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Troubleshooting a FLOPPY issue.

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by BigDaveinNJ, Nov 25, 2005.

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  1. BigDaveinNJ

    BigDaveinNJ Thread Starter

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    I have been trying to see the contents of a FLOPPY disk that I created a few weeks ago at the library when my PC was out of commision. I made a BOOT DISK from bootdisk.com and wanted to explore it on my PC but for whatever reason, I cannot explore and see what's on the floppy.

    The little green light comes on by the "A" drive (FLOPPY) yet I get the attached error messages.

    How can I tell whether or not this problem is with the DRIVE or this particular floppy? This is the only one I have and I wanted to create a boot disk for my computer by erasing whatever was on this floppy and then creating a boot disk.

    Thanks in advance

    DAVID
     

    Attached Files:

  2. PC TECH250

    PC TECH250 Banned

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    First make sure that the locking tab is not down on the floppy disk. That would block access to the disk itself. After this, go into MyComputer and right click on the "A:>" drive to perform a quick format of the disk with the
    format link found on the dropdown list of the right click menu. Windows will then format the disk if the disk is in good condition to start with. That only takes a minute. See if it works then. That will ensure disk integrity.
     
  3. WhitPhil

    WhitPhil Gone but never forgotten Trusted Advisor

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    You get the attached errors when you attempt to "explore" the drive??

    Exactly, how are you attempting to do this?

    **() Test edit
     
  4. BigDaveinNJ

    BigDaveinNJ Thread Starter

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    Thanks... I put the floppy in the slot. I then go to Windows Explorer and click on the "A" drive. I hear a little hum by my floppy drive and get a message about the floppy not being formatted... asking me if I want to do it now. Whatever option I choose, doesn't work.

    I am not sure about this "locking tab". There is a plastic piece that can be slid back and forth... but there must be some kind of spring in it or something because it won't stay when you slide it over... it goes right back. Is this the locking tab you referred to?

    Thank You

    DAVID
     
  5. PC TECH250

    PC TECH250 Banned

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    The locking tab for preventing erasure of data is a little square tab as you look at the
    lower right hand side of the disk as the rear faces you. If it is down at the edge it is in
    the locked position. That would have to be moved to the upward position for access.
    If it stays down and can not be movesd up, your disk is no good. Replace it.
     
  6. Bob Cerelli

    Bob Cerelli

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    The locking tab is on the upper side of the disk, not the lower !!!

    You can access a floppy regardless of what position it is in !!!

    If it is up or open, you can't write to the disk. So it needs to be down to format or copy files to the floppy disk.
     
  7. BigDaveinNJ

    BigDaveinNJ Thread Starter

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    OK... I tried the slide tab in both positions and got an error message about the possibility of the disk being damaged. I will get ahold of a new floppy as soon as I can.

    BTW... If you get a floppy disk, do they usually come "formatted" and if they say they are formatted are they indeed formatted correctly?

    Thank You

    DAVID
     
  8. PC TECH250

    PC TECH250 Banned

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    If it is in the outer position regardless of how you are holding it, it is locked. If it is in
    the position towards the center of the floppy it is then accessable. If you still can not
    format the disk, the disk is damaged therefore should be replaced.
     
  9. PC TECH250

    PC TECH250 Banned

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    You should able to grab a small pack of floppies even at a local department or office
    supply store with ease there. Walmart or other places usuallt have low cost generic as
    well as name brand disks onhand. The disk come preformatted as a rule. But, it is often
    wise to advise a quick reformat anyways to verify disk integrity.
     
  10. sammysosa

    sammysosa

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    Just to clarify a few things, the spring-loaded device you're referring to is the floppy disk shutter. It is normally closed to protect the surface of the disk, but opens when you insert the disk into the floppy drive. When it opens, the disk can be read by the magnetic read/write heads in the floppy drive.

    At the OPPOSITE end of the floppy disk, you should notice one or two small square holes. There are actually TWO of the square holes on all modern floppy disks, though one of them might be covered by a sliding tab. If you can see only ONE open square hole (because the other one is covered by the sliding tab), the floppy is ready to be used. You can copy files to it, format it, delete files, and so on.

    If you can see TWO open square holes, that means that the floppy disk is "write-protected"; IOW, the floppy CANNOT be formatted, copied to, etc. You'll have to move the little sliding tab to cover the square hole before you can use the floppy disk. Write-protecting a floppy disk does exactly what it sounds like; it protects the floppy from being over-written with any data. That allows you to protect important information on the floppy disk, but again, it prevents you from adding more information, deleting information, or formatting the disk.

    Remember, ONE open square hole on the end opposite the floppy disk shutter ALLOWS you to make changes to the files on the floppy disk; TWO open holes PREVENTS you from making changes to the files on the disk.

    Good luck; hope this helps you understand what you're seeing.
     
  11. BigDaveinNJ

    BigDaveinNJ Thread Starter

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    Hi... Thanks for all of your help. I will be getting some floppies this weekend. Sammy, although you no longer hit as many homeruns in the baseball arena, I found your reply to be very helpful and thorough.... lol

    Thanks

    DAVID :)
     
  12. Bob Cerelli

    Bob Cerelli

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    Basically, even with new floppies, I like to:

    1. Close the tab so the floppy can be written to
    2. Format the floppy

    Even though it may have been formatted at the factory, who knows what may have happened since then.
     
  13. PC TECH250

    PC TECH250 Banned

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    Thought i already said that? Must be an echo.
     
  14. JBotAlan

    JBotAlan

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    Ahh why not just get a USB drive? :)

    But seriously, without more floppies there is no easy way to tell whether the disk or the drive went bad. I have had instances where the drive kills the disks. So it is pretty hard to figure out. Not that either cost much...

    JBotAlan
     
  15. WhitPhil

    WhitPhil Gone but never forgotten Trusted Advisor

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    If you want to confirm disk integrity you should be doing a full reformat not a "quick reformat".
     
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