Subject: Re: booting from floppy
To: James Dzimba <>
From: Don Yuniskis <>
List: port-sparc
Date: 09/05/2001 06:20:36

>I have Sparc 10 which does not have the vmunix (probably corrupt or
>deleted)I tried to load NETBSD from floppy and it came back with
> " Boot device : /obio/SUNW,fdtwo   File and args:
>Can't read disk label
>Can't open Sun disk label package
>Can't open boot device"

Your (floppy) drive is undoubtedly flakey.  I posted some instructions for
quick-and-dirty cleaning of the drive a week or two ago on this list.
Reprint follows...



Remove the drive.  The top cover of the floppy just snaps on (look carefully
and you will see how it grabs hold of the drive itself).  Carefully remove
(without bending or deforming the cover -- you need to put it back on,

With a can of compressed air, blow out all the dust that has accumulated in
the drive mechanism.  GENTLY rotate the head actuator (a "screw" type of
drive system) just to make sure any grease hasn't got it "frozen" in place.

Reattach the cover.

Flip the drive over.  You will see a large (black?) circular cover housing
motor (actually, there are surface mounted *coils* under that cover) that
spins the diskette.  In the center of this circular cover is a ~1/2" cutout
for the hub/shaft.  There is no need to remove the cover -- you should be
able to spin that shaft using the tip of your finger if you are patient.

Now, using an electric eraser (or, the eraser end of a pencil in the chuck
of a variable speed drill), hold the eraser against the outer edge of this
hub at a 45 degree angle to the axis.  With *gentle* pressure, turn the
eraser/drill on.  This will start the hub spinning ("friction drive").
press too hard -- avoid slippage between the eraser and hub since that will
lead to "eraser shavings" being produced (which woould then need to be
cleaned out, thoroughly!).

Get the disk hub spinning reasonably fast (300RPM) for a few seconds to
loosen it up.

Make sure everything is clean of any new debris that may have been created
in the process.  Then, reassemble the [machine].

Note, this is just a stopgap "quicky" method of getting the drive working
good enough to load a few diskettes.  Usually, the drive isn't needed
much afterwards.

If you really want to *restore* the drive, then there are better ways of
doing it...