IDE Floppy

The IDE-Floppy Driver Documentation for Linux

Who am I and what is this all about?

My name is Paul Bristow and I am/was (no new ATAPI devices for a while now) the maintainer of the ide-floppy driver for the linux kernel. Please note that for me, this is very much a part-time effort and often I am travelling so it may sometimes be a few days before you get a response. My portable linux development system is the reason I got into this driver stuff – the Clik! drive didn’t work when I got it. If you want to know more about me click on the “about me” link at the top of this page.

You will find the up to date version of this document at http://paulbristow.net/linux/idefloppy.html

Here you will find documentation about the ide-floppy driver in the linux kernel. Not much at the moment, but hang in there. This driver does not deal with USB drives, parallel port drives or SCSI drives, only ATAPI drives that plug in to your IDE controller.

What’s New

Not a lot. There are no recent new ATAPI floppy devices.

Kernels 2.2.18 and up, 2.4.9 and up, and all useable 2.6.x versions include click! support.

Which drives does it support?

  • Iomega ATAPI ZIP 100/250
  • ATAPI LS-120 & 240 SuperDisk
  • PCMCIA Iomega Clik!/PocketZip – see my Clik!/PocketZip mini-HOWTO

Note to manufacturers – if you have a new device and it works please let me know. Likewise if it doesn’t work feel free to contact me for advice.

Handy Links

Frequently Asked Questions

I can’t mount a ZIP/Clik!/PocketZip disk

the syntax for mounting a windows-formatted (or new) Zip disk is

mount -t vfat /dev/hdc4 /mnt/zip

where hdc is the device your drive is found as,
and /mnt/zip is where you normally mount zip disks
the 4 above is really important as ZIP disks are formatted as partition 4.

I can’t mount an LS-120 disk

the syntax for mounting a windows-formatted (or new) LS-120 disk is

mount -t vfat /dev/hdc /mnt/floppy

where hdc is the device your drive is found as, and /mnt/floppy is where you normally mount ls120 disks. Note that superdisks use the entire device by default and not a partition (unlike Zip drives above).

Using a CD-RW and an IDE Floppy device simultaneously

I have seen in some newsgroups the advice that you simply cannot run an ide-floppy device and the ide-scsi emulation needed to make CD-RW drives writeable at the same time. This is not (generally) true. What you need to do depends on your booting method, but basically, in either /etc/lilo.conf or /boot/grub/menu.lst where you append the line

hdx=ide-scsi

add the command

hdy=ide-floppy

as well.

I can’t compile your ide-floppy.c files

If you are running a kernel from 2.2.14 to 2.2.17 that was supplied from your distribution (RedHat, Slackware etc) and you get lots of errors when you run make compiling ide-floppy.c, you need to find the line in ide-floppy.c that says

#include "ide.h"

and change it to

#include "linux/ide.h" 

or vice versa.

Why do I need an updated version?

Most people don’t. Only if you have hardware for which support is under development do you need to download any source code. Currently the only drive which I know some people need new code is the Iomega Clik! drive

How Can I Help?

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be an expert programmer to help make Linux better. One of the things that I can’t do is to test the ide-floppy driver in lots of different hardware configurations, but you can! Telling me of things that do or don’t work can really help. As I learn what sort of things people have problems with I can create documentation that is actually useful.

On the other hand, if you already have some documentation for the ide-floppy driver, and don’t mind it being incorporated in an official HOWTO, with credits, then feel free to send it to me.

Regards,

Paul Bristow

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