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View Full Version : why is my thinkpad not seeing a floppy drive?



linuxlove
May 5th, 2009, 01:21 PM
i got a new floppy drive today and i popped it into the ultra bay to test it. put it in, turned it on... no activity. i found out that it was my stupidity that i didn't connect the cable right. so i plug it in right and still nothing. i put the original drive back in and nothing from it too. so, it's not working. any ideas? i'm thinking that the controller my have gotten shorted from not plugging it in right, but I hope that didn't happen. Ideas?

EDIT: forgot to say that the BIOS is not seeing it at all; despite this (and despite the possible FDD controller shorting), the computer boots up fine, however the floppy drive does not work.

Unknown_K
May 5th, 2009, 01:40 PM
Are you sure the cable is in correctly (could it have been torn or something?).

I have an old Thinkpad 760ED and the external floppy drive would not work. I opened up the unit and found somebody used a long case screw in the wrong hole tearing the cable going to the external connector, replaced it from a junker and all is well.

The internal hot swappable drives (cd and floppy) cannot be installed incorrectly in those older thinkpads (either it is in the slot or it isn't).

linuxlove
May 5th, 2009, 01:52 PM
the internal cable is not torn, was in correctly after i figured out that i didn't plug it in and it was plugged in securely in the floppy connecter.

Dreamcast270mhz
May 5th, 2009, 02:09 PM
First of all, what version of thinkpad? I've had the same issue with my 2002 t30's ultrabay 2000 FDD, even though it is not vintage I've seen it on all thinkpads equipped with one. Second, do you have a floppy disc in it? some times i insert bad floppy media and my old 486 overdrive PC's FDD freezes. and my final question: did you check your internal floppy controller, in the laptop? it could be that the "new" one had a short and bricked the floppy controller, then you gotta replace it. It is a pain to replace them, at least in my tower PC's.

linuxlove
May 5th, 2009, 02:23 PM
First of all, what version of thinkpad? I've had the same issue with my 2002 t30's ultrabay 2000 FDD, even though it is not vintage I've seen it on all thinkpads equipped with one. Second, do you have a floppy disc in it? some times i insert bad floppy media and my old 486 overdrive PC's FDD freezes. and my final question: did you check your internal floppy controller, in the laptop? it could be that the "new" one had a short and bricked the floppy controller, then you gotta replace it. It is a pain to replace them, at least in my tower PC's.

it's an old 360CE.

With or without a floppy disk, it does not work.

As for the floppy controller, i have no way of knowing where it is or how to test it and if it IS bad, where to get a new one. Like i said though,, it does work without a floppy drive and I have a wifi card for it so it shouldn't be too bad of a problem, unless I have to re-install the OS.

Dreamcast270mhz
May 5th, 2009, 05:22 PM
what's your OS, just to be curious? Can it possibly support other media, like CD? I'll see if I can find the floppy controller on the board :)

Unknown_K
May 5th, 2009, 05:35 PM
Does the unit go into a bios when you hit F1 on boot? The 760 series has diagnostics built into them that will test the board and parts such as floppies (They are early pentium machines).

linuxlove
May 5th, 2009, 05:48 PM
what's your OS, just to be curious? Can it possibly support other media, like CD? I'll see if I can find the floppy controller on the board :)

OS is Windwoes 95 and it could probibly support a backpack CD-ROM drive, however i don't have one of those... x.x


Does the unit go into a bios when you hit F1 on boot? The 760 series has diagnostics built into them that will test the board and parts such as floppies (They are early pentium machines).
It does go into BIOS when holding down F1. However, in TEST mode the FDD-1 icon is greyed out, which might mean that there's no floppy drive detected, or there is no controller detected.

Vlad
May 5th, 2009, 05:51 PM
What's this Ultrabay thing look like? I have a dead Thinkpad -- something from the socket 7 era that has some sort of modular bay thing with a battery and CD-ROM drive in it. Maybe the CD drive would work with yours?

linuxlove
May 5th, 2009, 06:06 PM
i doubt it will work. For one, a slimline CD-ROM drive is wider than a slimline floppy drive and the connecter on the UB is slimline floppy only. Sorry.

Hmm, what's the dead thinkpad do, not start at all or what?

Vlad
May 5th, 2009, 06:11 PM
Motherboard failure, its gone sadly. Its modular stuff is kinda thick too, far from slimline. I still have my Thinkpad that gets stupidly hot, 380ED but there's no battery and I have no clue where it's AC adapter ran off to.

Dreamcast270mhz
May 5th, 2009, 06:23 PM
I am sure that either that bay's IDE controller or the floppy controller is bricked, but it could be the cable, try another if you have one handy, photos would be helpful too

Vlad
May 5th, 2009, 06:29 PM
floppy controller is bricked,
That's not how that term works. Bricking something is done when something happens to a firmware rendering the device inoperable with out some sort of hardware replacement, like a flash chip. To brick a laptop you'd have to ruin the BIOS. A floppy controller is just one part of a machine and can't render the whole laptop unusable unless something really catastrophic happened like the chip popped.

patscc
May 5th, 2009, 09:38 PM
Just a thought, is there anywhere in the BIOS where you can do a 'load default' , or force a ESCD reset ? Is there a tab where you can enable/disable onboard devices ?
The device detection & PnP-allocation in Win95 always seemed a bit error-prone, I've seen Win95 disable devices for no appearant reason and you had to quite a bit of digging in the BIOS to get it to work.
Offhand I can't remember the ports on the T-Pad, does it have a USB port or at least a PCMCIA slot ?
patscc

linuxlove
May 6th, 2009, 06:10 AM
I don't think there are any options to reset the BIOS in the BIOS. As far as ports go, there are no USB ports (what would a 486 laptop be doing with USB anyway) however, there are two PCMCIA slots.

linuxlove
May 6th, 2009, 06:22 PM
k, i think what happened is that the floppy controller isn't messed up, it still SEEMS to work, as the FDD light on teh thinkpad lights up whenever it tries to access the floppy drive, like whn going to TEST in the BIOS. The problem either resides in the floppy drive (cable not plugged correctly, connecter broke, ect) or the ultrabay cable went bad. So... I need a new ultrabay for this thing.

Terry Yager
May 6th, 2009, 08:49 PM
I'd probably respond to this if I knew what you were talking about. Is the UltraBay internal, or the external thing that jacks into the side?

--T

linuxlove
May 7th, 2009, 06:24 AM
I didn't know there was an external drive for thinkpads... No this is the internal Ultrabay that I think i messed up somehow.

Terry Yager
May 7th, 2009, 11:23 AM
Oh, ok...guess I shoulda backread the thread. Someone mentioned an external drive on a 760ED, but it wasn't you. The ThinkPad you're using has the flip-up keyboard, right? I didn't think that was called an 'UltraBay'.

I have a spare board for my 360PE, but I don't know if it's the same as your 360 or not. Do the research and get back to me.

--T

linuxlove
May 7th, 2009, 01:17 PM
yes the thinkpad I'm using has the flip-up keyboard, something I really like in laptops. As for 360CE / 360PE board compatability... I'll have to look that up.
EDIT: the thing the floppy drive resides in is called an ultrabay.

mikey99
May 8th, 2009, 02:18 PM
I've owned several models of Thinkpads over the years, and they all had external floppy drives. Of course the newer ones are USB, but the older
models had a special connector that the external floppy drive connected to.
Are you sure your's doesnt have that connector ? If it does you should be able to pickup one of those old drives very cheap.

linuxlove
May 8th, 2009, 02:56 PM
well, what does the external FDD connecter look like?