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Subject[2.2.5] Strange Zip/VFAT problems
Hi all,

At my college, they've recently installed a small cluster of Red Hat 6.0
Linux machines, with, among other things, internal ATAPI Zip drives. To
let us use these Zip drives, there is a line in /etc/fstab along the
lines of:

/dev/hdx4 /zip vfat user,noexec,nosuid 0 0

This of course, assumes that you haven't messed with your zip media,
repartitioned it, reformatted it,etc. (I don't know how relevant all
this is...)

Anyway, the problem is that when you mount a zip disk and write to it,
your data gets corrupted. For example, I've been trying to download
Linux Staroffice, and the first kilobyte or so of the tar file gets
corrupted (scarily, sometimes it seems to be overwritten with a Windoze
.EXE header!?!). If I uuencode the tar and copy it to zip, I can run the
copied file through less, page through, and every so often I see data
which is obviously not uuencoded (i.e. ctrl chars, etc.). This happens
on several machines in this cluster, with different media. I haven't
found one where it doesn't happen.

As far as I can tell, they're running the stock RH6.0 kernel, 2.2.5. But
before I run to the admin and pester him to do cluster-wide kernel
upgrades, I have to ask - is this a known (and fixed) kernel bug? Or is
the problem likely elsewhere? Has anyone else even seen this?

Robert Cardell
<rbt@mtlb.co.uk>

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