Howto: Linux formatting floppy and zip disk and create filesystem

Posted on in Categories last updated August 30, 2006

Q. How do I format floppy and zip disk under Linux?

A. You need to fdformat command. It does a low level format on a floppy disk device is usually /dev/fd0 or /dev/fd1:

/dev/fd0 is your first floppy disk drive (A: under MS-DOS/ Windows XP). You must be the root to run following command.

Task: Low level format on a floppy disk

# fdformat /dev/fd0

Task: Create a Linux file system on a floppy disk

# /sbin/mkfs.ext3 /dev/fd0

Task: Create a MS DOS FAT file system on a floppy disk

# /sbin/mkfs.vfat /dev/fd0

Task: Create a partition on zip device

Zip device treated as SCSI device. So your first zip disk is /dev/sda. To remove or to create partition type the following command:
# fdisk /dev/sda
Type m for help and follow on screen instructions.

Task: Create or format a partition on zip device

/dev/sda1 is your first partition. To format in Linux file system type the following command:
# mkfs.ext /dev/sda1OR for FAT file system use # mkfs.vfat /dev/sda1

/etc/fstab file

The /etc/fstab allows you to configure the mount points.
# mkdir -p /mnt/zipOpen file and add entry:
# /etc/fstabAppend following text:
/dev/sda1 /mnt/zip ext3 noauto,rw,user,nosuid,sync
For DOS FAT file system add something as follows:
/dev/sda2 /mnt/zipd vfat noauto,rw,user,nosuid,sync,mode=0777
Save close the file.

Task: Mount zip device

To mount zip type following command:
$ mount /mnt/zip
$ cd /mnt/zip
$ ls

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. He has worked with global clients and in various industries, including IT, education, defense and space research, and the nonprofit sector. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+.

4 comment

  1. To use linux you must study the linux bible ,so many commands ,that you dont have any clue that they exists.That makes the whole situation more complex,time consuming and difficult and i know who is responsible behind this.those stupid linux fans that the only thing they do right is yelling that linux is better than windows, who gives a f*ck anyway , they dont help at all.

    ok we got manuals ,but manuals are not for humans but for robots that can process the information so quickly that they can undertand the 100 page manual that came infront of them because they wanted to extract a file from a zip. GOD have mercy !!!

  2. Yes, Linux is difficult, but it has come a long way. It’s ready for more users, but it’s still not ready for the masses. The problem here actually has nothing to do with Linux. To complain that there are ways to control your system with precision is to complain of freedom and power. The problem here is due to the BIOS manufacturers and probably MS, whom they may have exclusive contracts with or simply ignorance. They are capable of making utilities (and may very well have them in-house) to do the same work, with the same amount of effort (or lack thereof for the user) in Linux as Windows. (run program, are you sure, done!)

    I’m using Linux and I am unable to flash my BIOS. I have an ECS KT600-A. They only offer Windows and DOS solutions. The windows exe failes in WINE (may not have access to system hardware to read the manufacturer type and BIOS of motherboard) and while I can get the DOS solution working off a FreeDOS based floppy, the program fails with a “size mismatch” error. I’ve emailed the manufacturer, but I’m doubtful to get a helpful response.

    So, it seems like I’m going to have to invest in a motherboard (and maybe processor) from a company who’s willing to support this growing community.

    The previous poster makes a point I just realized, that the Linux community does maintain a certain “firewall” of usability for truly seeking spirits. It may appear to be exclusive, but there’s nothing preventing you from learning it. As I get more familiar with Linux, I appreciate (and memorize) the various commands that get me through the day. It takes some determination.

    Try giving to a child, for their first computer, one that runs on Linux. You might be surprised how well they get by. Or maybe they’ll decide that it might be better for them to go outside and enjoy the sunlight and all of life’s offerings.

    Nam Myoho Renge Kyo

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