Forum Rules and Etiquette

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This forum is part of our mission to promote the preservation of vintage computers through education and outreach. (In real life we also run events and have a museum.) We encourage you to join us, participate, share your knowledge, and enjoy.

This forum has been around in this format for over 15 years. These rules and guidelines help us maintain a healthy and active community, and we moderate the forum to keep things on track. Please familiarize yourself with these rules and guidelines.

Rule 1: Remain civil and respectful

There are several hundred people who actively participate here. People come from all different backgrounds and will have different ways of seeing things. You will not agree with everything you read here. Back-and-forth discussions are fine but do not cross the line into rude or disrespectful behavior.

Conduct yourself as you would at any other place where people come together in person to discuss their hobby. If you wouldn't say something to somebody in person, then you probably should not be writing it here.

This should be obvious but, just in case: profanity, threats, slurs against any group (sexual, racial, gender, etc.) will not be tolerated.

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To put things in engineering terms, we value a high signal to noise ratio. Coming here should not be a waste of time.
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Rule 4: "PM Sent!" messages (or, how to use the Private Message system)

This forum has a private message feature that we want people to use for messages that are not of general interest to other members.

In short, if you are going to reply to a thread and that reply is targeted to a specific individual and not of interest to anybody else (either now or in the future) then send a private message instead.

Here are some obvious examples of when you should not reply to a thread and use the PM system instead:
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Why do we have this policy? Sending a "PM Sent!" type message basically wastes everybody else's time by making them having to scroll past a post in a thread that looks to be updated, when the update is not meaningful. And the person you are sending the PM to will be notified by the forum software that they have a message waiting for them. Look up at the top near the right edge where it says 'Notifications' ... if you have a PM waiting, it will tell you there.

Rule 5: Copyright and other legal issues

We are here to discuss vintage computing, so discussing software, books, and other intellectual property that is on-topic is fine. We don't want people using these forums to discuss or enable copyright violations or other things that are against the law; whether you agree with the law or not is irrelevant. Do not use our resources for something that is legally or morally questionable.

Our discussions here generally fall under "fair use." Telling people how to pirate a software title is an example of something that is not allowable here.

Reporting problematic posts

If you see spam, a wildly off-topic post, or something abusive or illegal please report the thread by clicking on the "Report Post" icon. (It looks like an exclamation point in a triangle and it is available under every post.) This send a notification to all of the moderators, so somebody will see it and deal with it.

If you are unsure you may consider sending a private message to a moderator instead.

New user moderation

New users are directly moderated so that we can weed spammers out early. This means that for your first 10 posts you will have some delay before they are seen. We understand this can be disruptive to the flow of conversation and we try to keep up with our new user moderation duties to avoid undue inconvenience. Please do not make duplicate posts, extra posts to bump your post count, or ask the moderators to expedite this process; 10 moderated posts will go by quickly.

New users also have a smaller personal message inbox limit and are rate limited when sending PMs to other users.

Other suggestions
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WTB: PCI floppy controller

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    WTB: PCI floppy controller

    I am looking for a PCI floppy controller. I understand these are hard to come by but I thought I try asking. I would like to add 3.5 and 5.25 support to my modern PC that doesn't have built controller.

    I wasn't aware that there were any generic (NEC 765 type) PCI floppy controllers.
    Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.


      I'm pretty sure such a creature doesn't exist.

      There are "forensic" floppy controllers that can act sort of like a normal floppy drive, but they're very expensive:

      About as close as you'll get to floppy support on a modern machine is an LS-120/240 which can read/write/format 3.5" disks. 5.25" isn't possible really.


        GiGaBiTe pretty much summed it up. I have an older PCIe mobo with a 790 series chipset and it has native support for IDE and floppies. Caveat: You can use any floppy format you wish but only for one drive. I set it up with a 5.25 and then use a USB 3.5 floppy.
        Surely not everyone was Kung-Fu fighting


          ...but I take it that the floppy controller isn't a separate plug-in board.
          Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.


            Originally posted by haightc View Post
            I am looking for a PCI floppy controller. I understand these are hard to come by but I thought I try asking. I would like to add 3.5 and 5.25 support to my modern PC that doesn't have built controller.
            In lieu of a floppy controller you can use two (or even more) networked floppy drives on your modern PC. If you share them you should be able to use them on your PC that doesn't have or support them. I know I do.
            PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step


              Originally posted by Chuck(G) View Post
              ...but I take it that the floppy controller isn't a separate plug-in board.
              No, it's on board.
              Surely not everyone was Kung-Fu fighting


                Those are more common than you'd think on even later boards (P4, AM3+, etc.).
                Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.


                  ...but I believe that such FDCs are still wired into an ISA bus. Even if that ISA bus isn't expressed as an actual slot, it's present.


                    Originally posted by Chuck(G) View Post
                    Those are more common than you'd think on even later boards (P4, AM3+, etc.).
                    A P4 is a later board? The last P4 was released over 10 years ago lmao.

                    Floppy support died out pretty much completely by the time the LGA1155 and Sandy Bridge came out. Some early AM3+ boards had floppy support, but it died out later.

                    There are a couple of LGA1155 boards with floppy drives, but they're usually buggy and junk low end boards like this one:



                      Originally posted by bear View Post
                      ...but I believe that such FDCs are still wired into an ISA bus. Even if that ISA bus isn't expressed as an actual slot, it's present.

                      Modern floppy controllers integrated into the Super I/O chip run on the LPC bus.


                        There have been various posts on related threads that have stated that P3 was the end of the floppy-controller motherboards. So yes, P4 is later than P3. I did say "later', not "modern". Don't confuse the two term. A 1401 is later than a 650. Neither is recent nor modern.

                        The problem is that legacy floppy controllers depend on legacy 8 bit DMA as well as being pretty much wedded to IRQ 6 and I/O port addresses 3F0-3F7. So it's necessary for the chipset to support the ISA conventions. Sure, you could probably marry a floppy controller to other conventions, but no legacy software would work with them.
                        Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.


                          I recall seeing one awhile back, can't recall the manufacturer. Then there was the Catweasel Mark IV, which was good for multi-platform use. A true floppy controller would be ideal, but I do have a 486sx with a 5.25" drive. I have a Atari 800XL I still use and there is something nice to me about using an actual floppy disk. older floppy drives are fortunately pretty rock solid along with their media fortunately. My tower has an empty unused 5.25" bay and unconnected 3.25" drive, that would be nice to populate. I might just end up getting a kryoflux or FC5025 later down the road, but as I was saying I would prefer a real floppy controller.


                            A PCI floppy controller is possible mind you. Most if not all are an I/O based design, and all you need that's complex to hook it up with is a ASIC controller for the bus when using something like PCI Express. Good luck doing the following things though;

                            1) Trying to find any modern motherboard that has flexibility with option ROMs while ports 3F0-3F7 are available
                            2) Trying to get 8-bit DMA to even work
                            3) Trying to work around IRQ's and timing sensitivity

                            Basically, what Chuck said.
                            Join the penny pincher army today!


                              I have a PCI multi IO card. it has 2 IDE and a floppy controller as well as the normal 2 serial and 1 parallel port.
                              A quick look at the card and it appears to have jumpers to enable or disable everything so it could be set to enable only the floppy controller.

                              My suggestion is to look for a PCI multi IO card and if you cant disable the unwanted features of the card disable the ones on the mainboard.

                              Edit: I just did a search on ebay and couldn't find one. Maybe they are not very easy to find, so my alternate suggestion is to install a 5.25" in the machine and use a cheap usb floppy drive for reading 3.5" disks.
                              Last edited by David_M; October 31, 2017, 10:42 PM.