View Full Version : 5.25 floppy questions

August 11th, 2006, 08:16 AM
I have been trying to install a 5.25 360kb dd drive (Hi-Tech Peripherals 548-50 HS) in an older PC to use for transfering teledisk images to floppies. I have set the drive as drive B in the bios, checked cabling (tried 2 cables) and set drive selection jumper to DS1. One computer does not see the drive in Windows 98 and the other gives a Drive:B error message during bootup. One computer is a Pentium 166, the other a Celeron 300 (450).

Anything else I have neglected to check? I have some other floppies (have to pull from IBM XT) I could try. Should any 360KB drive work, or is there some controller compatability issue I am unaware of?



August 11th, 2006, 08:40 AM
I've had controller compatibility issues with installing very old 5.25" drives in modern PCs. I don't really know anything about the model of drive you've got there, unfortunately.

So here's the stupid question: Did you make sure that in General CMOS settings you have 5.25", 360K drive selected?

Try using it as A:, removing (I assume) the 3.5" floppy from the food chain.

August 11th, 2006, 09:48 AM
All controllers should be compatible, but not all OSes.
If you have 98 it's okay.

You can try set floppy to D2 (D0 is for Xt computers).

And remember: Drive A: should be at the end of cable and B: on the middle.

August 11th, 2006, 10:10 AM
I had problems with a 360kB drive on my P4. I have no idea why it doesn't work, as there is a selection for it in the BIOS. However, a 1.2MB drive does work perfectly :/

August 11th, 2006, 10:15 AM
You have XP, haven't you?

August 11th, 2006, 12:24 PM
I have never been able to get a 360k drive to work properly under XP. Came hardware combo works great under DOS and Linux.

August 11th, 2006, 01:32 PM
Yes, it was XP. The 360kB drive is working in my Win98 one now. But it's more handy to keep 5.25" drive in P4 for file transfer :)

I found my XT doesn't have any problem when I use a 360kB disk that had been formatted in the 1.2MB drive. But I always format in the XT just to be sure ;)

August 11th, 2006, 01:46 PM
It may be that I have a bad drive. I was wondering if I could use an XT drive controller in the later computers (both have ISA connectors. Thanks all for the suggestions.


the xt guy
August 11th, 2006, 02:21 PM
A 5.25 360K floppy does not work under Win2K, so I doubt it will work in WinXP either. (Win2K gives a message about an I/O error.) The operating system does not support it.

A 1.2 meg. 5.25 drive should work in both XP and Win2K.

Win 98SE/Win ME will work with a 360K 5.25 floppy, but that is about as new as you can get with a M$ OS.

August 19th, 2006, 09:32 PM
A little update to my floppy adventures.

I finally determined that the drive I was trying to install was probably bad, so I pulled one of the drives out of a 5155 that I am trying to get operational and the computer recognized the drive right away. That was good, but every time I tried to read from or write to a disk I got a "drive not ready" error.

I found a reference to this error that suggested that it can be caused by a difference in the way some of the older 360kb drives use pin 34 and the way later floppy controllers read that pin. The older drives send a "ready" signal when they are operational and the newer controllers read this as a "disk change" signal. I decided to try blocking the signal by covering pin 34 on the floppy connector with a thin slivver of clear tape and that took care of it. The drive appears to be functioning normally!

I'm sure some of the old hands here are well aware of this situation but hopefully this fix will help somebody.


Terry Yager
August 19th, 2006, 09:42 PM
I was under the impression that the pin-34 thang was only an issue with HD drives...


August 20th, 2006, 06:21 AM
The diskette changeline support is clearly a diskette issue, not a hard disk issue.

Older diskette drives (360KB vintage) did not tell the OS when the door was opened. So the OS could never cache information about what was on a diskette because it would never know if the same diskette was in the drive.

When the changeline support was added DOS could be reasonably assured that the same diskette was in the drive between operations. Being able to cache some information, such as free space or directory structure speeds things up tremendously.

August 22nd, 2006, 12:26 PM
I've posted this before, and I haven't read the entire thread, so perhaps I'm being redundant...

For Win98 and 2000 (and DOS tew), install a 3.5" drive as a:, and the 5 1/4" as b:. This means with a cable that's twisted between the drive connectors, a: will be at the end, and b: will be on the other side of the twist. I believe they should both be jumpered as ds1, and chances are the 3.5" drive will be set that way and unchangeable (w/o a soldering iron I guess). Vanilla PC's didn't use ds0 at all I don't think. In the event you don't have a twisted cable, make the 5 1/4 still b:, but perhaps set it to ds2. If that doesn't work, maybe try setting the a: as ds0 and the b: as ds1. In my experience, the only way to get a 5 1/4" drive working at all is if it's made the b: drive. Set your bios up accordingly and you shouldn't have a problem. That is with the twisted cable at least.
This of course assumes you have a puter that can accept a 5 1/4" drive (a function of the bios). Many "recent" proprietary type monstrosities won't I don't think.
I have tried this with a handful of drives, and never had a problem when I didn't defer from the procedure (found out how to do it from some bloke in a chatroom before I was a vintage guru ;). Keep in mind though there are a few non-standard floppy drives floating around out there. Make sure you have something standard.

August 26th, 2006, 08:55 PM
That pin 34 thing is what makes the really old drives a little more valuable - "new" 5 1/4" drives won't work correctly in a sanyo mbc-555 for example, because it needs the ready signal before it will transfer data.