click-click in floppy disk drive

Polytropon freebsd at
Tue Oct 22 22:42:32 UTC 2013

//* Re-adding the mailing list in CC, hope that's okay.

On Tue, 22 Oct 2013 15:26:20 -0700 (PDT), leeoliveshackelford at wrote:
> Dear Polytropon,
> Thank you so much for your very generous response to my inquiry. 
> I am, of course, aware that I can simply unplug the device;
> however, the whole point of this exercise is to (a) get FreeBSD
> correctly installed on my H.P. Z220 computer, and then (b) try
> to gain sufficient understanding of FreeBSD to be able to use
> it at some minimum level of competence.  Goal "a" has proven,
> thus far, to be a terribly frustrating and time-consuming effort.

I don't think so. It seems that you have successfully finished
the system installation (which is easy because you can follow
The FreeBSD Handbook to achieve this goal). :-) However, the
fact that a continuous clicking USB floppy drive is causing you
problem _does_ indicate that there is something wrong. Unlike
MICROS~1 products, FreeBSD offers you diagnostic tools to find
out _what_ is wrong (instead of the "solution" of performing
a full re-install and praying it doesn't happen again).

As I said, check if there's some mount in your system that
hasn't been resolved properly:

	# mount -v

Check for the mountpoint where the floppy drive is to be
mounted. Also check if something still tries to access
files on a (not present) floppy disk:

	# lsof | grep <your mountpoint of floppy>

If there is nothing suspicious - good.

Next thing to try would be to reset the device to make it
stop clicking. Determine the drive's "SCSI ID":

	# camcontrol devlist

Use that ID to stop or reset the device:

	# camcontrol stop <b:t:l>
	# camcontrol reset <b:t:l>

where <b:t:l> refers to the bus, target and LUN obtained from
the "devlist" output above.

Even though it is possible that the misbehaviour of the drive
has probably been triggered by some /etc/periodic script, it's
not clear yet _which one_ and _why_. I have named a few
speculations, but there are probably other possibilities.
What you are observing however is _not_ a normal system
behaviour, so there _is_ a reason for that. In worst case,
it's a "fat fingered command" or a "stupid thing" (TM) that
has been performed by the operator - I _know_ this, I've
made lots of really stupid mistakes in the past and then
wondered why things started being strange. :-)

> Although you did not ask, the floppy drive behaves perfectly
> if I boot M.S. Windows.

This doesn't have to say anything because "Windows" uses a
very different driver. Maybe the manufacturer did supply it.
So the driver could compensate a misbehaviour of the drive
in case it violates USB standards...

Depending on if you're using the computer for (server, work-
station, desktop), there may even be another possibility:
Maybe you are running a desktop environment that keeps
polling the device continuously? In this case of course
there would be no real connection to periodic scripts
I assume...

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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