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Thread: Total Newby Needs Some Help Please, with Floppy Disks

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    Total Newby Needs Some Help Please, with Floppy Disks

    I am a total newby,. having just installed Ubuntu for the first time. I did so because I am so fed up with microsoft windows. However as a newby. I have a load of floppy disks that I need to re-format. I have use the FAQ but can find no reference to formatting disks, be they floppies or other media. Can somebody please inform me how I go about formatting floppy disks please.

    Regards

    Salicet
    Last edited by philinux; June 10th, 2013 at 12:06 PM. Reason: Title changed

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    Re: Total Newby Needs Some Help Please

    I haven't used floppies since 1998 so don't take my word as Gospel.

    I believe you have to temporarily load a kernel module to get access to floppy disks:

    Code:
    sudo modprobe floppy
    Insert your floppy disk. When it appears on the desktop, right-click it and choose "Format...". Set your formatting options and do it.

    Afterward, before pressing the eject button on the drive, right-click the floppy and choose "Eject" and then press the eject button.

    After you have finished working with floppies, unload the kernel module:

    Code:
    sudo modprobe -r floppy
    If this doesn't work, sorry - I'm basing this off old information that I have never used in practice.

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    Re: Total Newby Needs Some Help Please

    Hi 3adalbum,

    Thanks for your reply though sadly it does not help me. As I said in my original post I am a total newby. I used linux for the first time in my life about an hour ago. So sadly your advice to load a kernal module meand absolutely nothing to me. How do I go about installing this module and how do I then unload it when I have finished using floppies

    Regards

    Salicet

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    Re: Total Newby Needs Some Help Please, with Floppy Disks

    Quote Originally Posted by Salicet View Post
    I am a total newby,. having just installed Ubuntu for the first time. I did so because I am so fed up with microsoft windows. However as a newby. I have a load of floppy disks that I need to re-format. I have use the FAQ but can find no reference to formatting disks, be they floppies or other media. Can somebody please inform me how I go about formatting floppy disks please.

    Regards

    Salicet
    Open the software center and search for fdutils app. Install it. I've not used it as I've no floppy drive now. I would imaging it then allows right click on floppy and has a context menu to format etc.

    Which ubuntu version are you running?

    (I've changed your original post title. You''ll get a better response in future by using a good thread title.)
    Last edited by philinux; June 10th, 2013 at 12:35 PM. Reason: typo

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    Re: Total Newby Needs Some Help Please, with Floppy Disks

    Here's and old thread I found regarding floppy drives : http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1048932&page=2
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    Re: Total Newby Needs Some Help Please

    Quote Originally Posted by Salicet View Post
    Hi 3adalbum,

    Thanks for your reply though sadly it does not help me. As I said in my original post I am a total newby. I used linux for the first time in my life about an hour ago. So sadly your advice to load a kernal module meand absolutely nothing to me. How do I go about installing this module and how do I then unload it when I have finished using floppies

    Regards

    Salicet
    open the terminal windows and copy the code he posted in it. first one loads floppy module second one unloads in.

    in other words - most users do not need this module so there is no reaosn to keep it loaded but it seems it is there in case you need it.

    good luck wiht formatting.

    if you need to destroy data on the floppies then dd command (destroy data) might be better option than format. format doesn't remove anything from floppy.
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    Re: Total Newby Needs Some Help Please, with Floppy Disks

    Hi All,

    Thanks for all the replies. Maybe I should explain that I am using version 13.01 of Ubuntu. When I boot Linux I get an icon for a floppy disk on the desktop. I assume that when Linux boots it checks to see what hardware in installed and loads the necessary software drivers. I can read floppy disks and copy from them no problem. What I can't do is write to them or format them. In an earlier post somebody said that If I right click on the floppy disk icon I would get an option to format. Sadly I do not get that option.

    regards

    Salicet

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    Re: Total Newby Needs Some Help Please, with Floppy Disks

    Quote Originally Posted by Salicet View Post
    Hi All,

    Thanks for all the replies. Maybe I should explain that I am using version 13.01 of Ubuntu. When I boot Linux I get an icon for a floppy disk on the desktop. I assume that when Linux boots it checks to see what hardware in installed and loads the necessary software drivers. I can read floppy disks and copy from them no problem. What I can't do is write to them or format them. In an earlier post somebody said that If I right click on the floppy disk icon I would get an option to format. Sadly I do not get that option.

    regards

    Salicet
    stupid question, sorry, but have you checked first that these floppies are not write protected (hardware lock) ? (its the switch on the bottom left floppy corner)
    then to format it, use gparted (the gnome formatting tool): it will first scan and list the devices/partitions, select the one named /dev/fd0 to apply fat32 (or else as you need)

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    Re: Total Newby Needs Some Help Please, with Floppy Disks

    Quote Originally Posted by Salicet View Post
    Hi All,

    Thanks for all the replies. Maybe I should explain that I am using version 13.01 of Ubuntu. When I boot Linux I get an icon for a floppy disk on the desktop. I assume that when Linux boots it checks to see what hardware in installed and loads the necessary software drivers. I can read floppy disks and copy from them no problem. What I can't do is write to them or format them. In an earlier post somebody said that If I right click on the floppy disk icon I would get an option to format. Sadly I do not get that option.

    regards

    Salicet
    I think you may have to install an app called fdutils from the software center as I said before. The icon for software center will be in the launcher on the left hand of your desktop.

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    Re: Total Newby Needs Some Help Please, with Floppy Disks

    From the command prompt you can use:

    Code:
    mkfs -t vfat /dev/fd0
    If you get a "permission denied," use "sudo mkfs" instead and enter your password when prompted. I"m pretty sure ordinary users can format floppies without root permissions, but it's been a long time since I used a device with a floppy drive.

    That command will create a DOS ("vfat") file system onto the floppy. In Linux, like all Unix systems, devices are referenced just like files. There is no equivalent of an "A:" drive. In Linux, if you have one floppy disk drive it is called /dev/fd0. If you had another drive ("B:"), it would be /dev/fd1.
    If you ask for help, please have the courtesy to check for responses and thank the people who helped you.

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