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FDC failure

Posted on 1998-06-23
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Last Modified: 2011-09-20
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Question by:wsanchez
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Author Comment

by:wsanchez
ID: 1136384
Edited text of question
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Expert Comment

by:747
ID: 1136385
Try this at your own risk.  I assume no responsibility for any damage or loss.  I am also assuming you have not added more peripherals than you have IRQs.

First go into the BIOS before bootup
Go to the section labelled Plug and Play and make sure it says
PnP OS: Yes
IRQ Managment: Auto

It may not look exactly like that, it depends on what BIOS you have.

Next, boot into safe mode.  After boots into safe mode, go into Device Manager and look in every device category.  If anything is duplicated anywhere, remove all copies of the device.  The only thing that should be duplicated are IRQ holders and perhaps Motherboard resources.

Close device manager.

Reboot

Your system should now be detecting hardware again.  If it asks you to reboot because it found new hardware say NO.  Be ready to supply the appropriate device drivers on floppy or CD.

After it finishes detecting all the hardware, and you are getting no more dialog boxes, then reboot again and see if it needs any more drivers.  

Go into Device Manager again and look for white or yellow splats.

If there are no splats, then hopefully you are back to a normal configuration.

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Expert Comment

by:747
ID: 1136386
Try this at your own risk.  I assume no responsibility for any damage or loss.  I am assuming you have not added more peripherals than you have IRQs.

First go into the BIOS before bootup
Go to the section labelled Plug and Play and make sure it says
PnP OS: Yes
IRQ Managment: Auto

It may not look exactly like that, it depends on what BIOS you have.

Next, boot into safe mode.  After boots into safe mode, go into Device Manager and look in every device category.  If anything is duplicated anywhere, remove all copies of the device.  The only thing that should normally be duplicated are IRQ holders and perhaps Motherboard resources.  Alternatively you could remove everything and let the system redetect everything.

Close device manager.

Reboot

Your system should now be detecting hardware again.  If it asks you to reboot because it found new hardware say NO.  Be ready to supply the appropriate device drivers on floppy or CD.

After it finishes detecting all the hardware, and you are getting no more dialog boxes, then reboot again and see if it needs any more drivers.  

Go into Device Manager again and look for white or yellow splats.

If there are no splats, then hopefully you are back to a normal configuration.


You assume all responsibility for any damage resulting from above procedure.
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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1136387
wsanchez,
It will be helpful if we establish a little dialog here since it's impossible to foresee every circumstance that might be involved.

When you said:
"I also tried checking the BIOS config and I found out that even at startup the ports cannot be detected."

Does that mean you entered the BIOS setup screen at bootup, or are you describing Windows95 startup?

It is possible that your BIOS configuration is not set up correctly, causing the floppy drive and ports to fail.

Try this:
Press Del key (or key combination required by your computer) at power up when you see memory counting, to enter the machine's BIOS setup screen.
Check to see if settings for floppy drive and ports are set correctly.
If not, correct them, save, and exit the setup.  Or you can select the default BIOS settings.

Let us know what you find, and if you need help with this.
Regards,
Ralph
 
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Expert Comment

by:mikecr
ID: 1136388
I agree with Ralph. Try what he says and you may also want to open your computer and make sure that all of your cables are seated properly and the same with your cards.

Mike
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Expert Comment

by:mikecr
ID: 1136389
I agree with Ralph. Try what he says and you may also want to open your computer and make sure that all of your cables are seated properly and the same with your cards.

Mike
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Expert Comment

by:mikecr
ID: 1136390
I agree with Ralph. Try what he says and you may also want to open your computer and make sure that all of your cables are seated properly and the same with your cards.

Mike
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Expert Comment

by:Otta
ID: 1136391
> an error message saying 'FDC failure' is outputted.
> My computer can't read from the floppy drive also.

FDC == Floppy Disk Controller

So, it's no surprise that the effect of a FDC failure
is the inability to use the "failed" device.

RMAROTTA's advice is good.  Follow it.
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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1136392
wsanchez,
Now, we need to hear from you!
Ralph

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Expert Comment

by:billko
ID: 1136393
Do you have another card that may have another floppy drivecontroller on it?  Maybe a SCSI adapter, or another IDE controller card?  Possibly even a multi-function I/O card?  Sounds like you may have at least one card that is duplicating ports and controllers on your computer.

Bill
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Author Comment

by:wsanchez
ID: 1136394
To 747, I don't have a Plug and Play section in my BIOS.  It's an AMI BIOS.  
To rmarotta, I've checked the BIOS itself and the floppy drive is set up correctly but the port settings are disabled.  I've tried enabling them but "FDC failure" is still outputted and the port settings in the BIOS are disabled again.  Anyway, I'll give it a try again later.
To billko, I don't have another card that may have another fdc on it.

Sorry for my delay in answering.  Thank you all for your comments.  Please continue to send your comments.
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Expert Comment

by:Otta
ID: 1136395
It could be "hardware-failure".

Borrow a spare floppy-drive, and remove your floppy-drive,
and install the borrowed one.
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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1136396
Or, try this:
Unplug the data cable from your floppy drive and remove it from BIOS.
Do you still have trouble with the serial ports?
Ralph

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Author Comment

by:wsanchez
ID: 1136397
To Otta and rmarotta. Please wait for my answers tomorrow.  I'll still be able to to those suggestions this evening (GMT +8:00).
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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1136398
wsanchez,
Any progress with your problem yet?
Ralph

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Expert Comment

by:SirCaleb
ID: 1136399
wsanchez, it is likely that when you connected via Parallel cable to another computer you received a power "spike" or something similiar.  I have a question: the parallel cable you were using, was it an ECP,bi-directional, or data transfer cable?  Were you using any gender changers or any adapters on the cable?  My first guess would be that your motherboard was shorted out, at least part of it anyway.  This exact same thing happened to me about 2 years ago but w/ a serial link.  I wish I knew a resolve to your problem but I dont...I ended up buying a new motherboard.
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Expert Comment

by:THBA
ID: 1136400
Does your floppy disk controller work?

Follow the suggestion only if you can boot into DOS ( not Windows or Windows 95, 98). An extra floppy drive that works is a plus.  You can buy a floppy disk controller from any computer hardware store. It should not be expensive ( maximum of $30).

Here is an experiment you can do.

A.  Test your motherboard's FDC first.  
Go into the BIOS setup and enable the FDC and the floppy drive.

Boot into DOS without config.sys or autoexec.bat.

Test the floppy drive. ( Put a disk in the drive. Type "dir a:" or whatever drive letter the floppy drive is).

If it works and you can see the contents of the floppy drive, then you definitely have hardware conflict. If you continue to get FDC error, then maybe your FDC and /or floppy drive does not work. Continue the experiment.

B.
Install the FDC into the computer

Go into the BIOS setup and disable the FDC, but do enable the floppy drive. I am not sure about the exact format of your BIOS setup. For my computer,  there is a page that lists the recognized drives ( IDE hard drive, floppy drive A: 1.44 MB, floppy drive B: none ). Then there is another page that let me select FDC enabled. In your case, disable the FDC.

Save your settings and let the computer continue to boot up.

Boot into DOS.  If you can, do not run config.sys or autoexec.bat.  The purpose is to try to isolate the problem.  Running config.sys and / or autoexec.bat will load other drivers and causes conflicts.

If you do not receive FDC error, that is a good sign.  If you do, power down the computer.  Replace the floppy drive with the one that you know will work.

Put a floppy disk ( formatted and have something on it) into the floppy drive.  Type "dir a:" to see if it will access the floppy drive.  ( a:\ is assuming your floppy drive is drive a:, if it is drive b:\ then type "dir b:"). If you can access the floppy drive, then you have a bad floppy drive controller.



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Author Comment

by:wsanchez
ID: 1136401
To rmarotta, sorry for keeping you waiting.  The ports still doesn't work.

To SirCaleb,  I used a lap-link cable.  I didn't use any gender changers or any adapter.  Do you have any possible solution to my problem?  I was thinking of buying a new motherboard also but I don't want to yet until I know that there is no other solution.

To THBA, do you mean booting into DOS using the hard disk or using the floppy?
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Expert Comment

by:skylab060398
ID: 1136402
As was mentioned earlier by mikecr, check your cables to be sure they are connected properly (floppy disk controller cables).
Make sure in the BIOS that the floppy drive is setup properly, ie A drive = 3.5" 1.44MB (if that is what a: is)
Set the Boot Sequence to boot from A: first.
Save settings and reboot with a bootdisk in A:
Did it work?
If not, try a different (new) floppy Drive.
Does your Motherboard have an On-Board FDC?
if not, have you tried another known working IO Card?
Are the settings in BIOS setup like you left them?
If the settings went back to the origional settings, Change your CMOS battery.
All of that should determine your next step, New MB or Not.
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Author Comment

by:wsanchez
ID: 1136403
My motherboard has an on-board FDC.  That's what I use.  I'll try your suggestion later.  I can't right now but I'll let you know what happens.
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Expert Comment

by:skylab060398
ID: 1136404
OK, I will turn it into a proposed answer. (same text as last time)
As was mentioned earlier by mikecr, check your cables to be sure they are connected properly (floppy disk controller cables).
Make sure in the BIOS that the floppy drive is setup properly, ie A drive = 3.5" 1.44MB (if that is what a: is)
Set the Boot Sequence to boot from A: first.
Save settings and reboot with a bootdisk in A:
Did it work?
If not, try a different (new) floppy Drive.
Are the settings in BIOS setup like you left them?
If the settings went back to the origional settings, Change your CMOS battery.
All of that should determine your next step, New MB or Not.

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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1136405
skylab,
Read the prior posts......

wsanchez,
I don't think skylab has contributed anything in his "answer" that hasn't already been suggested.  You should reopen the question.

When I suggested:  "Unplug the data cable from your floppy drive and remove it from BIOS.   Do you still have trouble with the serial ports?"

You said:  "The ports still doesn't work"

I suspect either a bad motherboard or power supply.

I suggest you remove all adapters from the motherboard except the video card, and memory.  Unplug the hard drive and other accessories from the power supply as well.
Then reboot, and see if the COM ports are detected properly in BIOS.

Let us know what you find.
Regards,
Ralph

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Expert Comment

by:skylab060398
ID: 1136406
I suggest you read mine again rmarotta.
No One mentioned Booting From the Floppy or CMOS Battery not retaining setup information.
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Author Comment

by:wsanchez
ID: 1136407
rmarotta and skylab, please don't start a fight here.  I haven't tried all your suggestions yet, skylab, so I won't rate your answer or reopen this question yet, but I have tried some of them.  Here are my results:

>   As was mentioned earlier by mikecr, check your cables to be sure they are connected
>  properly (floppy disk controller cables).

  Cables are connected properly.

>   Make sure in the BIOS that the floppy drive is setup properly, ie A drive = 3.5" 1.44MB >  (if that is what a: is)

    Floppy drive is setup properly.

>   Set the Boot Sequence to boot from A: first.
>   Save settings and reboot with a bootdisk in A:

     Not yet done.  Have to get boot disk first.

>  Did it work?

    Excluding the last suggestion with the bootdisk, the ports still don't work and also the drive.

>   If not, try a different (new) floppy Drive.

     Not yet tried.  Will definitely try this evening.

>   Are the settings in BIOS setup like you left them?
>   If the settings went back to the origional settings, Change your CMOS battery.

     Whenever I return to BIOS setup, settings are like when I left them.

rmarotta, thanks for your new suggestions.  I'll try them out too.  I'll let you know the results.
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Author Comment

by:wsanchez
ID: 1136408
skylab.  sorry but I have to reopen the question.  None of your suggestions worked but thank you for your help.

rmarotta.  I tried your suggestions but the COM ports are not yet detected by the BIOS.  Do I need to change my motherboard now or is there still another possible solution?
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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1136409
I have only this:

Check your motherboard's documentation for the method used to clear CMOS memory. (Sometimes, simply removing the battery won't do it)  Follow those directions to reset CMOS configuration.
Re-boot with all accessories disconnected as before.

Does BIOS detect COM ports correctly now?

If so, all we have to do is re-assemble, step-by-step, checking after each component is installed.

If no, I suggest you find another motherboard.

Let me know if you need help clearing the CMOS.
Ralph
 
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Author Comment

by:wsanchez
ID: 1136410
I don't have the documentation right now.  My motherboard is a Pentium 100 with AMI BIOS.  It's an AOpen motherboard.  Do you know how to clear it's CMOS?


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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1136411
Give me the BIOS numbers displayed at the bottom of the screen at startup. (press pause key if you need time to read them)
Maybe we can find a motherboard manual on the net.
Ralph

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Author Comment

by:wsanchez
ID: 1136412
rmarotta,  I'll give you the BIOS numbers later after I check them this evening (GMT +8:00).
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Author Comment

by:wsanchez
ID: 1136413
The BIOS numbers are
     51-0000-001223-00111111-101094-INTEL-FX-F
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Expert Comment

by:harley47
ID: 1136414
The jumper should be next to the battery.  Does your board have a round battery or the Dallas Real Time clock?  If it has the round battery then you can just remove it for 30-45 seconds and that should clear the bios.  If it has the Dallas then the jumper should be next to it.  Most A-open motherboards have labels on the board itself.  Look around the batt. for something tat says clear-2-3 and normal 1-2.  That will be the jumper to reset the bios.  I don't think this will solve the FDC problem.  You said that the com ports are disabled in the bios have you set them to Auto or 3f8 and 2f8?  If not set them and see if the summary screen shows any com ports.  


hope this helps
Bill
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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1136415
Very confusing......
I find that number to be for a Biostar motherboard model MB 8500TAC.  Apparently it is OEM for Aopen and I can't find info on it.

Can you get the Aopen model number?

If so, manuals are available here:
http://www.aopen.com.tw/tech/manual/mb.htm

Regards,
Ralph

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Author Comment

by:wsanchez
ID: 1136416
To harley47, I have set the BIOS to auto for the ports.  It does not show any ports.

rmarotta, I'll check that out later and I'll give you the model number.
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Author Comment

by:wsanchez
ID: 1136417
harley47, thanks also for the tips.
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Author Comment

by:wsanchez
ID: 1136418
harley47, my motherboard has a Dallas Real Time Clock.  I saw something there that says something like:
              J12
            default         1-2
            clear RAM   2-3

Is that the one you were saying?  Will it clear the CMOS?  

rmarotta, I'm not sure if this is the AOpen model but the following was written on the motherboard:
               AP5C/P 95108-2
               48.87 101.002

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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1136419
wsanchez,

Clearing the CMOS:
The 3-pin jumper JP12 clears the values in the CMOS.
To do this, shut off the system power and short pins 2-3 of JP12 for a few seconds.
Reset the jumper to the normal setting by shorting pins 1-2 with a jumper cap.

Go here if you want to download a copy of your motherboard's manual:

http://www.aopen.com.tw/scripts/ftplist.asp?pub/manual/mainboard/ap5cp/ap5cp.exe

As I said earlier, if you still have the problem of not recognizing the on-board ports after clearing CMOS, I think it is time for a new motherboard.  Let me know if you need more.
Regards,
Ralph

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Author Comment

by:wsanchez
ID: 1136420
Thanks, rmarotta.
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Expert Comment

by:nojoe
ID: 1136421
I think that the suggestion that "SirCaleb" made is a very good one. If you did recieve a spike while connected to the other computer it is very possible that it fried the floppy controller as well as the com ports and parallel port.  However, If the rest of the motherboard is working you could by a card that has the serial ports, parallel port and floppy controller built into one card. You could then go into the BIOS and disable all the ports and floppy controller and let the card take over these duties.  This would be cheaper than buying a new mother board.  You can probably find one of these cards really cheap second hand.  They are fairly common where used computers are sold and also at computer shops that work on older computers.
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Author Comment

by:wsanchez
ID: 1136422
nojoe, thanks for the suggestion but wouldn't a second hand card be unreliable?  Are there still brand new cards (with serial, parallel ports and FDC) available in the market?
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Expert Comment

by:nojoe
ID: 1136423
Generally this type of card is pretty durable.  They don't go bad often.  You can, however, buy a new one and that is what I would do if it were my computer.  In fact I believe you can still buy such a card at places like Office Depot and Office Max.
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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1136424
I don't know.......

I could see the port not functioning because of some physical damage, but the BIOS should still recognize it.

Installing an add-on card might work, but I sure wouldn't want to depend on it.

Ralph
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Author Comment

by:wsanchez
ID: 1136425
I'll see if I could borrow a card like that and I'll let you know what happens.
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Expert Comment

by:second
ID: 1136426
Check the Sound card IRQ. Some cards use a IRQ 7 by default.  That conflicts with the LPT1. Change the IRQ of the sound card to IRQ5 (if you don't have a LPT2)
BTW, what is your card, motherboard and floppy?
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Author Comment

by:wsanchez
ID: 1136427
My sound card's a Sound Blaster, my motherboard is given above and I'm not sure what brand my floppy drive is.  But my floppy drive works.  I've tried using a separate FDC card and my computer can read from the floppy.  Thanks to nojoe for the suggestion.  Now I have to find a card for the ports.  I'll try that suggestion too, second.  I can't right now coz by computer's at home and I'm not home.
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Expert Comment

by:second
ID: 1136428
OK, we are waiting...................
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Author Comment

by:wsanchez
ID: 1136429
I have checked your suggestion, second.  The interrupt request of the sound card and LPT1 were both set to 5.  I've changed the one for LPT1 to 7 and the sound card now works well.  However, the ports are still undetected by BIOS and still have splats in the device manager.

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Expert Comment

by:second
ID: 1136430
Can you repeat where in Device Manager are the splashes and wich ports are undetected by BIOS?
10x
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Author Comment

by:wsanchez
ID: 1136431
I just reinstalled my Windows 95 because an error occured.  When I checked the device manager, only the Printer Port has a splat.  The COM ports have been changed from COM1 and COM2 to COM3(or 4) and COM4(or 5), respectively.  However, they still do not work.  The mouse still doesn't work either.  But as I remember it, the serial mouse, COM1, the printer port and the sound card had splats on them.  I don't know why COM2 didn't. The splat on the sound card could be removed and the card would work but after turning the computer on again after it was shutdown, it would have a splat again.
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Accepted Solution

by:
Otta earned 70 total points
ID: 1136432
In "Control Panels", remove the COM ports,
the mouse, the sound-card, and the modem.
Shutdown, and reboot to BIOS-setup mode.
Select the "force ESCD updating" option,
to force the BIOS to update its Plug-and-Play settings.
Then, reboot, and let Windows "detect new hardware".
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