strange floppy problem with vista

i have a system running vista business, without problems.
As usual some floppies can be read, some not.
But here the strange part : i noted i can boot perfectly from 2 floppies, but cannot read them when running vista; it errors out with : do you want to format this floppy y/n ?

Any suggestions?
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Vista is not compatible with floppy disks.

Just kidding!

I always have issues with floppies.... They are far from consistent and a pain most of the time. The systoms you are describing seem to fall into there nature.
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
"... i noted i can boot perfectly from 2 floppies, but cannot read them when running vista ..." ==>   This is not all that surprising.   I've seen similar behavior with XP.   The issue is usually that the floppies use a non-standard format ... the drive can read them just fine; and if they contain bootable code, they'll boot just like they're supposed to => but if Vista tries to read them it doesn't recognize the non-standard format structure so it wants to reformat them.   You can sometimes overcome this by reading them from a virtual PC with a different OS on it [Windows 98SE or a Linux variant] ... but it depends on just what the formatting is on the floppy.

Note that this is the reason some motherboard maker's used to warn that a BIOS-update floppy had to be formatted with Windows 98SE and NOT with XP or the update would fail.   Not common anymore, but it was a few years ago.

... Pain or ot, I certainly think it's still worth $10 to have a floppy drive in any system I build :-)   The first time you need it you'll be really glad you have it !!
nobusAuthor Commented:
my idea too Gary; not that i like floppies, but if all else fail ...
The floppies i'm talking about ARE Windows98 boot floppies -  so what is the "non standard format" then ?
more comments are welcome !
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Microsoft's KB notes the following:

".. "Windows XP supports formatting only the 1.44MB disk format. Three-mode floppy drives (drives that are capable of reading/writing with 720KB, 1.2MB and 1.44MB 3.5" disks) requires special driver support, and support for this feature is not included in Windows XP."

I'm sure the same is true of Vista.

... and virtually every floppy drive you can buy (Sony, NEC, Phillips, etc.) is a three-mode drive.   So floppies that aren't formatted with XP are often problematic.   This is, unfortunately, a VERY common problem => I used to teach an occasional computer class at a local college, and students who would bring in floppies formatted on a '98 system would often have problems using them with an XP machine.   I encouraged everyone to just use USB flash sticks to avoid the problem :-)

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nobusAuthor Commented:
what a shame - after paying so uch for MS licences...
nobusAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the excellent and detailed explanation ! ( as usual) where do you get all this info?
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
You're most welcome (as always).

... r.e. "... where do you get all this info? " ==> I've been doing this stuff for a  L ... O ... N ... G  time :-)    I've been a "computer geek" since I was a 15-year old college freshman in 1963 ... and have had systems at home since 1975 :-)
nobusAuthor Commented:
i have also a heap of knowledge buildup, but it can't be i supposed you had some "secret" paths
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Windows Vista

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