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Re: 5 inch floppies

On Sat, 2005-09-03 at 13:39 -0500, Michael Hennebry wrote:
> On Sat, 3 Sep 2005, George N. White III wrote:
> > On Sat, 3 Sep 2005, Michael Hennebry wrote:
> >
> > >
> > > I'm trying to read some old (duh) 5 inch
> > > floppies with a borrowed drive on an FC3 box.
> > > Probabaly there is more than one format,
> > > but I'm not sure which has which.
> > > The usual result is that I can read the
> > > directory by clicking on a KDE icon,
> > > but get I/O errors when trying to read any of the files.
> > > Trying to mount with a mount command also results
> > > in an I/O error.
> > > If I couldn't read the directory,
> > > I'd suppose that I was out of luck.
> > > Is there a reason that the directory
> > > would be easier to read than the files?
> > > Any ideas on how to read the files?
> >
> > I've seen this behaviour with old floppies -- I suspect there is a bad or
> > marginal area on the disk.  Since the data typically take much more space
> Disks. Plural.
> > than the directory, the chances of a bad spot zapping data are much
> > higher.  You should try a different drive -- old drives are even less
> > reliable than old floppies.
> I only have one drive.
> Apparently I'm getting all the directory data,
> but none of the other data at all.

To me that sounds like the drive is being used wrong.  The directory is
in the first few sectors on the disk.
If a 1.2mb floppy dual sided disk is being read by a drive that is being
driven as a 360k drive, (or vice versa) you would see a similar effect.
The first track or so holds the directory, and the rest is data.  IIRC
the first track or so is the same on the dd and hd disks, it falls apart
when you go beyond the first one or 2 tracks with a drive at one density
and the disk at a different density.

Possibly as has already been suggested look at the contents of /etc/fd*
and see what the drive is defined as.  You can also try mounting a
different physical device and maybe even try an older distro of RH (or
your favorite) to see what is avialable.

On my RH 7.3 system I see the following possible floppy devices: (I
removed the same number of entries for each fd1 thru fd7 so the list was
8 times this size originally.)

And on my FC3 system I see :

/dev/fd0        /dev/fd0h1440  /dev/fd0H360  /dev/fd0u1040  /dev/fd0u1743  /dev/fd0u3520  /dev/fd0u830
/dev/fd0CompaQ  /dev/fd0H1440  /dev/fd0h410  /dev/fd0u1120  /dev/fd0u1760  /dev/fd0u360
/dev/fd0d360    /dev/fd0h1476  /dev/fd0h420  /dev/fd0u1440  /dev/fd0u1840  /dev/fd0u3840
/dev/fd0D360    /dev/fd0h1494  /dev/fd0h720  /dev/fd0u1660  /dev/fd0u1920  /dev/fd0u720
/dev/fd0D720    /dev/fd0h1660  /dev/fd0H720  /dev/fd0u1680  /dev/fd0u2880  /dev/fd0u800
/dev/fd0h1200   /dev/fd0h360   /dev/fd0h880  /dev/fd0u1722  /dev/fd0u3200  /dev/fd0u820

while on my FC4 system I see only /dev/fd0 since FC4 uses udev to create
the entries in /dev. 

Since many changes have been made in the systems over the years it may
pay to try and use an os that was around when those devices were in use.
You then could select different format drive device definitions and see
which one may work.

Single sided 5 1/4 disks were 180k, double sided were 360k, and high
density were 1200k.  Those with all the permutations would be the
expected choices.

> -- 
> Mike   hennebry web cs ndsu NoDak edu
> "There are three kinds of people,
> those who can count and those who can't."

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