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Weird FDD Problem

I recently installed Windows 2000 on this machine. Everything went peachy, and all my hardware worked fine except for my FDD. For some reason when I try to access a disk, after about 30 seconds, the machine tells me the disk is not formatted and asks if I would like to format it. If I dont reply 'no' within about 5 seconds, my machine just reboots, no "Your settings are being saved ..." etc, just *boom*, screen goes blank and the machine begins to reboot. If I do quickly press 'no', then everything is fine, BUT if I try and access the FDD again, then the machine reboots almost immediatly upon double clicking the FDD icon in my computer. What could be POSSIBLY causing this ?

For the record ..
- The FDD isnt faulty, it worked fine under Windows ME, and still works fine if I boot my machine using a boot disk and access the drive then.
- THe disks Im using are formatted, and do have things on them.
- My hardware consists of:
    Epox D3VA Mainboard
    Intel Celeron 466 MHz Processor
    128 MB RAM
    Creative Labs Riva TNT2 Ultra using the latest detonator drivers from nVidia
    Xitel Storm Platnium Sound Card
    Adaptec AHA-152x SCSI Host Adapter

Any sort of help would be MUCH appreciated, even articles on problems that seem to be related to this one.

Does anyone think it would be worthwhile reinstalling the OS (hopefully a last resort) ?

I found this article on Microsoft's support pages, and even though its quite old, and only says its for NT I did try it, but with no success.

1 Solution
Kyle SchroederEndpoint EngineerCommented:
Have you tried updating your BIOS?  The page doesn't mention floppy drive problems specifically, but frequently other fixes are made.  The Microsoft KB article mentioned conflicts between BIOS and video cards...

got a spare FDD cable ?
I would also suggest checking the device manager for shared IRQ's. If anything else is sharing the FDD IRQ, you could be having problems.

ALso - Get the newest BIOS and Load default settings after documenting your present settings.

Last options.

A) Check that you have win2k comparible hardware using the Win2k HCL list.

b) Clean out the CMOS RAM totally and try a new install or instal into a seperate directory.

c) Try turning off Plg N Pray in the BIOS and set things up manually.

I hope this helps !
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Kyle SchroederEndpoint EngineerCommented:
Have you tried updating your BIOS?  The page doesn't mention floppy drive problems specifically, but frequently other fixes are made.  The Microsoft KB article mentioned conflicts between BIOS and video cards...

Kyle SchroederEndpoint EngineerCommented:
Oops...sorry about the DP.
"The FDD isnt faulty, it worked fine under Windows ME, and still works fine if I boot my machine using a boot disk and access the drive then."

Assuming this is correct, the initial focus should be on the software/operating system.  Is this Win2k installation up to date with all fixpacks and critical updates?
FDD also uses a DMA channel. Check for resources conflicts.
Kyle SchroederEndpoint EngineerCommented:
Just a note for everyone...this board is a dual CPU Via based system....

Are you using 2 CPUs on the board?  Have you installed the Via 4-in-1 drivers?  This shouldn't affect the floppy drive, but it does smooth out various other problems.  As rid said, check for hardware resource conflicts (Start/Run/WinMSD, click the Hardware section, then Hardware Resources, then Conflict/Sharing).

Kyle SchroederEndpoint EngineerCommented:
Try removing the sound card...I believe it uses an Aureal Vortex2 chipset, which has some problems in Win2K.  Also by default it uses to IRQs, one for standard Windows sounds, one for SB compatability (at least it does in Win98....).

What manafacturer does the fdd belong to?
darklightAuthor Commented:
Dogztar and Sysexpert: I would flash the bios but it requires me to put the update on a bootable diskette, which I cant do atm ;) I could just restart the computer and use a WinME boot disk, but then I couldnt access the NTFS partition's. Is there another way of doing this ?

WiZaRd: Yes I do have another FDD cable if you think that is the problem.

Sysexpert: I did check the compatibility list and everything is covered .. Im not running any printers/scanners etc off the machine, so there wasnt much to check.

Magarity: Yes, I got all the updates including service pack 2 for win2k not long after I installed it.

rid: Ive checked Start/Run/winmsd/Hardware Resources/Conflicts/Sharing and in the list doesnt show up with anything about the FDD

dogztar: Im only running the one Celeron in the machine at this point and no I havent installed the 4-in-1 drivers from VIA, should I, or is this only if I'm running 2 CPU's ? I also did discover the problem with my sound card under 2k, but it is apparently only on systems running a VIA chipset based mainboard (me ;P), There has been a fix posted which Ive applied and seems to have worked for now, so would the sound card still be to blame?

Gothmog: Panasonic *I Believe*, I bought it about 1 - 1.5 years ago.

My FDD is running on IRQ 6, and nothing else seems to be running on this IRQ.

There are 4 other IRQ's being shared though ..

IRQ 4: Com Port 1 + Com Port 3

IRQ 10: Microsoft ACPI-Compliant System + VIA Rev 5 or later USB Universal Host Controller

IRQ 16: nVidia Riva TNT2 Ultra Video Card + HPT370 Raid Controller (on board)

IRQ 18: Realtek RTL8139 Family PCI Fast Ethernet NIC + Vortex 2 Sound Card

In the DMA section of winmsd, it says my FDD is using channel 2

Get a bootable diskette from
Boot to WINME DOS mode and create the BIOS diskette. THen you can update your BIOS.

ALso I would get the VIA drivers.

I hope this helps !
is your fdd correctly identified in BIOS, presumably 3.5" 1.44.
Aslo check other bios settings to ensure FDD is enabled.

worth a try

Are you checked your system for viruses ? (Esp boot sector viruses) ??? And are you apply SP2 for Win2k?
darklightAuthor Commented:
SysExpert: I have a winme bootdisk, but my HDD is formatted using NTFS, and winme doesnt recognise this, hence I have no way of getting to the file ive downloaded from within DOS

Also, where can I get the VIA update ?

2 choices.
1) Burn a bootable CD with the all the things needed for the BIOS update.

2) Have someone else do it for you.

Roxio software and Nero both make this very easy.

See etc.

ootable CD
 Nero and Adaptec CD creator both allow making a bootable CD and having other info on it besides.
 The best thing to do is to use the win98 bootable diskette as the floppy image, and then put a copy   of the ghost DOS files and image on the CD .
   The CD will boot from the floppy image, give you access to the CD where the ghost and image are stored.
    I tried this recently and it worked beautifully.

 From: ne0         Date: Monday, November 20 2000 - 11:27AM EST

                     Bootable CD facts - 
                     BOOTISO - 
                     Bootable CD - 
Creating a Bootable CD - 
                     Freeware ISO/Bootable CD Tools -
                     How to make a Bootable CD - 

I hope this helps !


Just a friendly reminder to return to your open questions.

community support moderator

Kyle SchroederEndpoint EngineerCommented:

To use the WinME boot disk to flash your bios, just clear off all the extra junk from it (, etc) and the autoexec.bat and config.sys files.  You don't need them.  The only files that should be on the disk are io.sys, msdos.sys,, and the files for the Epox BIOS update, probably a .exe and a .bin file.  For full instructions, see this page:

Download the BIOS update from the links I posted above (

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Thank you everyone.
Moderator @ Experts Exchange

Dear questionner/expert(s)

No comment has been added lately, so it's time to clean up this TA.
I'll leave a recommendation in the Cleanup topic area that this question is to be:

 - Split between: Dogztar & SysExpert

Please leave any comments here within the next seven days.


Cleanup volunteer
Kyle SchroederEndpoint EngineerCommented:
Sounds good to me....
Per recommendation, force-accepted.

EE Admin

SysExpert: points for you at
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