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The Answer Guy

By James T. Dennis, tag@lists.linuxgazette.net
Starshine Technical Services, http://www.starshine.org/

(?)Floppy/mount Problems: Disk Spins, Lights are on, No one's Home?

From Jonathan on 24 Sep 1998

I have built a custom system just for Linux, but the only problem I have is that when I try to mount a floppy, the light just comes on and the disk just spins. The motherboard is a new Tyan that is full of PCI PnP. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. TIA


(!)What is the exact mount command that you are attempting? If you are relying on an entry in your /etc/fstab to provide the filesystem type and options, what does that line look like?
How is this diskette formatted? What if you use the mtools commands on a DOS formatted floppy?
Do any associated messages appear in your syslog (/var/log/messages)? Are you sure that you have the flopp support compiled into this kernel? (Perhaps you have to load a module)?
If it really is a PnP issue you could look for the PnP tools for Linux (these are userspace tools, mostly without kernel patches --- though I'm pretty ignorant on the details. I generally recommend disabling any BIOS PnP ("Plug and Pray") features when installing Linux --- particularly on a dedicated Linux server where you don't have to accomodate some other OS.
If all else fails, boot up with a copy of DOS (DR-DOS even) and access the floppy that way --- or try a tomsrtbt (Tom Oehser's Root/Boot distribution on a floppy -- the best Linux rescue diskette I've found). Naturally these have to use the floppy --- so it should be pretty obvious if there's some hardware failure or incompatibility.

Copyright © 1998, James T. Dennis
Published in Linux Gazette Issue 33 October 1998

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