3.5" floppy drive, LD v's HD

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by GoNz0, Nov 23, 2006.

  1. GoNz0

    GoNz0 NTFS Stoner

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    i have a slight problem, friend has an aged pc in his office he asked me to look at, turns out the girl who has worked there 15 years remembers it being there when she started. it had crapped out and come abck to life so i told em to go buy a new one.
    a year passed and they call me in again to wire up a broadband network to the 2 PC's, they have finally brought a new one.

    question was, can i fit a floppy to the new one, no probs i say and slap one in there. put a floppy in and it wont read it, wants to format.
    works fine in the old pc.

    format a new one in the new drive, no problems, even though it took about 1 min to say its not formatted and do i want to, so i clicked ok. copy a file on there and test, no probs, slap it in the old pc, wont read it, do i want to format.
    a bit of checking later and i twig on, the old pc is of course a 720k low density floppy drive, i would have thought it worked in a 1.44 high density drive, but nope, not compatable.

    i cant seem to find a 720k drive to buy, my only option would be to swop the drive to the new pc, but there still using it for the office work so have to start from scratch on the new pc.

    do they still make 720k drives ?
    is there any way to make a HD drive read a LD drive ?

    so much for being backward compatable :(
     
  2. LeeJend

    LeeJend Moderator

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    1) You have to tell the new machine to format the floppy to 720k to work in the old machine.

    2) You should format all the blanks in the old machine. See notes to follow.

    3) Write compatibility was always iff'y between the 720k and 1.44M floppies. It depended on the brand of blank and model of drive. I found that formatting (and reading) in DOS gives much better results than formatting through windows.

    4) If the old machines bios can handle a 1.44 M drive stick one in there for compatibility. I get my floppy drives for ~$6. Look for a bios upgrade to the old machine to allow 1.44MB support.

    Notes: Now the hard part.
    A 15 year old floppy drive may not like to read new floppy disk blanks.

    It may not even like to read floppies it formatted and wrote.

    Any floppies written on the old machine may not read in any new drive. You may have to copy them over in the old machine.

    There may still be true 720k blanks out there but good luck finding them since the 1.44 meg are supposed to be universally compatible. (They aren't I had problems in the old days.)

    On the amusing side my computer at work was just "refreshed" (that's a polite way of saying I was f'd over). No $6 floppy drive. I have over 50 floppies with critical data and about a million dollars in lab special test equipment that only uses floppies. (I even have one that only uses 5.25 inch floppies.) Labor and material to replace this stuff would be about half a million. I had to special request a floppy drive. I was hoping they'd say no so I could get all new equipment but they weren't as stupid as I thouught....

    PS They cried when I asked for a 5.25 inch floppy drive. Good thing I have one stored at home for emergencies.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2006
  3. Mainframeguy

    Mainframeguy Debiant by way of Ubuntu Folding Team

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    do you have and 8.5" Floppy too... ahh memories....
     
  4. GoNz0

    GoNz0 NTFS Stoner

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    im just trying to get the new machine reading the old floppies bud, so i dont need to format them, all the info is stored on floppy as the PC doesnt have any hard drive space spare..
     
  5. LeeJend

    LeeJend Moderator

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    Location:
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    1 Try reading the floppies from a DOS prompt in the new machine. Dos and Windows file utilities work differently. The DOS is more supportive of older flopy formats.

    2 Put the old floppy drive in the new machine to read the old floppies.

    Then move the data to a real format like CD before that old floppy drive dies and the data is lost.


    PS No, I never had an 8 inch floppy drive except on some early 80's test equipment.