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Month: January 2012

Strange behaviour using removable media - Squeeze & Konqueror

From: Ken Heard <ken@...>
Date: Sun, 01 Jan 2012 14:31:06 -0500
Hash: SHA1

1. I recently upgraded one of my three computers from Debian Lenny to
Squeeze with KDE-Trinity 3.5.13.  (The other two computers still have
Lenny with KDE 3.5.10.)

2. The default view profile when Trinity Konqueror is loaded is “File
Management”.  That profile is configured to load Konqueror with two
tabs, the first one being “system:/media” and the second one
“/home/$USER/docs”, but with the contents of the second tab displayed on
the monitor.

3. When a user logs on for the first time, opens Konqueror and clicks on
the “system:/media” tab no content is shown.  If however the user closes
Konqueror, opens it a second time and clicks on the “system:/media” tab
a second time, now the tab lists all the “Remote Shares”.  Why is this
list shown on second and subsequent times of opening Konqueror, but not
the first time?

4. This box has three removable media drives installed: a DVD drive, an
Iomega Zip 750 drive and a 9 cm floppy drive.  Installing a CD or DVD
drive causes the “Removable Media KDE daemon” to open in a separate
window but also adds another line to the “system:/media” tab which
identifies the installed medium by name, e.g., “Trips001”.  It is then
possible to mount this medium from the “system:/media” tab, read its
contents and ultimately either to unmount or eject it.  The last two
operations cause the identifying line to disappear.

5. Two Zip 750 disks are normally used for backups in this box; but
Konqueror does not behave the same way for each one.  Installation in
the drive of one of the disks will cause a new line to be added to the
“system:/media” tab, “ZIP750” which corresponds to the mount point for
this drive (UUID=348F-3C8C) established in “/etc/fstab”.  It is then
possible to mount this medium, read from it, write to it and ultimately
unmount it.  On unmounting the “ZIP750” line disappears.

6. Installation of the other Zip 750 disk in the same drive opens a
*different* new line in the “system:/media” tab.  Instead of reading
“ZIP750” it reads “752M removable media”.  Konqueror will not permit
mounting or unmounting this particular Zip 750 disk; it says that the
user does not have permission to open this disk and that this device
node does not appear in “/etc/fstab”. This disk can however be mounted
(and unmounted) in an Xterm.  Once mounted in that way it will show up
in the “system:/media” tab as mounted and can be read from and written
to in that tab.  So, why do two Zip 750 disks installed in the same
drive behave differently in Konqueror?

7. At this point it occurred to me that the first Zip 750 disk was, so
to speak, a virgin disk; whereas the second was not.  The second in fact
had tarballs of files in the Squeeze box but written to it from a Lenny
box.  So, I decided to restore the “virginity” of the second by running
in the Squeeze box “mkfs.vfat /dev/sda4”, which of course obliterated
those files.  I then tried in the Squeeze box to mount it both in an
Xterm and in the “system:/media” tab of Konqueror; it would not mount at
all in either place.  I then went back to the Lenny box, logged in as
the user whose files are in the Squeeze box and was able to write to
this disk backup tarballs of files in the Squeeze box.  I took this disk
back to the Squeeze box and was now able to open it there in the
“system:/media” tab as “750M removable media” and to perform all the
usual removable disk functions.  I also however discovered that now I
cannot mount either Zip 750 disk from an Xterm.  When I try I now
receive the message “I could not determine the file system type and none
was specified.”  Strange.

8. For both these two drives, the DVD and the Iomega Zip 750, the
“Removable Media KDE daemon” opens.  Since I prefer to open these in a
Konqueror tab instead of in a new window, I would like to be able to
prevent that daemon from opening in a new window.  Is there a way to do so?

9. Finally, the floppy drive is not recognized at all in the Squeeze
box.  With a disk installed it does not show up in the “system:/media”,
nor can it be mounted in an Xterm.  What, if anything, be done to use
floppies with Squeeze and KDE-Trinity Konqueror?

Ken Heard, Toronto, Canada
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