how do I see 3.5 floppy disk?

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how do I see 3.5 floppy disk?

Postby shengchieh on Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:55 pm

Recycling people coming in the area, so I want to go thru all my old 3.5 floppy disks. Stuff one in the computer.
Click "floppy drive" in Thunar (left side). I see momentarily (1 second) the files, then I see nothing. What is
happening? I know the files are there. I even try mounting it, but I doubt I need it.

Sheng-Chieh
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Re: how do I see 3.5 floppy disk?

Postby shengchieh on Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:16 pm

I'll answer my own question. The answer is at

http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/101

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Re: how do I see 3.5 floppy disk?

Postby shengchieh on Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:21 pm

Now it is a different problem. The floppy disks do NOT unmount. I keep having to reboot (haven't tried restart fluxbox yet).
I put the floppy disk in and the files. I use the terminal to

shred --remove /media/floppy_/*

Then I tried to unmount it via Thunar. I get the message

There is data that needs to be written to the device PC Floppy Drive before it
can be removed. Please do not remove the media or disconnect the drive.

I google searched for this error and didn't find the solution. Someone did submit an ubuntu bug
report w/ no answer. Is there a workaround?

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Re: how do I see 3.5 floppy disk?

Postby littlejoe5 on Wed Aug 17, 2011 4:06 am

I'm having the same sort of troubles. With Linux' famous reputation for being useful to rescue old computers, one would think that they would preserve compatability with old hardware - at least to some extent.

The tutorial you found is useful, but quite inadequate. You would probably be better served to download mtools, and learn to use them. They are a poor substitute for real floppy access, but they are better than nothing. Some computers do well with dosemu. Mine (under Mint10 or 11) doesn't do well at all. I use dosemu all the time for several older programs, and it works very well except for it's inability to access the floppy. I'm convinced that that is not dosemu's problem, but rather that Linux distros have deprecated the floppy - much too soon in my opinion.

I'm experimenting with fdutils. May be some promise there if I can plow through the rather murky documentation.

Meanwhile I have installed Freedos to the first partition on one of my old laptops. That gives me really excellent floppy access, but only by booting directly into it. Freedos is quite powerful, and does a lot of things more like linux than MSdos does. Freedos installed in a virtual machine doesn't have access to the floppy drive since it still has to work through Linux.

If you find a good answer to this problem I'd appreciate a shout about it.

Dave
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Re: how do I see 3.5 floppy disk?

Postby shengchieh on Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:56 pm

I'm thinking of running a liveCD like tiny core or another distro (you have any recommendation?) which specializes in old computers.
And do my floppy disk work. I'm not in a rush anymore since the recycling folks are coming tomorrow and I have stuffs for them
packed. But I do want to go thru some disks for security reason before I throw them out. Either "shred --remove" or reformat.

It'll be a while before I get to this problem again, but I'll get to it. Right now I'm sidetracked by other problems and an upcoming vacation
trip.

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Re: how do I see 3.5 floppy disk?

Postby littlejoe5 on Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:09 pm

Your idea of running a live cd to deal with your old disks is probably a very good one if you don't need to integrate floppy access with your normal distro. I like Puppy5 (also known as "wary puppy "). If you system has the floppy drive installed puppy will find it, and show you an icon of a floppy in the bottom left corner for ready access.

If you boot from the floppy, and then shut it down, it will ask you if you want to save certain files to the hard disk. (It explains itself very well. If you do save those files to the disk(preferably in the partition that holds your home files - but it will be identified to you by its as "sda#" where "#" is the number of the partition), the next time you boot will be faster, and you can then remove the cd, and install a blank cd, which will then give you the option of saving anything you might rescue from the floppy disks either to your hard drive (and make it accessible to your ordinary OS), or to a CD.

I usually install puppy (in that simple "boot from the CD" way) on each of my computers.

Another worthy option would be Freedos. They also make a live CD, but Freedos works better if you can install it on a partition of it's own (probably sda1), and boot directly into it. I don't have as much experience with it, but it is a true dos system - only much more powerful, and more compatible with Linux way of doing things. B efore you just install it to a hard disk, you should check with someone who knows if you can install it to hard drive without messing up your existing grub. I kknow that it works fine if you install it first, and then install a linux distro. Grub will pick it up and make it dual boot - no problem.

Dave

shengchieh wrote:I'm thinking of running a liveCD like tiny core or another distro (you have any recommendation?) which specializes in old computers.
And do my floppy disk work. I'm not in a rush anymore since the recycling folks are coming tomorrow and I have stuffs for them
packed. But I do want to go thru some disks for security reason before I throw them out. Either "shred --remove" or reformat.

It'll be a while before I get to this problem again, but I'll get to it. Right now I'm sidetracked by other problems and an upcoming vacation
trip.

Sheng-Chieh
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