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jasonjob
February 26th, 2011, 01:14 PM
Finally got sick of wondering why Ubuntu kept insisting that my machine had a floppy drive (has never had the hardware).

Turns out that my bios says so (although Windows doesn't insist that there is one...).

Anyway, turned it off, and suddenly startup halts after the splash-screen, just when X usually starts.

After several failed boots, I changed the bios setting back, and it boots again...

Any idea why this should be so? Don't much care about the floppy, although it is yet another of those little niggling things that it would be nice to clear away, just cannot see why such a thing should interfere with bootup (and its not as if adding or subtracting other hardware has prevented booting - otherwise nothing would ever work :)

Thanks

Temüjin
February 26th, 2011, 02:54 PM
Is there an entry for the "drive" in /etc/fstab ?

jasonjob
February 27th, 2011, 12:21 AM
Yes.

/dev/fd0 /media/floppy0 auto rw,user,noauto,exec,utf8 0 0

Temüjin
February 27th, 2011, 12:47 AM
And if you comment it or delete it, does the system boot without the floppy enabled?
gksu gedit /etc/fstab

psusi
February 27th, 2011, 03:03 AM
If the bios thinks you have a floppy, then so does Windows. Hardware vendors never implemented the auto detection commands so PCs have had to rely on the user telling the bios what kind of floppy ( if any ) you have. Since there is no way to detect it, the OS just has to take the word of the bios for it.

jasonjob
February 27th, 2011, 06:19 AM
Uh, no, Windows does NOT insist that I have a floppy, even with the bios saying so - I guess Windows actually looks at the hardware somehow. Maybe XP should be insisting this, but it isn't :/


Commented floppy out of fstab, no start. But then I added it back in and no start :(


Seems I'm currently having spontaneous driver trouble with fglrx (it just decided not to work unless I boot in recovery mode). Had to fix it by removing and re-installing the driver, which Ubuntu decided to download instead of using the perfectly good packages already on my drive (packages generated by the very latest ATI binary just two days ago) which *were* working just fine.

Works now, but I give up on any and all twiddling - not worth the effort, and if I can get some of compiz's effects for XP I might just dump Ubuntu entirely... Frustrated by 10.10, can you tell?


Just to satisfy my lingering curiosity (and possibly tempting fate here :), in what way would a floppy listed in fstab conflicting with what bios says prevent X starting? Or does it do something else that screws the machine before it even gets to X? Or am on a red herring through coincidence, with the driver problem being the real (if inconsistent) issue?

psusi
February 27th, 2011, 04:42 PM
Uh, no, Windows does NOT insist that I have a floppy, even with the bios saying so - I guess Windows actually looks at the hardware somehow. Maybe XP should be insisting this, but it isn't :/

Check again. Everyone who has ever had this same issue has the icon show up in Windows as well -- they just usually hadn't noticed it before. Having written the floppy driver for ReactOS ( an open source windows clone ), and checking into how the Linux and Windows floppy drivers did it, I can tell you that they both trust the bios setting. In fact, special steps had to be taken to have the boot loader ask the bios what it is set to and pass that information to the kernel. I learned this the hard way, after baning my head against the wall trying to figure out why on earth the auto detection functions described in the floppy controller specs weren't working.


Seems I'm currently having spontaneous driver trouble with fglrx (it just decided not to work unless I boot in recovery mode). Had to fix it by removing and re-installing the driver, which Ubuntu decided to download instead of using the perfectly good packages already on my drive (packages generated by the very latest ATI binary just two days ago) which *were* working just fine.

I use the open source drivers instead of fglrx and have no issues with desktop effects.


Just to satisfy my lingering curiosity (and possibly tempting fate here :), in what way would a floppy listed in fstab conflicting with what bios says prevent X starting? Or does it do something else that screws the machine before it even gets to X? Or am on a red herring through coincidence, with the driver problem being the real (if inconsistent) issue?

Because it is trying to mount a disk that doesn't exist and is getting stuck?

jasonjob
February 28th, 2011, 08:57 AM
Okay, so a floppy in fstab that (bios says) isn't there can get it stuck - but what about the network drive I have mapped in there that belongs to a machine that isn't always on (in fact is generally off)? I've never had an issue there...

Just re-installed completely to fix the graphics issue (I'm guessing that part of the reason the open driver doesn't cut it for me is that I've an older card - Radeon HD 3870), and took the opportunity to turn off the floppy in bios. Install went pretty much perfectly, and Ubuntu no longer tells me I have a floppy (and BOOTS as well :)