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

  1. #1
    foresthill NNTP User

    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:
    --------------------
    mount: you 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!


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    foresthill
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  2. #2
    ken yap NNTP User

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


    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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  3. #3
    ken yap NNTP User

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


    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'
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_floppy_disk)


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  4. #4
    foresthill NNTP User

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


    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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