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urgent-- Floppy Drives Dead --urgent

Posted on 2002-06-15
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
Hi,
My computer seems to have a floppy problem. Either i'm consistantly plugging somthing in wrong or it hates floppy drives.

I'm having harddrive problems so I need to do a factory level format of my drive (Western Digital="write 0s"). The tools to do this are on a floppy disk. I boot using my Win98 CD-ROM. I then choose to boot to the DOS prompt instead of starting setup. I then change the prompt to the floppy drive. The light on the drive turns on and it starts to make noise. Then i get the message that it's an invalid volume, or somthing like that. This problem has been here for a while, when i had windows working, if i opened the floppy drive from "my computer" it would seek and then say that Drive A was invalid.

Could you please direct me as to several possible solutions to this problem (BIOS setting, cable plugging, etc.) I really need my harddrive back today, and i can't do that without a floppy drive. I am not near a store so i can't go buy a CD-RW for my laptop or somthing that would let me put the tools on a CD.

I've tried this with different cables, so I doubt that is the issue. In case it's a BIOS or hardware problem, I have an Iwill KA266-R v1.3 motherboard with an Award BIOS.
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Question by:qqqqqqqqq
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by:WiZaRd
ID: 7080976
get into the BIOS (press DEL key at startup).
get into the 1st screen from the menu (top left)
check FDD is showing as 1.44mb 3&1/2" floppy in that area
also check when booting up does floppy light go on then off or does it stay on permanently? permanently on means cable wrong way round at either mainboard or back of drive.
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by:qqqqqqqqq
ID: 7080998
my BIOS has Drive A set to 1.44MB 3.5" floppy. I don't have the floppy set as a boot device. However the light on the floppy never comes on during boot. If i reverse the cable it stays on the whole time. But the way i have it now, it never comes on.
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by:qqqqqqqqq
ID: 7081000
note: i have a floppy cable with 2 spots to connect drives. My floppy is connected to the one on the end of the cable, not the one in the middle
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by:qqqqqqqqq
ID: 7081073
any ideas? i really need this working tonight. i have multiple floppy drives and multiple cables. none of them work. unless my FDD controller is defective (which i doubt) i need the floopy working tonight
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by:qqqqqqqqq
ID: 7081126
I turned on the "Boot Up Floppy Seek" option and when my computer boots it shows this error:

Floppy disk(s) fail (40)
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by:rid
ID: 7081170
You probably have a faulty FDD. If you are already messing around with the machine, you may try a BIOS reset ("Clear CMOS"), usualy done with a jumper om the MB. Then set correct values, save and exit. If you remember the FDD being operative recently, it may pay off doing this and also re-check cabling between FDD and controller thoroughly. If still a no-go, I'd suggest getting another FDD.

Regards
/RID
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Expert Comment

by:kadirsiva
ID: 7081171
Hi, I think ur drive has the problem. You better change your drive. Get a new one and do it becoz I also encountered this same problem or try to get another drive and check whether u can do it.  Before that try to connect the middle one.
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by:qqqqqqqqq
ID: 7081184
ok, i'll check those options. This is my 3rd FDD on this computer. any idea why they just keep dying?
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by:Wakeup
ID: 7081250
COuld be dying if you dont plug them in correctly.  Some drives don't like the cable plugged in backwards if you do that then it could burn out the drive because of the inverted Cable.  And especially the power cable.  If you plug it in backwards (trust me it can be done with force) it will kill the drive as well.
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by:qqqqqqqqq
ID: 7081360
well, i know there's no way i put the power cord in wrong. i really don't think i put the FDD cable in wrong (except as a test during this question, and that was only for a minute or so). could my motherboard be frying these? this is a really frustrating problem. even though floppy drives only cost like $10, i hardly ever use them. having to spend $30-$40 on drives that i hardly ever use is a pain.
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by:Wakeup
ID: 7081382
Yes, it is possible that the board may be bad.  Again you have tried a known to be good Floppy cable?
Also testing the floppy on a computer that is known to be good can determine if the floppy drive is bad or not.  Also those 3 floppy drives, were they working at one point in time and then they died?  or .........?

Do you smoke? or is your house dusty?  does the drive look dusty?

just some questions....that sometimes these things cause floppy drives to go out really fast.
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by:Wakeup
ID: 7081383
Oh and also make sure the floppy drive is connected the part of the cable where their is a twist in the cable in the middle of it.  That defines the A: drive.
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by:rid
ID: 7081397
Putting the data cable in backwards shouldn't kill a drive outright - I know for a fact that they can survive such abuse. Possibly you have a FDD controller that runs amok at times and knocks your drive... I suppose it is not entirely unthinkable. You may also have a problem with your power connector, like one of the little connectors proper, that are housed in the plastic holder, do not make good contact with the corresponding pin on the drive. Sometimes these come loose and slide out, instead of on to the pin. Try using another power connector if possible.

What other hardware is present in the system? Anything out of the ordinary?

Do your FDD:s ever work OK? If you haven't set the FDD as a boot device, and haven't had "Floppy seek" enabled, you wouldn't notice a failure until you actually try to use the drive.

You could try using another cable.

Regards
/RID
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Wakeup earned 50 total points
ID: 7081435
Rid,

I agree that MOST of the time it doesn't kill the drive outright, but I have seen it happen a few times at the computer store I used to work at, the enduser builds their own computer and puts the plug in wrong and zap the drive.  Not all boards do this, it is basically the motherboard or the controller card depending on how you look at it that does it.  Since their is information and power and whatever going through the cables is a possibility that it can damage the drive.
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by:slink9
ID: 7081445
Since you have posted a hard drive question, does that mean this one is solved?
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by:rid
ID: 7081466
I see your point, Wakeup - I wouldn't knowingly mistreat an FDD so. I've done i unwittingly with no ill effects, but as you say, I suppose it depends on the MB/controller.

/RID
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Author Comment

by:qqqqqqqqq
ID: 7081491
well, i'm working around this problem, but i still need to get my FDD working. my house is clean, no smoking or dust. i clean out my computer regularly. the cable works in other systems, the floppy drives also work in other systems (i haven't tried this latest one, but the others work in other systems). so i'm confused. it doesn't seem to be destroying the drives, but they work fine until they just stop.
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by:Wakeup
ID: 7082231
Then a virus could be the possibility.  Have you scanned for viruses?  It may not be since you get this error:
Floppy disk(s) fail (40)

Generally that means that the FDD is bad....
Try one of those 3 that work in other machines to see if they dont get the Floppy disk(s) fail (40) error.  If it doesnt it should work.  If it still doesnt work, scan for a viruses or actually if it does still scan for viruses just in case!
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by:WiZaRd
WiZaRd earned 50 total points
ID: 7082699
"Floppy disk(s) fail (40)
Generally that means that the FDD is bad...."

from my experience the (40) is usually bad cabling.
you should have the end with no twists into the controller on the board & the end with a twist to the drive. if both the drive & the cable work OK in other computers we're getting down to faulty controller on mainboard. viruses won't give you the floppy drive(40) error. check the controller & the back of the drive for bent pins.
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by:WiZaRd
ID: 7082706
I've built hundreds of computers and only replaced 2 floppy drives in 12 years. I'm still using the original drive I got with my old 286 & only the 2nd cable for it. it would be extremely rare to go through 3 drives and you said it yourself they work OK in other systems. I think you're looking at mainboard controller so if the pins are all OK, it's cabled correctly (check power connector for breaks as well) and bios settings are right you need a mainboard or a controller card.
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by:qqqqqqqqq
ID: 7082802
i'll do more testing tonight. i'll post more info in a bit
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by:bparnes
ID: 7082836
Here's what I would do.

I'd establish a floppy drive and cable as "known good" buy watching it work properly in another computer.

Then I'd take the drive with cable to the computer having the problems and see if the drive with cable works there. If it does, your problem is solved.

If it doesn't I'd take the drive with cable back to the other computer and make sure it was still working there. If it is, then the problem has to be in the floppy drive controller on the motherboard.  See if any pins are bent. There really isn't a lot you can do to fix a bad controller problem.
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by:Kyle Schroeder
ID: 7084363
I had this happen to me once and the fix was so simple you'll kick yourself.  The cable had become partially disconnected from the motherboard port, eventhough it looked like it was all the way in.  Also you could have damaged the floppy port if there wasn't enough support around the port when you plugged the cable in, since mobo's have a tendency to flex a bit when pressed.  I would really look at this as the cause if the light never comes on (except when the cable is on the wrong way).

-dog*
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by:yabelson
ID: 7098386
you can also do one more thing-if i am not mistaken,most mobo has TWO fdd sockets.if yours has another one,just check it there.there is only so much that can be defected in this kind of a problem.
one more thing-take notice that there are 4 ways the cables can be connected.2 of them will give you a led that lights constantly,and one may give you fdd fail 40.
in this case,its the fourth option of connection that can solve the problem.
b.t.w - connecting the data cable the wrong way rond shouldnt do a thing to your fdd.the pins are not all connected(in the fdd),so no bad data can go to any bad places.all the data is 0V or 5V voltage,and this voltage cannot burn your fdd electronics.
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by:slink9
ID: 7098421
You are mistaken.  I don't believe I have ever seen a mobo with two floppy controllers.  They come with two or four hard drive controllers, one floppy, one parallel, two com, etc.
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Author Comment

by:qqqqqqqqq
ID: 7099407
well, i'm going to test the parts in a friend's computer tomorrow. i'll se just what the prob is.
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by:Piri
ID: 8965835
No comment has been added lately, so it's time to clean up this TA.
I will leave a recommendation in the Cleanup topic area that this question is:
Split pts between WiZaRd and Wakeup
Please leave any comments here within the next seven days.

PLEASE DO NOT ACCEPT THIS COMMENT AS AN ANSWER!

Piri
EE Cleanup Volunteer
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