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caharmon
February 13th, 2009, 05:28 PM
I have a somewhat unusual project.

My mom was a writer, and like many people her age, she clung to her manual typewriter like it was a life preserver, refusing to even think about, much less actually learn how to use a computer till the mid 90's. The first computer she used, and the one she did 99% of her work on, was a 386 with one, 1.2mb 5.25" floppy disk, and a 40 mb hard drive.

Mom passed away in November of 2006 leaving behind about 300-400 5.25 floppies filed with stuff she wrote, all in Word Perfect 5.1 DOS format. Now, I know some of that stuff will be junk, but I need to sort through it. I need to sort through it, and copy that which is worth keeping, either, onto a hard drive in a modern computer, or burn these files onto cd, or dvd.

Believe it, or not, I have a working XT, with both a 5.25, and a 3.5 fdd. The problem there is that first, I don't know whether or not the 5.25 is a 1.2mb, or a 360k. I also have few 286's that I could configure to copy from one drive to the other. But in the end I still need to run the files copied from 5.25 to 3.5, to another more modern computer.

Here is what I would like to do.

I have an old AMD K-6 machine that still works, and has 98SE loaded onto it, with one, or two USB ports. The only possible drawback is that it only has one 3.5" floppy, not, a 5.25.

I know that I can run a ribbon, and a power cable from the inside of the case, and run a 5.25 from outside the case, and I will if I need to, but here is what I would rather do.

I have a Cumulus Corp. 5.25" external floppy drive. Now, I assume the drive works. I have the connector cable. what I need is a 37 pin FDD contrloller card. My questions are as follows:
1. Can I use an IBM 37 pin FDD controller, and will 98SE see it, and recognize it?
2. Will the bios of 98SE recognize a flash drive, or must I install an internal cd burner?
3. Will Microsoft word convert a Word Perfect 5.1 file automatically , or must I manually tell it to do so?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Thanks
Cliff

Fallo
February 13th, 2009, 06:54 PM
Believe it, or not, I have a working XT, with both a 5.25, and a 3.5 fdd. The problem there is that first, I don't know whether or not the 5.25 is a 1.2mb, or a 360k. I also have few 286's that I could configure to copy from one drive to the other. But in the end I still need to run the files copied from 5.25 to 3.5, to another more modern computer.

If it's an XT, the drives are in all likelihood double-density.


I have a Cumulus Corp. 5.25" external floppy drive. Now, I assume the drive works. I have the connector cable. what I need is a 37 pin FDD contrloller card. My questions are as follows:
1. Can I use an IBM 37 pin FDD controller, and will 98SE see it, and recognize it?

Generally, yes. Most PCs will disable the onboard floppy controller if you install one on an ISA card. I hear that Windows 95+ can't use more than two floppy drives, but from DOS you probably can.


2. Will the bios of 98SE recognize a flash drive, or must I install an internal cd burner?

Windows 98 was the first version of Windows to have full USB support, so it should be able to use a flash drive.


3. Will Microsoft word convert a Word Perfect 5.1 file automatically , or must I manually tell it to do so?

That depends. Word 97 can read WP 5.1 documents, but the most recent versions might not.

MikeS
February 13th, 2009, 07:37 PM
Not unusual at all; should be relatively easy since they're 1.2MB PC diskettes, certainly easier than Apple or 8" Xerox WP diskettes... ;-)

Is her 386 still around? If so, why not just install its floppy and hard disks as secondary drives in that K-6 machine? Or connect the two machines together, but that may require a special transfer or null-modem cable that you don't have (or NIC(s) if using a network).

If not, assuming you only want to copy the floppies and the Cumulus is a 1.2HD drive, why not remove the drive out of that and install that in the K-6 (and avoid finding a 37-pin cable and installing an 8-bit FDC alongside an integrated controller).

98SE will indeed recognize USB/flash drives BUT it will require drivers; relatively few such drives have W98 drivers available, so make sure yours does.

The WP5.1 converter is installed by default in all versions of Word that I'm familiar with, so it will almost certainly import WP5.1 files; any fancy formatting may not be true to the original however, and you may or may not be asked to confirm that it's a WPxx file.

justjunk
February 13th, 2009, 11:18 PM
I am not sure but OpenOffice might be able to read WP files. OpenOffice is free. Check out http://wp.openoffice.org/ and www.openoffice.org