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Re: Cannot mount floppy drive in Squeeze

On 12/05/2010 09:26 PM, Bob Proulx wrote:
Stephen Powell wrote:
    mount -t msdos /dev/fd1 /media/floppy1
It tells me that /media/floppy1 is not mounted!  When I try to read the data
directly with
    dd if=/dev/fd1 of=erase.me count=1
It successfully reads the boot sector into the file erase.me; so the
drive and the disk itself seem to be OK.
Since you can read the disk try reading the entirety of the floppy
over to your filesystem.  Then try mounting the resulting file using
the loopback device.

   mount -o loop,ro /path/to/floppy-image /media/floppy1

Perhaps that will give a clue.

I tried other disks and also tried 3.5-inch disks in the other
floppy drive, but I can't seem to get any floppy disk to mount.  Am
I doing something wrong?  Or is there a bug here?
As an alternative try the 'mtools' on it.  It accesses the data
without mounting.

   Description: Tools for manipulating MSDOS files
    Mtools is a collection of utilities to access MS-DOS disks from Unix
    without mounting them. It supports Win'95 style long file names, OS/2
    Xdf disks, ZIP/JAZ disks and 2m disks (store up to 1992kB on a high
    density 3 1/2 disk).

The you could try something like "mdir a:" and similarly.  I am not
suggesting this is better (or worse) but just different and may
produce different output which may provide clues.

I suspect that the data on the floppy is corrupted.  But you will need
more digging to find out the root cause.

You might try taking a different floppy and try formatting it.

   mkfs -t msdos /dev/fd1

The suspicion about corruption is likely to be correct if the floppy has
been hanging around for a while. A lot of old floppies, programmed or
not, seem to have a lot of defects.  This is too bad if you're trying to
install or read a program that you copied down 10 years ago!  (Yes, I'm
the same guy that said just a couple of hours ago that we should _not_
get rid of floppies.)  OTOH, I've heard stories about short lifetimes of
homebrewed CDs also.  At the moment, I believe even professionals
and governments are having trouble trying to find a long-lasting medium
for preserving data over decades and maybe centuries.  The only long-
lasting recordable media holds far too little data--think phonograph
records!  (Chiseling in rock works too.)
A lot of us--I definitely include myself--have been very sloppy about
caring for floppy media.  It doesn't like dust or magnetic fields, for
instance, and I suspect it doesn't like direct sunlight (the heat)
either.  But I am far from sure that this is the whole story.  Old
magnetic tape doesn't store very well either.  I found a cassette
that's probably 30 years old, and all the treble is gone.  I'll bet there's
nothing over 500 hertz on the tape.  Maybe not even that high.
Of course, tape is wound on itself, and that can't help.

Just some observations.  YMMV, as they say.


Blessed are the peacemakers...for they shall be shot at from both sides. --A. M. Greeley

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