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Old 04-01-2002, 03:09 PM   #1
Registered: Apr 2002
Location: Riverside CA USA
Distribution: SuSE 11
Posts: 83

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floppy drive inactive

I successfully loaded a linux distribution. Some things are working and some are not.

The boot is from a floppy drive, and works fine. Then, however, the floppy drive will not respond from the desktop. I get a prompt to the effect that the format cannot be identified. Just guessing, but perhaps I am supposed to load "fd01440" instead of "fd0". If so, I don't know where to make the change.

If the problem is something else, I don't have a clue.

Old 04-01-2002, 05:19 PM   #2
Registered: Mar 2002
Distribution: Mandrake 8.1
Posts: 386

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you can verify your /dev/fd0 by running:

mdir a:

or if the disk is unformatted, run:

mformat a:
Old 04-01-2002, 07:36 PM   #3
Registered: Apr 2002
Location: Riverside CA USA
Distribution: SuSE 11
Posts: 83

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floppy drive

Thank you for the reply.

I now have a more puzzling problem. I can read floppies, but I cannot determine the filesystem of the boot disk! So, I can't copy it, etc.

I can read the "rescue disk." However, there is a tar.gz file and then several files in an unknown format. So... I have no idea how this will ever "rescue" me.

I guess this is my punishment for downloading the "free" (no support) version of Icepack (which seems like a pretty good package, though, as far as I can tell).

Well, I have done a lot of searching and reading to understand this problem and I will write below what I found out since I notice other people have posted similar questions about floppy disks in the past.

I am using the KDE desktop. There is a "right click" option to mount the floppy (on the floppy icon), which must be used after the floppy is put in the drive. After using the floppy, it must be "unmounted," which can also be done via the right-click menu.

However, because the floppy is assigned to "owner" in the fstab file (under "etc"), it can only be mounted and unmounted when logged as "root" I think.

Mounting can also be done via a command prompt. But here is something weird, bash does not recognize the "unmount" command, even though it recognizes the "mount" command, at least from the default directory I get when I open a Konsole. So, to unmount I had to use the "right click" menu on the desktop icon for the floppy disk.

After all this, it seems that my earlier post was not specifically correct. The floppy >does< work when mounted. It picks up the file system "automatically," because it is set to "auto" in the fstab file.

HOWEVER, the filesystem on the boot disk created at the time of install apparently is unknown to the auto system. I tried to "mount" the floppy drive using the name of every filesystem I could find (it is not easy to find such a list) and in each instance it wouldn't mount. When I used "auto" I was told that I had to "specify the file system".

I don't like the prospect of having to "reinstall" in the event the floppy disk goes bad, so I will have to do more research to figure this problem out.

And ... move on to the next two problems, first being how to get the hard disk to boot without the floppy; second being to get the SB Live sound card working. (It was properly identified during setup, but no sound.)

The boot problem may be insurmountable. For hardware reasons, I put the linux on "Drive D," which is on the "master" of the secondary controller, making it the third drive, I guess.

Something I read said that the boot image had to be on one of the first two drives, so I may be out of luck on this. I thought I would "get lucky" since my BIOS allows me to specify "D" as the boot drive, but so far -- no.

Naturally, if you've got solutions for any of these problems, I'll appreciate the info!
Old 04-02-2002, 12:32 AM   #4
Registered: Apr 2002
Location: Riverside CA USA
Distribution: SuSE 11
Posts: 83

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
more info

Well, I have made more progress on this issue. It turns out that the startup disk apparently cannot be read in the linux system, or anyway, in any manner I can figure out. Icepack even has a nice utility for mounting devices and it has a whole list of filesystems -- so much for looking for them all over the web.

But anyway the configuration manager will create new startup disks. You have to start with a formatted disk, not the >old< startup disk (maybe this is to protect you from inadvertently writing over your startup disk). Then it will make a nice new startup disk that can't be read either.

(It can be read for actual startup just fine.)

So, mystery #1 is solved and I move on to trying to get sound out of my system.
Old 04-02-2002, 04:26 AM   #5
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The command to "unmount" is "umount". Note that there is only one "n" not two.

To allow a user to mount a drive add "user" to the line for the floppy in the /etc/fstab file. Like this:

/dev/fd0 /mnt/floppy vfat user,noauto,rw 0 0

I believe the reason you can't mount the boot floppy is because it's what is called a "kernel disk". A copy of your kernel is placed on the disk and that's all. So, there is no file system to mount.


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