Internal floppy disc drive queries

  holme 13:23 05 Sep 2007
Locked

We have a lot of /very/ old applications on the original floppy discs which are software-protected (a common anti-piracy ploy in those days) and which cannot be read by a USB floppy disc drive.

If the mobo doesn't have a floppy drive port, would any of you clever techies know if it's technically feasible to tap into the IDE cabling to run an internal floppy drive? If so, the follow-on queries are:

i) Are standard IDE to floppy drive cable adaptors available?

ii) What about Master/Slave considerations? If there's only a back-up IDE hard drive in the Primary IDE socket (the main drive is SATA), does the IDE hard drive need to be made the Slave device?

Thanks in anticipation folks.

  User-1159794 13:29 05 Sep 2007

ii) What about Master/Slave considerations? If there's only a back-up IDE hard drive in the Primary IDE socket (the main drive is SATA), does the IDE hard drive need to be made the Slave device?

Answer: master.

  User-1159794 13:33 05 Sep 2007

something like this perhaps for your floppy problem.
click here

  holme 13:41 05 Sep 2007

Thanks for that, but we've already got a spare IDE drive. What we'd like to know is whether it's technically feasible to tap into the normal IDE device controller ports. (I suspect an IDE floppy needs it's own controller, but it's worth asking.)

  Diemmess 13:42 05 Sep 2007

Many computers even recent builds, may not have a Floppy drive actually fitted, but this can be sorted quite easily.

The motherboard must have a Floppy drive cable socket. This looks very like the IDE socket but is narrower and usually well away from the IDE connection.

A new Floppy drive unit can be bought for very little and a suitable cable as well.
Perhaps you have a friend with a suitable cable doing nothing?

The new unit will take its power from a spare plug inside the computer.

  holme 14:04 05 Sep 2007

Thank you. The mobo does /not/ have a floppy drive port, which I'm afraid is the essence of the problem. :-(

  Diemmess 15:15 05 Sep 2007

I dwelt in ignorance of the disappearence of any floppy drive connection to the motherboard and so you surprised me.

I suppose it was inevitable once the majority of new computers no linger offer the actual drive except as an extra.
Can you say the make and model of the mobo so that I can "look for myself" please?

My expertise is minimal, but my experience goes back to the 8"(330Kb) floppy when the HD was a very expensive extra!

[software protected]
Most of my early Microsoft programs were write-protected floppies but I don't recall software protection. Are you sure the floppies themselves have not become corrupt?

A long time ago one of my disks for Word v 2 stopped working and a telephone call to Ms resulted in a new set of disks for Word v 6 because they were out of stock of v2!
All I had to do was to send them a scanned picture of Disk 1. Happy days!

  woodchip 15:32 05 Sep 2007

I don't see anybody as asked, what size floppy you are on about?????. normal 1.44mb the motherboard should have a header like it does for IDE but it's only for floppy drives. But if it's any other than a 1.44 you are going to have to first find a drive that will read them

  holme 16:00 05 Sep 2007

Woodchip: Thanks for that but, to repeat what I said to Diemmess, "The mobo does /not/ have a floppy drive port, which I'm afraid is the essence of the problem." :-(

To reiterate: The ancient, software-protected floppy discs cannot be read on a USB drive, only IDE.

We already have a standard 1.44MB IDE floppy disc drive - but nowhere to plug it in (no coarse suggestions please...)

Diemess: The machine is in another office so I'll come back to you on the mobo make/model.

The floppies in question are readable on a third-party's machine but, being software protected, their contents cannot be moved to our own machines. Don't you just hate it when 'anti-piracy' measures prevent perfectly legitimate access? But it was quite common in thse days (early 1990s), well before USB was invented. :-(

  Diemmess 18:15 05 Sep 2007

Long ago a local ironmonger told me -
"Locks are made to keep honest men out!"

Software protection tends to defeat the honest, but only be a challenge to the dishonest.

It must be obvious, but I would love to be able to demonstrate from the maker's site that there IS a socket for the floppy cable.

  holme 18:45 05 Sep 2007

I can't 'get at' the machine for a few days but, if it helps, it's a Packard Bell ixtreme MC (XP Media Centre?) 2969. It came with an ext USB floppy drive - which may be telling us something.

The machine's utterly-butterly brilliant, with a bay for an internal floppy drive - except there's no 'ole to plug in the plug. Unless you can find one... :-?

I've had a look at PB's site but the motherboard layout doesn't seem to be specified (the user-guide has only a representative block diagram with little detail).

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