We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

Floppy...Went Missing

dockboy549 asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-25
Actually the new PC I just bought (Dell 3100/E310) didn't come with a floppy drive.  Didn't come with system, driver, software, or peripheral disks either.  I guess I should be grateful they could spare a box to ship me "the box".  Anyway, I sure would like a floppy.  I popped open the box to see inside and no cable for a floppy.  But I did spot a male connector on the motherboard that seems  to be the right size and number of pins, and keyway for a floppy cable.  The only one of it's kind in sight.  Do you suppose that would be it ???  No clue as to the maker of the motherboard..  

The PC came with a serial ATA drive, so things inside were a little different to me.  Just a 2 position ide cable for 2 cd roms
Watch Question

Here is a pic for you.
The floppy connector is the one on the bottom.
They have 34 pins in a 2x17 arrangement.
Sometimes a pin is missing and that's normal.
Distinguished Expert 2019

#3 is your floppy drive connector :


you just need to buy a floppy drive and cable, connect it , and enable the floppy drive in the bios.


We have a problem.  #1. The 2 older floppy drives I have seem to have a bigger front face plate than the Dell bezel (?) opening allows.  My drives are 1/16th" wider and 3/64ths taller.  #2 The cables I have seem to have the 2 rows of 17 holes but only 1 of the three would even allow the light to light on the front of the drive.  That one seemed to have been made with about 4-5 conductors "flipped" on the drive side of the cable.  So what's up with that ?
Am I better off just buying a new floppy that comes with a cable ?  You don't suppose the Dell floppy situation is some sort of a propriatary dealy ?
I'm not 100% sure what you are describing. I'm going with what I think you mean..

Floppy drive cables can have connectors for 1 or 2 drives.
1 drive has 2 connectors (MoBo + Drive A)
2 drive has 3 connectors (MoBo + Drive B + Drive A)
** Drive A goes to the connector that has the flipped conductors in between it and the motherboard.
The flip is how the system knows if it is 'talking to' drive A or drive B.

~ SOME floppy drives have a jumper to switch it internally between drive A or B. (Few people use that anymore.)
If you switch it through the cable -and- in the drive then you are back to where you started..

Not the solution you were looking for? Getting a personalized solution is easy.

Ask the Experts

There is a pin 1 on the floppy drive connector and in the motherboard connector.
(May be hard to read/see..., On the drive it may be on the PC board where the connector is soldered on.)
At both ends, the side of the cable with the red line goes so that it's closest to the pin 1 end of the connector.

If the faceplate on the drive won't fit the case the best thing to do is get a new floppy drive with a standard faceplate.
If you are not picky about looks you could probably remove the face plate (and leave it like that, or) sand down the edges of the faceplate until it fits.

Some cases only allow installing the drives from one side.
As in, the drive will either only go into the bay from the front -or- it will only go in from inside the case.

If you look closely at this picture it looks like the floppy faceplate goes behind the case's faceplate, meaning either the floppy is installed from inside the case or the case's faceplate comes off to install a floppy drive.



The sum all your resonses lies the solution.  I guess I'll have to buy a new floppy drive and cable at some time in the future.  The sand paper and file will be close at hand if needed, but do see what the *.jpg link shows Dell may have done with the install.

Thank too to nobus, although the link lead me to a page where I would have to log in..Wasn't interested in doing that..
Access more of Experts Exchange with a free account
Thanks for using Experts Exchange.

Create a free account to continue.

Limited access with a free account allows you to:

  • View three pieces of content (articles, solutions, posts, and videos)
  • Ask the experts questions (counted toward content limit)
  • Customize your dashboard and profile

*This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


Please enter a first name

Please enter a last name

8+ characters (letters, numbers, and a symbol)

By clicking, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.