Questions tagged [floppy-drive]

Floppy drives and accessing floppy disks from historical computers, ranging from 8″ down to 3.25″ and other non-standard sizes.

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Is there a way to trick my 386SX laptop into thinking there's a floppy drive installed?

I have a 1991 vintage AST Premium Exec 386SX/20 laptop, which is in excellent condition apart from the original hard drive and the floppy drive are both dead. I've replaced the hard drive with a ...
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3 votes
2 answers
411 views

Did any 8-bit disk drive screen off the hardware? [closed]

The Commodore 1541 floppy drive was a separate computer in its own right, with its own 6502 CPU. It was designed that way because they were basically copying the design from the Vic, partly due to a ...
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9 votes
2 answers
713 views

I get I/O errors when writing a disk image to a new old-stock floppy in a USB drive. How can I resolve this?

I wish to create a bootable DOS 3.3 installation floppy disk (3.5″, 1.44MB, 2HD, Sony branded) for my AST Premium Exec 386SX/20 laptop. I have bought a new USB floppy disk drive and connected it to an ...
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3 votes
2 answers
232 views

What do abnormal sounds or vibrations of a spinning floppy disk inside a floppy drive mean?

I saw this floppy drive sound emulator and this floppy disk sound video and wondered if the sound of a floppy drive or more specifically a the sound of a floppy disk spinning in the drive, could tell ...
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15 votes
2 answers
3k views

Why are the magnetic floppy disk drives (FDD) heads not frictionless?

After reading this answer to the question How long can a floppy disk spin before wearing out? ... one could see thru the floppy... Not just badly worn, but the magnetic coating was outright polished ...
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17 votes
6 answers
2k views

How does a floppy drive identify the first and last sectors and tracks?

I've recently found a more modern application "Floppy Disk Master-7"(Picture 2) (FDM) that visualized the bad sectors, tracks and clusters(Picture 1) on a floppy disk in a similar (but ...
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2 votes
2 answers
226 views

How to determine the required RPM for a 3.5-inch floppy disk?

In addition to my other related question Is it possible to read floppy disks at non-standard rotation speeds (RPM)?. How to determine the required RPM for a 3.5-inch floppy disk as disks can ...
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1 vote
4 answers
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Is it possible to read floppy disks at non-standard rotation speeds (RPM)?

According to this article 3.5-inch floppies rotate 300-600 times per minute (RPM). It is possible to overclock the RPM and will that result in higher transfer speeds? Or is it possible to read a disk ...
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20 votes
3 answers
2k views

Can powering on/off a 1541 damage a disk left inside?

The User's Guide for the Commodore 1541 disk drive includes a vague warning, on page 7, to "remember to always remove the diskette before the drive is turned off or on". Some third-party ...
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9 votes
1 answer
822 views

Why did the Sharp X68000 use 5.25" drives?

The Sharp X68000 came with two 5.25" floppy drives. Later models moved to 3.5" drives. Why did Sharp choose 5.25" over 3.5"? When the X68000 was released in 1987, 3.5" drives ...
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15 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why did Atari floppies run at 288 RPM?

Atari floppy drives for the 8-bit series, the 810 and 1050 specifically, ran at 288 RPM rather than 300. I can't imagine why this might be, and my google-fu fails to turn up a reason. Worth noting ...
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26 votes
3 answers
4k views

When did 5.25″ floppies exceed the capacity of 8″?

When 5.25″ floppies were introduced, in the mid-to-late seventies, they would have had less capacity than the older 8″ because, well, less area on which to store data. On the other hand, being cheaper ...
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4 votes
1 answer
272 views

How to repair IIgs 3.5 floppy drive?

The Apple 3.5" Drive on my IIgs still reads disks, but eject no longer works. The failure to eject is silent, no errors, noise, or motion. With a paperclip I can get the disks ejected but this is ...
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8 votes
2 answers
769 views

DOSBox problem reading floppy boot sector using INT 0x13 on a drive mounted using MOUNT

I'm writing 16-bit boot sector code. It reads "sector 0" under VMware with all the fields, including the 0xaa55 sig, as expected but the same code copied to DOSBox under Win 8.1 (x64) reads ...
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5 votes
1 answer
315 views

Why is my Commodore 1541-II stuck showing "Searching for $" whilst trying to load the directory?

I have a Commodore 1541-II drive. I bought this drive used (but like new) a year ago and I used it on my Commodore 64 for about 6 months, but I moved and just reconnected it to my Commodore and it no ...
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8 votes
1 answer
222 views

How was end-of-file stored on a Commodore 1541 disk? [duplicate]

On a VIC-20 or C-64, you could open a sequential file on a 1541, write exactly N bytes (say, 47 bytes) to it, then close it. Then you could open the same file for reading and start reading byte by ...
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5 votes
1 answer
568 views

3.5″ floppy drive shown as 5.25″ in Windows 98 SE

I have an old PC from the 90s. When I boot DOS from floppy, everything works fine. I have just installed Windows 98 SE and for some reason, the 3.5 inch floppy drive is showing as 5.25 inch drive. It ...
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  • 153
3 votes
3 answers
380 views

How to use IBM SaveDskF floppy format on modern machine

Is there a way to write IBM SaveDskF disk images to a floppy on a modern machine? The floppy drive is connected via USB. Some comment somewhere said to use WinImage, but I tried that and it said the ...
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2 votes
1 answer
225 views

"Restoring" a 1986 Compaq Portable II (Cabling question)

I am in possession of a working 1986 Compaq Portable II. However, I couldn't find a 5.25" floppy with the proper version of DOS on it to actually make the computer, ya know, work. I've since ...
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7 votes
1 answer
1k views

I can't read DS 1MB floppy disks

Using an USB external floppy drive, I've been able to use my Mac to back up files from a big box of 3.5 inch floppies (800K, HD 1.4MB). But I cannot even read my DS 1MB floppies using either the ...
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7 votes
3 answers
283 views

Reading data of floppies from a ZX Spectrum Swift disk

Back in the day we had a sixword swiftdisk we were ahead of the game on our speccy allowing us to us 3.5inch floppy disks. See: https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/swift-disc-interface-zx-spectrum-...
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10 votes
3 answers
1k views

Why does an Amiga's floppy drive keep clicking?

I seem to remember that an A500 (probably A600 too) would keep emitting a click from the floppy drive. I think this was only with no disk in the drive, but I'm not sure. What was that?
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3 votes
2 answers
276 views

Did any 5.25" floppy drives not based on the Apple Disk II offer quarter-track control

Unlike many drives, the Apple Disk II has inputs that control the individual head stepper coils. These are commonly described as advancing by half-tracks, since advancing a full track requires ...
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3 votes
2 answers
172 views

How can I format a higher capacity 3 inch disc on a regular CPC6128?

A standard Amstrad 3 inch disc can be formatted to CP/M Data format on the machine: single sided, single track, 40 tracks, 9 sectors/track, 512-byte sectors, no reserved tracks, 1k blocks, 2 directory ...
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10 votes
3 answers
744 views

How can I boot or extract files from an IBM PS/1 with a DoubleSpace-compressed hard drive?

I’m trying to boot an old IBM PS/1, mostly with the intention to read out its hard disk. I realized quickly that the original floppy disk drive was broken, so I replaced it with a Gotek floppy ...
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6 votes
3 answers
803 views

What can be done with a USR file on the Commodore 1541 disk drive?

The USR filetype on the Commodore VC 1541 disk drive is a less common sequential file that according to some book sources can be executed as a program directly on the drive. The drive has its own 6502 ...
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  • 4,080
7 votes
1 answer
270 views

Could a double-sided Commodore disk be written to be used as a "flippy" on a 1541, without requiring flipping on a 1571?

Although the 1571 is capable of reading and writing both sides of a disk, accesses to the second side using the second head will be performed with the drive spinning in opposite direction from how it ...
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5 votes
0 answers
105 views

Looking for a timeline or overview of implementations/inventions in the electromechanical part of 5.25" floppy drives [closed]

It's not so much about going from full-height drives to half-height drives, but about finer details. Disk rotation drive - when and how was the belt replaced with a direct drive and a flat motor? Who ...
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-1 votes
3 answers
328 views

I need to find a controller card for an apple II 5.25 inch floppy drive, the 20 pin connector wont work on the 34 pin controller card i have

I cant find any adapters or secondary connectors, can anybody get me a link to a working floppy controller card that works or possibly a connector that goes from 20 pin male to 34 pin female? i have ...
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3 votes
3 answers
5k views

Connecting old Floppy Drive to modern computer

I need a way to write on floppy disks from my modern PC (motherboard GIGABYTE z730p). I own a Panasonic JU-257A606P I took from an old machine of mine, and before buying a USB floppy drive I wanted to ...
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3 votes
4 answers
600 views

Where can I find a 26-pin flex flat cable for the floppy drive in a Toshiba T19x0 laptop?

I was trying to take apart a Toshiba T1950ct laptop to replace the slim floppy drive’s belt. Unfortunately, I broke the delicate flat flex cable (ffc), which is a non-standard 26-wire floppy cable. ...
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1 vote
1 answer
370 views

Help in finding signals on schematics

Where are the missing signals that I can't pair between amiga external drive connector and gotek drive? I'd like to connect GOTEK to CDTV, there is a way to do it directly (caddy died), but I can't ...
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10 votes
2 answers
436 views

How can the number of cylinders be different from the number of tracks?

In the IBM PC 5150 documentation, it is stated that the floppy drive has 40 tracks, 8 sectors/track and 512 bytes/sectors, for a total of 163 840 bytes of data. It makes sense, 40×8×512 = 163 840 ...
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13 votes
4 answers
3k views

Can special tools recover data from floppy disks when Windows Explorer fails to do so?

I have many 1.44MB floppies 20 years old or older. My FDD, which I just bought online and received recently, cannot read them. The FDD can often display the contents of a floppy, but not successfully ...
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8 votes
1 answer
553 views

Was sector size under software control on the original IBM PC floppy drive controller?

The original IBM PC used a 5.25" floppy disk format of two sides, 40 tracks, 9 sectors per track, 512 bytes per sector, for 360K per disk. As I understand it, a significant amount of disk space ...
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5 votes
1 answer
361 views

How to get GOTEK to work with CDTV?

I'm trying to connect Gotek drive to my CDTV using external caddy (amitek). The drive has 3 digit LED display, after boot i can see F-F. When I insert Flash drive it detects images on it, I can ...
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4 votes
2 answers
2k views

How to get into Apple BASIC prompt on an Apple IIc?

I just picked up a used Apple IIc. For some reason all I get when I boot is Check Disk Drive on the screen, even with a bootable disk in the internal drive: I cannot even get the system to read the ...
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7 votes
2 answers
1k views

How long should I expect the Apple IIc self test to run?

I purchased a vintage Apple IIc computer and I want to make sure there are no failing components. I booted up the computer while pressing both Apple keys (open and close) at the same time. The ...
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3 votes
1 answer
1k views

Reading 720 KiB floppy disks in a floppy drive identifying as ‘TEAC USB UF000x’ [closed]

I am using a USB connected "Sabrent FD-05PUB" 3.5″ floppy drive to read data using Windows 10 computer. It shows in Device Manager as "TEAC USB UF000x USB Device". The 1440 KiB ...
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4 votes
1 answer
332 views

What did "double track" mean in relation to floppy disks?

I mostly used 3½″ floppies back in the day but I also used 5¼″ floppies to some extent on Apple II's and TRS-80's. I was never exposed to 3″ floppy disks as used mainly on Amstrad microcomputers and ...
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  • 3,856
3 votes
1 answer
362 views

Algorithm to properly format 360k 5.25″ diskette in a 1.2M drive?

This is a low-level tech question, as I am developing a driver for an FDC at its command-set level. Having reviewed a number of sources, I cannot find the algorithm to format a 360K diskette using a ...
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  • 1,220
13 votes
5 answers
2k views

How are blocks stacked on a floppy or older HD

I tried to understand how to read a floppy image format (.sdk). The format is based on CP/M 2.2 filesystem. I've lost track, and I think it's my third attempt. Now I am looking more into what these ...
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23 votes
3 answers
4k views

Could you manually eject a floppy quick enough to prevent data loss?

I have the vague recollection of "Panic Ejecting" floppy disks by lifting the latch on the drive after immediately regretting a command I had typed. At the time, I was young, impulsive, and blessed ...
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5 votes
2 answers
625 views

Mismatched floppy disk/drive reading and writing, what should one keep in mind?

Mismatched disk/drive refers to, for example, reading/writing a 720K disk with a 1.44M drive. Don't forget LS-120 and LS-240 SuperDisk drives, they can use standard floppies too. What can and can't ...
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12 votes
2 answers
456 views

Can a 1,44MB or 720K PC floppy drive be made to work with an Apple II family?

I am restoring a couple of Apple II machines. I would like to add an external 3.5" floppy drive, but they are prohibitively expensive. I have tons of older PC floppy drives and I wonder if they could ...
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  • 322
3 votes
1 answer
301 views

Amstrad CPC6128 disc starting to fail?

I have an Amstrad CPC6128. I replaced and serviced the drive belt a few years ago, but now I am getting some disc errors. The drive is making noise but a few discs are reporting 'disc missing'. ...
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1 vote
0 answers
408 views

How can I read/write/format 5.25" 40-track MFM floppies on modern systems?

I've got a Fujitsu FM-7 with an external 5.25" floppy drive unit; it has a pair of 40-track, double-sided, double-density¹ drives. These use a fairly common low-level track format: the standard "IBM ...
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8 votes
2 answers
300 views

How much control of TRS-80 Model III disk drives was possible from its Cassette (ROM) BASIC?

How much control over the TRS-80 Model III's floppy drive controller can be effected via relatively simple commands, typed into its built-in Cassette BASIC? My understanding is that general usage of ...
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  • 2,591
16 votes
1 answer
2k views

Can I use all features of a Commodore 1571 external drive from a C64?

I know that the Commodore 1571 drive works perfectly well with a C64, since the 1571 will detect it is connected to a C64, and will enter 1541 emulation mode. After which, the 1571 just behaves as a ...
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6 votes
0 answers
182 views

How did the Tandy 1000 select its drives?

I am trying to use some Tandy 1000 drives with a SuperCard Pro and have encountered some anomalies using them as "standard" floppy drives. It appears that with the original (or at least, working and ...
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