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USB Floppy Drives not working, always want me to format disk

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June 17, 2011 1:47:59 PM

My dads business has old machines that only accept data through floppy drives. They recently got a new computer with no floppy controller on its board, so he ask me to come up with a solution. I bought a USB floppy drive and a USB card with an internal port to mount the external drive internally....but I can't get the drive to read a disk reliably.

I have tried two drives now, and have tried them both on an XP and Windows 7 machine. Every disk wants to be formatted, and every format fails. Upon searching I discovered this is a common occurance.

What causes this and how can I fix it? I've tried multiple drives and multiple disks, something fishy is going on. I got the current drive I have to read two disks last night, now this morning it wont read any.

If you have anything to add at all, thank you
a c 76 G Storage
June 17, 2011 2:28:53 PM

Do they work if you connect them to a motherboard USB port instead of the USB card?
June 17, 2011 2:36:03 PM

Oh sorry I wasnt clear. I didn't even bother using the PCI card with the internal port yet since I can't get an external drive to work. I've only tried it with the motherboard USB slots on two XP machines and one Windows 7 machine.
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a c 84 G Storage
June 17, 2011 2:36:22 PM

Are the floppy disks readable on the old computer? Floppy disks are really unreliable, there are common cases where the read/write heads on a drive get mis-alligned and disks written on it will only be readable by the original drive they were made on.

If it is readable by the original disk drive, you need to make images of the floppy contents, then you can use that image to write on the new drives.

Have you tried using new disk with the drive?
June 17, 2011 4:58:22 PM

The computer that was replaced was the only one with a floppy drive and it is dead. I haven't tried a brand new disk but I tried at least 10 old disks. My dads old SGI workstation is in my basement I'll try one of them in there when I get a chance
a c 84 G Storage
June 17, 2011 5:01:26 PM

Take out the floppy from the dead system and install it in another computer. And make sure you create images of the disks if you get them to read. If you actually told the system to format the disks when it asked you to you could have wiped the data off them already though.
June 17, 2011 5:13:22 PM

Thanks for the advice. I didn't attempt to format any disks that had vital information on them, so we are good there. We still need his system to interact with floppies, the old data isn't the issue.

I'll see if I can find a brand new disk (if they still exist) and try it in there, as well as try the old floppies in the old school SGI in my basement and see what happens
!