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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Hardware
How to use 5.25" floppy drives in Puppy? (Solved)
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AntonySerio

Joined: 10 Jan 2017
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Tue 10 Jan 2017, 11:52    Post subject:  How to use 5.25" floppy drives in Puppy? (Solved)  

I have Puppy 5.6 running on an old Athalon 550 tower, with 750MB of ram. The main reason that I am running this machine is to archive the data from a collection of old floppy disks. I can read 3.5 floppy disks fine. However, I am not sure if puppy can see the 5 1/4 drive. /mnt only has one floppy, fd0. The 5 1/4 drive is listed in the BIOS, but I had to enter it myself, it was not autodetected. The 5 1/4 drive was NOT listed in the BIOS when I installed puppy. Is there a way to add the 5 1/4 drive by hand, or would it be easier if I did a re-installation of puppy with the drive listed in the BIOS?
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LazY Puppy


Joined: 21 Nov 2014
Posts: 1920
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Tue 10 Jan 2017, 12:09    Post subject:  

If it is listed in the bios it should be recognized by Puppy.

Probably it will appear on the desktop only, if a floppy disk is inserted into that floppy drive.

At least the CD/DVD drives are appearing to the desktop only, when a CD/DVD is inserted into such drive.

Since there is some boot options like --ignore-floppies (in entries in menu.lst e.g.) you may check this too.

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RSH

Wer böses sagt wider mich und die Meinen, der gehe nach Hause und betrachte sich und die Seinen.
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AntonySerio

Joined: 10 Jan 2017
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Wed 11 Jan 2017, 18:06    Post subject:  

I only have one floppy on my desktop and /boot/grub/menu.lst looks good. When I boot with a 5 1/4 floppy in the drive, the computer does try and boot from it, so I know that the BIOS can access is. So, since the 5 1/4 drive is not automatically listed on the desktop and in /mnt, is there a way for me to add it by hand? I do have a both +fd0 and +fd1 listed in /dev.
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Flash
Official Dog Handler


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 12440
Location: Arizona USA

PostPosted: Wed 11 Jan 2017, 18:23    Post subject:  

Is it possible that Puppy can't read the filesystem used on the 5 1/4 floppy? Linux recognizes filesystems, not devices. If Puppy doesn't recognize the filesystem, no icon will automatically show up on your desktop.
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AntonySerio

Joined: 10 Jan 2017
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Wed 11 Jan 2017, 19:47    Post subject:  

When I have both a 5 1/4 floppy and a 3 1/2 floppy loaded at the same time, Pmount shows two fd0 drives. The 'bar' of one of fd0s is grey, the same way that Pmount looks when it displays an empty 3 1/2 floppy drive. The other is sometimes red, but at other times is grey. The 3 1/2 floppy can not be read when Pmount shows both floppy drives as grey. After hitting refresh a few times in Pmount, one of the 3 1/2 drives will turn red. When I click on the desktop icon, the only one that I can see is the 3 1/2. After Navigating to /mnt/fd0 takes me to the 3 1/2 drive as well. If there is only a 5 1/4 floppy, /mnt/fd0 shows an empty directory.

Most of the 5 1/4 floppies are from an old DOS machine. Can puppy read fat16 formatted disks? There are ArcGIS files on some. They may have been on some older variety of *nix.
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Fossil


Joined: 13 Dec 2005
Posts: 1114
Location: Gloucestershire, UK.

PostPosted: Wed 11 Jan 2017, 22:22    Post subject:  

Out of curiosity, what is the density of these 5.25" floppy drive discs and of the corresponding 3.5" discs - 360/720 or HD? Also, how old are they and have they been stored adequately away from magnetic sources?
A swift edit. Are both floppy drives on the same ribbon cable? How are they shown in the BIOS setup?
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Flash
Official Dog Handler


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 12440
Location: Arizona USA

PostPosted: Wed 11 Jan 2017, 23:11    Post subject:  

According to the Wikipedia article FAT filesystem and Linux,
Quote:
All of the Linux filesystem drivers support all three FAT types, namely FAT12, FAT16 and FAT32. Where they differ is in the provision of support for long filenames, beyond the 8.3 filename structure of the original FAT filesystem format, and in the provision of Unix file semantics that do not exist as standard in the FAT filesystem format such as file permissions.[1] The filesystem drivers are mutually exclusive. Only one can be used to mount any given disk volume at any given time.

Quote:
Accessing FAT formatted volumes without kernel support
Further information: mtools

Although the filesystem drivers in the kernel make it possible to access files and directories on FAT formatted volumes in the normal manner, it is also possible to do so without kernel driver support, using the utility programs that form the mtools utility suite. Like the vfat FAT filesystem driver, mtools provides long filename support using the same disc data structures that Microsoft Windows uses.[7][13][14]

Alternately, one of the FUSE filesystem drivers may be used—FatFuse, FuseFat or mountlo
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AntonySerio

Joined: 10 Jan 2017
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Thu 12 Jan 2017, 11:23    Post subject:  

Both floppies are on the same ribbon cable. The motherboard only has one floppy controller. The drives are integrated as one unit (two drives in one 'bay'), and are 'new', purchased in the 90's but only unpackaged and used this week. The 5 1/4 floppies are labeled as being formatted MD-2HD, the 3 1/2 drives are MF2HD, and they have been stored away from magnets and electronics. They 5 1/4 disks are relatively old, dating from the 1980's. The 3 1/2 is listed in the BIOS as primary, the 5 1/4 as secondary. I had to enter the 5 1/4 drive manually in the BIOS, and I listed it as a 1.2 MB drive.
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dancytron

Joined: 18 Jul 2012
Posts: 690

PostPosted: Thu 12 Jan 2017, 11:57    Post subject:  

Do you have the manual for the floppy drives? Old drives had dip switches and/or jumpers to set which one was master and which one was slave (and other things). I vaguely remember from the foggy mid to late 80's setting jumpers on floppy drives to make them do what I wanted.
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Les Kerf

Joined: 24 Jun 2012
Posts: 308

PostPosted: Thu 12 Jan 2017, 16:11    Post subject:  

Try plugging the 5.25 drive in to the ribbon cable all by itself without the other drive; also try it in both positions.
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AntonySerio

Joined: 10 Jan 2017
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Thu 12 Jan 2017, 17:06    Post subject:  

I do not have the paper manual that came with the drive, but I was able to find it at: http://ftp.epson.com/desktop/SD800.TXT . I pulled the drive and checked the jumpers. They were set to the factory defaults.
The description was a bit confusing and contradicting:
Jumper Definitions
Drive Select:
SS 1 Drive Configuration
A Drive Select A = 5.25
Drive Select B = 3.5"
B Drive Select A = 3.5"
Drive Select B = 5.25
SS1 Determines the "drive select" for the 3.5" and 5.25" FDD.
In the default position (A) the *A* drive is the 3.5" FDD
**if** the dual drive is in the upper slot of the pc and
uses the FDD connector on the end of the cable (after the
"twist").

If the SS1 jumper is changed to the (B) position, the 5.25"
FDD becomes the *A* drive **if** the dual drive is in the
upper slot of the PC and uses the FDD Connector on the end
of the cable (after the "twist").
Anyhow, I kept the jumpers the same, and switched floppy A and B in the BIOS. The computer couldn't properly read 3 1/2 disks with the 5 1/4 drive set to A. It was reading internal parts of documents as filenames. I think it was trying to read the tracks of the 3 1/2 floppy as a 5 1/4... It still couldn't read 5 1/4 disks. It obviously wasn't right so I switched it back.

There is only one ribbon cable connector for both drives. It is a knife edge connector, and it is on the 5 1/4. There is an internal ribbon cable connecting the 3 1/2 drive. I don't want to mess with it if I don't have to. According to the second part of the Epson document, the jumper is set right to have the 3 1/2 as drive A.

The only time the light on the 5 1/4 drive comes on is during startup when the BIOS is searching for boot files. Pmount does not cause the light on the 5 1/4 to come on during a scan. The 3 1/2 drive does light up.
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Fossil


Joined: 13 Dec 2005
Posts: 1114
Location: Gloucestershire, UK.

PostPosted: Thu 12 Jan 2017, 18:12    Post subject:  

5.25" floppy drives are 'ancient'. Perhaps the necessary drivers were dropped from your version of Puppy 5.6. To be clear, is this Precise or Slacko? Open question: has anyone else managed to get a 5.25" drive to mount using a similar aged distro? Years ago I regularly used to mount 3.5" high-density floppy discs on one of the early versions of Puppy. I can't recall the version - too long ago! Confused
Have you tried an older version of Puppy; one that is closer to the age of the floppy drive? Perhaps ttuuxx's Classic Pup 214X?
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AntonySerio

Joined: 10 Jan 2017
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Thu 12 Jan 2017, 21:21    Post subject:  

This is the latest and greatest, I presume it is slacko. I can look into older versions. Things like a working copy of Firefox are nice but not required for this machine. As I mentioned it's sole purpose is to archive floppies. Can Classic run on an Athalon 550, or does it need a something older?
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Flash
Official Dog Handler


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 12440
Location: Arizona USA

PostPosted: Thu 12 Jan 2017, 21:57    Post subject:  

It should run fine in a computer with an Athlon 550 and 750 MB of RAM. By the way, are you sure about the amount of RAM? 750 MB is an odd number.
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AntonySerio

Joined: 10 Jan 2017
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Fri 13 Jan 2017, 11:00    Post subject:  

It has 3 x 256 MB chips, so technically it has 768 MB of ram.
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