PC Tech: The Great Extinction

      • Uh, I thinks I broke my dinosaur PC: I have an old 586/Win95 I tried to locate a 5.25 floppy drive for. I tried a couple used ones, and they all displayed the same symptom: they spun all the time. I removed them and gave up. Recently somebody asked in GQ about a hidden song in Windows95 (which I tried to find) and discovered that now the 3.5 floppy spins all the time, and is not accessible.
  • I have two different cables to try, and I tried resetting the BIOS and even using autodetect. I also tried the 5.25’s in my other two PC’s(~4yr-old Acer and new me-built T-Bird1200) and though all the 5.25’s gave the same symptoms, neither of the newer PC’s were damaged in any way.
  • I’m thinking that if the first (bad) 5.25-drive shorted the dinosaur’s mobo, then that would explain things. The only other 3.5-drive I have that I might be able to try in it is buried behind one hundred brackets and wires in the Satanic Acer Aspire (which I am loathe to take apart for a few different reasons). I could just go buy another 3.5 floppy, but the thing is, this mobo is a socket-3: the couple I did find online (at Computer Surplus Outlet) cost about what a new floppy drive would anyway. My only complaint is that the current board is a screamin’ 120 Mhz, and I can only find 100’s -if that’s what the “100Mhz” refers to.
  • Is there anything else I can check before buying any replacement parts?
  • Does anybdy know of anywhere else that sells new or refurb/closeout stuff this old? - DougC

Did you make sure you connected the cable correctly?

I always have the hardest time remembering which way is correct. They get twisted the wrong way, and one of the symptoms of this problem is a drive that sounds like it’s always spinning.

If the drive light comes on and stays on as soon as your turn on the computer, it’s almost certainly becuase you have the cable reversed. Easy mistake.

      • The cable on the floppy goes the other way of the others! -with #1 on the opposite side, that is…(grrrrr) -the cable and sockets are such that there’s no orientation tab.
  • Also, behold! The 5.25’s read! Now I can play Paperboy!!! (That was the big floppy the shop tossed in with the free 5.25 drives) -They still spin all the time tho’. A technical type says to do surgery, and replace the LED that is used to find the indexing hole. I already ruined one trying to get the old LED out of the little fancy plastic bracket that holds it; they put the things together to make this difficult, it appears… - DougC