VOGONS


First post, by infiniteclouds

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Will these work on Slot 1 motherboards? My 6BXC has a single floppy port on the board that currently runs the 3.5" 1.4mb drive. Can I run a 360KB, 1.2MB 5.25"s and the 1.4MB 3.5" all from this port with an appropriate cable or am I going to need a dedicated FDC expansion card?

Reply 1 of 18, by Deksor

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Yes.

Take a look at your BIOS, where you can configure which type of drive is A and which type of drive is B.

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Reply 3 of 18, by canthearu

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infiniteclouds wrote:

Will these work on Slot 1 motherboards? My 6BXC has a single floppy port on the board that currently runs the 3.5" 1.4mb drive. Can I run a 360KB, 1.2MB 5.25"s and the 1.4MB 3.5" all from this port with an appropriate cable or am I going to need a dedicated FDC expansion card?

Both drives can work on the single controller.

You will need a floppy cable with an appropriate edge connector to connect to the 5 1/4 inch drive.

The connectors before the twist are the B drive, the connectors after are the A drive.

Reply 4 of 18, by Errius

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He wants to run 3 drives in the same system. I don't know how to do that. Are there floppy controller cards that support 4 drives?

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Reply 5 of 18, by debs3759

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From a programmer's point of view, it is possible to have up to 4 floppy drives in a system, but I have never seen a controller that can take 4 FDD. I think you would need a dedicated controller for the third drive, but not sure how you could set it up in DOS or Windows, as they usually expect C drive to be the primary hard drive.

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Reply 6 of 18, by Errius

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A workaround I understand is to use a LS120 IDE drive for 3.5" floppies in addition to two standard 5.25" drives on the floppy controller. Has anyone done this? How do the drive letter assignments work?

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Reply 7 of 18, by Deksor

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A solution would be to find a 1.2MB disk drive that works fine with 360KB disks (for reading and writing). I know they exist because I have one. It formats 360KB disks perfectly and then my 8088's disk drive (that's definitely a 360KB disk drive) can perfectly read from it.

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Reply 8 of 18, by derSammler

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The original IBM PC was built with up to four floppy disk drives in mind. This is still possible in later systems e.g. by using an Adaptec 1542CF, which has a floppy controller that can be set to secondary, allowing two additional floppy disk drives. However, those become C: and D:, so you'll run into some other issues with that...

Reply 9 of 18, by Plasma

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Four-drive floppy controllers exist but aren't common. I bought one new years ago and still have it in my XT.

I would not use a 1.2MB drive for writing 360KB disks. The write head is narrower and the track width is different. But you can get away with it if you only use new disks that haven't been previously written with a 360K drive.

I am also using an LS120 setup like Errius describes. The 5.25" drives are A and B. The LS120 is D, unless you boot from it. Then it becomes A. An added bonus is that LS120 is about 4x faster than a regular floppy drive.

Reply 10 of 18, by Deksor

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Plasma wrote:

Four-drive floppy controllers exist but aren't common. I bought one new years ago and still have it in my XT.

I would not use a 1.2MB drive for writing 360KB disks. The write head is narrower and the track width is different. But you can get away with it if you only use new disks that haven't been previously written with a 360K drive.

I am also using an LS120 setup like Errius describes. The 5.25" drives are A and B. The LS120 is D, unless you boot from it. Then it becomes A. An added bonus is that LS120 is about 4x faster than a regular floppy drive.

This is true for most disk drives, but my drive seems to have both head types, or something like that ; allowing to read/write from 360KB disks perfectly

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Reply 11 of 18, by infiniteclouds

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Thanks for the replies everyone,

I would imagine that finding a 5.25" with both heads is exceptionally rare/expensive which is why I'm looking to just run 3 drives. I haven't seen a floppy cable that has more than the motherboard connector and a Drive A/B connector so I'm not sure how it would be possible. I would prefer to use the 3.5" 1.44mb that I already have installed but I suppose if that isn't possible the LS120s are very likely cheaper than any such rare 5.25" that is truly 360K/1.2MB compatible for writes.

Reply 12 of 18, by Deksor

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I don't know if they're rare actually, I think they are just undocumented as being able to fully utilize both standards.
So the drive in itself might not be rare, but the information of it being able to read/write both standards is.

But yeah at least you can spot an LS120 drive easily, while these drive don't look different from any other 5"1/4 drive.

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Reply 13 of 18, by infiniteclouds

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I think they are -- I mean there are drives like the Teac GFRs that actually claim to be 360K/1.2M read/write compatible but they still only have the 80 track head.

I suppose yet another option might be to get one of those 1.2MB/3.5" combo drives from TEAC or Epson -- they only have 1 edge connector so I'm not sure how they work exactly, though.

Reply 14 of 18, by Deksor

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They might have the twist inside, so that might not be a solution

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Reply 15 of 18, by Errius

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Those combo drives are seen by the BIOS as separate drives. Putting another drive on the cable won't work.

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Reply 16 of 18, by infiniteclouds

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Plasma wrote:

The 5.25" drives are A and B. The LS120 is D, unless you boot from it. Then it becomes A. An added bonus is that LS120 is about 4x faster than a regular floppy drive.

How do you boot from it? Also, are you able to make it the A drive by default? I prefer having the 3.5 floppies as the A:

Reply 17 of 18, by Plasma

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With the motherboard I am using (Supermicro H8SMI-2), the LS120 is treated similar to a CD drive. You can put it in the boot order. Booting from it is like booting from a CD-ROM with floppy emulation. When you do this, the drive appears as A: and the actually floppy drive at A is not available.

When booting DOS from a hard drive, the only way to make the LS120 drive A is to disable both real floppy drives. If you disable just one, the real floppy drive is always A and the LS120 is B. If you have two floppy drives enabled, they are A and B and you need a driver to make the LS120 accessible.

In Windows XP, no driver is required, but the LS120 is never A or B (D by default if you have one hard drive).

Reply 18 of 18, by infiniteclouds

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Being that the LS120 uses IDE interface has anyone ever tried using one in an XT machine with an XT-IDE card? Could you run a ribbon cable from such a card to both a hard drive (or CF adapter) *and* an LS120 I wonder?