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Can I get a 5 1/4 floppy disc drive to work under Windows XP? Answered

I have a 5 1/4 which appears to be OK, I think I configured it through BIOS and Windows seemed to pick it up, but it wouldn't recognise it past that. I think that XP just doesn't handle this obsolete format, but I don't know. And if you're wondering: "because it's something I want to do" L



8 years ago

Good luck finding floppies. Find a old copy of Win. Or better yet buy a USB drive.

I've got floppies and the drive. L

Do you have Sp3? XP may not support the floppies anymore.

I'll plug the thing back in at the weekend and re-iterate the problem, with details thanks for the suggestion L

my computer and your family computers were both xp and they had floppies and they worked

It does support floppies, or it doesn't. I may have to plug it back in again to get the correct error-message L


9 years ago

XP has no issues with a 5 1/4 inch floppy drive. The problems come about with the Mother board and Supporting hardware. Most "socket 7" type Mother boards will support card slots for 8 and 16 Bit IDE cards with usually 1 or 2 slots for PCI (video cards) some "newer" INTEL Boards for the "Socket 7" series will have as many as 4 IDE and 4 PCI. As you move through the "technology" going from the Socket 7 boards (486, 486DX and SX) through PII supported boards you can add a 16 Bit or 8 Bit card to its fitted slot. Few of the original 5 1/4 had a 40 pin IDE "Channel" on the MB. So if you have a older MB with enough Ram say up to a PII and loaded windows XP it will work fine. If you trying to use the 5 1/4 on a newer MB and standard cable for the IDE Channel it won't work. The first thing is you have to reverse the cable on one end from whats plugged into the MB. In other words Pin one on the MB will be the top left pin of the IDE Channel but lower last pin on the Floppy itself or, visa vera. Once you get the Cable correct (and correct cable as they are not all te same) XP should find it with No Problems

The BIOS supports the floppy, so I presume the board does also. I can get XP to recognise it but it won't read. The drive could be defective, but I don't really have any (other) way of testing it. Thanks for the comment, it's something to think about and maybe I should plug it back in again. L

I've just been searching some more and it seems the IDE floppy connector uses a different standard for 5 1/4 (Cable still the same style) from what I have read. Good luck , hope you find a way!

Thanks. I was almost there, but Windows didn't want to read the drive. I should plug it back in and get some details (but I don't know were I stashed the floppies...) L

If Windows won't recognize it (which is possible, those drives are ancient), then you could boot a Linux live CD which most certainly will. Copy your data off your disks, then boot back into Windows to use your data. This may be the path of least resistance, since trying to hack in old or third party drivers is a pain.