SUMMARY: Floppy formatting problem under File MGR

From: Sean Harvey (
Date: Mon May 05 1997 - 10:52:24 CDT

   dear hsrvey,
  do the following to format a floppy
login as root
newfs /dev/rfd0a
mount /dev/fd0sa /mnt

mkfs /dev/rfd0a
mount /dev/fd0a /mnt
    there after u can do what ever u want


>From Anthony.Worrall

Try using fdformat -U


Depends what type of formatting you want to do...

>From the command line use fdformat -U which unmounts the floppy
first if volmgt is running. You can add '-d' if you want a dos


Glenn Satchell



Hello Sean,

Here is the Bug report on the problem that you have. There is a workaround for it. Synopsis: filemgr can't format already formatted floppy

Description: Openwindows filemgr can't format an already formatted floppy.

Today, floppy disks usually come already DOS formatted. Using the file manager, it is impossible to reformat them and put a UNIX file system on them.

1. Put a DOS formatted floppy into the drive.

2. Select "Check For Floppy" The floppy contents are displayed. 3. Select "Format Floppy" and "UNIX", enter new name. The floppy remains DOS-formatted, just the floppy name changes. Typically you get an error message like this:

/vol/dev/rdiskette0/unnamed is mounted, can't mkfs mount: /vol/dev/diskette0/unnamedis already mounted, /floppy/unnamed is busy, or the allowable number of mount points has been exceeded.


Work around:

1. Invoke the following commamd: tar cvf /vol/dev/aliases/floppy0 <some small file> 2. Eject the floppy

3. Put the floppy in again.

4. Now the floppy appears unformatted to the filemgr and can be formatted as you like.

Integrated in releases: s297_24 Duplicate of: Patch id: 102835-06 See also: 1230961, 1237918, 1240153, 1247575 Summary:

The file manager tool can't format s floppy disk which is already formatted.


I ended up calling Sun on this one because the list did not give me a satisfactory answer. Sun told me there is a bug: FILE MANAGER CANNOT FORMAT A FLOPPY THAT IS ALREADY FORMATTED. Their workaround is to essentially 'unformat' the floppy before trying to format it. I did not bother to include the entire bug report. I anyone is really interested I will forward that.



On Wed, 30 Apr 1997, Sean Harvey wrote:

> > Dear Sun slaves - > > This question has a FAQ ring to it but there's nothing in the SMFAQ so ... > > Subject: FORMATTING FLOPPIES under Solaris 2.5.1 > > Under the File pull-down of File Manager there is a selection 'Format Floppy'. > When I try it I get this friendly message: > > /vol/dev/rdiskette0/g96 is mounted, can't mkfs > mount: /vol/dev/diskette0/g96 is already mounted, /floppy/g96 is busy, > or the allowable number of mount points has been exceeded > > > What's the deal? > > I RTFM'd and managed to format only if I did a volmgt stop first > > Is there a patch I need? What am I doing wrong? > > As always, your valuable assistance will be appreciated. > > Sean > > > /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// > > HISTORY making match starts this weekend > KASPAROV v BIG BLUE LIVE 1500 EST > > ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// >

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