Installing floppy drive into a newish Dell PC

  Simsy 18:47 02 Aug 2005

Hi folks,

I said I'd help a collegue install a floppy drive, (which she had from her old PC), into her new, (April this year), Dell dimension.

She has ha a look herself and says that it looks like it needs some kind of adapter, as the drive bay is way to big and it has room to rattle about.

Before I get to far into this, does this ring true? Is it possible some kind of adapter is needed, or is she just looking at the wrong drive bay?

I have a vague recollection of something sliding along the side of a drive in something I worked on in the past... but I could be dreaming... it's just vague in my mind!

Any helpful comment appreciated.




  seedie 18:55 02 Aug 2005

It is possible the only spare drive bays are 5 1/4" i.e. for cdroms/dvd drives and that there is no cut out 3 1/2". Dunno if you can still get adaptors tho'


  €dstowe 18:58 02 Aug 2005

Several modern motherboards don't have the facility to connect a floppy drive.

Before you go to too much effort, check that the machine will accept a floppy.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 19:11 02 Aug 2005

I would expect it is still under warrenty ("April this year")

It would therefore be much simpler to attatch a external floppy into the USB port rather than take the machine apart.
click here

  Simsy 23:10 02 Aug 2005

for a floppy drive.

Point about the mobo not accepting one is noted... but there was an option to have one fitted at the time, so I don't expect this to be a problem.

The option wasn't taken because it was going to cost about an extra £30. It seemed silly to spend that when she had a floppy drive that could be fitted.

It's only because she has the floppy drive that we're considering fitting it. If it wont work then she wont have one.

Seedie, you say, "Dunno if you can still get adaptors tho'" I take it from that that such adapters do exist, and the need to have one is not bizzarre?

Thanks for the input folks. Sorry it's taken so long to respond!



  woodchip 23:12 02 Aug 2005

You can fit a USB floppy very cheap. That's what I have done with my Laptop

  Giggle n' Bits 01:00 03 Aug 2005

if its a Dimension series lower down there is a blank plasic plate panel about 10cm long.

This may be hidden behind a flap if your case has one that either lift's up and reveals Front USB also or a panel may spring drop down.

So how to do it.

Remove both side panels by removing 4 or 6 screws from the rear edges of Case.

Then pull a panel backwards to slide off.

Now if its not the screw type it's the handle release type on one side panel usually the right hand side. A Black slide lever just in a bit on the rear releases a Lock to the side case OR under the case is a Lever release.

Ok, you should hopefully be in Fort Knocks now, if not have a look at the Dell Manual or Dell Website using your Service Tag Number.

When inside the Case, working from the front on the inner of recess of case there hopefully is some little clips that are holding on the front Plastic Facia. Unclip these on each side release the front panel.

Then you can remove the Blank FDD plate and the shield from behind.

Replace Front Panel, gently not to snap any plastic clips.

Then slide and line in your FDD in the hole/Bay pushing slowly from the from front inwards. Line up Screw holes and screw in gently on both sides. Then tighten a bit more so not loose but not too tight.

Put Back Left Panel Back. Find a loose redundant 4 pin molex connector comming of the Power Supply which will have Red, Black, Yellow wires colour and genlty slide onto the small 4 pins of the floppy. Then get the FDD cable connect the end with the slits in nearest to the FDD lining up the Red line on the edge of the cable to a round Cylinder on the edge of the floppy D.Drive.

The other end gently fit onto the FDD socket on the Motherboard. This will only fit one way round, look for Pin 1 or edge moulding on the end of the plastic to slot into it.

Then boot the machine.

You may have to go into the Bios and select 3.5" 1.44MB FDD on the first BIOS Page.

Get Stuck then Mail us guys back.

  Giggle n' Bits 01:01 03 Aug 2005

As long as its not a Laptop, all you need is a FDD and a FDD Cable ! Oh and 2 - 4 drive screws.

  dan11 06:47 03 Aug 2005

Most dells, I have seen, have the IDE drives mounted in plastic removable trays. The drives are screwed into the trays and the trays slide in and out of the bays. Dell upgrade page click here

The floppy drives were no different. They had these plastic removable caddy's. The floppy drive was attached to the caddy with a metal brace. This let the 3 1/4 fit into the 5 1/2 bay. Bracket, step 1 click here

  Simsy 11:11 03 Aug 2005

thanks for that.

Here's a quote from the link dann11 provided;

"Drive Bays and floppy drives generally come in three sizes: three-inch, five-inch, and bays that require mounting rails. It will be easiest if you match the size of your floppy drive to the size of your drive bay, although it's possible to mount a three-inch drive into a five-inch drive bay."

I think I'm going to have to have a look... I assume the drive is the same as all the others I've ever seen!

Thanks for the input. It seems she might be right about the bay appearing to be too big!



  Belatucadrus 14:51 03 Aug 2005

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