Mounting Floppy diskette on Ultra Sparc 5.  How?

Posted on 2005-05-14
Last Modified: 2013-12-27
Hello!  Everyone,

I just started beating Ultra Sparc 5 at home.   Solaris 8 OS loading is not successful, but I could run rudimental Unix system by,

 ok boot cdrom -s  (Single User Mode)

So, I decided to use a text level Unix at the beginning of this practice.   Now, I need to "mount" floppy diskette to input something into the computer.   I did something like,

# mount  /dev/rdiskette  /dev/fd0
(I tried similar commands several times.  The error messages were different depend on the command line.)

One time, it said, this is not the Filesystem it can read (because I am inserting PC format diskette).   Then, I started "format" and "mkfs" first.  

# format -t diskette /dev/rdiskette
# mkfs -F s5 /dev/diskette

I tried something similar commands like above several times.   But each time I got some error, such as "s5" isn't in Kernel, "partition number is unknow", so on ...

Will someone write Step by Step command lines for PC floppy disk to be formatted, and to be made a proper FileSystem, and then mouned onto the Ultra Sparc 5 at console which is not running CDE?     Thank you!

Question by:mkido
    LVL 10

    Accepted Solution

    There are two ways you can mount a floppy. Eigther you can do it manually (like the way you tried) or through something called volmgt (not to confound with veritas volume manager, volmgt is just a little daemon inside solaris). When booting from CD into this miniunix, then volmgt is not running, so you can only do it manually.

    Second thing is the filesystem on your floppy disk, which may eigther be ufs (the one that you normally have on harddrives under solaris) or pcfs (the one you also have on Dos/Windows-based computers). Normally you put a pcfs onto your floppy disk, so that the data can also be exchanged with a windows PC. If your floppy is already dos-formatted, then you dont need to reformat it anymore.

    the solaris-command "format" is kind of similar to the windows command "fdisk", so it' about partitioning harddisks... it's more powerfull than fdisk, but definitly not needed for a floppy

    the solaris-command "newfs" is kind of similar to the windows command "format", which is about putting a filesystem onto a harddrive (or also a floppy).

    Something more you need is a mountpoint. This is the place where you mount your floppy to. Technically seen a mountpoint is simply an empty directory.

    So let's go for the steps:

    1. You enter the floppy into the drive
    2. (optional) you put a filesystem onto this floppy:  newfs -F pcfs /dev/rdiskette    or newfs -F ufs /dev/rdiskette
    3. You mount the floppy onto your mountpoint. There is already a mountpoint for temporary mounts called /mnt: mount /dev/diskette /mnt
    4. You put data onto your floppy be writing to /mnt

    Suppose you want to take the floppy out again, don't just take it out of the drive... it could corrupt your data, or maybe your data that you wrote to /mnt is not yet really written to the disk, but still in cche. instead do the following:

    1. Unmount the floppy: umount /mnt
    2. (maybe needed): Suppose your umount-command has given you a "device busy", then you are still "sitting" on the mountpoint. : cd /; umount /mnt
    3. Take the floppy out.

    However I would not play around to much in this miniunix booted from cdrom, as you are very limited in what you can do. If you post your problems in loading solaris onto the harddrive we may be able to help you there too.


    Author Comment

    Hello!   neteducation!
    Your comments are fully in details, so I can try it now.   Let me see.   Thank you, and talk to you soon.

    Author Comment

    Hello!   I tried it.   With Solaris 8 CD and Ultra Sparc 5 environment, and "CD boot single user mode" miniunix, it doesn't take a PC formatted diskette.   When I tried to mount it, it said "not this filesystem type" or alike.   So, I tried "newfs".   It still doesn't like,
      newfs -F pcfs     nor
      newfs -F ufs
    so, I tried,
      mkfs -F ufs /dev/rdiskette -o nsect=32, ntrack=16, bsize=8192, fragsize=1024

    The reason I put many parameters of size was that it complained when I omitted them.   I just took the default suggestion of sizes (so I have no idea what these values mean).   Anyway, certain kind of Making FileSystem went on to my blank PC diskette, and said "1.4 MB in 1 cyl groun" at the bottom line.  

    Well, I felt it sounded good, so I went a head of,
      mount  /dev/diskette /mnt
    Congratulation!   My new Floppy diskette is mounted.    
    Thank you, and I will repeat a few times later, and then close this posting.   Bye now.

    Author Comment

    Hello!   I am getting close this posting, and before that I add a few questions.  

    What is the difference of 'newfs' and 'mkfs'?    Which one is better for making (or re-making) the FileSystem?  

    After a few practices, now I issue the 'mkfs' commad for Floppy as below,
    # mkfs -F ufs /dev/rdiskette 2880
    (no more many parameters)

    This works well, however I have one Warning message,
    "Warning 192 sector(s) in last cylinder unallocated"

     I took the number 2880 sectors from somewhere.  Should I allocate 192 sectors more?   Right now it is easy for Floppy is fixed size as 2880 sectors, but if I need to do another hard disk or something else, how can I figure the right sector numbers?      Thank you, just before closing this post.  
    LVL 10

    Assisted Solution

    newfs is the newer thing. it runs in background mkfs with parameters optimized for most common usage...

    If you like setting all those parameters then you may use mkfs, if you dont want to care about, but let the system do the work, then use newfs

    >> This works well, however I have one Warning message,
    >> "Warning 192 sector(s) in last cylinder unallocated"

    If you want to stick with mkfs then yes, specify a bigger size. If you want the system to do the work, then use newfs

    btw: It's more common to have pcfs on floppy disks, because like this you can read te data also in some windows/dos-environment... but you are perfectly allowed using ufs

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