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Windows does not recognize my floppy drive

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February 4, 2003 3:32:22 AM

Computer Does Not Recognize Floppy Drive

I installed a 5 1/4-inch floppy drive (in addition to drive A:, a 3 1/2-inch floppy drive) in my AMD Athlon 1800 computer, running Windows 98 SE. To my astonishment, Windows is unaware of the new drive. And there seems to be nowhere in the Add Hardware applet to inform Windows.

Interestingly, if I boot into "Command Prompt Only," the new drive is present and reads diskettes just as it should. But typing "Win" at the C: prompt brings me into Windows that is unaware of drive B:.

I have checked with tweaking software, which has the possibility of hiding drives, but such software is unaware that such a drive exists.

Clicking Start > Run > Restart in MS-DOS Mode indeed brings me back to a state in which the new floppy is recognized.

I recall that in the days before the 3 1/2-inch drive, when one used two floppies, there was a load resistor to be connected somewhere. Could the absence of such a resistor be the source of my problem? To me this seems highly unlikely, since the drive is identified in DOS.

I conclude that this is a Windows issue, rather than hardware.

What can I do to get Windows to recognize my new drive?

Not entirely pleased with Windows XP.
February 4, 2003 7:04:58 AM

Did you go into BIOS and tell your BIOS that there was a 5.25" floppy on drive B? You need to do that or you'll see weird things where it may appear or disappear.

<font color=blue>There are no stupid questions, only stupid people doling out faulty information based upon rumors, myths, and poor logic!</font color=blue>
February 4, 2003 8:32:40 AM

Of cvourse, that was the first thing that I did.

There is another paramter on the BIOS settings that may be of interest: something like Check floppy status, to see 360 or 1200. Would this help?

Not entirely pleased with Windows XP.
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February 4, 2003 12:21:56 PM

I've gotta say, I'm curious as to why you'd need a 5 1/4 floppy drive. I didn't think you could still buy them (haven't seen them on the sites I use). I haven't used one since the days of 286/early 386. And that's taking the clock back a bit!
February 4, 2003 2:33:39 PM

That setting checks if your FD uses 40 or 80 cilinders or something... which will mean if it is capable reading 1.2MB or 360K drives.
I have a 5.25" FD on my Win2k system (just for fun as I hardly use it) and it came up normally. Try removing the Floppy drive controller under Hardware Properties to see if it appears when Windows reinstall those drivers at reboot.

My dual-PSU PC is so powerfull that the neighbourhood dimms when I turn it on :eek: 
February 4, 2003 6:55:40 PM

Actually, I took it out of an old computer. And I had to take out the old cable, which had the "hollow" connector that you don't see anymore and fits on to the 5 1/4-inch drive.

Thanks for asking.

I have found that the 3 1/2-inch floppies are SO unreliable that I wanted to try the larger ones. I can't even transfer files between my two computers in the same apartment with any reliability. It remains to be seen how much better will be th eolder diskettes.
February 4, 2003 6:57:33 PM

Actually, today I set the BIOS so as not to check the B: drive for 360 vs. 1200, and that has solved the problem.

It's not obvious yet why the problem occured only in Windows, and not even in Windows Safe Mode.

Any ideas?
February 7, 2003 2:51:54 PM

Well Windows uses more hardware sources then plain old DOS so that could be the reason... or because Windows sucks.

My dual-PSU PC is so powerfull that the neighbourhood dimms when I turn it on :eek: 
!