Imation SuperDisk 120MB

Polytropon freebsd at
Wed Jan 16 10:04:04 UTC 2019

On Tue, 15 Jan 2019 23:31:53 +0000, L. Mart wrote:
> Yes, Imation SuperDisk 120MB is old technology. However, after a
> recent death in the family, I now have a need to recover important
> genealogy documents stored on these disks. The disks were created
> on an Imation SuperDisk 120MB Parallel Port Drive w/ Imation USB
> adapter, which is in my possession.

A USB-based device should cause less trouble than the parallel
ones, even though I once got a parallel Iomega Zip drive working
with FreeBSD.

> There are 2 dirvers for 2.2.6-RELEASE and, 2.2.7-RELEASE, wfd
> (ATAPI LS-120/ZIP) driver for FreeBSD

The ATAPI version is for internal drives (parallel ATA connector).
If you have the USB version, the generic USB direct access storage
driver (da) should work.

> My Questions:
>   1.  Is the Imation SuperDisk 120MB supported in your current
> release (FreeBSD-12.0-RELEASE)?

It's so old it's not listed anymore, and because it was less
common in the PC area (mostly a "Mac thing"), documentation
for comparable technology concentrates on Zip drives.

However, as you said you have the USB version, why not give it
a try? Even a live system (booted from USB stick or CD / DVD
without installation) should be sufficient.

After the system booted, attach the drive. Make sure a disk
is loaded, so the medium can be identified.

Use the "dmesg" command to check the last messages. Does a
new da* device appear?

For this example, let's assume lines with "da0:" have been
printed, and we assume /dev/da0 as the new drive.

If yes, check which files have been created in /dev for that
device, i. e., use "ls /dev/da0*". There will probably be
two files, /dev/da0 and /dev/da0s1, but that's just a guess.

So let's assume /dev/da0s1 is a MS-DOS (FAT) file system
on the disk - the data you want to get.

Now you can probably mount the disk. Pay attention to _not_
use a r/w mount at this stage! A usable approach would probably
be something like this:

	# mkdir /isd
	# mount_msdosfs -r /dev/da0s1 /isd

It might be helpful to apply a file and directory mask with a
more extended mount command:

	# mount_msdosfs -r -m=644 -M=755 /dev/da0s1 /isd

Check what's in there:

	# ls -R /isd

You can then copy everything from the /isd directory, depending
on your "recivery system setup".

Don't forget to use

	# umount /isd

when you're done.

Pay attention to use the correct device name, Contrary to my
example, /dev/da1 could be correct (and /dev/da0s1 wrong).

You can examine the partitioning with the appropirate "old"

	# fdisk /dev/da0

And you will probably see one MS-DOS partition.

However, if you have the "Mac thing"... it _could_ be possible
that a different file system has been used to initialize the
disk. In that case, more forensic work will be needed. I'm
not saying it is impossible - I'm just suggesting that it can
be a bit complicated because you need to perform "a mental
and material travel into the past", which I'm saying from
my experience as a "living museum". ;-)

>   2.  Is the driver for 2.2.6-RELEASE operable on your current release?

Probably not, but as I said, as you're using the USB version,
you're probably not going to need it.

>   3.  If not, can the driver for 2.2.6-RELEASE be updated to be
>  operable on your current release?

Maybe it can. It heavily depends on the facilities it relies
on. Keep in mind the OS kernel has seen a lot of changes since
2.2.6. :-)

>   4.  Does the 2.2.6-RELEASE offer a LiveCD or does it require a
> full install to a HDD?

I'm not sure it will even _run_ on current hardware. Sure, you
could use a much older computer, set up networking, and use
an internal FTP server to get the data out...

On the FTP server, I can only see floppy images for the 2.2.6
installation process:

So that should work. The old computer you're going to use
will surely have a floppy disk drive. :-)

>   5.  Do you have any additional thoughts to help me?

Try it first with a current FreeBSD version. A live system
will probably be sufficient for testing.

Good luck!

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

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