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Since installing a new DVD/CD writer I had a problem with GQView and XCDRoast hanging up when I directed them towards the /mnt directory where my CD-ROM drive, DVD/CD writer, second IDE hard drive, and floppy drive are mounted. Running ps ax showed the programs in "uninterruptible sleep" (D) state. GQView would eventually "see" the /mnt directory after six minutes or so, but XCDRoast never seemed to recover, and I'd have to reboot. I could access /mnt instantly with Midnight Commander or any appropriate bash commands.
I noticed this in /var/log/syslog:
Nov 11 09:54:22 bodhisattva kernel: end_request: I/O error, cmd 0 dev 02:00 (flo
ppy), sector 0
Nov 11 09:54:22 bodhisattva kernel: FAT: unable to read boot sector
Nov 11 09:54:22 bodhisattva kernel: FAT: freeing iocharset=iso8859-1
...so I experimentally commented out the floppy drive in /etc/fstab and rebooted, and now things are back to normal: instant access of /mnt by the two programs that were hanging up.
Why on earth this useless activity involving the floppy drive (which never has a disk in it, and which I never use...), which has never happened before now?
I can keep the thing commented out, no problem, but I would like to have some idea of what's going on!