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6. Using the ZIP drive

If you have built in all the required components, the kernel should recognize your adapter and drive at boot time. If you are using a loadable module for your driver, the following discussion applies once that module is loaded.

For the most part, the SCSI and parallel versions of the drive behave identically, except that the parallel version is somewhat slower.

6.1 Fdisk, mke2fs, mount, etc.

Once you know the drive name for your ZIP drive, you are set. You can manipulate the drive with the normal Linux disk management commands. fdisk (or perhaps cfdisk) is used to manipulate the partition tables on the disk. mke2fs can be used to format a partition with the ext2 filesystem - the one most commonly used in Linux. mount is used to connect a formatted partition into your directory hierarchy.

You should study the manual pages for these tools if you are not familiar with them. Be warned that there are now several quite different versions of the fdisk program - be careful.

I'll describe two common scenarios.

6.2 An existing DOS formatted disk

If you have a ZIP disk with a DOS file structure that was originally created by Iomega's tools, the partition scan should say that the disk has one partition, /dev/sda4.

You should make a place to mount the disk, lets say /zip, and then mount it as an MS-DOS filesystem:

       mkdir /zip
       mount -t vfat /dev/sda4 /zip

You could also use msdos instead of vfat. vfat supports long filenames where msdos does not. Now, the files on the disk should appear in /zip. While the disk is mounted, you will not be able to remove it. When you are finished with the disk you can umount it to release it and detach it from your directory hierarchy.

       umount /zip

Once you've made the /zip mount point - you don't need to do it again, so you could come back later and mount something else there.

6.3 Re-format as a native Linux disk

If you want to erase a ZIP disk and make a Linux native file system on it. You should use fdisk on the entire disk:

       fdisk /dev/sda

and delete any existing partitions (with the d command). Then create a new partition with the n command, make it primary partition number 1, use w to write the partition table to disk, and quit with q.

Format the partition

       mke2fs /dev/sda1

(The 1 is the number that you gave this partition in fdisk). Now you can mount the disk:

       mount -t ext2 /dev/sda1 /zip

(re-using that mount point we created before).

6.4 fstab entries

The /etc/fstab allows you to configure the mount command. I like to be able to mount and write to the zip disk from any login id on the system. I added 2 lines to the end of the fstab file that look like this.

   /dev/sda1    /zip            ext2            noauto,rw,user,nosuid,sync
   /dev/sda4    /zipdos         vfat            noauto,rw,user,nosuid,sync,mode=0777
   

These entries assume that you have a /zip and a /zipdos directory. If you want all users ids to read and write, make sure you set the permissions. For exmaple chmod 666 /zip . You must do the chmod as root. The fstab entries also assume that your dos disks are partitioned as 4 (sda4 in my case), and the ext2(linux) disks are partitoned as 1 (sda1). You can read more about the fstab options with man mount

With the fstab entries as above you can mount a dos disk with mount /zipdos If you are using a linux ext2 disk then use the command mount /zip

6.5 The ZIP Tools disk

There is some extra work to be done if you want to use the disk that comes with the ZIP drive. As shipped, the software controlled write protection is enabled. Most people have unlocked the disk under DOS before ever trying to use it with Linux. Linux cannot access a locked disk, and it must be unlocked with Iomega's tools.

A native Linux program to manage the write protection feature, among other things, is expected to be available soon.


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