Category: Ubuntu Mate

Added: 22nd of December 2020

Viewed: 2,586 times

USB floppy drive, Formatting floppy disks to work in Windows using Ubuntu Mate

Floppy disc

I recently acquired some used 3.5" floppy disks. I decided to keep some of them, but the rest are to be sold on, and formatted to work on Windows.

Like most modern motherboards, there is no FDD (Floppy Disk Drive) connector to connect an internal floppy disk, so I purchased a used USB floppy drive from ebay.

Plugging the device in and then inserting one of the floppy disks, mounted the drive automatically on my desktop in Ubuntu Mate.

I then ran the fdisk -l command to display the disk partitions

sudo fdisk -l

Disk /dev/sdb: 1.41 MiB, 1474560 bytes, 2880 sectors
Disk model: USB-FDU
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disklabel type: dos
Disk identifier: 0x00000000

Formatting the disks with ufiformat
ufiformat is a package for formatting floppy disks using a USB floppy drive on Ubuntu.

If ufiformat is not installed on your system, please enter the following command
sudo apt-get install ufiformat

To format the disk enter the following command below. We use the ufiformat command followed by the -f switch is to specify the size of floppy in my case all the floppy disks were 1.44MB, followed by the path /dev/sdb which we got from running the fisk command
sudo ufiformat -f 1440 /dev/sdb

Then I ran the following command to create a FAT filesystem on a device
sudo mkfs.vfat /dev/sdb

Once complete I tried a few of the floppies on Windows. and was able to read and write to them.