Best of Technical Support

Our experts answer your technical questions.

I was reading the BTS column in the April issue, and noticed that for the “Wrong Date” question from Bilal Iqbal, you edited my answer, changing the meaning. In fact, you reversed the arguments to the ln command. The link should be

ln -sf /usr/share/zoneinfo/US/Pacific \

and the -f option is most likely needed, since most systems already have a link there. Also, I said “a link like this”, not “create this link”, since the reader specified his timezone was GMT+5, so telling him to create a link setting his timezone to GMT-8 isn't exactly what he would want to do. —Marc Merlin,

Zip Drive Affects Printer

I am using a Zip drive with Red Hat 5.2 and cannot use my printer because the Zip drive is a parallel port version. The printer manager does not recognize the printer is connected. I was able to use the printer before the Zip drive was installed. Is it possible to use both the zip and the printer? I know I cannot use it while my zip is mounted, but when I unmount the drive, would it be possible? —Smileyq,

Rebuild the kernel, defining lp and zip support as modules. When you wish to use the printer, unload the zip module (if loaded) and load the lp module, so you can use the printer. When you wish to use the zip drive, unload the lp module (if loaded) and load the zip module. That's it. —Paulo Wollny,

According to the Zip Drive mini HOWTO, question 7.1 (, it should be possible. You will need a newer kernel (2.2.x) or you'll need to upgrade the ppa driver in your current kernel source and recompile it. Since RH 5.2 isn't fully compatible with the 2.2.x kernels, you may be better off recompiling your current kernel, and you can find the ppa driver on David Campbell's page: —Marc Merlin,

Restoring DOS Data on Hard Drive

I just got Linux about a month ago (Red Hat 5.2) and have been experimenting with it. Last night I accidentally ran mkfs.msdos on my Windows 98 FAT32 partition (/dev/hda1) thinking it was a command to mount an MS-DOS partition under Linux, but of course, it nuked my drive, created an MS-DOS partition over it, and I lost everything on my drive! I am writing to you in hopes that you know of a way that I can salvage the information still on my drive. The mkfs.msdos command erases only the FAT sector when it creates a new file system, right? So, shouldn't all the information still be there? Thank you in advance for any assistance. —Jon Verville,

That's a rough accident. The short answer is there's little you can do. Yes, the information is still there, but the FAT tables tell the system where to look for different pieces of a file, and if your file system is fragmented, it could be very difficult to recover anything.

However, it would be worth trying a few recovery tools, such as Norton's Disk Doctor if only to salvage some of your data before you reinstall Windows. You may be able to save something from your disk if you touch —Chad Robinson,

Linux vs. IRIX

Normally, I am an IRIX user. Recently, I bought a dual-Pentium machine and installed Linux SuSE 5.3. on it. I can't figure out if my second processor is recognized; there seems to be no command like hinv in IRIX. Any suggestions? Is there any document comparing IRIX and Linux commands? —Tobias Knaute,

First, you have to make sure your kernel is compiled with SMP support; this is not the default for most distributions. Then check your /proc/cpuinfo file which contains the information for all CPUs found during boot time.

In order to take full advantage of your dual processor machine, I'd suggest you use the 2.2.4 kernel version, which is the latest at this time. —Mario Bittencourt,

Removing xeyes

I installed xeyes in the KDE menu and while trying to remove it, it multiplied. Is there any way to close it? It has no resize window and every method of stopping or interrupting doesn't prevent it from returning on bootup. I have searched the man pages for a key combination to kill them to no avail —Edward Spadacene,

You can close xeyes by clicking the right mouse button on it and choosing “Close” from the pop-up menu that appears. Next time you start KDE, xeyes will not be run. —Scott Maxwell,