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5.25 floppy drive problem

 
 
Jordon
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      03-20-2008
Fred Kasner wrote:
> This sounds like an archaic problem but here it goes. I ran across some
> old disks (5.25 floppies 1.2 MB) that contain some data and some
> programs that I really would like to save. Thus my problems began. I
> have two old puters in the closet but can't use the 5.25 inch drives to
> read the old disks. The old puters both have failed CMOS batteries
> (really cells not batteries) so the B: drives can't be enabled. In both
> cases the BIOS allows changing the specifics for the B: drives. But
> since there is no CMOS power the default kicks in when the BIOS is
> closed and boot-up continues. And the default is for no B: drive
> whatsoever. I even tried attaching the 5.25 drive to the A: drive
> controller. No joy. I suspect that getting a battery for the CMOS for
> these old Win 95 machines would be not only difficult but expensive for
> only a few dozen disks to copy to CDs or 3.5 floppies. These Intel boxes
> don't have any clearly labeled locations for the batteries in any event.
> I suspect the batteries are found in a clock chip but not labeled at
> all. If I can get the computer to boot up just once with the B: drive
> working I can create a Norton Utilities rescue disk that would solve the
> problem in the future (it would allow a boot that enabled the B: drive
> for future boots.) Hooking this thing via a network would be an awful
> solution since Win 95 was not exactly network friendly at best.
>
> Does anyone know of a solution? Possibly a source for an external 5.25
> floppy drive? A hardware tweak to get the built-in floppy drive to work?


An external USB floppy drive is cheap.

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philo
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      03-20-2008

"Lookout" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> On Thu, 20 Mar 2008 05:17:49 -0500, "philo" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
> >
> >"Fred Kasner" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> >news:NxiEj.20380$(E-Mail Removed) .net...
> >> Evan Platt wrote:
> >> > On Wed, 19 Mar 2008 22:06:41 GMT, Fred Kasner <(E-Mail Removed)>
> >> > wrote:
> >> >
> >> >> This sounds like an archaic problem but here it goes. I ran across

some
> >> >> old disks (5.25 floppies 1.2 MB) that contain some data and some
> >> >> programs that I really would like to save. Thus my problems began. I
> >> >> have two old puters in the closet but can't use the 5.25 inch drives

to
> >> >> read the old disks. The old puters both have failed CMOS batteries
> >> >> (really cells not batteries) so the B: drives can't be enabled. In

both
> >> >> cases the BIOS allows changing the specifics for the B: drives. But
> >> >> since there is no CMOS power the default kicks in when the BIOS is
> >> >> closed and boot-up continues. And the default is for no B: drive
> >> >> whatsoever. I even tried attaching the 5.25 drive to the A: drive
> >> >> controller. No joy. I suspect that getting a battery for the CMOS

for
> >> >> these old Win 95 machines would be not only difficult but expensive

for
> >> >> only a few dozen disks to copy to CDs or 3.5 floppies. These Intel

> >boxes
> >> >> don't have any clearly labeled locations for the batteries in any

> >event.
> >> >> I suspect the batteries are found in a clock chip but not labeled at
> >> >> all. If I can get the computer to boot up just once with the B:

drive
> >> >> working I can create a Norton Utilities rescue disk that would solve

> >the
> >> >> problem in the future (it would allow a boot that enabled the B:

drive
> >> >> for future boots.) Hooking this thing via a network would be an

awful
> >> >> solution since Win 95 was not exactly network friendly at best.
> >> >>
> >> >> Does anyone know of a solution? Possibly a source for an external

5.25
> >> >> floppy drive? A hardware tweak to get the built-in floppy drive to

> >work?
> >> >
> >> > Take the drive out of the old computer. Put it in the new computer.
> >>
> >> Not even sure that a new computer (I have three that are running XP)
> >> would recognize a 5.25 drive. Worse yet none of them have space for a
> >> second floppy drive other than an A: that is 3.5 inch.
> >> FK

> >
> >
> >Most new machines still have a bios option for a 5.25 floppy
> >
> >Check that first...and if it does, you can just make a temporary hookup
> >by removing your DVD drive and putting it there. Or as someone else
> >suggested...just let it lie loose on your desk.
> >
> >Also note that the A: drive is always going to be the drive *after* the
> >cable twist
> >and B: drive will be the one closer to the motherboard
> >

> Nice hint! That's something those of us who have played in boxes for
> years take for granted.


Heh!

My workbench machine has one of those dual 3.5 /5.25" floppy drives.
Just as recently as last year I had to retrieve data from a 286 ...
Just transferred the data over on 5.25" floppies!


 
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philo
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      03-20-2008

"elaich" <|@|.|> wrote in message news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> Fred Kasner <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in news:hviEj.20379$Ch6.8752
> @newssvr11.news.prodigy.net:
>
> > If I had been able to establish where the battery was I would have
> > replaced the battery or soldered an external dry cell to the terminals.

>
> It's usually easy to recognize those by looking at the board. It will
> usually be near where the power supply cables plug in, and will have plus
> and minus signs next to it's leads. It will also probably look like a
> normal computer battery with leads soldered on.



Unless it's one of those Dallas cmos modules...
they are usually potted...but some of them can be opened with a jackknife
and a new battery soldered to the leads and mounted externally.
I think it would be easier to put the 5.25" floppy in the newer machine!


 
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Star@*.*
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Posts: n/a
 
      03-20-2008
On Thu, 20 Mar 2008 12:35:32 -0700, Jordon
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>Fred Kasner wrote:
>> This sounds like an archaic problem but here it goes. I ran across some
>> old disks (5.25 floppies 1.2 MB) that contain some data and some
>> programs that I really would like to save. Thus my problems began. I
>> have two old puters in the closet but can't use the 5.25 inch drives to
>> read the old disks. The old puters both have failed CMOS batteries
>> (really cells not batteries) so the B: drives can't be enabled. In both
>> cases the BIOS allows changing the specifics for the B: drives. But
>> since there is no CMOS power the default kicks in when the BIOS is
>> closed and boot-up continues. And the default is for no B: drive
>> whatsoever. I even tried attaching the 5.25 drive to the A: drive
>> controller. No joy. I suspect that getting a battery for the CMOS for
>> these old Win 95 machines would be not only difficult but expensive for
>> only a few dozen disks to copy to CDs or 3.5 floppies. These Intel boxes
>> don't have any clearly labeled locations for the batteries in any event.
>> I suspect the batteries are found in a clock chip but not labeled at
>> all. If I can get the computer to boot up just once with the B: drive
>> working I can create a Norton Utilities rescue disk that would solve the
>> problem in the future (it would allow a boot that enabled the B: drive
>> for future boots.) Hooking this thing via a network would be an awful
>> solution since Win 95 was not exactly network friendly at best.
>>
>> Does anyone know of a solution? Possibly a source for an external 5.25
>> floppy drive? A hardware tweak to get the built-in floppy drive to work?

>
>An external USB floppy drive is cheap.


An external 5.25 floppy?? Win 95 + USB ??

Art

 
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Fred Kasner
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Posts: n/a
 
      03-21-2008
Lookout wrote:
> On Wed, 19 Mar 2008 22:06:41 GMT, Fred Kasner <(E-Mail Removed)>
> wrote:
>
>> This sounds like an archaic problem but here it goes. I ran across some
>> old disks (5.25 floppies 1.2 MB) that contain some data and some
>> programs that I really would like to save. Thus my problems began. I
>> have two old puters in the closet but can't use the 5.25 inch drives to
>> read the old disks. The old puters both have failed CMOS batteries
>> (really cells not batteries) so the B: drives can't be enabled. In both
>> cases the BIOS allows changing the specifics for the B: drives. But
>> since there is no CMOS power the default kicks in when the BIOS is
>> closed and boot-up continues. And the default is for no B: drive
>> whatsoever. I even tried attaching the 5.25 drive to the A: drive
>> controller. No joy. I suspect that getting a battery for the CMOS for
>> these old Win 95 machines would be not only difficult but expensive for
>> only a few dozen disks to copy to CDs or 3.5 floppies. These Intel boxes
>> don't have any clearly labeled locations for the batteries in any event.
>> I suspect the batteries are found in a clock chip but not labeled at
>> all. If I can get the computer to boot up just once with the B: drive
>> working I can create a Norton Utilities rescue disk that would solve the
>> problem in the future (it would allow a boot that enabled the B: drive
>> for future boots.) Hooking this thing via a network would be an awful
>> solution since Win 95 was not exactly network friendly at best.
>>
>> Does anyone know of a solution? Possibly a source for an external 5.25
>> floppy drive? A hardware tweak to get the built-in floppy drive to work?
>> TIA.
>> FK

>
> You're local library?


Their machines are not old. And they don't have 5.25 inch drives.
FK
 
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Fred Kasner
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      03-21-2008
elaich wrote:
> Fred Kasner <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in news:hviEj.20379$Ch6.8752
> @newssvr11.news.prodigy.net:
>
>> If I had been able to establish where the battery was I would have
>> replaced the battery or soldered an external dry cell to the terminals.

>
> It's usually easy to recognize those by looking at the board. It will
> usually be near where the power supply cables plug in, and will have plus
> and minus signs next to it's leads. It will also probably look like a
> normal computer battery with leads soldered on.


None such on my two old computers. One small black box on one looks like
it might be one of those old clock chips with a battery in it. I'll have
to pull that one and examine it. Nothing else similar to your reference.
FK
 
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Fred Kasner
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      03-21-2008
thanatoid wrote:
> Fred Kasner <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in
> news:R7gEj.18975$(E-Mail Removed) et:
>
> 1.
> Some older computers don't have button cell lithium batts, they
> have a little black/red rectangular thing which (AFAIK) provides
> the same voltage (marked in any case). I find it hard to believe
> you can't find the battery ANYWHERE. If it's there, it CAN be
> found.
>
> 2.
> I have a low-profile 486/66 HP Vectra which only had room for
> one floppy (and the HD inside). A few minutes with a few tools
> and a CD drive is sitting on top of the case with the wires
> coming out through a small rectangular foamy rubber sleeve dust
> trap. No problem.
>
> Since you are just going to COPY a few things, who CARES /where/
> the drive is? Put a cardboard box or a few heavy books for
> support next to the open computer cases (some wires tend to be
> short), put the 5.25 drive on the support device, make sure it
> won't fall off, connect the floppy cables and go.
>
> 3.
> If 1 or 2 doesn't work, take out the 5.25 drive and go find a 8+
> year old working computer with a 3.5 or CD-R drive (I will bet
> there are a several dozen in various places less a 10 minute
> drive from your house). Connect as described in 2 and make your
> copies.
>
>


I'm afraid you didn't follow what I said about both puters. They both
have connections for an A drive (3.5 inch 1.44 MB) and a B drive (5.25
inch 1.2 MB in one case and 360 KB in the other case.) So it is not a
question of connection. It is a question of getting the computer to
recognize the B drive. The default in the BIOS shows no B drive
connected. You can change that or even change the A drive to be a 5.25
inch 1.2 MB or 360 KB drive. But since there is no battery for the CMOS
when the computer boots it insists in using the default settings of the
BIOS not the ones you created as a change. So it boots recognizes A as
only a 3.5 inch 1.44 MB and does not recognize the B drive at all. That
is the gist of the problem. I presume if I can run down a battery the
CMOS will hold the changed settings I put in the BIOS and the computer
will boot properly and recognize the 5.25 inch B drive. It is nothing
that I do that causes this problem. I've tried putting the 5.25 inch
drive on the cable alone to be recognized as the A drive but the default
BIOS settings won't read it as such it insists that what should be
there is a 3.5 inch 1.44 MB drive.
FK
 
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Fred Kasner
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      03-21-2008
philo wrote:
> "Fred Kasner" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:NxiEj.20380$(E-Mail Removed). net...
>> Evan Platt wrote:
>>> On Wed, 19 Mar 2008 22:06:41 GMT, Fred Kasner <(E-Mail Removed)>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>> This sounds like an archaic problem but here it goes. I ran across some
>>>> old disks (5.25 floppies 1.2 MB) that contain some data and some
>>>> programs that I really would like to save. Thus my problems began. I
>>>> have two old puters in the closet but can't use the 5.25 inch drives to
>>>> read the old disks. The old puters both have failed CMOS batteries
>>>> (really cells not batteries) so the B: drives can't be enabled. In both
>>>> cases the BIOS allows changing the specifics for the B: drives. But
>>>> since there is no CMOS power the default kicks in when the BIOS is
>>>> closed and boot-up continues. And the default is for no B: drive
>>>> whatsoever. I even tried attaching the 5.25 drive to the A: drive
>>>> controller. No joy. I suspect that getting a battery for the CMOS for
>>>> these old Win 95 machines would be not only difficult but expensive for
>>>> only a few dozen disks to copy to CDs or 3.5 floppies. These Intel

> boxes
>>>> don't have any clearly labeled locations for the batteries in any

> event.
>>>> I suspect the batteries are found in a clock chip but not labeled at
>>>> all. If I can get the computer to boot up just once with the B: drive
>>>> working I can create a Norton Utilities rescue disk that would solve

> the
>>>> problem in the future (it would allow a boot that enabled the B: drive
>>>> for future boots.) Hooking this thing via a network would be an awful
>>>> solution since Win 95 was not exactly network friendly at best.
>>>>
>>>> Does anyone know of a solution? Possibly a source for an external 5.25
>>>> floppy drive? A hardware tweak to get the built-in floppy drive to

> work?
>>> Take the drive out of the old computer. Put it in the new computer.

>> Not even sure that a new computer (I have three that are running XP)
>> would recognize a 5.25 drive. Worse yet none of them have space for a
>> second floppy drive other than an A: that is 3.5 inch.
>> FK

>
>
> Most new machines still have a bios option for a 5.25 floppy
>
> Check that first...and if it does, you can just make a temporary hookup
> by removing your DVD drive and putting it there. Or as someone else
> suggested...just let it lie loose on your desk.
>
> Also note that the A: drive is always going to be the drive *after* the
> cable twist
> and B: drive will be the one closer to the motherboard
>
>


I'll give it a try with one older puter that is running XP Home and is
not essential to the network if taken off line. I'll check to see if the
there is a setting for a B drive and if it can be set to 5.25 1.2 MB.
The only problem might be the cable. Likely enough that it may not have
two connectors but only one for the A drive. This sounds about the most
promising advice I've received.
FK
 
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Fred Kasner
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      03-21-2008
robroy wrote:
> "Fred Kasner" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:R7gEj.18975$(E-Mail Removed) et...
>> Does anyone know of a solution?

>
>
> At the risk of stating the absolutely bleedin' obvious, you need to ask
> around your friends and acqaintances and find someone who's got an operating
> computer with both a 5.25 floppy drive and some other drive that's
> compatible with something you've got.
>
> The dusty old computer shop down at the bottom of the shopping mall car park
> run by the old Chinese guy has probably got one, and he doesn't charge much.
>
>


Actually I have that as a fallback. My friend about a 10 minute drive
away has two working old computers that have 5.25 inch drives on them.
But I wanted a procedure that worked with my equipment since a have
almost a thousand old 5.25 inch stuff with lots of science programs
(freeware and stuff I wrote) some of which will be worth salvaging. It
is crucial to get a couple of dozen of these that I suddenly need and
don't want to rewrite. It is a matter of running this ancient drive for
a couple of days and then back to it slowly rusting away.
FK
 
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Fred Kasner
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      03-21-2008
Ben Myers wrote:
> "Fred Kasner" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message news:R7gEj.18975$(E-Mail Removed) et...
>> This sounds like an archaic problem but here it goes. I ran across some
>> old disks (5.25 floppies 1.2 MB) that contain some data and some
>> programs that I really would like to save. Thus my problems began. I
>> have two old puters in the closet but can't use the 5.25 inch drives to
>> read the old disks. The old puters both have failed CMOS batteries
>> (really cells not batteries) so the B: drives can't be enabled. In both
>> cases the BIOS allows changing the specifics for the B: drives. But
>> since there is no CMOS power the default kicks in when the BIOS is
>> closed and boot-up continues. And the default is for no B: drive
>> whatsoever. I even tried attaching the 5.25 drive to the A: drive
>> controller. No joy. I suspect that getting a battery for the CMOS for
>> these old Win 95 machines would be not only difficult but expensive for
>> only a few dozen disks to copy to CDs or 3.5 floppies. These Intel boxes
>> don't have any clearly labeled locations for the batteries in any event.
>> I suspect the batteries are found in a clock chip but not labeled at
>> all. If I can get the computer to boot up just once with the B: drive
>> working I can create a Norton Utilities rescue disk that would solve the
>> problem in the future (it would allow a boot that enabled the B: drive
>> for future boots.) Hooking this thing via a network would be an awful
>> solution since Win 95 was not exactly network friendly at best.
>> Does anyone know of a solution? Possibly a source for an external 5.25
>> floppy drive? A hardware tweak to get the built-in floppy drive to work?

>
> Please repost with more information, including the procedure you are
> using to save the new BIOS setting and the exact error message you
> are getting afterwards.
>
> Ben


First properly attach the 5.25 drive to the controller cable. Boot the
computer. It fails to complete the boot unless you hit "delete" or F1.
The latter finishes the boot but the B: drive is not recognized. (It is
using the default BIOS settings automatically and the default BIOS
settings shows no B drive attached.) If you instead hit "delete" key you
enter the BIOS and can set the B setting that shows nothing attached to
the 5.25 inch 360 KB or 1.2 MB depending on which one of my old 5.25
inch drives I have installed in that box. No problem associated with
that. Next strike the keys that supposedly save the revised BIOS
settings to the CMOS. Close the BIOS and nothing visible happens until
you respond to the requirement that you strike the F1 key to finish the
boot up. Now the computer complains that there is no battery and the
CMOS can't be read so it envokes the default BIOS settings (back to the
default that says there is no B drive)and finishes the boot. Computer
cannot access the B drive at this point.

If you install the 5.25 inch drive on the cable where the A drive should
be and set the BIOS to have the A drive set for a 5.25 inch drive 1.2 MB
the above process goes the same as before. However you can attempt to
call the A drive (with its 5.25 inch drive) - the light goes on - but it
doesn't recognize the drive. Why because the default BIOS has been
installed automatically and that says the drive is a 3.5 inch 1.44 MB drive.

No informative error messages save the one that always comes up when the
suspended boot resumes and it finds no powered CMOS and so calls the
default BIOS.

FK
 
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