:( In Need of Help with Installing Floppy Drive

Hello, I’m having a problem installing a new floppy (I can’t believe this either)!

The LED (the green light) is always on once the machine is turned on. When it starts (with a disk in it), it’s got this vibrating sound and then quiet. Even when Win98 is boot up, the light is still on, not even one flash.

I’ve tried swapping the drive, cable, changed the IDE on the CD-Roms, remove all IDE devices, swapping the A to B in the BIOS, swapped the power cords and supply, and even took all peripherals from the motherboard but still no luck.

I’m suspecting it’s the on-board floppy controller that’s screwed up. All other peripherals are working fine.

The motherboard is a brandnew (but outdated) Seanix 440LX, Celeron 300, 96 MB SDRAM (64+32), 17 GB HD, Creative Labs TNT card, 3DFx Voodoo2, Diamond 300 MX soundcard, and LinkSYS 10/100 MB network card.

Other than buying a new LS-120 drive (which uses an IDE channel instead of the old floppy), a motherboard or a new controller, anyone have any suggestions on how to resolve this problem? Any help is appreciated. Need more info, just let me know and I’ll list it here.


any time you see the led stay on, it means the cable is somehow reversed, either backwards or upside down, dont remember which offhand. or the light is broken…

You’ve done a really good job of troubleshooting up to now. I hope these further suggestions don’t annoy you, because I suspect you have already checked.

Just to make certain: you are using floppy cables, right? The ones that have that little twist at one end? And you tried reversing them, too.

Does your floppy have master/slave jumpers on the back of it, or should it?

That’s about all I can think of.

Cable is on upside down; I’ve seen it plenty of times. Floppy drives are notorious for not forcing polarity on the cable ends.

Check the labeling of the pins (probably on the drive’s circuit board), then make sure that the red wire on the floppy cable connects to pin 1). Check the same thing on your motherboard.

Sofa: master/slave is an IDE concept. Floppy drives are either A or B, and are dependent on the drive’s position on the cable. While some floppy drives do have DIP switches or jumpers, I’ve never had to use them.

You also have to enter this bios to set the floppy drive type, otherwise it won’t recognize. Floppys drive me nuts.

Here are somethings to think about. What connector on the floppy drive cable is it connected to? Middle? Is the drive jumper select set to 0, 1 or 2? If you don’t know, take it to the store. The jumper is usually on the back of the drive.

The bios has to know what type of floppy it is, too.

Also, the red line side of the floppy cable is nearest the power connector. On the board, there is a mark that says 0 or 1, the red line side of the cable must be near that.

Thanks for all the advice guys, I’ll give them a try when I get home. The consensus here is that I may have the power pins reversed, though I’m sure I’ve tried to ‘unreverse’ before but I’ll try it again 'cuz mayve I didn’t force it in right. Then again, I think those floppy cable are ‘idiot’ proof with the little ‘bump’ on one side of the plastic lead-in.

To answer Handy, no there are no jumpers on the floppy drives that I’ve got.

On a side note, I got this used computer at my university’s surplus store and picked this old 386 up for $5. It was sitting in the rain for a long while bcoz the technicians didn’t have time to check it out and sold it to me for $5 bcoz he wasn’t sure if it worked or not. Guess what, the whole thing did work and I cleaned out the powersupply and inside of the case too. I guess I’ll make it a FreeBSD server later on when I get ADSL or Cable (hehe, I’ll need some advice for that too later on since I’m not very good with this Unix based OS).

Anyways, I’ll update you all once I get a chance to do it tonight but keep sending in those suggestions. Thanks again for all your suggestions!


“power pins reversed”

Thats impossible to do. But you can get the floppy cable backwards.

Oh no, i didn’t mean the power pins, sorry… I know that’s impossible…

As for reversing the floppy cable, I regret to inform you all that it didn’t work, which sucks… I guess it’s the onboard controller that screwed up… That’s a new motherboard too!

Anyone got more suggestions? I guess I’ll need a LS-120 :frowning:

Hard to Cheer up,

It really sounds like the cable is on the wrong way, but check to see if you haven’t bent one of the pins down.

The reversed cable thing sounds about right, but have you tried using a different floppy drive?

If you want to run any sort of server with any of the flavors of DSL (or anything else for that matter) you’ll need to verify with your provider that you’ll have a static IP address. When you register a domain name you have to supply the address to which it is mapped. If you’ve got a dynamic IP address, the service provider is going to change your IP address occassionally. A lot of them only do it every two or three weeks so if you don’t mind having to continually update your domain name info you’re good to go.

Also, it is possible to get a domain name registered for $16, but these companies do not offer domain name server (DNS) services. You’ll have to get your domain information onto a DNS before it will be able to automatically map to your home PC.

If you can get your service provider to supply you with multiple IP addresses or if you only want to run Win2K or Linux you can be your own DNS.

I hijacked the DNS we’ve got at work (kind of like hijacking this thread). Then I moved and lost my static connection :frowning:


Anywho, what type of drive is it defined as in the BIOS? Are you sure that’s correct? Set it to something lower. Look at the MB and make sure there’s not some sort of jumper to disable the onboard controller. Finally, disconnect the data cable altogether and leaving the power connected turn the computer on. The light should go on and out again. If it doesn’t, the floppy is FUBAR, hosed, ate up, discombobulated, SNAFU and just generally not working. If this is true, pick it up about two feet and drop it. It should work now.

It can’t possibly be the board,it must be something else. Ive been thru that with floppys before, its never the board, its the Bios settings usually.

Cheer Up!
My first inclination (like the others posting here) is that the floppy cable arrangement is goofed up, but if you’ve tested that to death the chances of floppy IO failure is slight but possible. If your floppy controller is toasted you can get a dedicated ISA floppy IO cards for a dollar or three on Ebay.

see http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=459924638

**It can’t possibly be the board,it must be something else. Ive been thru that with floppys before, its never the board, its the Bios settings usually. **

Ah-ha! Guess what? I did finally get it to work! It was afterall the cable! It’s my own mistake and not the hardware’s fault (another human error factor!) even though I’ve double checked it with a new cable; I still somehow got it backward! The other cable that I was using was the older-386 style non-twisted cable (though it was twisted for the 5 1/4 drive) so I bought a $3 cable and got it to work! Thanks for all the advice guys and this saved me $100 from buying the LS-120 (which by the way, have you noticed the increase in price?!?!? I bought one for $75 just a year and a half ago!).