Win98/2K floppies won't open in XP?

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by Kenny, Oct 21, 2003.

  1. Kenny

    Kenny Guest

    College uses both Win2K and XP. Some fellow students use Win98 at home or
    work. What's happening on a fairly regular basis is that files saved to
    floppy using Win98 or 2K can't be opened in XP. Get the message "the disc's
    not formatted, would you like to format it?" Doesn't seem to matter what
    type the files are, it won't open the floppy at all. I seem to remember
    reading about this in these groups but can't remember the solution if there
    was one, does anyone know?
    Kenny, Oct 21, 2003
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  2. Kenny

    Spajky Guest

    if the fDs were formated for higher capacity than 1,44Mb (for example
    for 1,7Mb) XP will not be able to red it !!!

    -- Regards, SPAJKY
    & visit site -
    Celly-III OC-ed,"Tualatin on BX-Slot1-MoBo!"
    E-mail AntiSpam: remove ##
    Spajky, Oct 22, 2003
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  3. Kenny

    Kenny Guest

    Kenny, Oct 22, 2003
  4. Kenny

    Thor Guest

    Thor, Oct 22, 2003
  5. Kenny

    Kenny Guest

    Kenny, Oct 22, 2003
  6. Kenny

    Plato Guest

    A standard feature of XP. There is NOTHING wrong with your disks or PCs.

    XP is designed/engineered to use 1.44s formatted with XP.
    Plato, Oct 23, 2003
  7. Kenny

    Thor Guest

    oddly enough, I've yet to encounter that bug. Lucky, I guess.

    Thor, Oct 23, 2003
  8. Kenny

    Plato Guest

    As with many "bugs", it's not "experienced" all the time on all pcs.
    Sort of like how new versions of AOL can phark many PCs but not others I
    Plato, Oct 24, 2003
  9. Kenny

    Kenny Guest

    Someone sent me this but I can't find the site it's taken from so just
    posting in full.

    "At our school we are having all the floppy problems mentioned in this NG.
    The only one that is 100% reproducable is this: take a floppy, format it in
    Win9x, and put files on it. Stick it in an XP PC and select "Copy Disk"
    from the A: drive context menu. We get errors nearly 100% of the time. I
    found the following fix at:
    ..1 posted by someone called cluberti. The drivers he mentions work, but
    they leave a phantom B: 5.25 drive that needs to be disabled.
    I looked at everything I could find, and everything technically SHOULD be
    the same in the way Windows 98 and Windows XP format and access floppy
    diskettes (FAT12, 512bytes/sector, etc). And what did I find? As usual,
    things have changed (and you wouldn't know it unless you dug deep). The
    following is what I found (and how I fixed it - get this information OUT

    After beating my head against the wall for a few weeks and polling everyone
    I knew personally that was running Windows XP, I found that quite a few of
    us had this problem - format and/or use a floppy in XP, it doesn't work in
    Win98 (and sometimes Windows 2000 too). Format and/or use a floppy in
    Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, or 2000, it no longer works in XP (even if it worked
    before). It seemed that the brand name PC's had this problem less
    frequently than a white box machine, but they were not immune either -
    especially Compaq PC's. So, I dug around google groups for a while, and
    found LOTS of people complaining of this particular problem. However, quite
    a few searches on Microsoft's site about floppies, corruption, and Windows
    XP turned up absolutely nothing of value.

    After LOTS of digging, I did find this interesting Microsoft Q article
    (;en-us;Q309623) that I had
    originally perused and thought of no use. I read it again, very CAREFULLY,
    and read it over a few times more to make sure what I was reading was really
    there. If you're interested, read it in all it's glory on the Microsoft
    site and be amazed - then come back (open a new tab or window! :O) here for
    the fix.

    For those of you not inclined to visit (and you know who you
    are ;O), here's the interesting tidbit (and the root of the problem):

    "Windows XP supports formatting only the 1.44MB disk format. Three-mode
    floppy drives (drives that are capable of reading/writing with 720KB, 1.2MB
    and 1.44MB 3.5" disks) requires special driver support, and support for this
    feature is not included in Windows XP.

    Some 3mode FD drivers may be installed on PCs with Windows XP by OEMs,
    although Microsoft does not provide the end-user support for 3mode drivers.
    Please contact your OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) if you have any
    questions on 3mode drivers."

    Why did they remove something that every other version of Windows has? I
    don't know either. Nonetheless, support is gone in the Microsoft floppy
    driver for Windows XP.

    Now, I have two white box PC's - one with a Mitsumi floppy and one with a
    Sony floppy disk drive. Both drives support reading/writing/formatting of
    720K, 1.2MB and 1.44MB floppies (hence "3mode" floppy). Notice in the Q
    article that if the drive supports formatting of anything more than 1.44MB
    floppies, it isn't supported! Since *most* floppy disk drives from Japanese
    vendors (Sony, Mitsumi, etc) are 3 mode, does this mean a lot of people will
    be in the same boat? It appears so.

    It so happens that my 2 machines were running Windows XP Pro - as previously
    stated, one has a Mitsumi floppy, and one has a Sony floppy. Both were quad
    booting, running Debian Linux (Woody), Windows 98 SE, Windows 2000 (one has
    SP2, one has SP3), and Windows XP Professional (one has SP1, one does not).
    Both PC's were basically identical in software loads, and both PC's had the
    same problem; XP wouldn't read a floppy diskette formatted in Linux or
    Win98, and Linux and Win98 were running ON THE SAME MACHINE. I could format
    the floppy to 1.44MB in Windows XP, but then I couldn't read it in Win98
    (Linux would read the floppy); swapping formatted floppies amongst machines
    produced the same results. This meant that it wasn't a hardware problem, it
    was an XP problem - more specifically, a driver problem.

    So I went looking for a 3mode floppy driver. First, I tried the Windows
    2000 stock floppy driver. No go. I tried the Windows ME floppy driver.
    Again, no go. I tried the Windows 98 floppy driver. Nada.

    It took me a day or two more, but I found one at
    This driver is for Windows XP Embedded, but works just fine in Windows XP.
    I had to force the driver in (Windows XP wouldn't take it using the normal
    driver update process), but I now have no problems with my floppy drive. I
    suggest you download this before they pull it in violation of the DMCA or
    something ;O)

    Here's the link to the driver:

    And here are the steps necessary to install it (make sure there isn't a
    floppy disk in the drive!):

    1. Download driver.

    2. Unzip the driver somewhere (I keep all of my drivers in
    C:\Drivers\<Driver>, so I extracted it to C:\Drivers\3mode).

    3. Open Windows XP's Device Manager, expand the "Floppy disk controllers"
    heading, and double-click the listing for "Standard floppy disk controller".

    4. Click the "Driver" tab, then click the "Update Driver" button.

    5. Select the "Install from a list or specific location" radio button and
    click the "Next" button.

    6. Select the "Don't search. I will choose the driver to install." radio
    button and click the "Next" button.

    7. Click the "Have Disk" button; then, click the "Browse" button. Browse to
    the location that you extracted the files to in step 2 and double click the
    "VIA3MFPY.INF" file. Then, click the "OK" button.

    8. You should now have "VIA 3-mode floppy controller" highlighted in the
    drivers list. Click the "Next" button to begin the driver file copy. Once
    the file copy is complete, your floppy disk drive will access 3 times
    (checking all 3 "modes"). This is normal. Click the "Finish" button when
    the driver installation is complete.

    9a. You may, or may not, have a device labeled "Unknown Device" in the
    "Other Devices" heading in Device Manager. If so, continue with step 9a.
    If not, skip to step 9b. If you have a device labeled "Unknown Device" in
    the "Other Devices" heading in Device Manager, right-click on it and select
    "Update Driver". Follow steps 5 through 8 to complete the installation of
    "Floppy disk drive" (note that the naming of the driver in the drivers list
    in step 8 may be different during this step - this is normal). Once you've
    clicked the "Finish" button, continue on to step 10.

    9b. If you do not have a device labeled "Unknown Device" in the "Other
    Devices" heading in Device Manager, expand the "Floppy disk drives" heading
    in Device Manager and double-click the listing for "Floppy disk drive".
    Follow steps 4 through 8 to complete the installation of "Floppy disk drive"
    (note that the naming of the driver in the drivers list in step 8 may be
    different during this step - this is normal). Once you've clicked the
    "Finish" button, continue on to step 10.

    10. Reboot your PC. This should let you know if all of your hard work
    REALLY paid off. Check the Device Manager one last time to be sure that you
    now have the "VIA 3-mode floppy controller listed under the "Floppy disk
    controllers" heading. Put a file on a floppy in Win98 (or another non-XP
    OS) and you should now be able to access it in Windows XP (and vice-versa)
    without issue. You made it!

    Pass this on!
    Kenny, Oct 24, 2003
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