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Old 01-02-2011, 10:10 PM   #1
mark_alfred
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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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floppies


When I try to mount a floppy, I get the following error:

Code:
mount: block device /dev/fd0 is write-protected, mounting read-only
mount: /dev/fd0: can't read superblock
my /etc/fstab entry for floppy is:
Code:
/dev/fd0        /media/floppy0  vfat,msdos    rw,user,noauto  0       0
When I try to format it, I get the following:
Code:
mark@debian:~$ superformat /dev/fd0 hd
Measuring drive 0's raw capacity
format: Input/output error
mark@debian:~$
Any guesses as to why this is the case? I've tried it with several different floppies, and they've all given the same errors. The program kfloppy likewise gives similar errors when I tried to use it to format a floppy.
 
Old 01-02-2011, 11:43 PM   #2
nigelc
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Hello,
Is the write protect tab on the floppy set the wrong way?
 
Old 01-02-2011, 11:51 PM   #3
hilyard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nigelc View Post
Hello,
Is the write protect tab on the floppy set the wrong way?
My first thought, too, nigelc!
What's your hardware, mark_alfred?
 
Old 01-03-2011, 12:24 AM   #4
paulsm4
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Hi -

I actually happen to work with a lot of DOS and Win98 boxes ... and I often see the same thing.

Sometimes the floppy drives just "give out".

Even with "good drives", I often go through two or three (or more!) diskettes before I find one that I can actually format, write to, or read from.
 
Old 01-03-2011, 01:10 PM   #5
mark_alfred
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I've tried the floppies with the write-protect tab in both positions, and it still won't either mount or format them. The hardware is:
Code:
debian:/home/mark# lshw | more
debian.example.com        
    description: Desktop Computer
    product: OptiPlex GX1 450Mbr+
    vendor: Dell Computer Corporation
    serial: 1SA5C
    width: 32 bits
 *-core
       description: Motherboard
       product: OptiPlex GX1 450Mbr+
       vendor: Dell Computer Corporation
       physical id: 0
     *-firmware
          description: BIOS
          vendor: Dell Computer Corporation
          physical id: 0
          version: A10 (08/01/01)
          size: 64KiB
          capacity: 192KiB
          capabilities: isa pci pnp apm upgrade shadowing escd cdboot bootselect edd int13floppytoshiba int13floppy360 int13floppy1200 int13floppy720 int13floppy2880 int5printscreen int9keyboard int14serial int17
printer int10video agp ls120boot zipboot
     *-cpu
          description: CPU
          product: Pentium III (Katmai)
          vendor: Intel Corp.
          physical id: 400
          bus info: cpu@0
          version: 6.7.2
          slot: Microprocessor
          size: 450MHz
          capacity: 800MHz
          width: 32 bits
          clock: 100MHz
          capabilities: fpu fpu_exception wp vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 mmx fxsr sse up
        *-cache:0
             description: L1 cache
             physical id: 700
             size: 32KiB
             capacity: 32KiB
             capabilities: internal varies unified
        *-cache:1
             description: L2 cache
             physical id: 701
             size: 512KiB
             capacity: 512KiB
             capabilities: pipeline-burst synchronous internal varies unified
     *-memory
          description: System Memory
          physical id: 1000
          slot: System board or motherboard
          size: 512MiB
          capacity: 768MiB
        *-bank:0
             description: DIMM DRAM Synchronous
             physical id: 0
             slot: DIMM_A
             size: 256MiB
             width: 64 bits
        *-bank:1
             description: DIMM DRAM Synchronous
             physical id: 1
             slot: DIMM_B
             size: 128MiB
             width: 64 bits
        *-bank:2
             description: DIMM DRAM Synchronous
             physical id: 2
             slot: DIMM_C
             size: 128MiB
             width: 64 bits
I couldn't find a listing for the floppy device (fd0), however. So, it could be that the floppies are crap, or it could be that the drive is crap (or perhaps it's both).
 
Old 01-03-2011, 03:04 PM   #6
paulsm4
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Hi -
Quote:
So, it could be that the floppies are crap, or it could be that the drive is crap (or perhaps it's both).
Yup - exactly what I was trying to say

If you're *really* serious about reading/writing these floppies (for whatever reason), one thing I've found that's even more reliable than an old floppy/IDE is a USB floppy. Cost about $35.00; and I often use it for scenarios precisely like this (I need a floppy for DOS, and none of my hardware is working).

Another "trick" that works is reading/writing floppies between real 3.5" media and virtual 1.44MB .img files, using DOS running on VMWare.
 
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Old 01-04-2011, 07:07 PM   #7
mark_alfred
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Turns out the drive was crap. So, for $5.00 I picked a used one. This worked.

The reason I needed this was to try to upgrade my old system (BIOS issues).
 
Old 04-19-2011, 05:47 PM   #8
aer0usa
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I was having this problem, and this thread came up in a search I did, so perhaps this will help someone else.

The solution for my problem was that I had chosen the wrong filesystem for the mount command. So I had tried

sudo mount -t msdos /dev/fd0 /mnt/floppy

and got the "can't read superblock" message. I opened the floppy in a Windoze PC and found that the floppy's filesystem was "FAT". So this worked:

sudo mount -t vfat /dev/fd0 /mnt/floppy

I found an old Mac floppy and I was able to mount it like so:

sudo mount -t hfs /dev/fd0 /mnt/floppy

So I recommend trying different filesystems in the mount command.
 
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