I cant access my 3 1/2 floppy drive

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pip66

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Jan 5, 2006
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Hey there I hope someone can help me out, I went to access my 3 1/2 inch floppy drive and it comes back with Format disk? this is a new one on me, I tried several other disks alll with the same result..is my drive bust or am I being stupid any help would be gratefully received, ps wnen I tried to format a blank disk no result either though the drive did make a god awful noise..I'm running ms xp, kind regards to all... Pip66
 
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Mar 18, 2005
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Good Evening PIP, that sounds like your floppy drive has expired.
Do you have a bootable floppy disk, if so you can see if it will boot from it.
(you may need to alter the boot order in BIOS)
If it won't boot from a known good disc replace the floppy drive.
qldit.
 
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The simplest diagnostic would be to replace the drive.

The "God awful noise" does not sound promising.
 
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Nov 25, 2005
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WinXP is known to have problems with floppy disks that weren't formatted in the same floppy drive it tries to read from. If you think your floppy drive is dead / dying anyway, get a floppy disk you're willing to risk destroying, put it in the floppy drive, and run a FULL format on it (a Quick Format will NOT correct this problem). The older the floppy disk is (even though it might have been preformatted and NEVER used), the more likely WinXP will have problems with it...

Once you've formatted it (just ignore the noise unless the stupid thing bursts into flames), copy some files to it through Windows Explorer, and see if it works as expected. You might be surprised by the results...

FWIW, you can often salvage a floppy drive by removing the upper lid, and using a can of compressed air to blow it out. Many years ago, I worked with a tech who used to repair them under warranty (back when they cost $100+US); he started teaching me how to align the heads on them(!), which was part of the calibration routine(!), but died of a massive heart attack just a few days afterwards, so I never got to learn how to do that.

Anyway, when you NEED a working floppy drive at 3 AM, you sometimes have to fix whatever is available...
 

JohnWill

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I think aligning the heads on a $10 part is probably not cost-effective. :D
 
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Well, you'll notice that I DIDN'T say it was a cost-effective thing to do nowadays... :D

BUT, back in the day when the floppy repair techs were being paid five bucks an hour to repair a part that cost $100, it WAS cost-effective to take a shot at repairing those things, and any that COULDN'T be repaired were salvaged for parts. Don told me about making trips to a HUGE warehouse that was FULL of parts for Sony, Mitsumi, Denon, and Toshiba floppy drives, among others...

Though I would have liked to LEARN how to align the heads, tweak the voltages, and calibrate then to a fine degree, I WOULDN'T want to repair FDDs every day for a living, even if it paid well... truth be told, I'd actually enjoy calibrating optical drives a lot more, but again, cost-effectiveness is a consideration...
 

pip66

Thread Starter
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Jan 5, 2006
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2
Thanks everyone who took the time out to reply to my silly mistake question..I was actually refering to my 2 1/2 disk drive and youl'l never guess what the problem was ?........mmmm! give up do you, it was the the metal sheaff off one of my 'new sony disks' had fallen off in the drive..not impressed, I had to take the b...tard. tower apart shocked myself twice before I stumbled on the good idea of turning the bloody power off ..hey but thanks to everyone out there for all your help & if anyone knows a good burns specialist...E.mail me, Kind Regards To All Pip66 (medium to rare)
 
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OK, it took me a few seconds to realize that you're referring to the metal "shutter" on a 3 1/2" floppy disk getting stuck in the floppy disk drive...

Glad you got it fixed, and also glad you survived the ordeal...

You don't work with high-explosives, do you? :D
 

JohnWill

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sammysosa said:
Well, you'll notice that I DIDN'T say it was a cost-effective thing to do nowadays... :D

BUT, back in the day when the floppy repair techs were being paid five bucks an hour to repair a part that cost $100, it WAS cost-effective to take a shot at repairing those things, and any that COULDN'T be repaired were salvaged for parts. Don told me about making trips to a HUGE warehouse that was FULL of parts for Sony, Mitsumi, Denon, and Toshiba floppy drives, among others...
Well, I still have the alignment disk for 8" floppies, and I've aligned quite a bunch of them, none recently. :) I think I still have one or two 8" floppy drives around here too... That was in the days when floppy drives cost $300-400, and labor was cheap, so it was VERY cost effective to try to fix them. :)
 
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That reminds me of the time my wife slipped a CD into my 5 1/4 floppy drive. I finally got it out with a pair of tweezers and shaking the whole case upside down. I since got rid of the drive, it was cheaper then replacing the wife. As I recall neither the computer nor the wife worked as well since.
 
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Can I join, can I! can I!
qldit.
(I don't even know what a metal sheaf is, or what a 2.5 inch floppy looks like!)
 
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