a small problem

Posted on 2004-11-24
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-26

can you tell me what is wrong with my floopy drive. everytime i put in a floppy disk and i double click on the floppy drive icon, it takes a short while and then a box comes up asking me if i want to format the floppy> click on yes and i try to format the disk but it says it cant format it. this happens all the time. i have tried different disks and i still cant get it to open a floppy.

in device manager it says there are no problems. i have unistalled the floppy drive and reinstalled it but still the same problem.

Pc spec: 1.2gz amd duron
256 mb SDRAM
30 gig HD
Question by:besthelp1
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LVL 41

Expert Comment

ID: 12665216
the drive itself may be bad, or the cable attaching it, replace both

Author Comment

ID: 12665274
how can you find out which it is?
LVL 41

Expert Comment

ID: 12665291
by swapping out with a known good one
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Author Comment

ID: 12665332
ok - will try that when i get home.

Expert Comment

ID: 12665585
1) Check the motherboard manual, enable the floppy type of 1.44MB in BIOS. Some motherboards has disable floppy with On/Off section in BIOS.

2) If there is a constant light on your floppy, that means that the cable is upside down.
And also indicates that it's no power problems with it.

3) Reset the BIOS and go back in to see if it is detected in BIOS.

Hope this helps,

Expert Comment

ID: 12666331
I have also experienced Problems with floppies that were the result of a bad motherboard. I would first look into the floppy drive as being the problem as member "stevenlewis" said. It is very cheap and easy to test by replacing the floppy drive and cable but don’t rule out a problematic motherboard.

As a result of my problem I had no other choice but to replace the motherboard
LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 12666628
on top of what all is said above, I've run across this several times where the disks were bad or just wouldn't work with the floppy drive. Make sure you are testing it with brand new disks before doing anything. It could just be the disk.

Expert Comment

ID: 12671266
before replacing, there might be a good solution. try to clean the drive with tape alchohol + diskette drive cleaner. else if this fails, get a new 1


Expert Comment

ID: 12671290
I asuming your floppy drive was working fine and then just started doing this. My opinion is that it is either the floppy drive or the floppy disks. When windows gets a certain error from the floppy drive it askes the question "Foppy disk not formated do you want to format?". I have seen this a few times myself and its either the floppy disk or the drive. In your case beacause you have tryed many disks it must be the drive. Floppy drives are not too expensive so don't waste anymore time on cables or bios settings and go and get a new one. If your floppy drive worked fine before why would it be a cable, bios setting, mother board.

Expert Comment

ID: 12688611
ok wrong floppy, wrong cable, wrong motherboard...
but i've seen LOTS of wrongly manufactured computers with "marsian" covers, and quite often the cover is the problem.... Check if the floppy after inserting it in drive (of course if you have such "marsian" cover <- ie the diskette is not inputet/ejected by the floppy button, but by the button of the cover which is pressing the floppy button) drops into the drive correctly (ie not sitting in the "air", or halfly in the "air")


Expert Comment

ID: 12691060
There is an apparent failure of the floppy disk drive

Explanation: There is a general failure of the floppy disk drive. This generally means either an error message appeared at boot time saying that the floppy drive failed, or other symptoms and analysis has led you to believe that the floppy drive may have failed. Failure usually means that the disk is not accessible or usable at all and does not respond to any attempts to use it. If the floppy drive is usable after booting the hard disk but just will not boot, look here.

Diagnosis: There are many different causes of apparent floppy drive failures. Floppy drives are very simple affairs and outright failure is quite rare--even in old drives. Most of the time it is simply a matter of incorrect installation or configuration.


    * First of all, if you have just installed this drive or have done any other work within the PC box, check this troubleshooting list of common problems.
    * Check to make sure that drive has power. Check the power connection to the drive. If possible, try a different power connector.
    * Make sure that the cable running to the floppy drive is connected properly and is not loose or crimped.
    * If you are just installing this floppy drive, make sure you don't have the cable connected backwards. It is easy with many 3.5" drives to connect the drive backwards because the cable is keyed but the connectors aren't always. Also, don't assume where pin 1 is on the drive, since this tends to vary with different hardware. If the drive's activity light comes on as soon as the PC is booted and stays on, solid the whole time the PC is on, this is a dead ringer for a floppy cable that has been connected backwards to the drive.
    * If you are using two floppy drives then you should try to debug them one at a time, otherwise they may conflict with each other and make debugging more difficult. If two drives work separately but not together on the same cable, this usually means you are either using the wrong kind of floppy cable (make sure it has a twist in it) or one of the drives has had its jumpers changed from the default.
    * If your floppy cable has five connectors, remember that these are in two pairs of two connectors (each pair being a pin header connector and a card-edge connector, to allow you to connect to either type of drive), one on each side of the twist in the cable. You cannot use both connectors on the same side of the twist in the cable. The A: drive is the one after the twist.
    * Make sure that the floppy disk controller is enabled in the BIOS setup.
    * Check the BIOS setup and make sure that the correct drive types are selected for the A: and B: drives. Choosing the wrong type of drives can cause a failure to be reported.
    * If you have a 5.25" drive that is not working, check the drive for physical interference. These drives are large and I have seen problems like cables hanging down into the mechanics of the drive and impeding its operation.
    * If you cannot get the drive to work, the best way to check it is to swap it with a similar drive in another PC. If your drive works in the other PC but its doesn't work in yours, then you likely have a configuration problem. If the opposite happens then your drive is either bad or misjumpered. It is often easier and cheaper just to get a new drive.
    * You may have a problem with the floppy disk controller. Try troubleshooting it here.

Expert Comment

ID: 12742584

Here is my own problem that no longer exists. Not exactly. It still is here and the link is below.

My question [ http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Q_21215623.html ]

Other questions

[ http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Q_21215623.html ]


[ http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Q_21218798.html ]

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