17.7. Creating and Using Floppy Disks

This section explains how to format a 3.5 inch floppy disk in FreeBSD.

Procedure 17.2. Steps to Format a Floppy

A floppy disk needs to be low-level formatted before it can be used. This is usually done by the vendor, but formatting is a good way to check media integrity. To low-level format the floppy disk on FreeBSD, use fdformat(1). When using this utility, make note of any error messages, as these can help determine if the disk is good or bad.

  1. To format the floppy, insert a new 3.5 inch floppy disk into the first floppy drive and issue:

    # /usr/sbin/fdformat -f 1440 /dev/fd0
  2. After low-level formatting the disk, create a disk label as it is needed by the system to determine the size of the disk and its geometry. The supported geometry values are listed in /etc/disktab.

    To write the disk label, use bsdlabel(8):

    # /sbin/bsdlabel -B -w /dev/fd0 fd1440
  3. The floppy is now ready to be high-level formatted with a file system. The floppy's file system can be either UFS or FAT, where FAT is generally a better choice for floppies.

    To format the floppy with FAT, issue:

    # /sbin/newfs_msdos /dev/fd0

The disk is now ready for use. To use the floppy, mount it with mount_msdosfs(8). One can also install and use emulators/mtools from the Ports Collection.

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