This article is from a FAQ concerning SCO operating systems. While some of the information may be applicable to any OS, or any Unix or Linux OS, it may be specific to SCO Xenix, Open There is lots of Linux, Mac OS X and general Unix info elsewhere on this site: Search this site is the best way to find anything.
Contributed by Bela Lubkin:
There are many ways to learn the old parameters. Perhaps the easiest is this: connect it to a working system and dump the contents of the drive, searching for "cyls=". See, somewhere on the root filesystem on that drive are the files /usr/adm/messages and /usr/adm/syslog, both of which will have a whole bunch of messages similar to:
%disk 0x01F0-0x01F7 14 - type=W0 unit=0 cyls=2434 hds=255 secs=63
(slightly different format for SCSI but the concept is the same)
You're looking for the messages associated with the drive.
For example, if you had an IDE drive installed as a secondary, you'd need to do something like:
strings -a /dev/rhd10 | grep cyls= > /tmp/old-parms
Then look through the output. You will have lost the "%disk... 0x" parts because `strings` thinks a TAB is a non-printable char. So the output might look like a bunch of:
14 - type=W0 unit=0 cyls=2434 hds=255 secs=63
lines. Pick out the appropriate entries. If they aren't all identical, choose the one that appears most frequently. Apply those parameters to the drive (see How do I repair a drive geometry problem?. Then look at it with fdisk & divvy, see if things look sane (in particular, you're looking for divvy to report sane filesystem types).
See these articles also
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What do such machines really do? They increase the number of things we can do without thinking. Things we do without thinking — there's the real danger. (Frank Herbert)