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Floppy hard drive trouble.

Last response: in Storage
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November 11, 2009 11:50:19 AM

When I double click the floppy icon the drive begins make a clicking sound.
a b G Storage
November 12, 2009 3:07:57 AM

Does the drive read anything? Have you tried different disks. If so, I would assume that this is an aged device and it may be on its last leg.
a c 342 G Storage
November 12, 2009 2:24:58 PM

I assume you have placed in the drive a floppy disk containing data - otherwise it would have nothing to read. What normally happens when you click on the floppy drive in My Computer is:
1. Drive motor starts up and activity light comes on.
2. Heads are driven to the limit, causing a clicking sound.
3. Heads move to position to read first track for Root directory and FAT. If this is successful, My Computer will show you the file list from the Root directory.
4. If no valid data can be found (not even a root directory), My computer may tell you the disk is unformatted and ask if you want that job done.
5. If nothing can be read at all, the drive may re-try the whole process of driving the head to the limit, then coming forward to the first track to re-read. It may try about 5 times before giving up and telling you there is an error on the device.

If My Computer displays no files but has no error messages after only one head "seek" operation, there is nothing wrong and the diskette simply has no files.
If My Computer says the disk needs formatting, it was unable to read any structure and the diskette probably is unformatted.
If there is a major error and the diskette cannot be read at all, even after multiple head "seeks", there are three possibilities. One is that the diskette is bad and you need to try a new one. A second is that the drive itself has a hardware problem - could be faulty and must be replaced, but maybe just loose connections of data or power supply cables. The third - and this is the FIRST THING TO TRY - is that the disk drive heads are dirty. Clean the heads, then let the drive dry out to evaporate any residual solvent. Try again. BUT there is a real possibility that the dirt on the heads actually scratched key parts of the diskette surface and damaged it so badly the diskette still cannot be read. NOW you can try a new diskette and see if that works in a clean drive.

For this reason, and because I use my floppy drives rarely, I am in the habit of cleaning the drive heads FIRST as a preventive measure BEFORE I try to use a diskette in it - prevents damaging diskettes and losing their data, because by far the most likely place for the scratching damage caused by dirty heads will happen on the first track it accesses - the one that has the Root directory and FAT!
!