Floppy disk(s) fail (40)

Posted on 2003-03-30
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-25
My hard drive died a couple days ago. So, I got a new HDD and tried to boot from floppy to reinstall the OS.

The floppy drive that was in the computer was also bad. I tried it in a second computer and it didn't work. So, I got another floppy drive (and cable) which both work in the second computer. Now, I get a "Floppy disk(s) fail (40)" during the POST process. Yes, the cables are in right -- tied 'em both ways, just for laughs, and the FDD *works* in the second PC. I've tried resetting the CMOS settings to default, which had no effect.

One other odd thing: I can boot successfully from the CD drive, just not the floppy.

I'm guessing the drive controller on the motherboard has crapped out, which, I suppose, means I need an new motherboard. I'm also wondering if I shouldn't trash the power supply and get a new one just to be on the safe side.

Can anyone confirm or deny that my guesses might be on the right track? Is there any way to test the drive controller? Or the power supply for that matter?


-Christopher Bare

Question by:cbare
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Accepted Solution

matguy earned 225 total points
ID: 8236336
I doubt it's the Power supply, you'd likely notice more problems than just the floppy not working, unless it's simply the floppy connector, in which there's usually two (try the other?)

There's a few things to check in reguards to floppy drives.  One is a floppy cable has a twist in it, this twist needs to be between the floppy and the motherboard, otherwise it'll try to access the drive as drive 2 (B:)  The other main thing, which you seem to have already checked is cable direction, most floppy drives will leave the front indicator LED on if the cable is backwards, but it generally won't do that if it's backwards on both ends.  You can also look in the BIOS and make sure it's set to 3.5" 1.44MB (instead of 5.25" and/or 360k, 720k, or 1.2MB.)

Other than that, it's possible for Floppy Controlers to fail, it's not that common, but it does happen and other than trying a different drive there's not much of a test to do.
LVL 23

Expert Comment

ID: 8237786
Another common problem is leaving one row of pins off of the floppy connection itself.  Pull the drive out of the machine and plug it up again verifying that you have correctly connected on both rows of pins.  Does it work?  If so, put it back in the computer and verify that you have correctly connected it.  Problem solved.

Author Comment

ID: 8240371
Thanks for the suggestions. I have checked the BIOS settings, and even reset them to default (which includes setting drive A to 3.5" 1.44MB). I'm pretty certain the cable is connected properly. As I said, the same FDD and same cable both work in a second computer.

What a bummer. Bad HDD, probably bad MoBo. I'm thinking of junking the PC.


Expert Comment

ID: 8249174
No hold on,
  Maybe you should go to BIOS setup & check for FDD controller options. Its rare but possible that the Onboard FDC has been disabled by the bios. Check it out

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