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 Floppy reports size as zero sectors, zero tracks, zero bytes

My 3-1/2" floppy drive has stopped responding properly to requests for
its geometry.  The low-level "fdformat" utility will query the hardware,
find out that the disk has zero sectors and zero tracks, and exit (it
seems to think its work is done).  The drive doesn't show any other
problems: I can put filesystems on the floppies and mount them, and I can
splat kernels directly onto the media with "dd".  I can even do a
low-level format with "superformat" (which doesn't seem to ask for the
geometry).  The sector/track error is only an issue with "fdformat" and
with Mach---Mach always wants to check the geometry before mounting the
floppy disk.

I'm trying to figure out what is causing the problem.  In the past, the
floppy drive worked fine.  Unfortunately, I can't tell when the problem
occurred; I don't do low-level formats that often.  I can think of three
possibilities:

 1. My 1992 floppy drive has had a hardware failure, or is simply
    incompatible with modern hardware.  (It moved from B: to A: a while
    back, but I doubt that's the problem).
 2. My PCI motherboard's built-in floppy controller is buggy.  It's an
    Intel Zappa ED, with the Triton 82430FX chipset.  It's fairly recent.
 3. The Linux floppy driver (which Mach is using) is incompatible with
    one of the two pieces of hardware.

Does anyone have suggestions on how to proceed?  Thanks.

Derek

--
Derek Upham
s...@celia.serv.net                                 http://www.**-**.com/ ~sand

"Ha!  Your Leaping Tiger Kung Fu is no match for my Frightened Piglet style!"



 Wed, 03 Feb 1999 03:00:00 GMT   
 Floppy reports size as zero sectors, zero tracks, zero bytes

In <sand.840299793@itchy>, Derek Upham <s...@serv.net> wrote:
:My 3-1/2" floppy drive has stopped responding properly to requests for
:its geometry.  The low-level "fdformat" utility will query the hardware,
:find out that the disk has zero sectors and zero tracks, and exit (it
:seems to think its work is done).

 The (not so) "low level" fdformat doesn't actually query the
hardware. Many problems with fdformat are actually due to a
misunderstanding about how it handles floppy geometry: if you use
fdformat on /dev/fd0, it will use whichever geometry you told it to
use (via setfdrpm). If you use fdformat on a fixed format floppy
device, it uses the fixed geometry attached to that device, which is
never zero sectors and zero tracks. RTFM.

 However, what is odd here is that it returns a geometry of 0/0/0, and
not simply ENODEV (No such device).

[...]
:  I can think of three
:possibilities:
:
: 1. My 1992 floppy drive has had a hardware failure, or is simply
:    incompatible with modern hardware.  (It moved from B: to A: a while
:    back, but I doubt that's the problem).
: 2. My PCI motherboard's built-in floppy controller is buggy.  It's an
:    Intel Zappa ED, with the Triton 82430FX chipset.  It's fairly recent.
: 3. The Linux floppy driver (which Mach is using) is incompatible with
:    one of the two pieces of hardware.

4. pilot error :-)

:Does anyone have suggestions on how to proceed?  Thanks.

 Either configure the desired geometry with setfdprm (such as
'setfdrpm /dev/fd0 1440/1440 ; fdformat /dev/fd0'), or use a fixed
format device (such as 'fdformat /dev/fd0u1440').

 If this still fails, could you post the exact commandline(s) you
used, and the exact error messages?

 Regards,

--
 Linux - Why use Windows, since there is a door?

 Alain



 Thu, 04 Feb 1999 03:00:00 GMT   
 Floppy reports size as zero sectors, zero tracks, zero bytes

Brought to you through the the magic of the X clipboard:

------------------------- cut here -----------------------------

# /root ; ls -l /dev/fd0*
brw-------   1 root     wheel      2,   0 Jun 14  1992 /dev/fd0
brw-------   1 root     wheel      2,  28 Oct 20  1995 /dev/fd0u1440
brw-------   1 root     wheel      2, 124 Oct 20  1995 /dev/fd0u1600
brw-------   1 root     wheel      2,  44 Oct 20  1995 /dev/fd0u1680
brw-------   1 root     wheel      2, 116 Oct 20  1995 /dev/fd0u1840
brw-------   1 root     wheel      2, 100 Oct 20  1995 /dev/fd0u1920
brw-------   1 root     wheel      2,  32 Oct 20  1995 /dev/fd0u2880
brw-------   1 root     wheel      2, 112 Oct 20  1995 /dev/fd0u3840
# /root ; fdformat /dev/fd0u1440
Single-sided, 0 tracks, 0 sec/track. Total capacity 0 kB.
Formatting ... done
Verifying ... done
# /root ; cat /etc/fdprm
# /etc/fdprm  -  floppy disk parameter table

# Common disk formats. Names are of the form
#  actual media capacity/maximum drive capacity
# (Note: although 5.25" HD drives can format disks at 1.44M, they're listed
#        as 1200 because that's the common maximum size.)

#               size sec/t hds trk stre gap  rate spec1 fmt_gap
#         (sectors!)
360/360          720     9   2  40    0 0x2A 0x02 0xDF     0x50
1200/1200       2400    15   2  80    0 0x1B 0x00 0xDF     0x54
360/720          720     9   2  40    1 0x2A 0x02 0xDF     0x50
720/720         1440     9   2  80    0 0x2A 0x02 0xDF     0x50
720/1440        1440     9   2  80    0 0x2A 0x02 0xDF     0x50
360/1200         720     9   2  40    1 0x23 0x01 0xDF     0x50
720/1200        1440     9   2  80    0 0x23 0x01 0xDF     0x50
1440/1440       2880    18   2  80    0 0x1B 0x00 0xCF     0x6C
# /root ; setfdprm /dev/fd0 1440/1440
# /root ; fdformat /dev/fd0      
Single-sided, 0 tracks, 0 sec/track. Total capacity 0 kB.
Formatting ... done
Verifying ... done
# /root ; fdformat /dev/fd0u1440
Single-sided, 0 tracks, 0 sec/track. Total capacity 0 kB.
Formatting ... done
Verifying ... done
# /root ;

-------------------------- cut here ----------------------------

When asked to format the disk, the drive does activate, and formatting
does occur.  But with a zero/zero geometry, the formatting goes rather
quickly.  And this happens regardless of the minor number chosen.  I
added the other small-format devices just now and got the same problem
for all of them.

Derek

--
Derek Upham
s...@celia.serv.net                                 http://www.serv.net/~sand

"Ha!  Your Leaping Tiger Kung Fu is no match for my Frightened Piglet style!"



 Fri, 05 Feb 1999 03:00:00 GMT   
 Floppy reports size as zero sectors, zero tracks, zero bytes

In <sand.840515084@itchy>, Derek Upham <s...@serv.net> wrote:
:
:> If this still fails, could you post the exact commandline(s) you
:>used, and the exact error messages?
:
:Brought to you through the the magic of the X clipboard:
:
:------------------------- cut here -----------------------------
:
:# /root ; ls -l /dev/fd0*
:brw-------   1 root     wheel      2,   0 Jun 14  1992 /dev/fd0
:brw-------   1 root     wheel      2,  28 Oct 20  1995 /dev/fd0u1440

 looks ok.

:# /root ; fdformat /dev/fd0u1440

 ok as well.

:Single-sided, 0 tracks, 0 sec/track. Total capacity 0 kB.

 Now this is odd.

:Formatting ... done
:Verifying ... done

 With which kernel does this happen? On which kernel was this copy of
fdformat compiled? The reason I ask this is because the floppy ioctl
numbering scheme has changed during 1.3. Newer kernels still
understand the old scheme (until 2.1), but older kernels don't
understand the new scheme. Thus, if you use floppy utilities compiled
on 2.0 kernels on 1.2 kernels, they will fail.

If the problem does happen on a recent kernel, could you try to run
fdformat under strace ?

 Regards,

--
 Linux - Why use Windows, since there is a door?

 Alain



 Sat, 06 Feb 1999 03:00:00 GMT   
 Floppy reports size as zero sectors, zero tracks, zero bytes

Got it, I think.  The kernel I'm using is 2.0.10, but I couldn't tell
when the "fdformat" was compiled (just that it was ELF).  I got
util-linux-2.5 and compiled the version in there, and it works
perfectly.  It looks like some ioctl incompatibility was causing the
problem.  Now I just need to figure out what's causing the problems
under Mach.

Thanks,

Derek

--
Derek Upham
s...@celia.serv.net                                 http://www.serv.net/~sand

"Ha!  Your Leaping Tiger Kung Fu is no match for my Frightened Piglet style!"



 Wed, 10 Feb 1999 03:00:00 GMT   
 
   [ 5 post ] 

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