Format Unit (Sanitize) homework on FMTDATA=0 & "parameter list"

jgeldman at jgeldman at
Mon Dec 28 11:24:41 PST 2009

* From the T10 Reflector (t10 at, posted by:
* <jgeldman at>
In the November CAB meeting, while going over 09-331r1 (modifications of
FORMAT UNIT to include T13's Sanitize capability), it was noted that in
the FORMAT UNIT command, the non-zero DEFECT_LIST_FORMAT with FMTDATA=0
intent was not clear. Please be ready to discuss this in Santa Ana.
The behavior of FMTDATA=0 and DEFECT_LIST_FORMAT != 000b is unspecified.
Question 1) Should this be reserved? Or should any behavior be
documented? Should it be documented as vendor specific?
FMTDATA=0 specifies, "that no parameter list be transferred from the
data-out buffer" (written on spec-like-a pirate day?). Table 17
specifies that with FMTDATA=0 and DEFECT_LIST_FORMAT=000b, the device
has mandatory support for the comment "defect information is vendor
specific". The phrase "no parameter list be transferred" is a bit
arcane. As the phrase "parameter list" is used 99 times in multiple
contexts in SBC3r20, it may mean specifically the "FORMAT UNIT parameter
list" or it might mean any parameter list.
Question 2) Should the FMTDATA=0 specification be changed to say "that
the data-out buffer contents, if any, contain vendor specific data"? Or
that nothing will used from the data-out buffer?
Other requirements when FMTDATA=0: 
	LONGLIST and CMPLIST shall be ignored;
	FMTPINFO shall be valid; and
	DEFECT_LIST_FORMAT shall be 000b (pending resolution of question
Happy Holidays,
John Geldman
Director of Industry Standards
Lexar Media
47300 Bayside Parkway
Fremont, CA 94538
P: 510 580-8715
C: 510 449-3597
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