Current status of the DVD-RAM drive on vulcan

The DVD RAM drive on vulcan is currently available. At present the software on vulcan only supports the creation of ext2 filesystems on DVD-RAM media. This means that any files that you create on DVD-RAM media will only be readable on systems that support ext2 filesystems, i.e. Linux systems. We are working on adding UDF (Universal Disk Format) filesystem support but since UDF support in Linux is still in an experimental stage this may take a while. Nevertheless, you will find that the DVD-RAM drive is a useful tool for backups of up to 2.6 Gbytes of data. Note that DVD-RAM media can contain Tellurium which may be considered a hazardous substance. Please give any disks that you want to dispose of to the System Administrator or call the Campus Hazardous Materials Office and arrange to dispose of the disks. Please do not dispose of them in the trash!

Please be courteous to other user by not leaving disks mounted for extended periods!

Using the DVD-RAM drive on vulcan

The DVD-RAM drive on vulcan is capable of supporting either 2.6 Gbyte (single-sided) or 5.2 Gbyte (double-sided) DVD-RAM media. However, only a single side 5.2. Gbyte disks is accessible at a time (you must eject it and flip it over in order to access the other side).
In order to write a DVD-RAM disk there are five steps that must be carried out:

Step 1: Partition the Disk

Make sure the disk is inserted into the DVD-RAM drive on vulcan. For double sided media make sure the side that you want to access is inserted facing "up". If the disk is already formated you shuold skip the rest of this step. Note that the remainder of this step will destroy all the data on this disk! Now create a partition table on the disk with the fdisk command:
/sbin/fdisk /dev/sda
Issue the follwing responses (in green) to the queries from the command:
You will see the follwing lines: The partition table has been altered!

Calling ioctl() to re-read partition table.
Syncing disks.
Re-read table failed with error 13: Permission denied.
Reboot your system to ensure the partition table is updated.

WARNING: If you have created or modified any DOS 6.x
partitions, please see the fdisk manual page for additional
Ingore the error message and proceed to the next step.

Step 2: Create a Filesystem on the Disk

If the disk is already formatted skip this step. Otherwise, using the following command make a filesystem on the disk:

/sbin/mke2fs -b 2048 /dev/sda

You will see the following response:

mke2fs 1.17, 26-Oct-1999 for EXT2 FS 0.5b, 95/08/09
/dev/sda is entire device, not just one partition!
Proceed anyway? (y,n)
Answer "y" , and after a few minutes you will see the following text appear:

Filesystem label=
OS type: Linux
Block size=2048 (log=1)
Fragment size=2048 (log=1)
304800 inodes, 1218960 blocks
60948 blocks (5.00%) reserved for the super user
First data block=0
75 block groups
16384 blocks per group, 16384 fragments per group
4064 inodes per group
Superblock backups stored on blocks: 
        16384, 49152, 81920, 114688, 147456, 409600, 442368, 802816

Writing inode tables: done                            
Writing superblocks and filesystem accounting information: done
An ext2 filesystem now exists on the disk. Proceed to the next step.

Step 3: Mount the Disk

Once a filesystem exists on the disk it can be mounted with the following command:

mount /mnt/dvd

You can check to see if the disk now shows up by using the "df" command:

df -k

You should see a line that looks like:

/dev/sda               2399466        18   2277552   0% /mnt/dvd 
The disk is now mounted under /mnt/dvd and you can move to the next step.

Step 4: Read or Write to the Disk

You can create, delete, and edit files & directories under /mnt/dvd in the same way that you would for any other file systems.

Step 5: Unmount the Disk

Unmount the disk with the command:

umount /mnt/dvd

You van now manually eject the disk & you are finished!