Floppy drive help needed.

December 13, 2009 at 12:13:34
Specs: Windows XP, Virtual PC
Okay here's my problem: I have a 486DX 33mhz PC with one 5inch floppy drive and one 3.5 inch floppy drive. I had a 240 MB hdd and yesterday I replaced it with a better 3.2 GB hdd. I put hard drive in and configured it's BIOS settings (WPcom, Lzone...). As soon as the new hard drive went in the floppy drives both failed and it gave me a "floppy controller failed" error. Every time i boot up both floppy drive lights stay solid. When it gets past the BIOS area it says "DRIVE NOT READY ERROR. Insert Boot diskette in drive A: Press any key when ready". And I did have my boot diskette in the drive.

I've tried switching floppy connector cables and even put a different 3.5 inch floppy in but neither worked. I also checked my BIOS setting but I only seen 3 setting that looked ascociated with floppy drives. They were as follows:
(From Standard CMOS setup) Floppy drive A: 1.44 MB, 3.5"
(From Standard CMOS setup) Floppy drive A: 360 KB, 5.25"
(From Advanced CMOS setup) Floppy drive seek at boot: Disabled

I did know if Floppy drive seek at boot should be enabled or disabled so I tried both but it didn't seem to help. I also set the BIOS to the "Auto configuration with BIOS defaults" and "Auto configuration with power-on defaults".

None of this seemed to help. Can you guys help me? Without the drives working this computer is basically useless.


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#1
December 13, 2009 at 12:32:47
Have you tried changing the boot order ?

It can be configured in BIOS...I suggest something like this:

1. CD-ROM
2. HDD
3. Floppy...

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www.google.com


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#2
December 13, 2009 at 13:02:20
Yes i did.
My boot order is Floppy drive followed by hard drive C:

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#3
December 13, 2009 at 13:03:26
Have you installed an OS on the hard drive ?

If the hard drive is not bootable, it will be skipped...

Google is your friend

www.google.com


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Related Solutions

#4
December 13, 2009 at 13:35:51
Were both floppies working OK in the PC prior to installing the other drive? Do the floppies and hard drive connect to a card or directly to the motherboard?

You're showing two A: drives here:

(From Standard CMOS setup) Floppy drive A: 1.44 MB, 3.5"
(From Standard CMOS setup) Floppy drive A: 360 KB, 5.25"

Is the 5.25 drive a 360K or a 1.2 meg? If you don't know, what is its model number?

"It was far easier for you as civilized men to behave like barbarians
than it was for them as barbarians to behave like civilized men."


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#5
December 13, 2009 at 14:29:00
"You're showing two A: drives here:

(From Standard CMOS setup) Floppy drive A: 1.44 MB, 3.5"
(From Standard CMOS setup) Floppy drive A: 360 KB, 5.25""

And typically, the 3½ would be A and the 5¼ would be B.

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#6
December 13, 2009 at 15:42:54
I would try the 5.25 as a 1.2MB.

The drive letter designation for the drive is dependent on where it is connected on the cable. If on the end of the cable (past the twist) then it will be assigned A. Below the twist will be B. My first PC had both and the 5 1/4 was the A. At that time most software came on 5 1/4 floppies. Also, the cable might work better if the 5 1/4 is on the top.

There is no purpose in having the floppy drive after the hard drive in the boot order. Any time you need to boot to the floppy it will be for something that needs to come before the others. Things like installing an OS that uses a start up floppy, or flashing the BIOS.

Try

Floppy
CD
Hard drive

One other thing to note. The BIOS may not allow you to configure a 3.2GB drive. There were/are many different hard drive size barriers. I think yours may be at 504MB. Possible to either throttle with a jumper or install a drive overlay if that is the case.

edit

I am not 100% sure about the end automatically being the A drive. I think that is correct. Been many years since using a 5 1/4 drive anywhere.


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#7
December 13, 2009 at 17:28:11
"I am not 100% sure about the end automatically being the A drive. I think that is correct. Been many years since using a 5 1/4 drive anywhere."

On all but the oldest drives, it depends on the cable being used. Any drive connected "after the twist" will be the A drive; but some cables only have a 3.5" connector after the twist. If that's the case, the 3.5 would have to be A and the 5.25 B. Other cables have both connections available after the twist (and before) & the user can choose which drive he wants as A or B.

Regardless, most BIOS' will allow the user to swap floppy drives on boot so the drive connected as B will be seen as A by the O/S.

But, the drives must still be correctly identified in BIOS as A and B. The drives must also be correctly identified as to size. I've never seen a BIOS that does all this automatically so now might be a good time to get the model numbers off both drives so everyone knows what we're dealing with.

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