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Is connecting an Internal Floppy drive to a USB or SATA header possible?

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January 13, 2014 12:43:31 PM

I need to be able to access the content on a number of old floppy disks.
I do not want to use an external floppy drive.
I want it mounted and accessible through the front panel.
In my searching around, I cannot find a drive that will connect or an adapter that will connect to a USB or SATA header.
Is there anything available that will do the job for me?

a b G Storage
January 13, 2014 1:10:57 PM

Unfortunately no, Floppy Disk headers are very much not compatible with a USB Header or a SATA port. It has its own header.
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a c 342 G Storage
January 13, 2014 8:35:40 PM

The answer is no. That is because a floppy drive does not just connect to a header - it connects to a floppy drive controller chip on the mobo. If your mobo does not have one, there's nothing to connect to.

An external floppy drive is a box with its own floppy drive controller as well as the drive itself, plus a communication system to talk to the computer via a USB communication port.

If your mobo does not have a floppy drive port and you insist you need the drive to be internally-installed, you will need to buy and install a floppy drive controller card, then connect it to your floppy drive.
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January 14, 2014 5:35:30 PM

Paperdoc said:
The answer is no. ... If your mobo does not have a floppy drive port and you insist you need the drive to be internally-installed, you will need to buy and install a floppy drive controller card, then connect it to your floppy drive.


At first I thought you were right, that it could be solved by adding a PCI[e] card. Then after looking around a bit, I did find one that claimed to add a floppy drive. It has only a 40 pin connector on it, not a 34 pin. Now, I'm thinking that even an add-on card will not fill the need.
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a c 342 G Storage
January 14, 2014 8:55:07 PM

After thinking about this more, I remember previous threads on the topic. Bottom line is that there is NO Add-on card for any PCI bus that gives you a floppy drive controller and port. You can find old (used and pulled from old machines) drive controller cards (usually combined HDD and floppy) for OLD connection buses like the AT bus or VL bus in places like eBay, but nobody has mobos with those buses in them! I do remember a device that was a combination of a floppy controller, drive and software that connected somehow (I don't remember detail) and promised to READ any of MANY floppy formats from many different old machines. But for reading AND writing common 3½" IBM-type floppies at 1.44 MB formatted capacity, an external floppy drive with a USB connection is almost your only solution today. The other solution is to buy an older mobo that already has a floppy drive port, and build a system around that. But that does not get you a floppy system on whatever mobo you already have.

I have seen units that mount in the front of your desktop case and provide a 3½" floppy drive plus several memory chip reader slots. However, the ones I saw seem to use a USB connection only for the mem chip slots, and require that your mobo have a floppy port to connect its drive to. They don't seem to provide the USB-to-floppy interface that external floppy drive units have.
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March 3, 2014 11:57:43 AM

You could get a USB external floppy drive. Take the drive and interface out of the enclosure and try mounting it in the floppy bay in the case. Then route the USB cable to any available port inside or outside the box.

It may require some adaptation of mounts as the drive may not have a standard internal-mount form-factor.
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