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Floppy Drive Stalls Computer - Why ???

Posted on 2006-05-27
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Last Modified: 2010-05-18
Hello:

Granted, I don't think I have ever used my floppy drive in the two years I have had my computer (DELL Dimension 8300). Nevertheless, I wanted to back some smaller stuff up onto a floppy - but every time I try to acess my A: (floppy) drive (be it via My Computer or Explorer), it stalls my computer.  When I go into the Task Manager, it is always "not responding."

NOTE:  I am running Windows XP Pro.

So, I cannot even right click to format the floppy in the first place.  

In the chance that it my just be MY computer, I tried to format the floppy on another Windows XP computer - same result.


Any idea what might be the problem and/or how to fix it ??


THANK YOU,

TOM
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Question by:tcraw1010
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Expert Comment

by:Gary Case
ID: 16776691
"... I tried to format the floppy on another Windows XP computer - same result. " ==> I presume you mean the same floppy disk (media), and not that you moved the drive.

... if that's so, then you most likely just have some bad media.   Floppies aren't used much these days; and it's been my experience that the blank media is much less reliable than it was a decade ago.   In particular, the Memorex blanks have a very high failure rate -- are you by any chance using these ??   In any event, I would buy a different brand of blanks than what you are trying.

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FriarTuk earned 900 total points
ID: 16776720
for ones that have been sitting collecting dust, i've have opened them up & cleaned the sensors with a q-tip + iso alc - usually worked for me (otherwise replace it)
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by:dbrunton
ID: 16776747
I think FriarTuk is talking about your floppy drive.  

A floppy disk cleaning kit usually works as well.

Its usually as both garycase adn FriarTuk have stated either bad floppy media or a dirty floppy drive.  

Or as a long shot something like a coin or paper jammed in the floppy drive mechanism.
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by:Gary Case
ID: 16776760
Yes, Friar Tuk is clearly talking about the drive;  and since the same problem happens in two different computers that seems unlikely to be the issue here, so I doubt that the drive needs cleaned or has anything jammed in the mechanism :-)  :-)
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by:dbrunton
ID: 16776818
Yep.  Apologies.

Missed that one.  Mind not fully awake.  Need more coffee.

Concur, its most likely a media fault although I have seen a bad floppy drive smear its badness across a range of machines.  So if new media doesn't cure then the drive cleaning kit should be used.
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Expert Comment

by:rid
ID: 16776926
Get (or make on another machine?) a bootable floppy and see if you can boot off that. If yes, try to write a smallish file to the floppy. If success on both, the hardware is OK and the problem is in wXP (not unheard of). If no go, it's probably hardware. Check BIOS settings, replace FDD, check connections...
/RID
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by:callrs
ID: 16776960
It's a bad floppy

"I wanted to back some smaller stuff up onto a floppy -"

Not recommended. Floppies have a high failure rate, and so make a very poor backup choice. Instead, for the small files you speak of, zip all the files into an archive (using winrar: www.rarlab.com). Then
- If you are on-line, store them on-line, like at the free http://briefcase.yaboo.com (but for this site, you must log in at least once every 4 months), or some on-line backup service. This way if you lose your computer to a fire etc., your data is safe regardless.
- Store on a cheap USB Flash drive. A 128Meg drive, equivalent to over 88 floppies, costs about $30. You can get 1Gig+ drives now.
- Back up to a second or a second computer's hard disk




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by:callrs
ID: 16776970
Oops, forgot, you can also:
-Burn to a cd or dvd which should last at least a decade if you don't damage them.
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by:Erik Bjers
ID: 16778046
Sorry if I'm repating anyone... just scaned the answers

If the disk does not work on different systems... bad media replace it


If that dosen't work
Flopy drives and the cables to connect them are cheep, replace them (should cost no more than 30 - 40 to do so)

Otherwise just back up to a CD, blank CD's are as cheep as floppies now you can get 50 for under $15 that's .30 each (floppies are around 5 - 7 for 10 so about .50 - .70 each; CDs are cheeper)

eb
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 16778384
and if it still does not work, check if the cables are connected, or try another cable, or drive
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Author Comment

by:tcraw1010
ID: 16784452
I have plenty of CDs to back things up on.  I primarily wanted to back up my Quicken financial data and such onto floppy - because it seems like such a waste to use a 700 MB CD for a less than 1 MB data file.

But oh well, you're correct - CD's are pretty cheap these days - so I guess it's not a big ole's deal.


THANK YOU TO ALL who provided your insight and assistance.  
I hate having to only chose one Expert's answer for the points - but that's the way they set things up here.
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by:nobus
ID: 16784530
>>   I hate having to only chose one Expert's answer for the points - but that's the way they set things up here.   <<  Not true : you can split points also; if you want to allocate points to more than 1, just post a Q in the help section and ask a mod to reopen the Q
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by:Gary Case
ID: 16784698
As nobus indicated, it's easy to "split points" ... if that's what you want to do just post a note here (Use the title "Re-open a question") and ask that Q_21866185 be re-opened:  http://www.experts-exchange.com/Community_Support/askQuestion.jsp
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