integrity system disks, the last four option bits are used to indicate the partition number. Since there are only four bits for partition number, only one to fifteen partitions are supported. For example, a device node with a minor number of 0x008001 would indicate a disk at target eight, partition number one. A minor number of 0x00500F would indicate a disk at target 5 partition fifteen. A minor number with no partition bits set would indicate the whole disk (for example, 0x008000 would be the same disk as above but represent the whole disk and not a partition).

Persistent device special files do not use or contain minor number information. A detailed description on persistent device special files can be found in intro(7). Note: For partitions created by idisk, device special files must be created for each legacy hardware path to the disk and for the LUN hardware path using insf or mksf (see intro(7) for details on legacy and agile modes). If legacy mode is disabled (see the description of the -L option in rmsf(1M)), device special files must only be created for the LUN hardware path.


idisk has been ported to Windows NT 4.0 and 2000.


Exit values are:


Successful completion.


Error condition occurred.


Create the partitions specified in the above description file, printing only the primary partition information:

idisk -w -p -f ia64dsk.dat /dev/rdsk/c1t4d0

Create the partitions specified in the above description file, printing only the primary partition information using a persistent device special file (see intro(7)):

idisk -w -p -f ia64dsk.dat /dev/rdisk/disk7

Create the partitions specified in the above description file, printing all available information (default), redirecting input from stdin:

idisk -w -f - /dev/rdsk/c1t4d0 < ia64dsk.dat

Only read the disk, printing all tables (default) on the disk:

idisk /dev/rdsk/c1t4d0

Get the first and last usable block for partitioning on the disk:

idisk -b /dev/rdsk/c1t4d0

Destroy all partition information on the disk:

idisk -R /dev/rdsk/c1t4d0

Restore partition information from either a good primary or alternate header or table to the header or table that is bad:

idisk -w -r /dev/rdsk/c1t4d0


idisk 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.