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Where there's smoke...

Tags:
  • Homebuilt
  • Floppy Disk
  • Power
  • Systems
Last response: in Systems
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June 10, 2008 3:58:08 AM

Put together a new system but used a ancient floppy drive. When I started up the system, the floppy drive started smoking. I immediately yanked the power and removed the floppy from the system. System seems to run fine now, no problems are apparent. However, I'm left with some questions...

1. I'm not sure how to diagnose what caused it to start smoking... floppy, psu?

2. There is some visible damage to the power cable line, i.e., bubbling along the length, but no exposed wires. Are there precautions I can/should take for this?

3. Is there anything else I should be concerned about/check out?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

More about : smoke

June 10, 2008 5:00:34 AM

1) My best guess is that power supply provided too much voltage to the floppy drive. Seems obvious.

2) I would not use the cable again. Good chance it will die out soon, and it would not be fun if something critical depended on that cable.

3) Check your power supply and other parts for any signs of damage, burn smell, etc. Although if you are up and running now with no issues you should be good now.
June 10, 2008 5:47:19 AM

Easy answer: You plugged the power cord in wrong. One pin off. It's a common issue with floppy drives. I wouldn't use that power cable a second time, with the damaged insulation. The floppy drive itself may still work.
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June 10, 2008 5:53:04 AM

^ Forget what he said. If you floppy goes up in smoke it was most likely the faulty part. Check the voltages on your PSU and get a new floppy. that should do it.
a b B Homebuilt system
June 10, 2008 1:22:24 PM

I'd focus on the floppy drive.

You got smoke, and a power cable lead shows signs of substantial overheating in a short time period. That only happens because a VERY large current waq flowing through the line. Now, that could happen if the supply voltage was 'way too high, but let us remember that the same voltages are supplied from the PSU to several devices. So if the PSU output is at fault, you should have seen a similar problem in other places. On the other hand, excessive current can be pulled because the floppy itself either had a fault or was mounted incorrectly, and there was a near-short circuit. Or maybe this condition could happen if you plugged the connector in wrong at the floppy. But either way, very high current was flowing through some parts in the floppy drive. That means it either had a bad component to start with, or it could have developed a bad flaw as a result of any misconnection of the power leads. Maybe you should not use that floppy drive again.

For the damaged power lead, I agree you should not rely on it. Tie it up, tape it off, or whatever to make it un-useable. Or consider replacing the one piece of wire that is burned so you still have that power connector to use after the repair.
June 10, 2008 1:51:38 PM

What's a floppy drive?
June 10, 2008 1:58:46 PM

getme said:
What's a floppy drive?


'3.5 floppy disc which store data on magneted taped.
June 10, 2008 2:23:16 PM

^please tell me you knew I was just being a smartass. ;) 
June 10, 2008 3:14:28 PM

LOL @ getme.

I know, I know. I've had the thing forever, I just couldn't bring myself to totally get rid of it. I wasn't sad saying goodbye to the 5 1/4 inch, but it's easy to see that the days of my childhood computer playing are over. :) 
June 10, 2008 3:15:21 PM

Oh... and thanks for the advice. I'll just get rid of it and tie off the cable. Didn't seem like the damage made it all the way back to the psu.
June 10, 2008 5:10:44 PM

Lucky, then; make sure the cable and the drive never get connected again :) 
June 10, 2008 8:33:14 PM

Oh, btw, the winner goes to Crashman. I double checked how I had plugged it in and he's right, it was one pin off.

<---Newbie, what can I say?
June 12, 2008 1:15:51 AM

getme said:
^please tell me you knew I was just being a smartass. ;) 


yea I was being one back. :p 
a b B Homebuilt system
June 12, 2008 1:48:05 AM

Why not make a USB boot drive with DOS? That's the only thing you need floppy for. (BIOS flashing/modding)
!