VOGONS


First post, by Planet-Dune

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

I am trying to get both my 1.44 diskette drive and floppy drive (I think it is a 360kb) to work in the same system. I never actually did this before. I just connected the floppy ribbon cable from the controller card to both drives and attach power to both. The floppy drive is first on the cable followed by the diskette which uses the very last connection.

I noticed when the PC boots both lights (both drives) go on exactly at the same moment and go out exactly at the same moment. Once booted I only have a "A" drive. When I try to access it it again seems to try to read from both drives at the same time. Both lights again go on. After a while it gives me an error it cannot read.

I have a feeling both drives work and I am doing something "stupid" because of lack of experience.

Last edited by Planet-Dune on 2020-03-24, 23:09. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 2 of 15, by aha2940

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
Planet-Dune wrote on 2020-03-24, 22:32:

I am trying to get both my 1.44 diskette drive and floppy drive (I think it is a 320kb) to work in the same system. I never actually did this before. I just connected the floppy ribbon cable from the controller card to both drives and attach power to both. The floppy drive is first on the cable followed by the diskette which uses the very last connection.

I noticed when the PC boots both lights (both drives) go on exactly at the same moment and go out exactly at the same moment. Once booted I only have a "A" drive. When I try to access it it again seems to try to read from both drives at the same time. Both lights again go on. After a while it gives me an error it cannot read.

I have a feeling both drives work and I am doing something "stupid" because of lack of experience.

To use two floppy drives on the same PC, you require having a cable that has a connector for each floppy (which you seem to have), however the cable must have a twist in the middle, like 5 of the cables that are twisted on the end of the cable. That twist goes to drive A: and the untwisted connector (if any) goes to B:. If your cable does not have an untwisted connector, then it supports a single drive only. More information here: http://www.interfacebus.com/PC_Floppy_Drive_PinOut.html

Reply 3 of 15, by Planet-Dune

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

I went and checked, the cable goes as follow, when I say "IDE" I mean one of those connections that go in diskette drives, when I say floppy I mean the bigger bulkier connection for floppy drives.

Motherboard -> IDE -> Floppy (Attached to my 360kb drive) -> Twist in cable -> IDE (Attached to my 1.44 drive) -> Floppy

So my floppy is on the 2nd connection (first unused), followed by the twist, followed by my diskette on the 3rd connection and then the last connection (which is floppy again) goes unused.

Reply 4 of 15, by Horun

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Sounds like one of the drives has the DS jumpered wrong (probably the 5.25" drive). They should both be set as DS1, that way the twist makes the 3.5" DS0 or "A" and the 5.25" will be DS1 or "B" drive.

Hate posting a reply and have to edit it because it made no sense 😁 First computer was an IBM 3270 workstation with CGA monitor. 🤣 Second computer a 286 12Mhz with real IDE drive ! After that came 386, 486, Pentium, P.Pro and everything after....

Reply 5 of 15, by Planet-Dune

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
Horun wrote on 2020-03-24, 23:43:

Sounds like one of the drives has the DS jumpered wrong (probably the 5.25" drive). They should both be set as DS1, that way the twist makes the 3.5" DS0 or "A" and the 5.25" will be DS1 or "B" drive.

Ill have a look into this tomorrow, I did not touch any of this sort.

Reply 6 of 15, by maxtherabbit

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

it would really help if you used the correct terminology - both 3.5" and 5.25" diskette drives are "floppy drives" and none of them use an IDE cable

the older 5.25" use a 34-pin edge connector, and the newer ones use a 34-pin 0.100" pitch pin header - both of them IDC (Insulation Displacement Connector) and both of them electrically the same pinout

Reply 7 of 15, by Jo22

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++
maxtherabbit wrote on 2020-03-25, 00:59:

it would really help if you used the correct terminology - both 3.5" and 5.25" diskette drives are "floppy drives" and none of them use an IDE cable

You'd be surprised how often even computer "experts" in modern forums claim/believe that floppy drives used to be connected through IDE.. 🙄
- In fact, they not seldomly also alternatively give the advise to get an PCI Floppy controller (which doesn't exist, except for Catweasel type of controllers, since ISA signals are usually required)..
As if that wasn't worse enough, some people also repeatingly get the glorious idea of disassembling an USB floppy drive and afterwards "somehow" attaching their 5,25" drive to it.
(Edit: To be fair, I was among of them. But I quickly figured out that these USB FDC controllers nolonger interface with a normal 1,44MB drive, even. It's some custom stuff by now.)

Edit: I did forget/my statement was incomplete. There are or rather were also rare exceptions to this.
ZIP drives and LS120 (gen 1) did connect through IDE. But they had special support through drivers or BIOS and are not quite industry standard floppy drives.

Last edited by Jo22 on 2020-03-25, 03:55. Edited 1 time in total.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 8 of 15, by kool kitty89

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

And they're both called floppy disks because they use the same (general) thin magnetic film disc to store data. Some are just softer-shelled than others. That's in contrast to solid magnetic platters that were used for data storage both before and after the introduction of floppies. (and there were those huge removable, or machine-loaded mainframe style magnetic platters, too)

5 1/4" disk are 'diskettes' as well, and supposedly that's why it's spelled disk and not disc (short for diskette). I'm pretty sure 8" floppy disks were never called diskettes, but I could be wrong there too.

Though that makes me wonder if magnetic platter storage was referred to as 'disc' rather than 'disk' at some point. (obviously hard disk drives adopted the K spelling following floppies)

More to the point: the 'twist' referred to above appears to be swapping around half (or roughly so) the connections between the edge connector and pin connector portions of the cable. In mine, it's done right before connecting to the pin connector end (floppy cable runs to the edge connector, then continues before getting split into 2 chunks and swapped/overlapped before connecting up to the pin connector socket)

A single-drive cable might have one of each style connector to be universal, but cables with that twist and 2 of the same connector type or 3 or 4 connectors of mixed types would be for 2 drives.

Like: http://209.68.14.80/ref/fdd/confCable-c.html
https://www.polyplay.xyz/Connection-Cable-for … rives-FDD-cable

I swear there are some 5.25" drives around that use the newer pin block style connector, probably all 1.2MB ones, and I'm sure some of the dual 3.5+5.25" combo drives use those. (I forget if those act as single drives or can use both simultaneously, or either depending on the specific model ... some might have 2 connectors out the back, but I think they'd just need one connection with a complete pinout to support both)

And for folks new to this stuff, there's several other connectors that look superficially similar to floppy and IDE connectors, including 50-pin SCSI and a variety of proprietary or semi-proprietary CD-ROM interfaces. There may also be a reduced pin count 8-bit IDE variant of the connector, but I'm not sure about that.

Reply 9 of 15, by Planet-Dune

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
Horun wrote on 2020-03-24, 23:43:

Sounds like one of the drives has the DS jumpered wrong (probably the 5.25" drive). They should both be set as DS1, that way the twist makes the 3.5" DS0 or "A" and the 5.25" will be DS1 or "B" drive.

I checked and do not see any jumpers. Am I missing something? Should I start to de assemble it to find this jumper?

Attachments

Reply 10 of 15, by Planet-Dune

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

I found jumpers!! Bit hard to reach but they are there. I believe it was on DF2. I changed it to DF1. It also has a jumper in something labbeled "Term". And another two jumpers further down the grid but cant really read what is on there... the metal shield is in the way.. I think I can make out MS.. going to test now.

EDIT:
It works!!!! I had to also remove the term jumper. The bios auto adds it as a 1.2mb drive, does that mean it is not a 360kb or is that just default info?

Thanks a lot for the help everyone, especially the jumper issue!

Reply 11 of 15, by Horun

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
Planet-Dune wrote on 2020-03-25, 19:54:

It works!!!! I had to also remove the term jumper. The bios auto adds it as a 1.2mb drive, does that mean it is not a 360kb or is that just default info?

Thanks a lot for the help everyone, especially the jumper issue!

Great ! Yes sometimes the jumpers are hidden under the thin metal shield so you have to remove it to change or check them.
According to the specs: Yes the Chinon FZ-506 is a HD 5.25" floppy drive so 1.2Mb.

Hate posting a reply and have to edit it because it made no sense 😁 First computer was an IBM 3270 workstation with CGA monitor. 🤣 Second computer a 286 12Mhz with real IDE drive ! After that came 386, 486, Pentium, P.Pro and everything after....

Reply 12 of 15, by kool kitty89

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

I also didn't realize that the 1.2 MB 5.25" HD floppy format had become standard (or more or less superfluous) well before 1.44 MB 3.5" drives were common enough to be considered universal. And that at one point (I think around 1989 into the first couple years of the 90s) the 5.25" HD format was more the de-facto PC/clone standard than 3.5" ... or at least 360k 5.25" disks were obsolete and not generally catered to and 720kB 3.5" disks were more commonly used for cross-compatibility of systems with any capacity 3.5" drive.

Maybe it's that the PC/AT compatible/clone market was bigger and more successful than IBM's own PS/2 platform and compatibles.

And maybe the industry was trying to kill off the 360kB 40 track 5.25" format more quickly than the 720k 3.5" one given the cost and inconvenience of using many disks for larger programs and (I think) there being greater incompatibility between 40 and 80 track drives/heads than with 80 track drives with different density support.

I've seen conflicting info on vogons and elsewhere online, but I'm pretty sure it's possible to have a 1.44 MB capable drive that's also capable of reliably writing to DD 720kB disks, or close enough to get away with it in many cases. (where 80 track 5.25" drives have physically narrower heads and write narrower tracks to the disks, so writing to 40 track DD disks could make them unreadable on 40 track drives ... though the less common 80 track DSDD so-called 'quad density' 5.25" format might be more cross-compatible with 80 track HD drives and can probably be reliably written to media only suitable for DD data, but that was never an MS/IBM DOS supported standard AFIK)

Very late model, cheaper/crappier, and (especially) USB floppy drives may have more issues with 720k disks. (I've seen more stories of USB floppy drives being totally unable to use DD disks)

I wonder if some of the dual disk drives have HD 5.25" drives mated with DD 720kB 3.5" drives, though that would be a bit weird since the drive controller interface would need to support the HD datarate, so those combo drives probably didn't exist prior to 1.44MB disks being introduced as standard on PCs.

Those combo drives also all appear to have a single connector on them, so maybe I was mistaken about some using dual connectors. (it would be quite crammed and messy to try and plug 2 cables in there anyway)

Reply 13 of 15, by ultimate386

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
kool kitty89 wrote on 2020-04-09, 12:09:

USB floppy drives may have more issues with 720k disks. (I've seen more stories of USB floppy drives being totally unable to use DD disks)

I can confirm that neither of my USB floppy drives will read or write a 720k disk.

AMD386/IIT387DX40, 32MB, ATi Mach64, AWE64
Compaq Prolinea 4/33, 32MB, Tseng ET4000, SB16
AMD X5, 64MB, S3 Virge/Voodoo1, AWE64
AMD K62+550, 256MB, Voodoo3, AWE64 Gold
P3 1.2Ghz, 512MB, Radeon 7500/Voodoo2 SLI, SB Live!

Reply 14 of 15, by Horun

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

I have four USB drives. Of those two can read and write 720k floppies, the third can read them but not write, the fourth cannot do either. Long ago I bought a MacAlley USB floppy and a Sony X2 USB floppy because reviews said they both could and both do. The generic Mitsumi I got from a Thrift store and it can read 720k just fine. I just tested them again under Win7 (not 8 or 10) running on a newer z370 motherboard. You can see in the pics that the disk properties are correct. Sorry about the Moir effect, it only shows up under LED lighting when I use my camera on a LED monitor. If any one can find a generic USB floppy that has either Mitsumi or Sony drive inside then you should be able to at least read the 720k disks. My Sony is a model MPF88E, not MPF82E, not sure if that matters...

Attachments

  • Macally.jpg
    Filename
    Macally.jpg
    File size
    158.6 KiB
    Views
    203 views
    File license
    Public domain
  • macally_drive.jpg
    Filename
    macally_drive.jpg
    File size
    68.26 KiB
    Views
    203 views
    File license
    Public domain
  • sony_X2.jpg
    Filename
    sony_X2.jpg
    File size
    633.69 KiB
    Views
    203 views
    File license
    Public domain
  • sony_X2_drive.jpg
    Filename
    sony_X2_drive.jpg
    File size
    33.26 KiB
    Views
    203 views
    File license
    Public domain

Hate posting a reply and have to edit it because it made no sense 😁 First computer was an IBM 3270 workstation with CGA monitor. 🤣 Second computer a 286 12Mhz with real IDE drive ! After that came 386, 486, Pentium, P.Pro and everything after....

Reply 15 of 15, by dionb

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
kool kitty89 wrote on 2020-03-25, 03:47:

And they're both called floppy disks because they use the same (general) thin magnetic film disc to store data. Some are just softer-shelled than others. That's in contrast to solid magnetic platters that were used for data storage both before and after the introduction of floppies. (and there were those huge removable, or machine-loaded mainframe style magnetic platters, too)

5 1/4" disk are 'diskettes' as well, and supposedly that's why it's spelled disk and not disc (short for diskette). I'm pretty sure 8" floppy disks were never called diskettes, but I could be wrong there too.

Though that makes me wonder if magnetic platter storage was referred to as 'disc' rather than 'disk' at some point. (obviously hard disk drives adopted the K spelling following floppies)

That's a matter of semantics and indeed dialect.

In South Africa, the 5.25" disk is referred to as a "floppy", the 3.5" disk as a "stiffy" 😉