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Thread: What 5.25" floppy drive do you guys use to write disk?

  1. #1

    Question What 5.25" floppy drive do you guys use to write disks?

    Hey guys, quick question.

    I have a early 2000's Dell Dimension 4500S that I'm planning on using to write Kaypro II disk images using this method from Tezza's site. It runs Windows XP currently, but I was thinking about either using a Win98 boot disk or doing a clean install since '98 has 5.25" support.

    I was just wondering, what 5.25" drive would you guys recommend for use with a semi-modern machine? There's a bunch of them on eBay, but they're not that cheap and I'd hate to spend $30 on one that isn't even compatible. Is there a specific manufacturer or model I should look for?

    Thanks,
    wmh
    Last edited by WMH; April 21st, 2016 at 06:24 PM. Reason: title

  2. #2
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    If you want maximum compatibility with 360k double density disks, you should get a 360k 5.25 drive, like the Teac FD-55BR.

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    Personally, I would recommend the Fujitsu/Copal m2551a or similar "360k" floppy drives, those things are very solid. Any Teac drive would be good too. But any "360k" (low density 48TPI double sided) should work fine.

    For the purpose of shuttling data back and forth between machines a 1.2mb drive would a huge headache. So don't use one of those for this task if you want to keep things simple. (otherwise you will need to deal with a degausser)

    Most floppy drives that have the "shugart" style connector either should just work or should work with a few jumper changes. Make sure whatever you get has spec sheets for it on the Internet.

    Keep in mind that for archiving disks from other systems, you may need a 1.2mb drive to read high density (1.2mb) disks, quad density (80-track 96TPI low density) or 360k disks that were written in a 1.2mb drive.

    Some sellers want nuts prices, but if you are patient good drives ocasionally come up in the $20-$30 range.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by HoJoPo View Post
    If you want maximum compatibility with 360k double density disks, you should get a 360k 5.25 drive, like the Teac FD-55BR.
    Quote Originally Posted by SomeGuy View Post
    Personally, I would recommend the Fujitsu/Copal m2551a or similar "360k" floppy drives, those things are very solid. Any Teac drive would be good too. But any "360k" (low density 48TPI double sided) should work fine.
    OK awesome, thanks guys. I'll be on the lookout for both of those.

    By the way, I'm assuming I'd need a cable like this one to interface with the parallel port on the Dell motherboard? (I'm still pretty green when it comes to 5.25" drives that aren't Disk II...)

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    The cable's correct, but it's not a parallel port--still basically serial in operation, with a bunch of control lines. But the data is serial.

    My preference is for Teac FD-55B drives (the "R" simply means that the latch lever is on the right-hand side of the faceplate. Good solid drives. I'd stick with direct-drive models and not ones that use a DC-motor-belt, spindle setup, such as the older Shugart and Qume drives; the direct-drive models aren't subject to belt slip or disintegration and have better speed regulation.

    If you want the Sherman tank of floppy drives, then Micropolis is the prizewinner. Heavy, with leadscrew positioners, and very expensive. However most of the Micropolis drives that you will find today are either 100 or 96 tpi--the 48 tpi double-sided ones are quite rare.

  6. #6

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    I have a Teac FD-55BV in excellent condition if you're interested. It's been on a shelf for ~ 25 years so it's seen very little use. If you want it I'll test it thoroughly before shipping.

    I also have some NOS dual floppy drive ribbon cables.

    Let me know if you're interested in either or both.
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    The cable's correct, but it's not a parallel port--still basically serial in operation, with a bunch of control lines. But the data is serial.
    Huh I didn't realize that. For some reason I'd thought that it was parallel.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    My preference is for Teac FD-55B drives (the "R" simply means that the latch lever is on the right-hand side of the faceplate. Good solid drives. I'd stick with direct-drive models and not ones that use a DC-motor-belt, spindle setup, such as the older Shugart and Qume drives; the direct-drive models aren't subject to belt slip or disintegration and have better speed regulation.
    Thanks for the heads up on the motor setup though, I'll definitely keep that in mind.



    Quote Originally Posted by Stone View Post
    I have a Teac FD-55BV in excellent condition if you're interested. It's been on a shelf for ~ 25 years so it's seen very little use. If you want it I'll test it thoroughly before shipping.

    I also have some NOS dual floppy drive ribbon cables.

    Let me know if you're interested in either or both.
    I'd actually be interested in both! How much would you want for them? (I can PM you if you'd prefer.)

  8. #8

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    Hey guys, quick question. Does anyone know if the Dell Dimension 4100 supports 360k 5.25" drives at the BIOS level?

    I'm thinking about picking this one (http://www.ebay.com/ulk/itm/231958245452) up to burn floppies for my Kaypro and maybe my Apple //c but I wanted to make sure it had support first.

    Thanks,
    wmh

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by WMH View Post
    I'd actually be interested in both! How much would you want for them? (I can PM you if you'd prefer.)
    For some reason I didn't see this until today. I don't know whether you've found something suitable yet but if you're still looking let me know as I still have whet you were looking for.
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by WMH View Post
    I'm thinking about picking this one (http://www.ebay.com/ulk/itm/231958245452) up to burn floppies for my Kaypro and maybe my Apple //c but I wanted to make sure it had support first.
    That's the first time that I've run into that verb related to writing to a floppy! Mostly, it indicates what I'd like to do with batches of bad floppies, before I exercise a bit of self-restraint and come to my senses.

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