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atari2600a
May 25th, 2006, 10:24 PM
Does anyone know if WinXP Pro &/or a PIII motherboard can handle a 5 1/4" floppy drive? I remember that Windows 98 could, but I never tried it with XP, or a PIII motherboard. Any info will be of big help!

alexkerhead
May 25th, 2006, 10:28 PM
Oh yeah, even my newer P4 3.06GHz@3.45GHz has a 5.25in FDD in it.
You wont even have a problem, just dont forget to set it as a 5.25in 1.2MB in the bios settings. Windows XP works fine with them. I use it to make disks for my kaypro and osborne, and all of my dosy machines.

atari2600a
May 25th, 2006, 10:34 PM
Shweet! Is there a different floppy icon like on 98? (& damn, you overclocked your P4 to 3.45GHZ!? That must require some serious cooling!)

alexkerhead
May 25th, 2006, 10:39 PM
Shweet! Is there a different floppy icon like on 98? (& damn, you overclocked your P4 to 3.45GHZ!? That must require some serious cooling!)
P4s are easy to overclock, my old 2.4 ran 3.2GHz on air. Intels are the easiest processors to overclock..
Celeron D has highest percent increase for overclocking. I had a 2.4 do 3.5GHz on air.
Yes, windows XP uses a different icon for the 5.25in.
Here is a screenie from my dual P3 machine.
http://img139.imageshack.us/img139/4605/screenie5tg.th.jpg (http://img139.imageshack.us/my.php?image=screenie5tg.jpg)

atari2600a
May 25th, 2006, 10:54 PM
Ah, I have 2 dual PIII machines! (My step father works at Intel, so we get alot of free equipment) Both are retired servers; one a Web server, one a Proxy server. One's missing a power supply, & we don't have one powerful enough to handle the motherboard. The other powers up just find, but immediately requests a floppy disk w/ a system file on it. Eventually, we'll format the HD's & put XP on it.

So...I'll probobly find a good 5.25" drive at the surplus that's about 3 miles from home & I'll put it in the PIII machine I built about a 3 months ago (I think it's Hard disk is busted, even though I took the time to put it in a shoebox full of styrophome(or however it's spelt) while transporting it!).

alexkerhead
May 25th, 2006, 10:58 PM
Wow, it is hard to destroy a drive, they can take hundreds of G's.

atari2600a
May 25th, 2006, 11:05 PM
Well it's either the drive or the WinXP Home CD I used when I attemped to install Windows! The CD was somewhat scratched up, & at the point where you restart the computer so it can go into the GUI part of the installation, it says "Hard Disk Error" or something similar. I'm, um, "Borrowing", Windows XP Professional from my good old friend Torrent, Mr. Bit Torrent. Hopefully a fresh burn (& a slightly more advanced OS) will fix the problem.

I'd just be using live Linux CDs right now, but there's no known linux driver for my WiFi card.

Luke
May 25th, 2006, 11:14 PM
You use 1.2M drive to making 360kB disks? I've connected working 1.2M drive and tried to acces it... blue screen appeared, everythink was connected right. It don't work on my 2.8Ghz Celeron.

alexkerhead
May 25th, 2006, 11:25 PM
You use 1.2M drive to making 360kB disks? I've connected working 1.2M drive and tried to acces it... blue screen appeared, everythink was connected right. It don't work on my 2.8Ghz Celeron.
It would be windows xp probably. or you forgot to configure it in your bios.
You have to set it as a 1.2mb in the bios, but you can use winimage to format to 360KB>
atari, sounds like you need to partition and format, then reload windows xp.

Luke
May 26th, 2006, 02:40 AM
But how you can read data written on HD drive on DD drive??

alexkerhead
May 26th, 2006, 09:49 AM
Write it to the disk....a 360KB disk is still on a fat system.

Luke
May 26th, 2006, 10:33 AM
But head in HD drive is 2 x smaller than DD drive's. I can't read disks written on HD 5.25" FDD on XT with DD FDD. But... I meant 48 dpi and 96 dpi...

alexkerhead
May 26th, 2006, 11:25 AM
OK. If you format a disk to 360KB, then you formatted to low density. High density drives can read and write low density disks, but low density drives cannot write high density disks...see?
I know every disk I format to low density from my high density drive works fine in my IBM 5150.
You have to format at 360KB, or even 180KB.
Remember if a disk is written in low density format, then it is compatible with low density drives.
Best thing todo is, make a 3.5in dos 6.22 boot disk for your 5.25in enabled machine and format it with the dos boot disk. Use the command format *b: /f:360* to format the disk.
If you want to make a system disk, use the command format *b: /f:360 /s*

About drive heads, you can always color a large line with a small pencil.

mbbrutman
May 26th, 2006, 11:36 AM
It might work. But it is not guaranteed.

A 1.2MB high density drive has a drive head designed for 96 tracks per inch. A 360K double density drive has a drive head designed for 48 tracks per inch. The head is physically quite larger than the one designed for the higher density drive.

The the diskette is first used and written with a double density drive you can reliably read with the 1.2MB drive, but not reliably write with it. The 1.2MB drive trying to write leaves a new skinnier track in the middle of the original track. And there is nothing you can do about it in software. Only a bulk-eraser can get rid of the original larger track. The 1.2MB drive will be able to read what it wrote, but the older double density 360K drive head will have a hard time reading the skinny track laid over the normal sized track.

atari2600a
May 26th, 2006, 01:07 PM
I cuncur. Also, I asked my computer teacher (about the DD drive reading a DD disk formatted by a HD drive) just now & he said the same thing.

alexkerhead
May 26th, 2006, 01:21 PM
I never had any issues doing it, just use a new unformatted disk. Formatted disks have a tendancy to act funny.
If you need me to Luke, I will send you a couple 360KB formatted disks if you send me a self addressed stamped envelope.

Disks formatted already in a 1.2MB format will have track overlap when reformatted to 360KB, but a new disk shouldn't have the same issue. However, even when I make 360KB disks from preformatted disks, I don't have any issues. Try to get a older 1.2MB disk drive. Newer disk drives don't have adequite support.

Luke
May 26th, 2006, 01:42 PM
I live in Europe, so sending disks 'd be expensive ;). Getting any old PC in my country is hard, you are talking about parts? Here peoples used clones like Amstrad PC or 8bit computers. IBM PC is rare here ;). I've just bought IBM XT for ~60$ (!), lucky me that it was 'sold now', normally it 'd cost ~100$...

alexkerhead
May 26th, 2006, 02:05 PM
I live in Europe, so sending disks 'd be expensive ;). Getting any old PC in my country is hard, you are talking about parts? Here peoples used clones like Amstrad PC or 8bit computers. IBM PC is rare here ;). I've just bought IBM XT for ~60$ (!), lucky me that it was 'sold now', normally it 'd cost ~100$...
Indeed, even in the US, $60 is a nice deal.
Hope you can work your issues out.

dongfeng
May 26th, 2006, 02:42 PM
That's true, early IBM PC's are really quite hard to find here in the UK (and Europe). eBay USA makes me so jealous, there are lots of lovely IBM for great prices!!!

I paid $65 for my XT too, I was lucky, they often go for an awful lot more...

Micom 2000
May 26th, 2006, 03:24 PM
As MBruttman wrote however, there is a problem of using a lower density written on a higher density disk or drive.
While they may be readable for some time they are usually not reliable. I learned this on an Atari ST which uses the double density 3.5 drive native to it. You could transfer programs written on an IBM HD drive or write programs on a HD disk but sooner or later it would become unreadable. I learned by losing prized data.

Lawrence

mbbrutman
May 26th, 2006, 05:27 PM
Actually, the track width thing should not be a problem with 3.5" drives. 3.5" drives, whether double density or high density both use the same width head, so there is never a chance to write a thinner track on top of a pre-existing track.

Your problem would have been using the wrong media. Double density media is quite different than high density media, and forcing a drive to use the wrong time might work, but you will lose data.

Everybody should keep in mind the following:

Double density media is different than high density media
Track width varies between double density and high density 1.2MB drives
Track width is the same for 3.5" drives - it's always 96tpi.
The format that you lay on a disk is irrespective of the density type. You can format a high density disk to only have 360KB of capacity - it's just simply an issue of how many tracks and sectors get laid down. You can try to force a dense format on low density media too .. that just packs in the data much tigher than the media can support. (Which is why you lose data when doing it.)

alexkerhead
May 26th, 2006, 07:19 PM
Hehe, so true, I formatted some ibm 1MB floppies to 1.44, and used them to store school stuff, a week later, they were corrupt.

MikeMotta
May 26th, 2006, 08:53 PM
I think this has been said, but in various posts in various ways. Here's my take on it...

A Double-density (DD) 360K floppy can, of course, be formatted, read, and written in a DD drive.

A High Density (HD) 1.2MB floppy can be formatted, read, and written in an HD drive.

A DD floppy can also be formatted, read, and written in an HD drive. However, a DD floppy usually has difficulty being read or written in a DD drive after having been formatted or written to in an HD drive.

The only way to reliably format and write a DD floppy is in a DD drive.

There are many instances, though, where a DD floppy formatted or written in an HD drive can be later used in a DD drive. It usually depends on the alignment of the DD drive heads.

Due to the size of DD drive heads, and the lower track density (i.e. space between tracks), the DD drive heads could be (and usually were) a bit off alignment, but were still usable. Those are the drives that usually had problems reading and writing DD floppies that were formatted or written in HD drives.

It was very common to take a DD floppy, format and write to it in a DD drive, then move it to an HD drive, write to it again (save a file), and then be unable to read it again in the original DD drive.

One quickly learned to do a test write with the exact combination of DD and HD drives, to see if it would work before writing to important floppies!

I always tried to avoid writing to DD floppies in anything other than a DD drive...

Luke
May 27th, 2006, 02:03 AM
Aff... How can I calibrate FDD? I have 3 floppies that are uncalibrated. I wanted to read disk written on my celeron on one of them, now I tried to read this on another FDD and I's OK.

MikeMotta
May 27th, 2006, 09:50 AM
Hey Luke:

In order to align a drive, you need both an oscilloscope and a special alignment diskette.

There may be some "new" way to do this with some special software, but that's the way I've always done it.

The procedure is to hook up the 'scope, put the disk in the drive, put the drive into read mode, and adjust the heads until the proper pattern appears on the 'scope.

The fact is that, unless you already have the 'scope and alignment disk, it's way cheaper to just buy a new drive.

Since the drives you have are already bad, you could try to adjust them while running, and maybe you'll hit it right. It's worth a shot, I suppose...

Luke
May 27th, 2006, 10:11 AM
But I have one ?rare? drive made by Siemens in '82 with one head. Look at 'Problem with FDD'.

tgunner
May 27th, 2006, 11:38 AM
Atari2600a - Remember, for any dual cpu system, you need to use XP Pro, or for older ones, 2000 Pro.

MikeMotta
May 27th, 2006, 02:17 PM
Hi Luke:

Sorry. I forgot about the "rare" aspect...

You'd have to find someone with the 'scope and alignment disk, I guess.

Part of the "fun" of working with this old stuff is dealing with these kinds of problems. You'll find that many people end up collecting "rare" service tools as well, just to keep the other "rare" stuff working!

atari2600a
May 27th, 2006, 05:26 PM
Atari2600a - Remember, for any dual cpu system, you need to use XP Pro, or for older ones, 2000 Pro.

Wait, so XP Pro has support for 15+ year old drives, but not older Dual CPU systems? (would a dual PIII system be ok w/ XP Pro?)

tgunner
May 28th, 2006, 02:18 PM
XP Pro is fine for most systems with a dual PII 300 or better, some people just prefer 2000 Pro since it is less resource hungry, and more reliable.

carlsson
June 26th, 2006, 01:19 PM
Last week I picked up an unknown Chinon FZ-502 5.25" floppy. I just tried to install it to my modern PC (so maybe I should post in off-topic). After a bit of cable fiddling, I can configure BIOS, but I'm unsure if it detects the drives as I configured them.

Windows 98 (and DOS) in any case treats both the 3.5" and 5.25" drives as A:, resulting in neither working properly. I'm using a cable with a twist on the 3.5" connector but straight for the 5.25" connector. Is there some jumpers onboard the floppy drive I could look for to enhance functionality? There are none visable at least.

Oh well, maybe I'll try again or give up. For what I know, the drive itself could be faulty.

modem7
June 27th, 2006, 04:17 PM
Windows 98 (and DOS) in any case treats both the 3.5" and 5.25" drives as A:, resulting in neither working properly.
That might be related to drive selection. Floppy drives have drive select jumpers. If you use a standard flat cable (no twist), then the drive you want as A: is jumpered to the DS1 position (might be labeled as "U1", 'D1", etc.), and the drive you want as B: is jumpered to the DS2 position.
An alternate way of drive selection is the one commonly found in IBM's. Both drives are set for DS2, with a twist in the cable that 'reverses' the drive select lines. in that way, the drive in the middle appears as B: and the drive at the end (affected by the twist in the cable) appears as drive A:

And so maybe the symptom you describe could be caused by the 5.25" drive being set as DS1 instead of DS2 - I've never seen nor tried it.

Remember, with multiple drives and the 5.25" drive being in the middle of the cable, you need to remove the termination on the 5.25" drive. That means removing the termination pack, or in some cases termination is controlled by one of the drive's jumpers.

modem7
June 27th, 2006, 04:43 PM
My previous post may attract some criticism/correction for directly 'connecting' drive letters with physical drives.
And so, here is a brief explanation of drive letter assignment for those not in the know:

The hardware/BIOS only sees the floppy drives as physical floppy drive 0 and physical floppy drive 1. The operating system is the component that assigns drive letters to physical drives (according to its own rules).

Thus, when you see A: and B: in the BIOS setup, the BIOS is in fact making an assumption that the installed operating system will map A: to floppy drive 0, and map B: to floppy drive 1.
But I can violate that. There's nothing stopping me from creating my own operating system that for example, maps A: to the first physical HARD drive, with the mapping of the floppy drives starting at G:
And some of you may not know that there are operating systems that don't use drive letters at all, but use other handles/aliases for the drives.

carlsson
June 27th, 2006, 08:33 PM
I didn't see any visible, reconfigurable jumpers. Maybe something that can be seen after disassembling, but I didn't bother. The cable I tried has three connectors by the way; one 5.25" and one 3.5" before the twist, and one more 3.5" after the twist. If drives are jumpered in a certain fashion, maybe I should try the cable with both drives connected before the twist (and swap drive letters in BIOS if required). Right now it makes a decoration to the PC case at least.

retched
July 17th, 2006, 11:49 PM
Hi this may sound repetitive but I need help...

I am trying to install a 5 1/4" floppy to a AMD Athlon 2.0 Gig/Windows XP Proffesional Machine...

The settings in BIOS have been changed to make it a 1.2 MB B: Drive and it comes up under windows... but I can't seem to access it. All the disks I used are valid (they worked in an older machine) but they can't seem to work in Windows XP... Other than doing the obvious and running a seperate machine with something Windows 3.1/95 or DOS... does anyone have any suggestions that may help me?

atari2600a
July 18th, 2006, 12:56 AM
There where no 5 1/4 drives that had that kind of storage. (or at least not that I know of...) Sounds like you simply set that BIOS setting wrongly!:p

dongfeng
July 18th, 2006, 01:30 AM
There where no 5 1/4 drives that had that kind of storage. (or at least not that I know of...) Sounds like you simply set that BIOS setting wrongly!:p

:confused:

5.25" drives can be commonly found in 360kB (DD) and 1.2MB (HD) sizes...

I have a 1.2MB drive in my Pentium IV right now, it's very useful to transferring files to my XT, as long as you don't format disks in it (the XT has a 360kB drive).

dongfeng
July 18th, 2006, 01:34 AM
Hi this may sound repetitive but I need help...

I am trying to install a 5 1/4" floppy to a AMD Athlon 2.0 Gig/Windows XP Proffesional Machine...

The settings in BIOS have been changed to make it a 1.2 MB B: Drive and it comes up under windows... but I can't seem to access it. All the disks I used are valid (they worked in an older machine) but they can't seem to work in Windows XP... Other than doing the obvious and running a seperate machine with something Windows 3.1/95 or DOS... does anyone have any suggestions that may help me?

1. Does the 5.25" drive work in another machine?
2. Is it a 360kB or 1.2MB drive? You'll have to be specific in the BIOS.

atari2600a
July 18th, 2006, 01:53 AM
:confused:

5.25" drives can be commonly found in 360kB (DD) and 1.2MB (HD) sizes...

I have a 1.2MB drive in my Pentium IV right now, it's very useful to transferring files to my XT, as long as you don't format disks in it (the XT has a 360kB drive).

Hm, I always thought HD was in the 720-ish range...Damn I hate it when I screw up like this!:p

http://www.shanghaiist.com/attachments/shang_dan/The_More_You_Know.jpg
(Sorry, couldn't help it. I just have a MAJOR impulse to post this stuff when it's most comical...)

dongfeng
July 18th, 2006, 02:59 AM
Hm, I always thought HD was in the 720-ish range...Damn I hate it when I screw up like this!:p

You are thinking of 3.5" floppy disks! The DD where 720kB, HD 1.44MB.

Then, just to confuse things, you also have things like the early 5150s which had 180kB SD drives, etc!

The weirdest disks I have are on my Amstrad CPC6128, they are 3". You can also turn them the other way up and store files on the other side.

What's with the "The More You Know" picture? I guess I'm missing something...

retched
July 18th, 2006, 12:00 PM
1. Does the 5.25" drive work in another machine?
2. Is it a 360kB or 1.2MB drive? You'll have to be specific in the BIOS.

1) Yes it works fine.

2) It's a 1.2 MB drive... though I might just test to see if it works a 360kb as well.

atari2600a
July 18th, 2006, 12:20 PM
What's with the "The More You Know" picture? I guess I'm missing something...
Read the text I've written under it. It kinda explains it...

Anyways, does Windows recognize it as a 3 1/2 Drive or a 5 1/4 drive? (There's seperate icons for both)

retched
July 18th, 2006, 01:30 PM
Read the text I've written under it. It kinda explains it...

Anyways, does Windows recognize it as a 3 1/2 Drive or a 5 1/4 drive? (There's seperate icons for both)

It recognizes it as a 5 1/4.

dongfeng
July 18th, 2006, 04:30 PM
\It's a 1.2 MB drive... though I might just test to see if it works a 360kb as well.

Remember that with a 1.2MB drive it might not be able to format a 360kB disk to be readable in a 360kB drive. However, I have a 1.2MB drive in my Pentium 4, and as long as the disks are formatted in the 360kB XT drive it's no problem to use the disks in either computer :)

atari2600a
July 18th, 2006, 04:33 PM
Try using the drive in another Operating System, like MS-DOS or a Live-CD distro of Linux. That way, you can isolate the problem to either the Hardware, or Windows &/or the BIOS.

Chris2005
July 21st, 2006, 12:50 PM
this is what usually works for me, whether I'm using W2K or W98SE. Install a hd 3.5" drive in front of the twist, and any 5.25" drive behind it. In the BIOS setup, designate the 3.5 as "a:", and the 5.25 as "b:". Never had a problem with that. And being that newer hd 3.5" drives are "plug and pray", you don't have to worry about settings the drive select. On the b drive you may have to try ds1 or ds2, probably not ds0, though occasionally some legacy puters needed a drive configured that way. The ITT XTRA XP, a hybrid XT/AT system did.
Some motherboards, usually "proprietary" ones, might disallow the use of a 5.25" drive.

dongfeng
August 1st, 2006, 03:24 AM
I recently found a strange problem regarding 360kB and 1.2MB 5.25" disk drives.

I have been using a 1.2MB drive in my Pentium 4 for a couple of months now, without any problems. My XT came with a half-height 360kB drive, so I replaced this with a full-height drive with the intention on putting the HH drive in my P4.

I did that today, and for some reason the 360kB drive, although works when booting into DOS, causes all sorts of problems. Firstly, it causes Windows to freeze up randomly, and also it causes my second hard drive to not be detected by the system. I tried all sorts of cable combinations, and even the 360kB drive on it's own but with no luck.

Replaced it with the 1.2MB drive and everything has returned to working order. Quite strange!

atari2600a
August 1st, 2006, 03:35 AM
Try clearing CMOS once. I had a similar problem, & it turns out it was a BIOS setting! (Problem is I kept overlooking it :p)

carlsson
September 3rd, 2006, 03:40 PM
Last week I picked up an unknown Chinon FZ-502 5.25" floppy.
I moved it to my older PC, and found a cable configuration that works. My floppy cable looks like this:

motherboard ---- card edge ---- pin connector --/twist-- pin connector

I assigned the 5.25" drive as A: and connected the 3.5" drive to the pin connector as B: prior to the twist. Then I configured BIOS to swap floppy drives, and it works as I want. Not sure if my newer PC has a feature to swap drives. I found some jumpers on the side of the 5.25" drive, but I haven't investigated what they do.

However, I searched the Internet and found that the FZ-502 is an old 360K drive. I suppose it could be a good thing for some applications, but I have a bunch of supposedly HD floppies that I wanted to verify if they're really HD or QD. The PC drive is able to successfully format them as 360K. Would an older drive that is not "1.2MB aware" be able to handle 600 Oe media? When I tried to use it on a Commodore 8250 drive, it flatly refused to be formatted, as it wants 96/100 tpi QD floppies (it can be made to work with 48 tpi too, but not as reliable). To verify, I (almost) successfully formatted a 48 tpi floppy on the same drive.

carlsson
September 4th, 2006, 02:39 AM
Aha, I changed a jumper and the 5.25" drive acts as B:. However, my modern PC only supports 1.2 MB devices, so it was in vain. Probably I will swap it back some day, as I doubt I'll find a BIOS upgrade to support older floppy drives. Maybe that is part of the chipset and nothing BIOS could fix anyway.

Mike Chambers
September 5th, 2006, 01:15 AM
<snip>
Probably I will swap it back some day, as I doubt I'll find a BIOS upgrade to support older floppy drives.
<snip>

you sure thats an "upgrade"? lol

carlsson
September 5th, 2006, 04:21 PM
By the way, I have two Wang DSDD (I suppose 48 tpi) floppies, which carry some instructions regarding write protect:


This diskette can be write protected by using the notch to the right. When the notch is open, writing is allowed; when covered (using the enclosed adhesive tab), the diskette is write protected.
Important Note: Procedures for the WANGWRITER and the MINI ARCHIVER are the opposite. When the notch is open, the diskette is protected; when covered, writing is allowed.
Maybe that is common knowledge, but I only have vague memories of hearing about 5.25" floppy systems where write protect worked the opposite way or not at all. Does anyone off-hand know some more system that shared this slight anomaly with the Wang products?

Terry Yager
September 9th, 2006, 04:14 PM
By the way, I have two Wang DSDD (I suppose 48 tpi) floppies, which carry some instructions regarding write protect:


Maybe that is common knowledge, but I only have vague memories of hearing about 5.25" floppy systems where write protect worked the opposite way or not at all. Does anyone off-hand know some more system that shared this slight anomaly with the Wang products?

All I recall is the 8" drives being the opposite.

--T

kb2syd
September 9th, 2006, 05:36 PM
All 5.25 inch disks that I know of were protected when the notch was closed. All 8" ones I know of are write protected when the notch was open. Anyone else?

carlsson
September 10th, 2006, 11:45 AM
And the 3.5" were write protected when the tab was open, so back to 8" behavior. Maybe Wang had some previous word processors or similar that used 8" disks, and in order not to confuse their customers upon upgrading, they reversed the write protect behavior on 5.25" disks for these particular machines?

Woodym1
October 6th, 2006, 06:19 PM
It has been awhile.... for me to remember such magnetic properties accurately, but during some earlier floppy threads, there were comments about "almost" formatting 720 at 1.44 or the reverse.
The diskette media material used for 1.44mb is in the neighborhood of 750 Oe (Oersted) coercivity. The low density media is in the neighborhood of 400 Oe. Cludeging-up and formatting either type of diskette media in the wrong drive is "iffy" and is quite temporary. It isn't even worth trying.