floppy drive trouble

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

I'm have a computer and can't get the floppy drive to work.
It's a home brew running xp. AMD 750 MHz, 192 Ram,
10 Gig Hard drive, 24X CD Rom, Nic card, on board audio,
AGP video card. Everything's fine except for the 3.5" drive.

The bios sees the drive, and windows sees the drive, but
a disk in the drive can't be accessed by windows. It tells me
the disk isn't formatted so I tell it to format it and after some
spinning and wizzing it tells me the disk can't be formatted.

The disk isn't the problem because it can be read on my
computer. (Same with 3 different working disks)

I swapped out the cable with a new one so I know it's
not the cable.

I tired 3 other floppy drives in it, but the same thing happens.

So, I'm scratching my head here wondering what I'm missing.

Any help much appreciated.

Mike
16 answers Last reply
More about floppy drive trouble
  1. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Mike Hollywood wrote:
    > I'm have a computer and can't get the floppy drive to work.
    > It's a home brew running xp. AMD 750 MHz, 192 Ram,
    > 10 Gig Hard drive, 24X CD Rom, Nic card, on board audio,
    > AGP video card. Everything's fine except for the 3.5" drive.
    >
    > The bios sees the drive, and windows sees the drive, but
    > a disk in the drive can't be accessed by windows. It tells me
    > the disk isn't formatted so I tell it to format it and after some
    > spinning and wizzing it tells me the disk can't be formatted.
    >
    > The disk isn't the problem because it can be read on my
    > computer. (Same with 3 different working disks)
    >
    > I swapped out the cable with a new one so I know it's
    > not the cable.
    >
    > I tired 3 other floppy drives in it, but the same thing happens.
    >
    > So, I'm scratching my head here wondering what I'm missing.
    >
    > Any help much appreciated.
    >
    > Mike
    >
    >
    >

    Your problem sounds an awful lot like what others have had with XP and
    the floppy disk drive. It seems that Windows XP does not like a floppy
    that was formatted with a different operating system. Theoretically
    you can reformat (full) the floppy disk and then it becomes acceptable
    to XP. MS says it has to do with the data written in the boot sector or
    FAT of the floppy disk. (This all assumes you have a working drive,
    controller, cable and power applied.) You can of course establish this
    is the case by booting to a floppy disk.

    I too have encountered difficulty in XP reading a floppy that was read
    perfectly with Win 98. This is true even on the SAME hardware when only
    the HD was changed in order to get the different OS. What I have found
    is that SOMETIMES you can read a floppy disk using the DOS prompt in XP
    when it will not read under Windows Explorer. Try going to the prompt
    and copying the file into a temp directory on the C: drive.

    Ken
  2. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    > Your problem sounds an awful lot like what others have had with XP and the
    > floppy disk drive. It seems that Windows XP does not like a floppy that
    > was formatted with a different operating system. Theoretically you can
    > reformat (full) the floppy disk and then it becomes acceptable to XP. MS
    > says it has to do with the data written in the boot sector or FAT of the
    > floppy disk. (This all assumes you have a working drive, controller,
    > cable and power applied.) You can of course establish this is the case by
    > booting to a floppy disk.

    Hi Ken, Nope, it's not that. I can read all of them on my XP system
    with no problems at all. I just tried it using a new disk, pre-formatted,
    and the same thing happens. It says the disk needs to be formatted,
    and then says it can't be. ??

    >
    > I too have encountered difficulty in XP reading a floppy that was read
    > perfectly with Win 98. This is true even on the SAME hardware when only
    > the HD was changed in order to get the different OS. What I have found is
    > that SOMETIMES you can read a floppy disk using the DOS prompt in XP when
    > it will not read under Windows Explorer. Try going to the prompt and
    > copying the file into a temp directory on the C: drive.

    Good idea, but the same thing happens.

    So I ran the update driver thing in
    hardware but it said the floppy controller's driver and the drive's
    driver were the best ones available or something like that. This is
    certainly
    perplexing.

    Looking closer at the system I found it was built on a compaq presario
    motherboard. I went to compaq's web site to see about downloading
    a bios flash, but it's all geared to model and number. All I could find out
    so far, is that it was from a Presario but without the model number I can't
    get to the download part of their site. oi-vey... << Mike

    >
    > Ken
  3. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Mike Hollywood writes:

    > So, I'm scratching my head here wondering what I'm missing.

    It's connected specifically to the floppy disk controller on the
    motherboard, right? And the disk and drive formats (sides, densities)
    are compatible, right?

    --
    Transpose mxsmanic and gmail to reach me by e-mail.
  4. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    yes to both.


    "Mxsmanic" <mxsmanic@gmail.com> wrote in message
    news:jib4g1tg70pcsii2bm3aqv0nmlt0kh91lc@4ax.com...
    > Mike Hollywood writes:
    >
    >> So, I'm scratching my head here wondering what I'm missing.
    >
    > It's connected specifically to the floppy disk controller on the
    > motherboard, right? And the disk and drive formats (sides, densities)
    > are compatible, right?
    >
    > --
    > Transpose mxsmanic and gmail to reach me by e-mail.
  5. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    "Mike Hollywood" <noone@nowheret.net> wrote in message
    news:eoidnZ2dnZ1wSHnqnZ2dndrcn96dnZ2dRVn-yp2dnZ0@comcast.com...
    > > Your problem sounds an awful lot like what others have had with XP and
    the
    > > floppy disk drive. It seems that Windows XP does not like a floppy that
    > > was formatted with a different operating system. Theoretically you
    can
    > > reformat (full) the floppy disk and then it becomes acceptable to XP.
    MS
    > > says it has to do with the data written in the boot sector or FAT of the
    > > floppy disk. (This all assumes you have a working drive, controller,
    > > cable and power applied.) You can of course establish this is the case
    by
    > > booting to a floppy disk.
    >
    > Hi Ken, Nope, it's not that. I can read all of them on my XP system
    > with no problems at all. I just tried it using a new disk, pre-formatted,
    > and the same thing happens. It says the disk needs to be formatted,
    > and then says it can't be. ??
    >
    > >
    > > I too have encountered difficulty in XP reading a floppy that was read
    > > perfectly with Win 98. This is true even on the SAME hardware when only
    > > the HD was changed in order to get the different OS. What I have found
    is
    > > that SOMETIMES you can read a floppy disk using the DOS prompt in XP
    when
    > > it will not read under Windows Explorer. Try going to the prompt and
    > > copying the file into a temp directory on the C: drive.
    >
    > Good idea, but the same thing happens.
    >
    > So I ran the update driver thing in
    > hardware but it said the floppy controller's driver and the drive's
    > driver were the best ones available or something like that. This is
    > certainly
    > perplexing.
    >
    > Looking closer at the system I found it was built on a compaq presario
    > motherboard. I went to compaq's web site to see about downloading
    > a bios flash, but it's all geared to model and number. All I could find
    out
    > so far, is that it was from a Presario but without the model number I
    can't
    > get to the download part of their site. oi-vey... << Mike
    >
    > >
    > > Ken
    >
    If floppy light on all the time, the cable is 180deg out. Unplug and
    turn it over. Can you boot from a floppy? Could be faulty floppy controller
    on motherboard.
    Mike.
  6. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Mike Hollywood writes:

    > Looking closer at the system I found it was built on a compaq presario
    > motherboard.

    Ah, in that case, all bets are off. Compaq is legendary and notorious
    for having motherboards and (especially) BIOS weirdness that
    constantly cause problems for anything not preinstalled directly at
    the factory. It was always a good reason for avoiding Compaq systems.

    --
    Transpose mxsmanic and gmail to reach me by e-mail.
  7. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    >> > Ken
    >>
    > If floppy light on all the time, the cable is 180deg out. Unplug and
    > turn it over. Can you boot from a floppy? Could be faulty floppy
    > controller
    > on motherboard.
    > Mike.
    >
    the light is off, and comes on when you access the drive as it should.
    The problem is it can't read the disk so I can't boot from a disk.

    The mobo controller is what I suspected, too, which is why I
    was trying to get a bios update.
  8. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    "Mxsmanic" <mxsmanic@gmail.com> wrote in message
    news:hpi5g1phvuok1ona8rslb0o500qr9201em@4ax.com...
    > Mike Hollywood writes:
    >
    >> Looking closer at the system I found it was built on a compaq presario
    >> motherboard.
    >
    > Ah, in that case, all bets are off. Compaq is legendary and notorious
    > for having motherboards and (especially) BIOS weirdness that
    > constantly cause problems for anything not preinstalled directly at
    > the factory.

    ouch! I don't like hearing this.


    > It was always a good reason for avoiding Compaq systems.

    >

    I guess that isn't a problem if you stay in the fold so to speak, but
    when you start using their mobos in homebrews, well, .... that's
    where I am now. ha ha.

    I have a USB floppy drive and it works fine. XP detected it,
    installed, etc. But I think you have to have an operating system
    installed to use a usb device. Is that correct? I'll post a
    question about that now.

    Thanks for your input


    > --
    > Transpose mxsmanic and gmail to reach me by e-mail.
  9. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    "Mike Hollywood" <noone@nowheret.net> wrote in message
    news:S8KdnW8AZrU_1J7eRVn-3A@comcast.com...
    >>> > Ken
    >>>
    >> If floppy light on all the time, the cable is 180deg out. Unplug and
    >> turn it over. Can you boot from a floppy? Could be faulty floppy
    >> controller
    >> on motherboard.
    >> Mike.
    >>
    > the light is off, and comes on when you access the drive as it should.
    > The problem is it can't read the disk so I can't boot from a disk.
    >
    > The mobo controller is what I suspected, too, which is why I
    > was trying to get a bios update.
    Just a thought Mike. Are you using a 3 connector floppy cable ?. If so make
    sure the drive is on the end (twisted ribbon) connector.
    bw..OJ
  10. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Mike Hollywood writes:

    > I guess that isn't a problem if you stay in the fold so to speak, but
    > when you start using their mobos in homebrews, well, .... that's
    > where I am now. ha ha.

    Exactly. As long as everything is 100% Compaq, it all works, more or
    less, including all their largely useless bells and whistles. But try
    to put any kind of commodity hardware or software in the mix, and it
    all breaks.

    I recall that a great way to break a Compaq system was to simply wipe
    the disk and reinstall a standard OS. They weren't built to run a
    _standard_ OS, apparently. Of course, if you built something yourself
    from off-the-shelf components, the same OS would install and run fine.

    Servers and laptops were the worst.

    > I have a USB floppy drive and it works fine. XP detected it,
    > installed, etc. But I think you have to have an operating system
    > installed to use a usb device. Is that correct? I'll post a
    > question about that now.

    You have to have software on the machine to do anything, either in the
    BIOS or in the OS.

    --
    Transpose mxsmanic and gmail to reach me by e-mail.
  11. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Mxsmanic wrote:

    > Mike Hollywood writes:
    >
    >
    >>I guess that isn't a problem if you stay in the fold so to speak, but
    >>when you start using their mobos in homebrews, well, .... that's
    >>where I am now. ha ha.
    >
    >
    > Exactly. As long as everything is 100% Compaq, it all works, more or
    > less, including all their largely useless bells and whistles. But try
    > to put any kind of commodity hardware or software in the mix, and it
    > all breaks.

    oh pooh

    > I recall that a great way to break a Compaq system was to simply wipe
    > the disk and reinstall a standard OS. They weren't built to run a
    > _standard_ OS, apparently. Of course, if you built something yourself
    > from off-the-shelf components, the same OS would install and run fine.

    They work just fine with a "_standard_ O.S."

    You probably wiped out the BIOS/diagnostics partition and didn't know about it.

    >
    > Servers and laptops were the worst.
    >
    >
    >>I have a USB floppy drive and it works fine. XP detected it,
    >>installed, etc. But I think you have to have an operating system
    >>installed to use a usb device. Is that correct? I'll post a
    >>question about that now.
    >
    >
    > You have to have software on the machine to do anything, either in the
    > BIOS or in the OS.
    >
    > --
    > Transpose mxsmanic and gmail to reach me by e-mail.
  12. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    David Maynard writes:

    > They work just fine with a "_standard_ O.S."
    >
    > You probably wiped out the BIOS/diagnostics partition and didn't know about it.

    We knew about that partition, but when you do a _standard_
    installation, you remove it, because a BIOS or diagnostics partition
    is not a standard installation.

    But the OS itself seemed to have problems, as I recall. Over the
    years, based on what I saw, I decided that Compaq was bad news, and I
    never invested in one myself. Their servers were well built, provided
    you were willing to put up with these idiosyncrasies, but it seems
    that a lot of people weren't willing to put up with them. Compaq was
    a PC company that tried to build servers, whereas most servers came
    from minicomputer or mainframe companies with very different (and
    better) ideas on how servers should be built. Compaq succumbed to the
    "let's reinvent the wheel and show the world how it's done" syndrome
    that seems to eventually infect a lot of successful PC companies.

    --
    Transpose mxsmanic and gmail to reach me by e-mail.
  13. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Mxsmanic wrote:

    > David Maynard writes:
    >
    >
    >>They work just fine with a "_standard_ O.S."
    >>
    >>You probably wiped out the BIOS/diagnostics partition and didn't know about it.
    >
    >
    > We knew about that partition, but when you do a _standard_
    > installation, you remove it,

    No, you don't.

    > because a BIOS or diagnostics partition
    > is not a standard installation.

    Neither is an EPROM BIOS but that doesn't mean you REMOVE the thing.

    > But the OS itself seemed to have problems, as I recall.

    None of the ones I put on did.

    > Over the
    > years, based on what I saw, I decided that Compaq was bad news, and I
    > never invested in one myself. Their servers were well built, provided
    > you were willing to put up with these idiosyncrasies, but it seems
    > that a lot of people weren't willing to put up with them. Compaq was
    > a PC company that tried to build servers, whereas most servers came
    > from minicomputer or mainframe companies with very different (and
    > better) ideas on how servers should be built. Compaq succumbed to the
    > "let's reinvent the wheel and show the world how it's done" syndrome

    You mean as opposed to the "let's make exactly the same thing everyone else
    does so there's no technical reason to buy theirs, ours, or any of them?"

    Or perhaps "sell it for the color?"

    You'll noticed there aren't many of those folks left in business either.

    Compaq's mistake was buying Digital Equipment Corp, one of those 'know how
    to do it better' mini-computer manufacturers you mentioned.

    > that seems to eventually infect a lot of successful PC companies.

    Maybe expecting every computer to be built and work exactly the same in all
    ways as every other computer made isn't necessarily a good thing.

    > --
    > Transpose mxsmanic and gmail to reach me by e-mail.
  14. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    David Maynard writes:

    > No, you don't.

    My computers have standard installations, and they don't contain any
    magic partitions. I wipe the disk clean before installing anything.

    > You mean as opposed to the "let's make exactly the same thing everyone else
    > does so there's no technical reason to buy theirs, ours, or any of them?"

    Exactly. In many ways computers today are a commodity. You compete
    successfully by treating them that way. You sell systems by making
    them cheaper than others, or by providing better quality for the
    money. But you don't generally gain points by customizing systems in
    a way that makes them incompatible with all others. At first you
    might have the impression that you are locking your customers in, but
    they may end up abandoning you instead.

    > Or perhaps "sell it for the color?"

    Yes.

    > You'll noticed there aren't many of those folks left in business either.

    That's because most computers aren't sold based on color, but based on
    price / value. If you sell a good mix of off-the-shelf components at
    a reasonable price, you can make money. If your components are too
    cheap, or if your prices are too high, you lose money.

    > Compaq's mistake was buying Digital Equipment Corp, one of those 'know how
    > to do it better' mini-computer manufacturers you mentioned.

    Digital had already deteriorated greatly by that time. Much of the
    reason for that was the attitude you describe.

    > Maybe expecting every computer to be built and work exactly the same in all
    > ways as every other computer made isn't necessarily a good thing.

    Why not?

    --
    Transpose mxsmanic and gmail to reach me by e-mail.
  15. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Mxsmanic wrote:
    > David Maynard writes:
    >
    >
    >>No, you don't.
    >
    >
    > My computers have standard installations, and they don't contain any
    > magic partitions. I wipe the disk clean before installing anything.

    The Compaq partition doesn't make the 'installation' non standard any more
    than a SATA controller vs an IDE makes it 'non standard'. Less, actually.


    >>You mean as opposed to the "let's make exactly the same thing everyone else
    >>does so there's no technical reason to buy theirs, ours, or any of them?"
    >
    >
    > Exactly. In many ways computers today are a commodity.

    If all you can imagine and make is a 'commodity' then it's a commodity but
    there's no 'universal truth' to that.

    > You compete
    > successfully by treating them that way.

    No, I don't. I compete by filling specific needs.

    > You sell systems by making
    > them cheaper than others, or by providing better quality for the
    > money. But you don't generally gain points by customizing systems in
    > a way that makes them incompatible with all others.

    There's nothing about the Compaq partition that makes it 'incompatible'
    with anything.

    > At first you
    > might have the impression that you are locking your customers in, but
    > they may end up abandoning you instead.

    The purpose is to make a superior device, not 'lock' your customer.

    >>Or perhaps "sell it for the color?"
    >
    >
    > Yes.

    You'll never sell *me* one with that approach.

    >>You'll noticed there aren't many of those folks left in business either.
    >
    >
    > That's because most computers aren't sold based on color, but based on
    > price / value. If you sell a good mix of off-the-shelf components at
    > a reasonable price, you can make money. If your components are too
    > cheap, or if your prices are too high, you lose money.

    And since, in your world, every one makes exactly the same thing then costs
    and prices are essentially the same too and you end up trying to invent
    'value' from things of no intrinsic value, like a raspberry case.

    >>Compaq's mistake was buying Digital Equipment Corp, one of those 'know how
    >>to do it better' mini-computer manufacturers you mentioned.
    >
    >
    > Digital had already deteriorated greatly by that time. Much of the
    > reason for that was the attitude you describe.

    Digital's problem wasn't in abandoning the 'make indistinguishable clones
    identical to the competition' philosophy you're espousing.

    >>Maybe expecting every computer to be built and work exactly the same in all
    >>ways as every other computer made isn't necessarily a good thing.
    >
    >
    > Why not?

    It's called "stagnation."

    >
    > --
    > Transpose mxsmanic and gmail to reach me by e-mail.
  16. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Mike Hollywood wrote:
    > I'm have a computer and can't get the floppy drive to work.
    > It's a home brew running xp. AMD 750 MHz, 192 Ram,
    > 10 Gig Hard drive, 24X CD Rom, Nic card, on board audio,
    > AGP video card. Everything's fine except for the 3.5" drive.
    >
    > The bios sees the drive, and windows sees the drive, but
    > a disk in the drive can't be accessed by windows. It tells me
    > the disk isn't formatted so I tell it to format it and after some
    > spinning and wizzing it tells me the disk can't be formatted.
    >
    > The disk isn't the problem because it can be read on my
    > computer. (Same with 3 different working disks)
    >
    > I swapped out the cable with a new one so I know it's
    > not the cable.
    >
    > I tired 3 other floppy drives in it, but the same thing happens.
    >
    > So, I'm scratching my head here wondering what I'm missing.

    I'm sure that you've checked the CMOS set-up to be sure that the floppy
    drive isn't set for 1.2MB, 720K, or 2.88MB.

    Sounds like the SuperIO chip is hosed.
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