Unable to mount floppy

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Unable to mount floppy

Postby Eric Weir on Wed Sep 24, 2008 5:08 pm

I haven't touched my Linux Mint machine for a couple of months, except to copy files to it as backup from my XP laptop.

I have files on a floppy that I want to get on the laptop which has neither a cd or a floppy. I'm an unable to mount the floppy and don't understand why. I did manage to get the permissions change from root to myself as user.

What do I do to mount the floppy.

Thanks,
Eric Weir
Decatur, GA USA
Linux Mint 5
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Re: Unable to mount floppy

Postby Mr. Blue on Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:20 am

If you use:

Code: Select all
sudo mount /media/floppy0


or

Code: Select all
sudo mount /dev/fd0 /media/floppy0


does it give an error?
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Re: Unable to mount floppy

Postby Eric Weir on Thu Sep 25, 2008 2:55 pm

Mr. Blue wrote:If you use:

Code: Select all
sudo mount /media/floppy0


Thanks, Mr. Blue.

Yes, it does:

Code: Select all
"I could not determine the filesystem type, and none was specified."


Didn't think it mattered, but I assume the disk is formatted for Windows. It's never been formatted by me, and the files on it were put there with Windows.

Sincerely,
Eric Weir
Decatur, GA USA
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Re: Unable to mount floppy

Postby Mr. Blue on Thu Sep 25, 2008 3:10 pm

All I can suggest is maybe try:

Code: Select all
sudo mount -t vfat /dev/fd0 /media/floppy0


That's assuming /media/floppy0 exists and the filesystem on the disk is FAT format.

Aside from that, I'm out of ideas. :(
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Re: Unable to mount floppy

Postby Eric Weir on Thu Sep 25, 2008 4:04 pm

Mr. Blue wrote:All I can suggest is maybe try:

Code: Select all
sudo mount -t vfat /dev/fd0 /media/floppy0

That did it, Mr. Blue. Thanks very much.

I really don't mean to whine, but this is why I am gravitating away from Linux, much as the open-source idea and community appeal to me. There's no way I could have known that fix. Meantime, a whole day has passed while I've been waiting to get access to these files. It's not a big deal, but it's very frustrating.

A question: I'm not sure I've ever had reason to access files from the floppy on my Linux system. If I had, and I had encountered this problem and been given this fix, would I have encountered the same problem later on? Can I count on this fix sticking in the future?

My whining aside, I sincerely appreciate your help.
Eric Weir
Decatur, GA USA
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Re: Unable to mount floppy

Postby Eric Weir on Thu Sep 25, 2008 5:06 pm

Eric Weir wrote:That did it, Mr. Blue. Thanks very much.

I posted separately about this but thought I'd mention the problem here in case you have a solution for it, too.

Somehow in trying to copy a file from the floppy to my hard disk I ended up with an empty file on the hard disk and no file on the floppy. [In trying to make the copy I got a message to the effect that an "error" had occurred. Subsequently I noticed that the files on the floppy were owned by root. I sudoed Nautilus intending to change the permissions on the files on the floppy, but before I could so I noticed that in fact that there was a copy of the file on the hard disk and that it was missing from the floppy. When I checked the copy on the hard disk it was empty.]

Is there a way I can restore the missing file on the floppy? I haven't done any writes to it since trying to make the copy.

Thanks,
Eric Weir
Decatur, GA USA
Linux Mint 5
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Re: Unable to mount floppy

Postby Mr. Blue on Thu Sep 25, 2008 5:56 pm

Mounting it so that you own it may show something. Unmount it then try:

Code: Select all
sudo mount -t vfat /dev/fd0 /media/floppy0 -o uid=1000


Typing 'id' into terminal will give details on uid, gid etc. 1000 is the first user account on the system.

That should mount the floppy with you owning it. The system may make the files available now.

Does that work?
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Re: Unable to mount floppy

Postby Eric Weir on Thu Sep 25, 2008 6:30 pm

Mr. Blue wrote:Mounting it so that you own it may show something. Unmount it then try:

Code: Select all
sudo mount -t vfat /dev/fd0 /media/floppy0 -o uid=1000


Again, that worked. At least it made the file visible again. However, I'm still getting an error when I try to copy to the hard drive. ["Error while copying.... Error reading from file: input/output error."

Permissions shows the file owned by me, but root has group permissions, and those are read-only, if that makes any difference. When I try to change group permissions by sudoing nautilus and making the change from there -- I don't know the terminal commands to do it -- I'm told I don't have permission to that. [I thought sudo gave you root privileges?]

I'm relieved that the file is still there. Help in getting it copied would be appreciated. [For me this is *so hard.*]

Thanks again.

Sincerely,
Eric Weir
Decatur, GA USA
Linux Mint 5
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Re: Unable to mount floppy

Postby Mr. Blue on Fri Sep 26, 2008 5:13 am

Good to know the file is still there. You can check the file size to make sure Mint is reading it properly. If it's 0 bytes then there's a bigger problem.
I'm a little worried about the 'input/output error'. Could the disk be bad? Keep in mind, I'm not sure if 'vfat' is the right type of filesystem to be using.
It could also just be Linux being grumpy. :)

There are different ways to copy the file when in the terminal, so let's see if one of those works.

Make a directory to use as a destination:

Code: Select all
mkdir ~/myfile


The "~" means your home folder. You can find it above the tab key, left of number 1. Use shift.

Use the standard copy first:

Code: Select all
cp -R /media/floppy0 ~/myfile


Check the myfile folder to see if it's there.

If not, I like to use 'rsync'. Copy and paste this to the terminal:

Code: Select all
rsync -avuhP /media/floppy0 ~/myfile


If that works you should see the file being copied with a progress bar, transfer speed etc. That will let you know it's working.
Check ~/myfile. If it's still being stubborn, you can try using the commands with 'sudo'.

This stuff isn't trivial. Yes, there's a lot of talk about Linux being 'easy to use' and 'ready for the desktop'. While I have my own opinion on that,
there is still the fact that Linux can be difficult to use. It's not just you. There are a whole lot of people in the same position. Including me. That's
because all of this is "so hard".

Let me know how it goes.
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Re: Unable to mount floppy

Postby Eric Weir on Fri Sep 26, 2008 7:02 pm

Mr. Blue wrote:This stuff isn't trivial. Yes, there's a lot of talk about Linux being 'easy to use' and 'ready for the desktop'. While I have my own opinion on that, there is still the fact that Linux can be difficult to use. It's not just you. There are a whole lot of people in the same position. Including me. That's because all of this is "so hard".

Thanks for the words of "encouragement," Mr. Blue. I really wish it was working out better for me. I have given it a good try. And I've learned a lot. I keep thinking I'll plateau at a decent layman's level of mastery, but I end up spending an inordinate amount of time fiddling.

I do have to say I'd probably be a lot more satisfied if I hadn't been trying to network a Windows laptop and a Linux desktop. [Actually, I bought the laptop to put Linux on it, but after I started having problems with Linux I decided to hold off, and then eventually to forget about it.] Also if I had invested in a more uptodate machine. My processor is OK -- 1.6 Ghz Pentium -- but the motherboard was end of the line when the machine was put together [2002], and I haven't been willing to do that either till I got comfortable with Linux.

Let me know how it goes.

Yes, back to the main business. Seems like something is wrong either with that floppy or the files. I got error messages and empty files using both of the methods you suggested, even with sudo. I'm gonna get them copied to a flash drive and see if XP on the laptop will read them. If not, I'll just have to go back down to the library and do that search again. The hard part is driving downtown and paying for parking. The actual search will take 15 minutes.

I'm guessing from your punctuation that you're in Britain. [I know, it's a guess. Lots of other places punctuate differently from us.] I guess the whole world is having a good laugh at us these days -- when they're not in a panic about what we've done to the global financial system. This particular problem was in the works before the current administration went to work, but it's level of incompetence about everything, even those things in which it has taken greatest pride, is astounding. It's not gonna be easy for the next guy, whoever it is.

We have our first presidential debate tonight. I sense more anticipation about it than I ever have about a presidential debate. And an amazing level of interest in the campaign since it got underway a year-and-a-half or two ago.

Way off the subject. It's just where my mind is right now. Where many minds here have been this week.

Have a great weekend, and thanks for your expert suggestions. [You say Linux can be a challenge for you, but you seem pretty expert to me.]

Sincerely,
Eric Weir
Decatur, GA USA
Linux Mint 5
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