SUMMARY: floppy disks on Solaris 2.5

From: Marc Gibian (
Date: Wed May 01 1996 - 14:37:10 CDT

I got a great response to my question, appended to this message, with
most providing accurate solutions... though the most appropriate reply
was "read the FAQ" (oops).

The answers are:

1. Use "volcheck" with no arguments to get Solaris to recognize newly
inserted media in a floppy drive.

2. This is intentional, to prevent the OS from frequently running the
floppy drive's motor and damaging the hardware.

3. Access the raw device through the name /vol/dev/rdiskette0/no_name,
though the name no_name may change from disk to disk (?).

Thanks to the following for their replies: ( Andy J. Stefancik 237-2164 )
Sean Ward <>
Benjamin Cline <>
Stephen P Richardson <> (Glenn W Cantello)
Richard Aures <> (Kevin Sheehan {Consulting Poster Child}) (Glenn Satchell - Uniq Professional Services) (
"Staton, Chris" <>
Casper Dik <casper@holland.Sun.COM>
Kevin Wenzel <>

Marc S. Gibian
Telos Consulting Services phone: (617) 377-6350
PRISM/TFS email:

---------------------- original question --------------
We have been running Solaris 2.5 on SPARCstation 20s and 10s for about
six months. Each of these machines has an internal floppy drive, but
we have not used them until very recently. I have discovered that the
volume manager does not respond to the insertion of media into the
floppy drive as it does to media insertion into a CDROM. While the
CDROM will be mounted, under /cdrom/cdrom0 & /cdrom/<name>, within a
few seconds, the floppy will not get mounted until the volume manager
"gets a tap on the shoulder." Commands I have found that provide that
tap are:

volcheck /dev/diskette


fdformat -d

Is the need for this "tap on the shoulder" a bug? A volume manager
configuration error? Intentional? Something else entirely?

Also, is there a way to permit direct device access to floppies
without disabling volume management of the floppy drive? We probably
need to be able to perform direct binary stream operations on the
device, such as tar cvf /dev/diskette ., as well as mounted filesystem

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