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I need to low-level format floppies with an external usb floppy drive in ubuntu 10.04 (or later) server.

I have tried the tools that come with util-linux-ng, and contain (specifically) fdformat.

Unfortunately these tools are written to use /dev/fd* devices, and not /dev/sd* that is used with the usb floppy drives I have on hand.

Alternatives to using the tools would be appreciated (note, the computers I have at my disposal do not have floppy connectors on the main board, so please don't recommend using a "real" floppy drive).

for example, I know dd works to zero the drive, but I suspect I need a copy of a working, blank formatted floppy as the if= parameter. I have my doubts this would be a robust, ongoing solution for actually writing out the tracks on the floppy.

the answers are not at: How can I get a USB floppy drive to work? How to format a USB or external drive? ...and lots of others

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Have you tried 'gparted'? –  Marc Aug 29 '13 at 0:42

2 Answers 2

The fdutils web site refers to http://www.geocities.jp/tedi_world/format_usbfdd_e.html for usb floppy drives.

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Have you tried gparted as the root (sudo) user? I use this tool daily for all kinds of drives yet I a floppy - I have not.

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install gparted
sudo gparted

Look to the top right to find your drive. If Linux can mount it - Gparted should be able to format it!

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gparted is for partitioning hard disks, not low level formatting floppies ( which are not partitioned ). –  psusi Aug 29 '13 at 2:04

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