Solved BIOS & Win7 support for LS floppy disk drive

September 21, 2012 at 23:04:51
Specs: Windows 7, Athlon
Failing to find this LS-120 drive in BIOS or WIN7, have a number of old disk with very valuable information that I would like to retrieve and burn onto DVD's

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September 22, 2012 at 04:52:37
A modern BIOS will not show the LS-120 drive anyway, but that's not the reason why Windows isn't detecting it. Unfortunately, the LS-120 requires a third-party device driver and there's the problem - there is no compatible driver available for it on Windows versions later than Windows XP.

You will have to install it on a Windows XP computer if you want to retrieve data from your collection of LS-120 disks.

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September 22, 2012 at 12:48:42
✔ Best Answer

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February 2, 2013 at 14:20:28
I run a Mitsubishi LS-120 super floppy drive in Windows 7 64-bit. It is recognized as A:/Floppy, formats, writes, and reads 120MB disks, formats, writes, and reads standard 1.44MB and 720KB disks. Maybe I'll write a "HowTo" about this. The solution is ridiculously simple with a modern MBO.

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February 2, 2013 at 15:39:14
Sounds very interesting, would like more detailed information about how you cracked this problem.

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February 2, 2013 at 20:38:05
If memory serves me correctly there were/are two types of super floppy drives. Some ran off the floppy controller and some ran off an IDE channel.

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February 25, 2013 at 18:40:09
There is only one type of super disk drive. Originally, this was started by Iomega but later was taken over by Mitsubishi and designed as LS-120. LS-120 drives can store as much as 120MB on a special floppy disk designed just for super drives. LS-120 drives are also compatible with standard floppy disks (1.44MB) and perform all standard operations of a standard floppy drive except that the drive is about twice as fast as a standard floppy drive since a LS-120 operates on an IDE (PATA) bus. In addition, there was a LS-240 drive but these are very rare. I have no experience with LS-240 drives. All LS-120 drives use an IDE interface and there were none made that had a standard floppy cable interface. There are external LS-120 drives that operate with a USB cable but these drives have an internal USB to IDE converter inside their case.

Contrary to Phil22's opinion, there are drivers for xp, Vista, and Win7. The driver is supplied by Microsoft as "sfloppy.sys" and it comes in both 32 and 64-bit versions.

There several successful methods to use an internal LS-120 drive. If the MBO has an IDE controller, the solution is simple. Connect the LS-120 drive to the IDE controller with a standard 40/80 cable. However, the LS-120 drive must be the first on the IDE cable and it must be jumpered as "Master". Since this is a standard IDE connection, jumper positions are shown on the drive and they are exactly the same as those on an IDE hard drive.

A second method is when there is no IDE controller resident on the MBO. A Koutech PCI-e ATA133 IDE card has provision for two IDE devices. This is method that I use with a Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H MBO, Intel i7 3.5GHz cpu, and 32MB of 1.6MHz memory. It works perfectly, detects the LS-120 and a Plextor PX-708A DVD drive. Transfer is 133MB/sec. Also, Win7 Pro 64-bit recognizes the LS-120 drive and installs the 64-bit driver, sfloppy.sys, automatically.

A third method is also when there is no IDE controller resident but there is an available SATA slot. I have verified that a SIIG SC-SA0112-S1 SATA to IDE adaptor operates well with a LS-120 drive. Again, the LS-120 must be jumpered as "Master". The SIIG adaptor requires a separate power supply connection in addition to the standard power connection for the LS-120. As I understand, this particular SIIG adaptor is discontinued. Newer SIIG adaptors with the same part number and a green circuit board have replaced the adaptors that I have which have red circuit boards. I cannot confirm that the green circuit boards adaptors will operate properly. I have several of the red circuit board adaptors available, if needed.

I have seen inquiries about a need to retrieve files from super floppies. If there is someone who needs to retrieve files, I shall be happy to help. Send me a personal message about your need. You will need to send me your floppies and either sufficient CD or DVD disks to store the files. I can retrieve your super floppy files and burn them to either CD or DVD disks. Your cost will be shipping the material to me and the cost to return the material to you. I am well aware of the problem of data that seems to be lost except that it is in hand but cannot be retrieved.

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