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Re: mtools / double-density floppies / old PC problem

On Mon, May 05, 2003 at 10:06:33PM +0200, Conrad Newton wrote:
> This is not strictly a debian question, but I'm afraid
> this list is my best hope for answering a question that 
> may otherwise go unanswered.
> I do some word-processing on an old PC (1980s) whose
> operating system runs off of double-density diskettes.
> MS-formatted double density diskettes are also the means 
> of storing the files.
> There is no problem to take the diskettes, and copy the
> files over to Debian, but the reverse direction appears 
> to be problematic.  That is, if I copy the files from 
> the modern computer (e.g.  with mcopy) and then try to read 
> them on the old PC, the diskette is no longer readable.
> I know that I have managed to copy from new -> old in
> the past with success, but I cannot remember how,
> and it baffles me that mcopy no longer seem to work.
> The diskettes on which the copy operation new -> old
> have NOT been performed work fine, so it does not appear 
> to be a hardware problem.  The copy (actually mcopy) 
> operation appears to be the source of the trouble.
> Any idea why this might be happening?  Even better,
> does anyone know a fix?

You don't mention whether your diskettes are 3.5" or 5.25"
diskettes.  If they're 5.25" diskettes, there are very good
reasons for you to have trouble -- for more information check out
the following url:


If that's not the issue, then perhaps the "fdutils" package is
what you need to troubleshoot the situation:

You can also read the fdutils manpage at

Best of luck!


Shaun Crossley

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