floppy drive not readable

Dell / Dell dv051...
May 20, 2012 at 20:10:24
Specs: Windows XP, 2.793 GHz / 1014 MB
a: drive opens and closes but won't recognize disk

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#1
May 20, 2012 at 20:36:47
Most likely the disk is bad. Floppy disks were probably the least reliable storage media that was ever in common use. Cassette tape may have been worse but they were obsolete 30 years ago. Or the drive may be bad. Try using a known good disk to determine which it is.

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#2
May 20, 2012 at 21:14:48
Floppy disks that have developed bad sectors over time are COMMON. Sometimes that results in the operating system can't read them at all. They're also easily damaged by anything magnetic that gets too close to them. E.g. some screwdrivers have magnetized tips.

However, your problem could be caused by either the floppy disk, or the floppy drive is not working properly.

Try one or more other floppy disks in the drive.
If the floppy drive can read ANY of those disks, there's nothing wrong with the floppy drive.
.....

If the floppy drive can't read ANY floppy disk (assuming you have more than one to try)....

The floppy drive must be connected properly.

On a laptop, if it's a plug in module, it must be pushed all the way into it's slot.

On a desktop computer.....

- the small power connector from the power supply must be connected to it's four power pins properly.
NOTE that if you plug that connector in so it's not on all four pins, or backwards on the 4 pins, then run the computer, the floppy drive's board will probably be be FRIED instantly ! In that case, if you connect the power connector properly, the led on it may still light up but it won't be able to read ANY floppy disk.

- A single floppy drive must be connected to the proper floppy data cable connector - e.g. the END one on a three connector floppy data cable, NOT the middle one. The other end connector must be plugged into the mboard data header. .

Some floppy data cables have no external tab on the connectors that prevents you from plugging in the connector in the WRONG direction.
Some floppy drives have no plastic shroud with a slot around the data header that prevents you from plugging in a connector in the WRONG direction, whether the connector has an external tab or not.

- the data cable connector must be plugged into the data header on the mboard in the right direction.
The stripe on one side of all the data cables that are plugged in - floppy or IDE, should be on the same end of all the headers on the mboard.

- the data cable connector must be plugged into the data header on the floppy drive in the right direction.

- if one data cable connector on a data cable is plugged into a data header backwards, THE LED on the floppy drive WILL BE ON ALL THE TIME THE COMPUTER IS RUNNING.

If does no harm to the floppy drive if one connector is backwards, but if a floppy disk was inserted in it at the time, the data MAY have been damaged on it !
.........

A properly connected and properly working floppy drive should always

- show up in the mboard's bios Setup.
In most bioses it's detected automatically, but in some bioses you may have to enable it.

- blink it's led right after you insert a floppy disk while the computer is running.

- blink it's led while booting the computer, if a floppy drive is listed in the Boot Order or similar list in the bios before anything else, whether it has a floppy disk inserted in it at the time or not.

- show up in Windows

- have no problem reading MOST floppy disks, if not all floppy disks.
If you have only one floppy disk, try it in a different floppy drive on a different computer.

NOTE that
- many bioses will NOT recognize a bootable floppy disk in a floppy drive while booting the computer unless it's listed in the Boot Order or similar list in the bios BEFORE CD drive or similar.



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#3
May 21, 2012 at 00:02:50
When you say it '. . . opens and closes. . .' do you mean when you select 'open' from 'my computer' or do you mean it physically opens and closes? If the latter, are you sure it's a floppy drive (even though an A: drive letter indicates a floppy drive)? It's just an odd way to describe inserting and ejecting a floppy disk.

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#4
May 21, 2012 at 12:50:00
When you say it '. . . opens and closes . . . '...."
"It's just an odd way to describe inserting and ejecting a floppy disk."

I agree.

If it's a USB floppy drive, you might be able to open and close it in Windows, by clicking on something, but otherwise, you can't physically open (eject the tray) and close (retract the tray) of a conventional floppy drive by clicking on anything in Windows.

"Tags:Dell / Dell dv051"

When I search using: Dell dv051, most of the "hits" are for Dell Dimension E310 (DV051) .

If that's what you have....

Dell™ Dimension™ 3100/E310 Service Manual
http://support.dell.com/support/edo...

Removing and installing Parts - Floppy drive
http://support.dell.com/support/edo...

- mboard has a floppy drive data header

System Setup
http://support.dell.com/support/edo...

"Diskette Drive
Identifies and defines the floppy drive attached to the FLOPPY connector on the system board as Off, USB, Internal, or Read Only."

MUST be set to Internal, or USB, whichever applies.

"Boot Sequence
This feature allows you to change the boot sequence for devices.

Option Settings
Diskette Drive — The computer attempts to boot from the floppy drive. If the floppy disk in the drive is not bootable, if no floppy disk is in the drive, or if there is no floppy drive installed in the computer, the computer generates an error message."

NOTE that ......
- many bioses will NOT recognize a bootable floppy disk in a floppy drive while booting the computer unless it's listed in the Boot Order or similar list in the bios BEFORE CD drive or similar.



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