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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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21 votes
5 answers
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High-capacity floppy drives from the early 2000s, what were they?

I remember in the early 2000s right before the flash drive became a thing there was a type of new floppy drive. It had bigger disk space than the conventional 1.4 megabyte floppy. It was only around ...
Neil Meyer's user avatar
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12 votes
5 answers
4k views

Has anyone ever made a quiet floppy drive?

The sound of a floppy drive is iconic. It is burned into the memory of all people in a certain age group. Some smarter ones even made music with them. But was there ever any effort to quiet them down? ...
Vilx-'s user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
173 views

How Can Apple II DOS 3.3 Floppy Disks be Restored after Formatting with INIT?

I have files on around 50 5.25" floppy disks. Most are in the Apple II (or ][ Plus), DOS 3.3 formats. I have the Apple ][+ with 64K RAM (48K on MBd plus 16K on the Language Card in Slot 0), and ...
JTyler2's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
729 views

Why would a 720k (DSQD/96tpi) 5.25" floppy disk be read as 360k?

I'm backing up some old floppy disks, some of which are Double Side Quad Density 96tpi Soft-Sectored disks, which I understand to have capacities of 720KB. When I read the disks (in a 1.2MB drive) ...
Synthetic Ascension's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
2k views

Is side 0 on the top or bottom of a floppy disk?

Assuming a 3.5" or 5.25" diskette placed on a surface with its label side facing upwards, which side of the magnetic disc within does head #0 of the drive reside on?
Mark's user avatar
  • 213
12 votes
2 answers
1k views

Floppy drive detection on an IBM PC 5150 by PC/MS-DOS

The only functions of INT 13h available for pre-XT systems are the first six, from AH=00 to AH=05 (see here and here) Since function AH=08 (Get current drive parameters) is unavailable, how does PC-...
padawan's user avatar
  • 447
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

Parallel port to IDE cable standard?

For parallel port to IDE devices, known as parallel IDE, I am wondering if there is a parallel cable standard? Or if standard parallel cables should work? Background: A friend bought an Imation LS-120 ...
Damien Stewart's user avatar
14 votes
2 answers
562 views

Did any software use "deleted data" floppy sectors?

The standard IBM System 34 floppy format supports two different types of sectors, "data" and "deleted data". In the sector header, data sectors are marked by an FB byte (Data Mark ...
Simon Kissane's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
169 views

Was the WD1761 series binned FD1791's, or an entirely separate line?

I am wondering if anyone out there is familiar enough with the FD179x series floppy controllers to comment on whether they were simply binned FD179x's, or a separate line entirely? It seems the only ...
Maury Markowitz's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why did the IBM PC design twist 7 wires in the FDC cable and not 3

The point of the twist was to exchange drive select A and B, so that all floppies could be sold with the drive select jumper in the second slot, and thus their position on the cable would cause them ...
dgnuff's user avatar
  • 495
4 votes
1 answer
290 views

Disable motherboard floppy controller DOS

I have a SuperMicro P4SCA motherboard (manual) running FreeDOS 1.3. The motherboard has an onboard floppy controller as part of a W83627HG (datasheet). However, this floppy control fails to provide ...
MattHusz's user avatar
  • 149
13 votes
1 answer
2k views

Did RapidLok etc knock floppy drives out of alignment?

From https://www.filfre.net/2016/01/a-pirates-life-for-me-part-3-case-studies-in-copy-protection/ But balanced against the one great advantage of RapidLok for the legitimate user was at least one ...
rwallace's user avatar
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5 votes
0 answers
57 views

trying to debug old 1979 Micropolis 1016-2 floppy controller issue

I have an old IMSAI PCS-80/30 S-100. It runs Micropolis MDOS 4.0. I have Micropolis 1016-2 single drive (doesn't seem to read or write), Micropolis 1043-2 dual drive (reads sometimes when the moon is ...
Greg's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
809 views

Which wires need to be changed to use a Gotek floppy emulator on an Apple Mac?

Preamble I own a Gotek floppy emulator that I use with my BBC Model B. It is the latest model with the Artery AT32F435 MCU1, so there is a lot of memory space and processing power for future features ...
Greenonline's user avatar
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10 votes
3 answers
1k views

What is the maximum allowable error when aligning the magnetic heads of a floppy drive?

Today, I realigned the transplanted heads of a floppy drive by hand, and it felt like a herculean thing to do; as well as an experience I hope to never repeat. Now that I'm finished, I want to ...
Zhro's user avatar
  • 283
5 votes
0 answers
165 views

How can I replace the floppy drive mechanism in a A-1011/CD-1411

I have a Commodore CD-1411 external floppy drive which I connect to a CDTV. Unfortunately it is not reading any disks reliably anymore despite cleaning the heads. Inside I found a Chinon FB-354 rev D ...
Patryk Koryzna's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
505 views

Is it possible to delete a phantom floppy drive under Windows ME without additional tools?

I have build a Windows ME retro PC. In the BIOS I disabled the floppy controller. There is no physical floppy drive installed. But Windows ME still shows a phantom floppy drive A:. Everytime Windows ...
zomega's user avatar
  • 5,372
1 vote
1 answer
180 views

Laser fd-100 Stepper motor vibrates

I have a Laser FD-100 that doesn’t work. the stepper motor just vibrates instead of moves. I took it out and greased it and still nothing. There are 3 pins on the board that look broken. What are they ...
help's user avatar
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10 votes
2 answers
3k views

Is there any hardware that lets me use floppy drives with low level formatting capability on a modern pc? [duplicate]

There's a bunch of usb floppy drives out there but it's clear they're quite limited. I want the ability to low level format my disks. Is there any usb/pci/anything adapter that can interface with ...
Daffy's user avatar
  • 201
17 votes
2 answers
4k views

What is this diskette drive?

I am preparing a BBC Model B micro computer for sale which has been in storage and needs cleaning. There is a 3½" diskette drive with it, which was unfortunately stored with the slot uppermost ...
Weather Vane's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
2k views

How does MS-DOS 6 cache the DIR results?

I was wondering how the MS-DOS 6 DIR command works. I noticed that the floppy drive directory is cached so that the drive isn't read again when you run DIR a second time. In thinking there may be a ...
Thraka's user avatar
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25 votes
4 answers
5k views

Did something like floppy disk jukeboxes for home computers exist in the 70s or 80s? Would that have been a feasible concept?

Many home computers in the 1970s and 1980s had two floppy disk drives, or owners bought a second drive, to reduce having to play disk jockey. A second drive was especially popular with Commodore Amiga ...
scrØllbær's user avatar
  • 1,109
1 vote
0 answers
87 views

Can a floppy disk be formatted in another size for (read-only) backwards compatibility? [duplicate]

Is it possible to format a 3.5″ floppy disk in another size? For example an original 1440 KiB floppy as a 720 KiB or 360 KiB disk thats (at least read-only) compatible with 720 KiB or 360 KiB drives? ...
Bob Ortiz's user avatar
  • 1,672
7 votes
0 answers
136 views

Apple II floppy drive, pressure pad cleaning or replacement?

This is related to the following question: Cleaning 5¼" floppy drives Is there a proper way to clean the pressure pad that simply presses against the back side of a single-sided 5.25-inch ...
Dale Mahalko's user avatar
  • 3,649
5 votes
0 answers
833 views

What was the last 5.25-inch floppy disk drive manufactured?

Assuming that no manufacturer of removable-media disk-drives is still manufacturing disk-drives for 5¼-inch floppy disks - what was the last drive model manufactured / sold and who was the ...
Micropolis's user avatar
13 votes
1 answer
873 views

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 that the original hard drive and the floppy drive are both dead. I've replaced the hard drive with a ...
user882326721's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
455 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 ...
rwallace's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
user882326721's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
629 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 ...
Bob Ortiz's user avatar
  • 1,672
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 ...
Bob Ortiz's user avatar
  • 1,672
17 votes
6 answers
4k 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 ...
Bob Ortiz's user avatar
  • 1,672
2 votes
3 answers
814 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 ...
Bob Ortiz's user avatar
  • 1,672
1 vote
4 answers
663 views

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 ...
Bob Ortiz's user avatar
  • 1,672
20 votes
4 answers
3k 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 ...
Psychonaut's user avatar
  • 7,541
9 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
user's user avatar
  • 15.2k
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 ...
Maury Markowitz's user avatar
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 ...
rwallace's user avatar
  • 61.1k
4 votes
1 answer
466 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 ...
Michael Shopsin's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
894 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 ...
rupertreynolds's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
731 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 ...
Swisher Sweet's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
327 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 ...
Nimloth's user avatar
  • 2,068
5 votes
1 answer
901 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 ...
Ondrej's user avatar
  • 153
3 votes
3 answers
819 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 ...
Tomas By's user avatar
  • 2,082
2 votes
1 answer
334 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 ...
R3TURN-0's user avatar
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 ...
stephen robb's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
673 views

Reading data of floppies from a ZX Spectrum Swift Disc

Back in the day when we had a Sixword Ltd. Swift Disc floppy-drive we were ahead of the game on our speccy, allowing us to use 3.5inch floppy disks. See: https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/swift-...
Bruce Adams's user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
2k 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?
Omar and Lorraine's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
419 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 ...
supercat's user avatar
  • 36.3k
3 votes
2 answers
262 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 ...
Mark Williams's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
Matthias's user avatar
  • 291