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Bug#64499: boot floppies cannot access my super floppy formated syjet

On Sun, Aug 27, 2000 at 02:35:44AM -0400, Adam Di Carlo wrote:
> > When trying to install a new debian system (after previous boot floppies
> > experiments destroyed my partition table :((() i noticed that the boot
> > floppies will not present me with my super floppy formatted syjet removable
> > harddisk when asking for partitions. I have a ext2 partition on it (being
> > /dev/sdb).
> Hmm.  That's a SCSI device, right?

Yes, it is, ...

but i think there are ide syjets also i think, not sure though.

Also there is nothing barring me from formatting a ide harddisk the same way
(well using /dev/hdb without partitioning for example, especially for
old/small/whatever harddisks used for transport only).

> It's normally used as /dev/sdb (unpartitioned) ?

Yes, you would find /proc/partititions in a previous mail from me to the
boot floppies mailing list, as well as in the bug report related to this.

> Can you do 'cat /proc/scsi/scsi' and send that as a followup to the bug?

Yes, i will do, will have to wait until monday though, as my syjet is not
online ...

> > Also when wanting to partition a harddisk i get also the syjet proposed as a
> > partitioning target, without warning that i have valuable data there (well the
> > debian mirror i want to install from).
> Uh -- how is this different from partitioning of any disk?  This
> doesn't seem syjet specific.  And, I must say, there are plenty of
> warnings all over he place.

Yes, that is true, but as it has not partitioning already fdisk will show
nothing so maybe it can be more leading to mistake, i don't know. Anyway, this
is not important, the real problem is the one above.

> > If i hand mount the disk on the second console, and later choose mounted as
> > option from the partition chooser, it works ok though.
> Hmm.  That makes sense.  It's not understanding that the syjet is
> there -- it's a removable device, right?

Yes, but that is no problem, as you will not be able to mount it when no
cartridge is in, and you cannot remove the cartdridge when it is mounted.

Also keep in mind that the superfloppy method is only one to be used for this
kind of thing, other people may well choose to partition the syjet cartridge
(well i do it for my second cartridge, since the end of it is bad :(((). Once
the cartdrigde is in the device, it is considered as a normal harddisk.

My best guess about this would be to work with /proc/partitions.

Normally you have a /dev/hda or such and one /dev/hda# per partition.

For super floppy formatted cartridges you have only the /dev/hda and no
partition below. So the best idea is to check it for per partition entries for
every disk, and if there are not, then it is either a superfloppy partitioned
cartdridge/disk/whatever, or it is a unpartitionned harddisk.

Either way, you can then choose to partition it (with fdisk) or make a
filesystem on it, or else just try to mount it, with maybe a warning that
altough there is no partition, there could be a partitionless filesystem on
it, or other such.

This would be a more generic solution, and maybe not a lot of work, since you
already parse /proc/partitions anyway.



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