Subject: Empty floppy drive - that old problem
To: None <>
From: Stephen Borrill <>
List: netbsd-help
Date: 10/15/2003 09:01:43
NetBSD has always (as far as I can see) coped really poorly with empty
floppy drives. I think we all know this and all work around it in our own

It doesn't seem able to detect when no floppy is in the drive and enters
an endless loop of timeout errors. If you "mount -t msdos /dev/fd0a /mnt"
then it perpetually tries to mount a floppy, leaving the motor and light
on and trashing your console with timeouts. Compare this to
"mount -t cd9660 /dev/cd0a /mnt" with an empty CD drive which reports
neatly "Operation not supported by device". Obviously there are
differences in operation after the device has been mounted as on standard
PC floppy drives there is nothing stopping you ejecting the disc mid
mount, but it would be very useful if at least mount gave sensible

I'm attempting to use amd in conjunction with the Citrix ICA client. The
ICA client allows you to export a filesystem path as a Windows drive in
your session. In my case, I've got /mnt/floppy automounting with amd and
mapped /mnt/floppy to drive A: under Windows. If you go into My Computer,
Windows does a quick check to get the status of the drives (free space,
etc.). Unfortunately, this triggers a mount of the floppy and if the drive
is empty, it blindly keeps trying to mount it. The same issue affects

I can't see a way around this currently. It would be good to get it solved
once and for all. I need this to work for projects I'm working on and I'm
willing to pay!