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 SelectBay Swapping

Many Toshiba laptops come with a SelectBay that can be swapped for a number of different devices. The range includes CD-ROM drives, DVD drives, floppy disks, extra batteries, hard disk drives, Zip drives and LS-120 floppy drives.

With the combination of a 2.2.x or better kernel and thotswap it is now possible to change the IDE/ATAPI devices in the SelectBay without having to reboot Linux. In addition IDE drivers need to be compiled as kernel modules for this to work. Swapping the devices then becomes as simple as unlocking the SelectBay removing the device, inserting the new device and relocking. Messages to warn you of problems and inform you of the success can be displayed using xmessage and/or wall. In addition all insertions and removals are logged via syslog.

On some older models that don't support hotswapping it is necessary to run thotswap from the command line. The IDE/ATAPI device is remove from the the IDE bus with thotswap -u. The laptop can then be suspended and the device in the SelectBay changed. On resuming the new device can be registered with the IDE driver using thotswap -r.

It should be noted that you may well have to shutdown programs such as CD players before attempting to change devices. If there are any mounted filesystems on the device being removed the thotswap will provide suitable warnings.


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