Is there a magic word to format a 8" Altos hard disk?

Al Kossow aek at
Tue Dec 6 08:28:39 CST 2016

Picked up an Altos 8600 that I bought on eBay yesterday, amazingly the Xenix actually
came up, but the drive failed as I was tarring off the file system. I had another Quantum
2040, put it in, tried to run the formatter, but it says to call Altos, asks for a confirmation
but just returns to the menu if you type 'y' 'Y' or 'Yes' so I'm assuming there is a magic
word you have to enter.

This is the same controller that the Z80 system uses (8000-14) so I'm guessing someone must
have run into this before. I'm going to paw through the diagnostic binary to see if there is
something that looks magical.

Sound familiar?

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