Author Topic: 5,25" Floppy Disk drive working under Win 7  (Read 3529 times)

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Offline tomduly

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5,25" Floppy Disk drive working under Win 7
« on: March 05, 2018, 09:31:36 am »
Hi,

recently I was thinking about what to do with my old Shuttle barebone. Model SK41G with Athlon XP on board.
Then I noticed the headers for the ribbon cable for the floppy disk drives and remembered the lot of 5.25" floppy drives, laying somewhere in a box.
Some time later, I got the system running: "SSD" with 16 gigabytes on an IDE/PATA adapter, 3.5" and 5.25" floppy drives. First boot: all drives detected by the BIOS, the drives performed the typical "floppy seek" sound (how long was it, having heard it last time?).
Then - within a short attack of mental derangement - I installed Windows 7 on that system. And it works. Remarkable: Win7 has a dedicated black disk icon for 5.25 floppies. They can be read and written. Only drawback is formatting, which is not supported.
Performance of the PC is not that bad due to the flash disk, 2 gigs of RAM and the Athlon running at 2 GHz.

This machine is now my "old floppy disk to USB stick converter".

Tom
 

Offline Halcyon

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Re: 5,25" Floppy Disk drive working under Win 7
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2018, 10:34:01 am »
Nice one! I love having legacy drives around. My collection of various floppy drives has already paid off after I was asked to recover some data from old disks.

I think the most obscure drive I have is a Castlewood Orb drive. They were only made between 2001 and 2004.

As far as I know, even Windows 10 supports floppy drives (I know Windows 7 definitely does, including all the format commands).
« Last Edit: March 05, 2018, 10:35:36 am by Halcyon »
 

Offline Ampera

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Re: 5,25" Floppy Disk drive working under Win 7
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2018, 11:21:55 am »
USB floppy drive still works on Windows 2016.
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Offline tomduly

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Re: 5,25" Floppy Disk drive working under Win 7
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2018, 06:29:31 am »
Of course do USB floppy drive work - afaik they're available only with 3.5" floppy drives - not with 5.25" drives. Thats the point. Win 7 refuses to format 5.25" - 3.5" is no prob.
Unfortunately, I don't have a native English Windows 7 at hand: the drive A warning means "This volume type can not be formatted. Insert another disk and try again."

@wilfred: good hint: the DOS command format works!

Tom

« Last Edit: March 07, 2018, 06:35:48 am by tomduly »
 

Offline Halcyon

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Re: 5,25" Floppy Disk drive working under Win 7
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2018, 09:19:36 pm »
Of course do USB floppy drive work - afaik they're available only with 3.5" floppy drives - not with 5.25" drives.

There are some attempts to make a USB interface for 5.25" FDDs, but I've never used one. Example: http://www.deviceside.com/

You can also get products like the KryoFlux that will do low-level reads of any floppy (including 8"), provided you have the drive to connect to it.


 

Offline james_s

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Re: 5,25" Floppy Disk drive working under Win 7
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2018, 10:04:07 pm »
I remember being one of the last guys I knew with a 5.25" drive in my PC, which at the time was running the latest and greatest MS OS, Win98.

I still have a drive around somewhere, and my XT has 5.25" drives but you have to be careful, if you write a 360k disk in a 1.2MB drive it usually won't work in a 360k drive.
 

Offline dexters_lab

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Re: 5,25" Floppy Disk drive working under Win 7
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2018, 10:04:30 am »
i always had issues formatting disks under windows newer than XP, especially if the disk to be formatted was from a non-dos environment and had a odd existing format, it was like windows insisted on trying to read the disk before it formatted it, i sometimes needed to be in real ms-dos to format them properly

I have a KryoFlux here, they work great at reading oddball formats though not always successful with degraded disks

my old pc became my 'media gateway' a year or so back with 3.5 and 5.25 drives so i can read old floppies along with Zip100 & MO

the 5.25" drive is one of those oddball 2.4Mb ones made for the IBM 3174, the PC has no support for that capacity and you cant get the media for it but it does read/write the 1.2mb high-density disks ok, sadly though it wont touch the double density 360k disks so i am always keeping an eye out for a reasonably priced standard 1.2mb drive. The 1.2mb drives seem to command amazing prices on ebay now!
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Offline drussell

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Re: 5,25" Floppy Disk drive working under Win 7
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2018, 03:22:05 pm »
...
sadly though it wont touch the double density 360k disks so i am always keeping an eye out for a reasonably priced standard 1.2mb drive. The 1.2mb drives seem to command amazing prices on ebay now!

EGADS!!! I just looked!

Those 5.25" prices drives are crazy, seems to be almost what they cost new back in the day!  Even nuttier, the 8" drive prices are more INSANE! 

I'm not sure if there would be a way to ship one to you from Canada at a reasonable price, but I would be happy to pass one on to a fellow forum member and propeller-head like yourself at a bargain price.  Send me a PM if you think we could arrange reasonable shipping somehow and you're interested.  You might also want a 360k drive with the wider head if you're ever writing single or double density disks.

No rush, I have dozens of 360k and 1.2 meg 5.25" and probably about six Shugart SA-series 8" high density drives.  I suppose I should start to sell a few of them off if they're actually selling for that kind of insane prices.  I  even have some 5.25`ones that are brand new, old stock that have never even been taken out of the shipping carton.  :)
 

Online HighVoltage

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Re: 5,25" Floppy Disk drive working under Win 7
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2018, 03:56:14 pm »

Those 5.25" prices drives are crazy, seems to be almost what they cost new back in the day!  Even nuttier, the 8" drive prices are more INSANE! 


I had no idea that they are so expensive
May be its time to get my collection out of storage.

I always had a 5 1/4" drive running on XP machines but never tried it on a windos7 OS.
Good to know, that it is supported.


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Offline james_s

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Re: 5,25" Floppy Disk drive working under Win 7
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2018, 04:30:10 pm »
Wow, maybe I should sell the one I have. Somewhere I had an old 8" floppy drive too, I wonder what happened to that. Of course you have to be careful looking at ebay prices, there are loads of vintage computer parts that just sit there getting relisted over and over at absurd fantasy prices.
 

Offline drussell

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Re: 5,25" Floppy Disk drive working under Win 7
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2018, 10:44:42 pm »
Of course you have to be careful looking at ebay prices, there are loads of vintage computer parts that just sit there getting relisted over and over at absurd fantasy prices.

Indeed, but I was looking at the SOLD prices!
 

Offline james_s

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Re: 5,25" Floppy Disk drive working under Win 7
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2018, 02:14:01 am »
I wish I hadn't thrown away a bunch of them decades ago, but then if everyone had held onto all their old computer parts, they'd be almost as worthless now as they were back then.
 

Offline dexters_lab

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Re: 5,25" Floppy Disk drive working under Win 7
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2018, 08:38:46 am »
Wow, maybe I should sell the one I have. Somewhere I had an old 8" floppy drive too, I wonder what happened to that. Of course you have to be careful looking at ebay prices, there are loads of vintage computer parts that just sit there getting relisted over and over at absurd fantasy prices.

it seems some sellers are quite happy to list something for 10x it's actual value and never sell it, it's bonkers

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Offline james_s

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Re: 5,25" Floppy Disk drive working under Win 7
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2018, 04:55:27 pm »
It happened when Ebay changed their policies to allow free and auto relisting. People post stuff just fishing for a sucker, then other people see those prices and post their own stuff at similar prices. Pretty soon everyone thinks their 20MB MFM hard drive is worth $300.
 

Offline Halcyon

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Re: 5,25" Floppy Disk drive working under Win 7
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2018, 12:34:35 am »
It happened when Ebay changed their policies to allow free and auto relisting. People post stuff just fishing for a sucker, then other people see those prices and post their own stuff at similar prices. Pretty soon everyone thinks their 20MB MFM hard drive is worth $300.

Indeed, it's just pure greed. Some sellers think they can just slap the words "Vintage" or "New in Box" and immediately it's worth 10x as much. I know one particular seller in Sydney who was trying to sell a PS2 keyboard cable for those old IBM keyboards where the cable was removable for something like $60 and standard IEC power cables (used) for $10 each. I challenged him on the PS2 cable (as I needed one at the time) and he wouldn't budge. Gave me some bullshit spiel about them being "rare" and "hard to find" and he had "x number of watchers" already on the listing. Total charlatan.

By the way drussell, I sent you a PM regarding those FDDs you mentioned. I'm always on the lookout for old drives.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2018, 12:36:30 am by Halcyon »
 

Offline james_s

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Re: 5,25" Floppy Disk drive working under Win 7
« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2018, 07:23:07 am »
I think those PS/2 cables for the model M keyboards really are hard to come by, and the keyboards themselves are still certainly popular, I still use one as my daily driver. $60 seems a bit steep for the cable but where else are you gonna get one?

$10 for a power cord is crazy though, you can buy brand new ones for less than that, used ones should be more like $10 for 5 of them.
 

Offline rdl

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Re: 5,25" Floppy Disk drive working under Win 7
« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2018, 01:10:07 pm »
I have so many of those IEC type power cords that I threw a bunch away last spring. I figured one 14 liter sized plastic box stuffed full of them was enough. I didn't think I could dump them on ebay even if they were free and all the buyer had to pay was shipping.
 

Online ebastler

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Re: 5,25" Floppy Disk drive working under Win 7
« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2018, 01:23:58 pm »
I think those PS/2 cables for the model M keyboards really are hard to come by, and the keyboards themselves are still certainly popular, I still use one as my daily driver. $60 seems a bit steep for the cable but where else are you gonna get one?

http://clickykeyboards.com/product-category/replacement-model-m-sdl-to-ps2-keyboard-cables/
 

Offline tooki

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Re: 5,25" Floppy Disk drive working under Win 7
« Reply #18 on: March 10, 2018, 02:05:02 pm »
Of course do USB floppy drive work - afaik they're available only with 3.5" floppy drives - not with 5.25" drives. Thats the point. Win 7 refuses to format 5.25" - 3.5" is no prob.
Unfortunately, I don't have a native English Windows 7 at hand: the drive A warning means "This volume type can not be formatted. Insert another disk and try again."

@wilfred: good hint: the DOS command format works!

Tom

The English message is “Windows can't format this type of disk. Insert a different disk and try again.”

I don’t actually have a floppy drive, or indeed a computer running Windows to check with. So how do I know what it is? Microsoft’s immensely useful terminology database! You can enter any string from a Microsoft product and search for it to/from English to see exactly how Microsoft has translated it in a given product, and if it’s a shorter term, also looks it up in a generic terminology dictionary.

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/language/Search

(There is also a separate error message search, which applies a fuzzy search and has direct links to search the support resources.)



P.S. Despite not being a huge fan of Microsoft operating systems, as a technical writer, I have huge respect for Microsoft’s technical writing team. They do really well at wording, and publish a top-notch style guide to help others do the same. And then they do language-specific style guides for dozens of languages. (For example, those guides will address that in English, you want a more active voice (“Windows can’t format...”), whereas German prefers passive voice (“...kann nicht formatiert werden.”).)
« Last Edit: March 10, 2018, 02:11:13 pm by tooki »
 
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Offline drussell

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Re: 5,25" Floppy Disk drive working under Win 7
« Reply #19 on: March 10, 2018, 03:23:17 pm »
I know one particular seller in Sydney who was trying to sell a PS2 keyboard cable for those old IBM keyboards where the cable was removable for something like $60

Yeah, $60 is a tad insane, though those cables do tend to develop a bad connection at the keyboard end, even though IBM used a reasonably robust connector with a meta strap around it.

I think those PS/2 cables for the model M keyboards really are hard to come by, and the keyboards themselves are still certainly popular, I still use one as my daily driver. $60 seems a bit steep for the cable but where else are you gonna get one?

You take any old PS/2 cable from a broken keyboard and stick an RJ45 on the other end.  :)

Much cheaper than $60.  I've made those before or repaired the original IBM ones for those keyboards.  :)

By the way drussell, I sent you a PM regarding those FDDs you mentioned. I'm always on the lookout for old drives.

Yes, I noticed...  As soon as I have more than a quick moment on here, I'll get back to you.
 

Online ebastler

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Re: 5,25" Floppy Disk drive working under Win 7
« Reply #20 on: March 10, 2018, 03:48:48 pm »
You take any old PS/2 cable from a broken keyboard and stick an RJ45 on the other end.  :)
Much cheaper than $60.  I've made those before or repaired the original IBM ones for those keyboards.  :)

Hmm, does that really fit? The Model M keyboards I have seen had SDL jacks. The contact geometry is very similar, maybe even identical to RJ-45. But the locking mechanism is clearly different, and I believe the main body of the plug is a bit thinner? Comparison in the photo below, courtesy of https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=17319.0

I have read about Model M keyboards with actual RJ-45 jacks; presumably a separate version for use with terminals. But the PS/2 ones all use the SDL plug, don't they?

 

Offline james_s

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Re: 5,25" Floppy Disk drive working under Win 7
« Reply #21 on: March 10, 2018, 04:57:51 pm »
I have so many of those IEC type power cords that I threw a bunch away last spring. I figured one 14 liter sized plastic box stuffed full of them was enough. I didn't think I could dump them on ebay even if they were free and all the buyer had to pay was shipping.


I had a lot of them at one point too but my stocks seem to dwindle. I have a lot of stuff that uses them, and whenever I sell or give away a computer I include a cord for it. Sometimes I snip the end off and use them as power cords for various things that have a hardwired cord. People not working in some kind of tech job often don't have access to free IEC cords though so I bet if you put 5-packs on ebay for a reasonable price they would sell. If you want to see an example of shocking prices on those, look at power cords in Best Buy or whatever retail store. Somebody must buy those or they wouldn't sell them.
 

Offline dexters_lab

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Re: 5,25" Floppy Disk drive working under Win 7
« Reply #22 on: March 10, 2018, 07:35:23 pm »
those look very similar to the uk BT phone plug
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Offline Halcyon

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Re: 5,25" Floppy Disk drive working under Win 7
« Reply #23 on: March 12, 2018, 12:14:15 pm »
Hmm, does that really fit? The Model M keyboards I have seen had SDL jacks. The contact geometry is very similar, maybe even identical to RJ-45. But the locking mechanism is clearly different, and I believe the main body of the plug is a bit thinner?

I believe you are correct, however usually the first thing to go on those SDL plugs were the side locking clips. A dab of super glue usually did the job (provided you didn't lose the piece that broke off). I'm not sure if an RJ-45 (without the top clip) would fit, I've never tried.

I have so many of those IEC type power cords that I threw a bunch away last spring. I figured one 14 liter sized plastic box stuffed full of them was enough. I didn't think I could dump them on ebay even if they were free and all the buyer had to pay was shipping.

I've kept an archive box full of the "good" ones (i.e.: When 10-amp cables were actually capable of 10 amps @ 240v) rather than the crap Chinese fake ones. Although technically they no longer comply with Australian standards as the pins aren't insulated, but meh. I must have thrown out at least 50 during a recent cull.
 

Offline Ampera

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Re: 5,25" Floppy Disk drive working under Win 7
« Reply #24 on: March 12, 2018, 05:01:17 pm »
This American laughs at your mention of insulated pins and 10A ratings.

I've shoved decent loads though the cheap chineese cables fairly fine, but most of mine are nice and beefy cables.

Ahh NEMA, how the world laughs at you.
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