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Can't access floppy disk

Posted on 1998-03-07
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-16
Question by:BlackBird
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 1754788
What motherboard and BIOS are you using.  There are a few older MB/BIOS combinations which were manufactured before Win95 was released which have problems with the floppy controller.  I had one myself on a Pentium MB with AMI BIOS.  I was finally able to get an updated BIOS and it fixed the problem.  If it's a name brand system, you might have some luck on their web site.
LVL 25

Expert Comment

ID: 1754789
Blackbird, try renaming your config.sys and autoexec.bat file to config.xxx and autoexec.xxx respectively, then go into control panel, system, device manager, click the "+" sign to expand the floppy disk controller, highlight the entry, click remove and then restart Win95. Let me know what occurs.

Author Comment

ID: 1754790
The motherboard is a TMC (Taiwan Mycomputer Corp.) circa 1993 with an AMI 486/33 BIOS.  I have alrady done a deletion of the floppy controller from Device Manager and indeed upon restarting Windows, it detects new hardware (FDC) & installs the support for it but I still get the same symptoms.
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Expert Comment

ID: 1754791
Another possibility...
Try booting in safe mode.  Go to device manager. Check to see if there are multiple entrys for floppy drive.  Although I can't explain why, I have seen this happen several times.

LVL 14

Accepted Solution

smeebud earned 200 total points
ID: 1754792
Please read carefully. It may montain someting you've overlooked.
Troubleshooting Floppy Disk Drive Problems in Windows 95

Last reviewed: August 21, 1996
Article ID: Q131690
The information in this article applies to:

Microsoft Windows 95


This article lists troubleshooting tips you can use to help
resolve problems with floppy disk drives in Windows 95.


If you are having problems with a floppy disk drive (such
as receiving the error message "Error reading drive <X>:"),
try the troubleshooting tips in the following sections.

Safe Mode

Start Windows 95 in Safe mode by restarting your computer
and pressing the F5 key when you see the "Starting
Windows 95" message. Try to access the floppy disk drive
after Windows 95 starts. If you can access the floppy disk
drive, follow these steps:

1.Use the right mouse button to click My Computer, then
click Properties on the menu that appears.

2.Click the Device Manager tab.

3.Double-click Floppy Disk Controllers.

4.Click the floppy disk controller for the drive you are
having problems with, then click Properties.

5.Click the Original Configuration (Current) check box to
clear it. This disables the Windows 95
protected-mode driver for the floppy disk drive controller.

6.Click OK.

7.Restart Windows 95 normally.

If you can access the floppy disk drive successfully after
following the above steps, the
following conditions may be true:

The floppy disk drive controller may not be supported in
protected mode.
There are drivers loading in the CONFIG.SYS or AUTOEXEC.BAT
file that may be necessary for
protected-mode access.
There are drivers loading in the CONFIG.SYS or AUTOEXEC.BAT
file that may be causing conflicts in
Windows 95 and need to be disabled.

If you still cannot access the floppy disk drive after
following steps 1-7, follow these steps:

1.Use the right mouse button to click My Computer, then
click Properties on the menu that appears.

2.Click the Device Manager tab.

3.Double-click Floppy Disk Controllers.

4.Click the floppy disk controller, and then click Remove
to remove the controller.

5.Click OK.

6.In Control Panel, double-click Add New Hardware.

7.Click Next, and then click Yes to allow Windows 95 to
detect the hardware in your computer.

8.When the Add New Hardware Wizard is finished, restart
the computer and try to access the floppy disk drive

Redetecting the floppy disk controller should resolve
any addressing problems with the
controller by detecting the correct address range. If the
floppy disk controller is not detected
correctly, there may be a problem with the hard disk controller.
If the floppy disk controller is
redetected but you still cannot access the floppy disk drive,
there may be a problem with the
floppy disk.

Damaged Disks

Use the following steps to check for a damaged disk:

1.Use a disk utility (such as ScanDisk) to test the
disk for damage.

NOTE: Do not use a non-Windows 95-aware disk utility
on DMF disks. Non-Windows 95-aware disk utilities
can damage DMF disks. The Windows 95 ScanDisk tool
recognizes and does not damage DMF disks.

Before you run a disk utility, please see the following
article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

   ARTICLE-ID: Q120442

TITLE : Using Hard Disk Utilities with Windows 95

2.Type the following command at an MS-DOS command prompt

   copy <drive>\*.* nul

where <drive> is the floppy disk drive you are having
problems with. For example, if you are having problems
with drive A, insert a disk you are having problems with
in drive A and type the following command:

   copy a:\*.* nul

This command copies the files on the disk to a null device.
If there is a problem copying the files, error
messages appear on the screen.

CMOS Settings

Consult your computer's documentation or manufacturer to
make sure that your computer's CMOS settings are

Irwin Tape Backup

Windows 95 Setup removes the following statement from
the [386Enh] section of the SYSTEM.INI file:


If you re-install the Irwin Tape Backup software after
you install Windows 95, this statement is
placed in the SYSTEM.INI file again and can cause conflicts
with floppy disk access in Windows

Device Conflicts

Device conflicts as reported by Device Manager can cause
problems reading from and writing to floppy disks. You can
resolve this problem by changing or removing the resources
from Device Manager that are causing the conflict. These
are typically conflicts with hard drive controller cards,
video cards, or COM ports.


Author Comment

ID: 1754793
For the most part, I had tried everything you suggested to no avail.  This problem was on a friend's machine that I didn't have frequent access to but subsequent to starting this question, I returned to add a network adapter to the machine.  At this time I found that access to the CDROM was unavailable!  Checking device manager (for all devices) showed only one thing, an exclamation mark on the CDROM controller.  All devices showed no address, IRQ or DMA  conflicts! (this includes the CDROM controller).  Plowing ahead with the NIC installation and noting my choices for system resources I found that I needed to re-assign both the sound card & the CDROM controller.  The sound card was at address 0220H, IRQ 10 & DMA 3 and I only changed the IRQ to 9 (2).  The CDROM controller was at address 0300H, IRQ 11 & DMA 11 and I only changed the IRQ to 10.  The NIC was then installed using address 0310H, IRQ 11 & DMA 5.  At this point everything (including the floppy disks, both A & B) worked fine!!!  My assummption is that there was indeed some resource conflict but Win95 just wasn't telling me about it (even though per the hardware manuals & physical examination of the hardware there were no conflicts).  I still am not sure what really cleared the problem and if you have a possible explanation for it & would care to take the time, please email me at BEDearth@aol.com.  Thanks for your input.
PS, after the above, the user stated that printing from a DOS program speeded up tremendously.

Expert Comment

ID: 1754794
Are you using doublespace or some other disk doubling utility?  I have seen it cause mysterious floppy problems in the past.  Might consider removing it... which probably means a total reformat and re-install of Win95.  Good Luck.
LVL 14

Expert Comment

ID: 1754795
I wish I could tell you what caused it.
Not being there makes it difficult.
95 [I love it] is crazy::))


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