Are Floppy Drives Supported?

I’ve been using Haiku for several years now (since Alpha 1) and, as my drive wasn’t recognised, always assumed that Haiku didn’t have floppy support, or at least, not for mounting. But I just read a post about floppies, and even doing surface scans in DriveSetup. Do I have a bug, or are floppy disks not widely supported?

Hi stellarpower!

I guess floppy disks are not widely supported, because they are not widely used anymore… :slight_smile:
Haiku does have floppy drivers, see “floppy” and “/usb/floppy_usb” in /boot/system/add-ons/kernel/drivers/dev/disk, but I have no idea how functional those are. mmu_man did most of the floppy driver, I think. Considering he does all this tinkering with ancient hardware he might be your best chance for more info and maybe eventually a working floppy driver.


I might have a word with him later, once I’ve shifted my massive to-do list. I think it’s a shame that floppies are on their way out, I know that they’re nothing compared to a USB stick for data storage, but I wouldn’t dream of building a PC without a floppy drive because they’re so useful to boot from.

You realize almost all if not all new computers can boot from USB?

Sure… if you were building a dated computer with used parts I would agree but yeah floppys are out you can’t even get quality ones anymore.

Some of us have our old BeOS test drives on computers that cannot boot from USB or DVDs…

I failed to get this old PC to boot from a CDR with the anyboot image on it, so I am guessing that image is not meant for that. No idea how to get Haiku Beta 4 on this thing.

It has BeOS R5.x, Haiku Alpha, and Windows XP. Manually copying the DVD contents from within Haiku Alpha to an empty BFS drive has not yielded success, and that’s the only place I can even READ the DVD (BeOS has no USB support and the DVD drive I have available is USB).

I have enough diskettes to make a boot disk, but I can find no instructions for that. Also, this machine has an IDE LS-120 drive, not a standard FDD disk drive (and boy was it useful back in the day).

Haiku nightly is small enough for a CD, IIRC there is a nightly-cdrom build target, so you could try that.
Also, BeOS can have USB support, there are drivers somewhere that you can install.

BeOS may have USB drivers somewhere, but I never got them to work, back in the day. If I installed them on this machine, they don’t work with the DVD drive or USB sticks. Regardless, this helps me none at all, since I CAN read the Haiku Beta 4 DVD while booted to Haiku Alpha… it just accomplishes nothing, because I don’t see how to actually get the DVD contents properly put to hard drive.

I’ll have to look for a nightly CD image. Still, I can’t boot from the CD drive, unless my last effort at a Haiku beta 1 bootable CD was defective; the PC just sits there doing nothing, not even seemingly spinning the CD, and then moves on to the hard drive and the boot loader.

I can’t use Haiku Alpha’s makebootable or bootmanager on the Haiku Beta hard drive… it seems Haiku changed dramatically since the alpha. It’s looking for haiku_loader, which doesn’t exist on the DVD… nor a bunch of other things I would expect, like the kernel, Tracker, etc… Sigh. I know the DVD is meant to be booted from, so I’m not doing what’s expected here, but this looks foreign to me. Copying the DVD’s contents to the drive accomplished nothing. It probably needs to make a tiny boot partition or something. dunno.

It’s been a LONG time since I messed with this stuff. I sort of gave up. If not for hunting down BigFS for someone today, I wouldn’t have even turned on this machine.

It is possible that anyboot is not supported, but plain CDROM boot is?
If you can boot from a floppy, you could try using plop boot manager to boot from the DVD.

I am not familiar with these things enough to even know how to answer the question. Is anyboot only usable on certain BIOS types? I am not familiar with plop.

You could try this: Installing a Haiku Image to a Disk Partition | Haiku Project
Plop Boot Manager, PlopKexec Boot Manager
Plop boot manager allows you to boot from CD/DVD/USB even if our NIOS does not support it.

Thanks. I made a PlopKexec disk and it started booting, but then the whole screen filled up with colorful ASCII glitch and the keyboard responds with beeps, as if it’s frozen. Sigh.

Did try to use the installer that ships with the alpha to install beta4 to the new partition like you would from the DVD?, just mount the DVD and launch the installer from the alpha, then choose the mounted DVD as the source and the new partition as the destination and click install?

Oh wow, that never even occurred to me. I assumed they’d be incompatible. Trying that now. Thanks for the idea.

That one is Linux-only.

Eh, apparently that’s what I tried with Beta 1 and it didn’t work. I think I got the same thing this time. There’s no haiku_loader on the drive after the installer ran. Nothing but three folders in the root. No kernel. No Tracker. [edit3: neither in system folder]

EDIT: Apparently it does not install the packages, it just copies the base folders.

EDIT2: OR the boot manager can’t handle the packages. I don’t know. I don’t see how to install the Haiku Beta 4 boot manager. Everything is in packages, and Haiku Alpha 3 has no ability to handle those.

My mistake. I used PBM6.

If you have a bootmanager already installed you don’t need to install another one, just add (chainload) the beta4 partition to your existing bootmanager and try to boot from there.

The existing boot menu lets me choose the appropriate drive/partition, but I end up with “haiku_loader not found”. Because it’s not there. It’s in a package file, in the system packages folder.

I need to sleep now but I’m going to pop out the SCSI card tomorrow and see if that is why PBM6 freaks out. I assume Haiku still doesn’t have SCSI support? (my target volumes for Haiku are on an IDE drive, but my BeOS installation is on SCSI)