Image Map Image Map
Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: Compaq Deskpro 386/20 Floppy Issues (and hi again!)

  1. #1

    Default Compaq Deskpro 386/20 Floppy Issues (and hi again!)

    Hi folks!

    It's been a, about a year! College has been keeping me very busy, but I'm off for the summer now (though I do have a full-time summer job working in a microfab lab). I've been doing some assembly programming for school (HCS12 microcontroller), so it just so happens that my SWTPC 6800 assembly programming has paid off. There is a use for these old machines, after all! :)

    Anyways, I recently dug out the Compaq again, since it happens to be my only machine with a 5.25" and 3.5" floppy drive. I found that when I load a floppy in either drive and type "dir" after changing the current directory to the drive, it generally shows the contents without any problem. But here's where things get weird: if I remove the floppy and type "dir" shows the contents of the previous floppy. It's not until I switch to another drive and try to switch back in which it realizes there is no longer a floppy present. Again, this happens on either the 5.25" (A:) or 3.5" (B:). Any ideas?

    The system is running Compaq 3.31 currently from a hard drive.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Somewhere near Chicago


    Been years, since I was a small kid that I used one of these but I do recall the same issue. I think it is because the controller caches the directory listing into ram, and I don't think the drive controller uses the drive(s) ready line either... so it have no clue if the disk was removed / exchanged. Prob more the ladder.

    Guess consider it a feature? >.< If some odd reason you do need to remedy this, you should be able to use a different floppy controller without problems.
    '. \ / .'
    '. .'``'. .'
    Currently seeking a Compaq Deskpro 386

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Blog Entries


    Changing the controller won't help since DOS is caching the information. Press Ctrl-C to force DOS to read the floppy on the DIR. Long winded discussion of this and possible fixes is at

  4. #4


    Ah, ha! It's a more common problem than I thought! Thanks for the website and tips. Quite interesting how they thought to use the buffer like that in the first place. Seems as though it created more confusion than the time it saved.


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts