OT: click-click in floppy disk drive

Jerry jerry at seibercom.net
Wed Oct 23 12:41:30 UTC 2013

On Wed, 23 Oct 2013 13:46:28 +0200
Polytropon articulated:

> On Tue, 22 Oct 2013 19:56:37 -0600 (MDT), Warren Block wrote:
> > Some background things like HAL may poll removable media devices to 
> > detect new media, and this might cause a floppy to click.  Could
> > depend on the manufacturer of the drive.  That would be my first
> > guess, anyway.
> That's what I tought in the first place. It's very unlikely
> that the system's default periodic scripts could trigger a
> continuous activity of the drive (even though I can imagine
> that a pending umount or something comparable could have
> caused this). Systems like HAL that commonly belong to GUI
> desktop environments can, if they are set to polling the
> drive's state, cause such activity, but it depends on _how_
> they do it and _how_ the drive acts.
> For example, I've tried with my external USB drive. As long
> as there is no floppy in it, it cannot be encouraged to show
> any activity with a typical null command. But if a floppy is
> in the drive (unmounted of course), the drive will light up
> and buzz. This only works as long as there's a floppy in the
> drive, so I assume the drive already contains some "logic"
> of reporting a _possible_ disk to the firmware. Of course,
> other manufacturers might handle this very differently, and
> maybe even rely on a proprietary driver to show the _desired_
> way of operation (instead of annoying clicking for evey poll).
> At least, the classic Amiga floppy drive wasn't that annoying
> when determining if there's a floppy disk in the drive - much
> more advanced than what the PC usually did ("Press ENTER for
> next disk!"). ;-)
> > If that is the cause, it may be possible to tell whatever is doing
> > the polling to skip the floppy device.
> The OP should have a look a HAL configuration and maybe remove
> the floppy drive's device from the list for polling.
> There might be other mechanisms than HAL, maybe also tied to a
> desktop environment, that could cause that kind of polling. It
> could even be a user program - but as far as I know, no such
> thing is part of the FreeBSD OS...

This whole thread brings back memories. Personally, I have not had a PC
with a Floppy drive of any kind since 2004. I do have an ancient unit
sitting in my basement that I might be able to resurrect if need;
however, I don't know why I would. I have an old portable "floppy drive
-1.44" somewhere, I would have to find it, that I could plug into the
serial port if required. It use to work on Windows. I never even
attempted to try it on FreeBSD. I wonder if anyone is still using the
old ZIP drives. There was a serious problem with them and the "Click of
Death" situation.

Jerry ♔

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