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Removing Invalid Disk Device Files

Removing Invalid Disk Device Files

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Published by: api-3701740 on Oct 18, 2008
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Removing Invalid Disk Device Files (/dev/dsk and/dev/rdsk )
by Jeff Hunter, Sr. Database Administrator
Whether installing a SCSI controller or even an additional IDE disk to a
Sun Solaris machine, the Solaris O/S will:
Create Disk Device Files under the Hardware Device Tree
Create symbolic links in/dev/dsk,/dev/rdsk, and/dev/cfg that
point to the devices in the/devices directory.
Make entries in the/etc/path_to_inst file.

Things will generally work fine until you decide to remove or move a
device in the system. I have had situations where I have run out of devices
on a host because of Sun's poor ability to remove invalid (hanging) disk
device files after removing a device. This is one area where Sun could
really improve. It looks like they are trying new things with the boot -p
option but I've only ever seen it remove things once.

There are other times when I simply wanted to replace a certain type of
SCSI controller and wanted to reuse the controller ID's from a previously
removed card. For example, I have a host (an E450) which had 2 internal
controllers (0 and 1) and a dual differential SCSI card installed
(controllers 2 and 3). I removed the dual differential SCSI host adapter
and decided to replace it with a Single-Ended SCSI host adapter but
Solaris would always assign them controller numbers 4 and 5. I wanted
the system to reassign controller numbers 2 and 3 for the new host adapter
but links still existed for the original dual differential SCSI host adapter.

My intention in this article is to provide several solutions for either
renumbering disk device files (SCSI controllers, SCSI disks, IDE
controllers, IDE disks, etc.) or simply removing old ones from replaced or
removed devices. Please keep in mind that this article has been put
together from notes I found during many searches for answers on the
Internet. If anyone reading this has other solutions, please email me and I
would be happy to post them for others going through this procedure.

Using thedevfsadm Command
Thedevfsadm command was introduced with Solaris 7 and can be found
in/usr/sbin/devfsadm. This command is used to maintain the/dev and
/devices namespaces. Thedevfsadm command replaces the previous
suite of devfs administration tools includingdrvconfig(1M),disks(1M),

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