One of the following problems exists: Hardware failure Unformatted disk

If you’re trying to install Solaris (SPARC) on a disc which previously had another O/S (*BSD) on it, you will more then likely come across the following error after the system identification stage is complete:
One or more disks are found, but one of the following problems exists:
> Hardware failure

> Unformatted disk.
The problem is to do with the disc label, at the shell fireup format with the e switch
format -e
select the disc which you are trying to install onto, if you are told that the disc doesnt not contain a disk label, would you like to write a lablel, say yes & specify the type as SMI Label, If youre not asked about the label & presented with a menu, goto the partition section, choose label, specify the type as SMI.
quit & reboot & all should be well 🙂

20 Replies to “One of the following problems exists: Hardware failure Unformatted disk”

  1. Wow, your entry was the first hit in google after I typed the full text of the error message (which I thought would produce nothing of use). Thank you for posting this!

  2. Handy post, comes up top in a google on the error message. Many thanks, i’ve just spend about an hour on this one trying various different methods of clearing the disk – nice to google it and find the exact instructions required.

  3. Thank you very much. Same error message here and your tip solved it wonderful 🙂

  4. sadly, your tip did not work for me 🙁

    Ifollowed an advice to previously install solaris on my ultra 10, at least to see, before installing netbsd or something else, so i tried to install solaris 10 u5 first.
    The installer stalled at creating the /
    I tried again with a far smaller / but the same problem occurred. Even so after hours, the filesystem creation did not come to a finish.

    Then i decided to take a look to the netbsd installer before finishing with solaris. The NetBSD installer really created the filesystem within some blinks of an eye, but the freshly installed netbsd 4.0 did not boot afterwards. So i had a completely different problem to solve. I tried this and that but no success. At least i did get the fact that the HD is not physically damaged. It must be a solvable software problem.

    I came back to the idea to install solaris and have been confronted to exactly the problem described here.
    Now i tried with “format -e” and enter the number (0) of the one and only available disk.
    Instead of succeeding, i get a “Segmentation Fault(coredump)” error message.
    The same happens if i start format without arguments and choose the disk 0 afterwards. I figured out, i can start format with “format c0t0d0” wherewith i have one more step done but i get the same error after setting a random value for LBA between minimum and maximum expected value, after defining a disk type. Defining the disktype seems unskippable.

    Seems i have to extensively read within more documentation to come across this problem. But thanks anyway.

  5. Still works in 2012 with Solaris 10u10 sparc on a used IDE disk in a sunblade 1500

  6. Still works in 2012 on a Solaris 10u10 on a Blade T4-1B SPARC

    Thank you very much

  7. Still works in 2013! And this page is the #1 in the results from Google.

    Thank you very much for this tip!

  8. 2 thumbs UP !
    Thanks for the help! #1 hit on Google…

    Save me headache with my T5220.

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