How do I format a 1.44Mb floppy disk in a laser servo drive? - Hardware

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Thread: How do I format a 1.44Mb floppy disk in a laser servo drive?

  1. How do I format a 1.44Mb floppy disk in a laser servo drive?

    How do I format a 1.44Mb floppy disk in a laser servo drive?

    My laser servo drive is /dev/hdd. How can I format a 1.44Mb floppy disk in DOS
    format?

    The fdformat utility does not appear to work with a floppy disk:

    fdformat /dev/hdd
    Could not determine current format type: Invalid argument

    Please advise.

    Mark.

    --
    Mark Hobley
    393 Quinton Road West
    QUINTON
    Birmingham
    B32 1QE

    Email: markhobley at hotpop dot donottypethisbit com

    http://markhobley.yi.org/


  2. Re: How do I format a 1.44Mb floppy disk in a laser servo drive?

    Mark Hobley (markhobley@hotpop.deletethisbit.com) writes:
    > How do I format a 1.44Mb floppy disk in a laser servo drive?
    >
    > My laser servo drive is /dev/hdd. How can I format a 1.44Mb floppy disk in DOS
    > format?
    >
    > The fdformat utility does not appear to work with a floppy disk:
    >
    > fdformat /dev/hdd
    > Could not determine current format type: Invalid argument
    >

    Did you look at the man page for fdformat?

    Because there's a clue right down at the bottom of the page.

    No, I wasn't aware of it, but it took me a second to look at the man
    page, and see that bit, and the second man page it points to sure
    seems to be what you need.

    Michael


  3. Re: How do I format a 1.44Mb floppy disk in a laser servo drive?

    Mark Hobley wrote:

    > How do I format a 1.44Mb floppy disk in a laser servo drive?
    >
    > My laser servo drive is /dev/hdd. How can I format a 1.44Mb floppy disk in
    > DOS format?
    >
    > The fdformat utility does not appear to work with a floppy disk:
    >
    > fdformat /dev/hdd
    > Could not determine current format type: Invalid argument
    >
    > Please advise.


    dd a empty formatted floppy to a file and dd it back to the floppy you want
    to format? Or use mkfs.msdos instead of fdformat?

    --
    Lasse Jensen [fafler at g mail dot com]
    Linux, the choice of a GNU generation.

  4. Re: How do I format a 1.44Mb floppy disk in a laser servo drive?

    Michael Black wrote:
    > Did you look at the man page for fdformat?
    >
    > Because there's a clue right down at the bottom of the page.


    Hmmm, be more explicit. I still don't know what you are talking about. I guess
    maybe you mean setfdparm. Remember this is not a real floppy drive, but an
    LS120. Will that work on an LS120 drive? I have not installed that package,
    but I will, if I need it. What if I then want to use an LS120 disk again,
    after using the floppy disk. Will the drive be screwed, or does it reset,
    when I eject the disk?

    Also what is fd(4)?

    man 4 fd
    No manual entry for fd in section 4

    Mark.

    --
    Mark Hobley
    393 Quinton Road West
    QUINTON
    Birmingham
    B32 1QE

    Email: markhobley at hotpop dot donottypethisbit com

    http://markhobley.yi.org/


  5. Re: How do I format a 1.44Mb floppy disk in a laser servo drive?

    Mark Hobley staggered into the Black Sun and said:
    > Michael Black wrote:
    >> Did you look at the man page for fdformat?

    > maybe you mean setfdparm. Remember this is not a real floppy drive,
    > but an LS120. Will that work on an LS120 drive?


    fdformat depends on various ioctl()s that are *only* there on a real
    34-pin floppy, and not on IDE- or USB-connected devices. This means
    there's really no way to lowlevel format a 3.5" disk on those devices
    without black magic. Not that it really matters--that media type has
    been superseded for all but some really special-purpose stuff. Good
    riddance.

    > What if I then want to use an LS120 disk again, after using the floppy
    > disk. Will the drive be screwed, or does it reset, when I eject the
    > disk?


    The drive should autodetect whether there's a floppy or LS-120 disk in
    it, much like DVD+-RWs autodetect whether they're dealing with a CD-RW,
    a DVD+RW, or a DVD-R.

    --
    The squirrels now live in fear of the magic exploding compost heap.
    --Dan Holdsworth
    Matt G|There is no Darkness in Eternity/But only Light too dim for us to see

  6. Re: How do I format a 1.44Mb floppy disk in a laser servo drive?

    Dances With Crows wrote:
    > Not that it really matters--that media type has
    > been superseded for all but some really special-purpose stuff. Good
    > riddance.


    The problem is that some of my students use college or public library
    computers, which still use floppy disk drives.

    I was hoping to be able to reformat floppy disks on my own computer, without
    having to go to college.

    Never mind. Maybe I can just delete the files or mkfs.msdos without formatting.

    Mark.

    --
    Mark Hobley
    393 Quinton Road West
    QUINTON
    Birmingham
    B32 1QE

    Email: markhobley at hotpop dot donottypethisbit com

    http://markhobley.yi.org/


  7. Re: How do I format a 1.44Mb floppy disk in a laser servo drive?

    Mark Hobley staggered into the Black Sun and said:
    > Dances With Crows wrote:
    >> Not that it really matters--that media type has been superseded for
    >> all but some really special-purpose stuff. Good riddance.

    > The problem is that some of my students use college or public library
    > computers, which still use floppy disk drives.


    Obsolete equipment! How wonderful. In Fried Hardware 2 days ago, I saw
    a tiny, fast, hard-to-damage 2G USB keychain drive for $40. That's a
    great argument that it's time to forget floppies.

    > I was hoping to be able to reformat floppy disks on my own computer,
    > without having to go to college. Never mind. Maybe I can just delete
    > the files or mkfs.msdos without formatting.


    Floppies are the only medium left where you *can* do a lowlevel format.
    If you have to do one, you just can't do it with a USB/IDE drive.
    mkdosfs will still work.

    --
    ROBERT: So how do we get the pig to stop running around?
    TRIANGLE: I think we'll have to rely on the staple gun once again.
    --Triangle & Robert
    Matt G|There is no Darkness in Eternity/But only Light too dim for us to see

  8. Re: How do I format a 1.44Mb floppy disk in a laser servo drive?

    Dances With Crows writes:
    >Floppies are the only medium left where you *can* do a lowlevel format.


    You can low-level format (some?) hard disks, but you need a special
    tool from the manufacturer, and that runs on MS-DOS (what else:-).

    - anton
    --
    M. Anton Ertl Some things have to be seen to be believed
    anton@mips.complang.tuwien.ac.at Most things have to be believed to be seen
    http://www.complang.tuwien.ac.at/anton/home.html

  9. Re: How do I format a 1.44Mb floppy disk in a laser servo drive?

    > Obsolete equipment! How wonderful. In Fried Hardware 2 days ago, I saw
    > a tiny, fast, hard-to-damage 2G USB keychain drive for $40. That's a
    > great argument that it's time to forget floppies.


    I got my 2G for $20, the 4G was $40.

    mkdosfs -F 12 /dev/fd0

    or whatever you want to put on the floppy as far as filesystems go.

    dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/fd0

    To ensure that it's blank. Given that most of my floppies are 10 years
    old at this point, I don't trust much on them. Not that much fits on
    them these days. You can't even get a .pdf or .doc these days that's
    less than 1.44MB. But I've got an old PII and 486 around that still
    function with floppies so I guess I'm covered for another decade.

  10. Re: How do I format a 1.44Mb floppy disk in a laser servo drive?

    Shadow_7 staggered into the Black Sun and said:
    > Dances With Crows wrote:
    >> In Fried Hardware 2 days ago, I saw a tiny, fast, hard-to-damage 2G
    >> USB keychain drive for $40.

    > I got my 2G for $20, the 4G was $40.


    This might've been the case. I didn't buy one as I didn't need one and
    I'd already spent enough $ on a new LCD.

    > mkdosfs -F 12 /dev/fd0


    mkdosfs will automatically use a 12-bit FAT on devices smaller than a
    limit (32M?)

    > dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/fd0 to ensure that it's blank.


    Unnecessary; you're already running mkdosfs. The dd might warn you of
    bad sectors, but that's it.

    > Not that much fits on them these days. You can't even get a .pdf or
    > .doc these days that's less than 1.44MB. But I've got an old PII and
    > 486 around that still function with floppies


    There are plenty of PDFs and DOCs that are under 1.4M. The real
    removable-media killer is ubiquitous always-on reasonably-high-speed
    Net. And many x86 motherboards still have 34-pin headers for non-USB
    non-IDE floppy drives. These may go away in a few years, but I'm not
    holding my breath.

    --
    One RAID to rule them all, One RAID to bind them
    One RAID to hold the files and in the darkness grind them
    In the land of Server where the Unix lies....
    Matt G|There is no Darkness in Eternity/But only Light too dim for us to see

  11. Re: How do I format a 1.44Mb floppy disk in a laser servo drive?

    In article ,
    Dances With Crows wrote:
    >Mark Hobley staggered into the Black Sun and said:
    >> Michael Black wrote:
    >>> Did you look at the man page for fdformat?

    >> maybe you mean setfdparm. Remember this is not a real floppy drive,
    >> but an LS120. Will that work on an LS120 drive?

    >
    >fdformat depends on various ioctl()s that are *only* there on a real
    >34-pin floppy, and not on IDE- or USB-connected devices. This means
    >there's really no way to lowlevel format a 3.5" disk on those devices
    >without black magic.


    http://www.geocities.jp/tedi_world/format_usbfdd_e.html

    This works with the USB floppy drive I keep with my notebook. If the OP
    puts a USB-to-IDE adapter between his computer and his LS120 drive, there's
    a chance it might also work with that (don't even know if I still have an
    LS120 drive with which to test that hypothesis myself).

    _/_
    / v \ Scott Alfter (remove the obvious to send mail)
    (IIGS( http://alfter.us/ Top-posting!
    \_^_/ rm -rf /bin/laden >What's the most annoying thing on Usenet?


  12. Re: How do I format a 1.44Mb floppy disk in a laser servo drive?

    Scott Alfter staggered into the Black Sun and said:
    > Dances With Crows wrote:
    >>fdformat depends on various ioctl()s that are *only* there on a real
    >>34-pin floppy, and not on IDE- or USB-connected devices. This means
    >>there's really no way to lowlevel format a 3.5" disk on those devices
    >>without black magic.

    > http://www.geocities.jp/tedi_world/format_usbfdd_e.html
    >
    > This works with the USB floppy drive I keep with my notebook. If the
    > OP puts a USB-to-IDE adapter between his computer and his LS120 drive,
    > there's a chance it might also work with that (don't even know if I
    > still have an LS120 drive with which to test that hypothesis myself).


    This is interesting. I wonder why it hasn't been more heavily
    advertised. I'd like to try this out and see what it does, but all I
    have access to right now are 34-pin drives. Plus, all the USB floppy
    drives I've seen will barf if you try to feed them a 1722K floppy that's
    been formatted in a 34-pin drive, so that makes it impossible to build a
    Tom's RootBoot floppy on a USB drive.

    I don't know precisely how the LS-120 drives handle this sort of thing,
    since they're IDE. It *might* work. Thanks for telling me useful and
    interesting stuff!

    --
    There is a budding morrow in midnight
    There is a triple sight in blindness keen...
    --John Keats, "To Homer"
    Matt G|There is no Darkness in Eternity/But only Light too dim for us to see

  13. Re: How do I format a 1.44Mb floppy disk in a laser servo drive?

    In article ,
    Shadow_7 wrote:
    > > Obsolete equipment! How wonderful. In Fried Hardware 2 days ago, I saw
    > > a tiny, fast, hard-to-damage 2G USB keychain drive for $40. That's a
    > > great argument that it's time to forget floppies.

    >
    > I got my 2G for $20, the 4G was $40.
    >
    > mkdosfs -F 12 /dev/fd0
    >
    > or whatever you want to put on the floppy as far as filesystems go.
    >
    > dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/fd0
    >
    > To ensure that it's blank. Given that most of my floppies are 10 years
    > old at this point, I don't trust much on them. Not that much fits on
    > them these days. You can't even get a .pdf or .doc these days that's
    > less than 1.44MB.


    Eh, my files beg to differ:

    eben@pc:~$ { locate .pdf ; locate .doc ; } | tr '\n' '\0' | xargs -0 -i
    find {} -maxdepth 0 -size -2880 | wc -l
    752

    > But I've got an old PII and 486 around that still
    > function with floppies so I guess I'm covered for another decade.


    I had a USB fd. Can't format 'em here (I have friends), but I can
    read/write them. That's OK; haven't needed to in over a year.

    --
    -eben QebWenE01R@vTerYizUonI.nOetP royalty.mine.nu:81

    Q: What kind of modem did Jimi Hendrix use?
    A: A purple Hayes.

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