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No removable media drives are accessible

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July 16, 2009 9:24:50 PM

I have an old Pentium 133 with a 5.25 floppy drive installed with which I want to read old floppies so that I can save anything valuable and get rid of everything else. The system is up and running well enough, but I am not able to access any of the drives with removable media. There are 2 CD drives and 2 floppy drives (5.25 and 3.5). I'm sure that this is some type of system error. Both floppies show up in the BIOS. All drives show up in Win98SE device manager with no problems. The 2 CD drives are on different controllers (1 is on the motherboard and the other is on a Soundblaster card). I have verified that the 3.5 media is valid in another computer. I have no means of verifying the 5.25 media. The CD media has been verified as well. I can reach the 3.5 floppy through the DOS prompt, but any attempt to access otherwise (ie. "dir" or "format") gets the error with options to Abort, Retry, or Fail.
What am I missing? This machine has no access to the internet. Without a removable media drive I have to way of introducing any software that may be able to help me fix this. What do I do now?
a b G Storage
July 20, 2009 7:16:00 AM

The only possibility I can think of right now is that something shook up your system, loosening a connection or two within your system. Double-check all your media drive connections to the motherboard, and to the power supply.

Also, do you remember when this problem occurred? Did you do anything significant before your issues started?
July 20, 2009 6:26:21 PM

A long time ago I had this same issue, and I was able to solve it by disconnecting the 3.5" drive, and using the 5.25 as the only floppy drive in the system. I specifically remember that I could only have one connected at a time. Never did find out the ultimate cause, just that workaround
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July 20, 2009 6:28:02 PM

sorry for the double post, but also make sure the data cable is not plugged in upside down... easy to do on some of the older drives
July 20, 2009 10:07:52 PM

Thank you for responding.

The system has been out of commission for many months. I did have it connected with only the 5.25 floppy at one point, no CD drives at all. Just the hard drive and the 5.25 floppy. It became evident that I needed to bring in data from an external source, so I first connected one of the CD drives. Then the other. The last thing connected was the 3.5 in floppy. All of the cables have been checked and double checked and the same with power supply connections. The two floppies are on the same controller, but each of the CD drives and the hard drive are on separate controllers.

Any new info would be much appreciated. I've exhausted my personal knowledge base on this one.

Thanx, again

Nadine H
!