Adding an old floppy drive to SATA M.B ?

  Furkin 10:08 27 Aug 2012

ASUS M5A78L-M + Phenom II x 2 + 4gb ram + 500w PSU + Win7 32bit

I recently saw an external USB 3.5" Floppy drive advertised.

When I upgraded my original IDE machine to all SATA, I removed the Panasonic floppy drive – which I guess is PATA – and I still have it.

I was wondering if all I need to do, is attach a USB plug/lead to the existing outputs ?

The physical side of it (soldering/adapting the USB lead to the drive) should be easy enough, but I don’t know if it’s as simple as that, or if my kit will ‘take’ it at all.

If it is possible, does anyone out there have the time to feed me through the correct wiring connections etc please ?


  johndrew 11:04 27 Aug 2012

You may find this link of interest. Bare floppy enclosures are apparently a bit rare now, but perhaps a search may reveal a source. It may be possible to connect via a parallel printer port, again I'm not 100% certain.

Given that an external USB floppy drive costs around £10, it may not be cost effective to buy a bare enclosure.

  northumbria61 11:06 27 Aug 2012

Do you really need a floppy drive these days?

  KRONOS the First 11:41 27 Aug 2012

The physical side of it (soldering/adapting the USB lead to the drive) should be easy enough, but I don’t know if it’s as simple as that, or if my kit will ‘take’ it at all.

Being someone who dabbles a little bit in modding I think it would be something worth trying if only to see if you can get it to work.I have my doubts as I do not think that modern mobos come with a controller, floppies were always on a separate controller to other storage.

  Furkin 11:45 27 Aug 2012

Thanks guys,

John: That site is great. I couldn't find the answer to my quest, but I'll be visiting there often,,,, for a giggle if nothing else. As in my OP, I already have the drive - that's why I was wondering about using / converting it.

I know that there are USB drives already out there (which brought me onto the subject) but again, as I already have the drive, I'd prefer to use it.

N61: "Need" ? nah,,,, it's not life threatening. I still have a drawer full of floppies (even 5.25"),,,,,, remember when we needed half a dozen, just to load Windows ? Mind you, I go back to Atari 800XL days (I still have it) which used cassette tapes to load programs.

There are a few cheesy little games that my Son used to play for hours. It'd be nice to 'look back'.

So,,, If I can utilise the parts to do so, it'd be great.

  Furkin 11:55 27 Aug 2012

Hi again Chronus:

That's the side of things that I don't understand (if only that was all,,,).

As I say, my kit is all SATA, whereas the drive is IDE. I was rather hoping that attaching a USB plug / lead to it, thereby adapting the interface, might enable me to just plug it into a USB port.

Nothing that I attempt is ever that easy, but it dosn't put me off trying,,, until it's a total failure. If it can be done, I want to try. If it deffo can't, then I'll leave it alone.

PS: Can we buy bare USB plugs ? I can't seem to find any.


  northumbria61 11:56 27 Aug 2012

Furkin Yes I remember the days of 5.25" and the cassette tapes. I had a Dragon 32 and a Commodore 64. You didn't just make a cuppa whilst it was loading, you went and did your weekly shopping!

  KRONOS the First 12:04 27 Aug 2012

Can we buy bare USB plugs ?

I shall make inquiries.

  catpwss 12:11 27 Aug 2012
  KRONOS the First 12:27 27 Aug 2012

Or Ebay. Good find catpwss.

  Batch 18:07 28 Aug 2012

I very much doubt if wiring a bare floppy drive to a USB port would work as I suspect appropriate specific drivers are required.

BTW, to my knowledge, floppy drives were not IDE / PATA (or, at least, not standard IDE / PATA). Although they used flat ribbon cables that were, on first look, like normal IDE cables, they are not the same. Furthermore, the connection onto the mobo was separate from the main IDE /PATA connectors.

If I were you, I'd go for a fully fledged USB floppy (as I guess your current mobo doesn't have a floppy port).

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