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Thread: How to Mount Floppy Disk from Smith Corona Word Processor?

  1. #1

    Default How to Mount Floppy Disk from Smith Corona Word Processor?

    I found an old floppy disk from my Smith Corona word processor. Windows can't read it at all. And Suse comes up with this message:
    PHP Code:
    mountyou must specify the filesystem type 
    I believe these old word processors used their own file systems, and mine was bought around 1997 or so. Supposedly it's a proprietary version of DOS, IIRC.

    So does anyone know what the proper mount command might be? It's not a huge deal, but if anyone knows offhand, I would love to be able to read the files on this floppy. Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How to Mount Floppy Disk from Smith Corona Word Processo

    Well you can only mount something if the kernel has a driver for the filesystem in question. And as you say, it might be a proprietary filesystem. However assuming the floppy has no block errors, you can make an image of the floppy onto a file and then examine that to your heart's content. Assuming a standard 1440k floppy (which isn't for certain either), it's just:

    Code:
    dd if=/dev/fd0 of=floppyimage count=2880 conv=noerror,sync
    The conv=noerror,sync replaces unreadable blocks with zeros so that at least the output image is the same size, even if some blocks are not readable, important if directory entries point to block number, otherwise bad blocks would throw the numbering out of sync. At the end of the copy you should have a file that's 1.44MB and you would then have to find some program to decode it.

    That command also works for PC floppies of course, and the image can be manipulated with mtools. E.g.

    Code:
    mdir -i floppyimage ::

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    Default Re: How to Mount Floppy Disk from Smith Corona Word Processo

    BTW, I just did a little searching. If the floppy disk is physically different from normal ones, then you are out of luck. Also the floppy size may be 2.88MB, which requires a different drive.

    History of the floppy disk - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  4. #4

    Default Re: How to Mount Floppy Disk from Smith Corona Word Processo

    Thanks Ken!

    I used the first command to extract the data. Took about 10 minutes of churning that poor floppy disk.

    I ended up with a 720 kb file, but the second command you gave produced an error claiming the file was a non-DOS file and that it could not be opened.

    None of the text editors seem to be able to see it. Open Office word processing program can open it. but it's just 130 pages of ####### marks.

    But it's nice to know I at least extracted the raw data from the floppy, now to find some program to read the data.

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