VOGONS


USB Floppy

Topic actions

First post, by SteveC

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Hi all,

Can anyone recommend a decent USB floppy drive? They all seem to look the same, the same as the one I have (eSYNiC) and it's rubbish. I don't know if it's normal but this one I have won't play with 720kb disks either.

From my 'modern' PC, I'm currently copying files to a CF card, then putting that in a PCMCIA adapter to put into any laptop so I can copy files then to the floppy disk and this is tedious 😀

Cheers,
Steve

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnG0NzvdJSb4_LibUPp0DwQ
Twitter: https://twitter.com/stevec00ps

Reply 1 of 26, by Horun

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Most of the Mitsumi based are 720k read compatible, none are guaranteed to write or format a blank 720k though.
The best ones I have are: Sony 2xFDD mpf88e, MacAlly FDD-USB d353fue (mitsumi based) and Generic FD-05pub (Mitsumi 061M based)
All the Dell branded ones I own will not even read a 720k floppy 🙁 Added: they are all NEC based

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 2 of 26, by Zup

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Keep on mind that floppy drives were slow, and although some USB disk drives offer some kind of "acceleration" you won't get anything remotely near "pendrive speed".

I guess the differences between brands are durability and the ability to read/write 720k disks. On the other side, the worst part is that no USB floppy drive is capable of reading/writing disks that aren't standard (80 tracks, 9 or 18 sectors per track, sector numbering starting at 0). So you won't be able to read 2M formatted disks, the Windows 95 or OS2 install disks, some copy protected disks or disks formatted in non-PC computers like ZX Spectrum or Amstrad CPC (although they can be read on standard floppy controllers).

I have traveled across the universe and through the years to find Her.
Sometimes going all the way is just a start...

I'm selling some stuff!

Reply 3 of 26, by darry

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Depending on your budget, you may want to consider a Kryoflux USB adapter along with a "real" 34-pin floppy drive . You would need to setup a workflow to convert to or from the native Kryoflux low level image format after reading (to make an img file) or before writing (so your source img file can be written using the Kryoflux compatible writing tool). My understanding may be based on dated info, so things might be easier now (I have not purchased a Kryoflux yet, but did consider one at some point and may yet get one).

See these for more info
KryoFlux to image floppies?

https://forum.kryoflux.com/viewtopic.php?t=1205

Additionally, if using a Gotek type device on your retro machines is possible for your use cases, it may be a convenient thing to consider as well (whether using a Kryoflux or not).

Reply 4 of 26, by bestemor

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

I think the IBM(Lenovo) ones are pretty solid. Do a search on you-know-where for 'ibm floppy usb'. Should get a few hits.
For instance number 303930810330 or 384053760104.

PS: I have no idea if they play nice with 720kb disks though, as I don't have any.

Reply 5 of 26, by SteveC

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Thanks for the replies!
I didn't realise the inability to write/format 720kb disks was a common thing.
Anyway I've just ordered an IBM branded one.. let's see if this is any better (well it couldn't be much worse haha)

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnG0NzvdJSb4_LibUPp0DwQ
Twitter: https://twitter.com/stevec00ps

Reply 6 of 26, by konc

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

For anyone buying a new USB floppy available now on the market, a current model, my experience is that if they don't explicitly mention DD/720KB compatibility they don't have it.

Reply 8 of 26, by shamino

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Imation "Superdisk" (LS-120) drives. The packaging says they're for Mac but they also work on PC. Most require a chunky dongle thing to connect to USB, some of the late ones have a regular USB connector on them though.
The colored ones are older, slower, not as good at reading bad disks. The silvery translucent looking ones have better drives inside and can read disks you thought were hopeless. I'm sure there's some overlap on the cosmetics there but mostly that's correct.
A few years ago these were all over eBay, don't know if they still are.

Reply 9 of 26, by Stiletto

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

If you hate slipstreaming WinXP install CDs, there's a limited list of USB floppy drives that they support unedited. There's a list floating around here somewhere.

"I see a little silhouette-o of a man, Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you
do the Fandango!" - Queen

Stiletto

Reply 10 of 26, by SteveC

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
shamino wrote on 2021-03-24, 15:30:

Imation "Superdisk" (LS-120) drives. The packaging says they're for Mac but they also work on PC. Most require a chunky dongle thing to connect to USB, some of the late ones have a regular USB connector on them though.
The colored ones are older, slower, not as good at reading bad disks. The silvery translucent looking ones have better drives inside and can read disks you thought were hopeless. I'm sure there's some overlap on the cosmetics there but mostly that's correct.
A few years ago these were all over eBay, don't know if they still are.

That's a good idea - I've never owned an LS-120 so I might set up an eBay alert 😀

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnG0NzvdJSb4_LibUPp0DwQ
Twitter: https://twitter.com/stevec00ps

Reply 11 of 26, by bestemor

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
Stiletto wrote on 2021-03-25, 21:04:

If you hate slipstreaming WinXP install CDs, there's a limited list of USB floppy drives that they support unedited. There's a list floating around here somewhere.

Here is an optional method for that, just edit a particular file (txtsetup.oem) found in the driver directory (and copy all files to the floppy):
(AHCI driver files for winXP on Z77 chipset)

driversonfloppy.JPG
Filename
driversonfloppy.JPG
File size
14.96 KiB
Views
309 views
File license
CC-BY-4.0
Utilizing a USB Floppy to Install an Operating System
( Intel Article ID000007974, Last Reviewed11/01/2017 )
Windows* by default does not have drivers for all USB floppies. When utilizing a floppy for adding RAID drivers, you may notice that the driver is loaded once. Later during installation, the operating system re-requests the file, but fails to find the floppy drive on the second attempt. If you are loading additional drivers during installation, there will be a file on the floppy called txtsetup.oem. Open the file on another machine using a text editor such as Notepad, and add the following lines to the bottom of the [HardwareIds.scsi.(device name)] section

id = "USB\VID_03F0&PID_2001", "usbstor"
id = "USB\VID_054C&PID_002C", "usbstor"
id = "USB\VID_057B&PID_0001", "usbstor"
id = "USB\VID_0644&PID_0000", "usbstor"
This tells the operating system to use the standard USB storage driver for these additional floppy devices. You may need to contact your USB drive vendor to obtain their Vendor ID (VID) and Product ID (PID) if these lines do not resolve the issue.

...and my IBM floppy drive had this id below:
"USB\VID_0644&PID_0000"

PS: you apparantly have to edit 2 sections for this particular AHCI driver, not just one:

txtsetupoem_2places.JPG
Filename
txtsetupoem_2places.JPG
File size
37.73 KiB
Views
304 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

Reply 12 of 26, by Tiido

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

I use "Y-E Data USB-FDC" (as they appear in device manager) floppy drives, they support both 720 and 1.44 floppies and are faster than regular drives too. You can even hear them spin faster. I have one that is Toshiba branded and just today got two that are Fujitsu branded (of one will find a new home at some friend's place).

IMG_0660.jpg
Filename
IMG_0660.jpg
File size
117.25 KiB
Views
284 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception
IMG_0661.jpg
Filename
IMG_0661.jpg
File size
87.24 KiB
Views
284 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

T-04YBSC, a new YMF71x based sound card & Official VOGONS thread about it
Newly made 4MB 60ns 30pin SIMMs ~
mida sa loed ? nagunii aru ei saa 😜

Reply 13 of 26, by SteveC

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

My IBM one just turned up and works great! Formatted a disk at 720KB too!

Almost identical case (just the blue eject button and two screws instead of one) to my rubbish old cheap one.

Attachments

  • 20210326_143407.jpg
    Filename
    20210326_143407.jpg
    File size
    33.19 KiB
    Views
    272 views
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception
  • 20210326_143416.jpg
    Filename
    20210326_143416.jpg
    File size
    33.51 KiB
    Views
    272 views
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception
  • 20210326_143130.jpg
    Filename
    20210326_143130.jpg
    File size
    32.04 KiB
    Views
    272 views
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnG0NzvdJSb4_LibUPp0DwQ
Twitter: https://twitter.com/stevec00ps

Reply 14 of 26, by SteveC

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Oh it actually says TEAC Model No FD-05PUB on the bottom. Even came in a padded pouch 😀;

Attachments

  • 20210326_144155.jpg
    Filename
    20210326_144155.jpg
    File size
    38.56 KiB
    Views
    267 views
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnG0NzvdJSb4_LibUPp0DwQ
Twitter: https://twitter.com/stevec00ps

Reply 15 of 26, by bestemor

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Glad to hear it all worked out !

And, checking one of my drives, a Lenovo version, what do you know - it also says 'Teac' somewhere on the paper label ! 😋
(an 'FD-05PUB' model, just like yours, but with a 'lenovo' branding and logo...)

So, I guess mine would also format 720kb disks then, if I for some inexplicable reason ever needed it to.... 😆

Reply 17 of 26, by Horun

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
Tiido wrote on 2021-03-26, 14:06:

I use "Y-E Data USB-FDC" (as they appear in device manager) floppy drives, they support both 720 and 1.44 floppies and are faster than regular drives too. You can even hear them spin faster. I have one that is Toshiba branded and just today got two that are Fujitsu branded (of one will find a new home at some friend's place).

SteveC wrote on 2021-03-26, 14:41:

Oh it actually says TEAC Model No FD-05PUB on the bottom. Even came in a padded pouch 😀;

Thanks ! will add them to my list of good USB floppy drives.

PC Hoarder Patrol wrote on 2021-03-29, 01:45:

I've a slim Iomega unit (BXXU0130) which is a piece of junk 🙁 - no idea what brand the actual drive is

Thanks, will not add that model to my list 😀

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 18 of 26, by Error 0x7CF

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

I've been using dell laptop internal floppy drives, the ones that have a USB Mini-B connector on the side. They seem to work with whatever I put in them (though I don't imagine non-PC disks would work) and seem very reliable.

I got a box of like 20 of them NOS for free at one point and I'm kicking myself for only keeping one since I know now how nice they are.

Old precedes antique.

Reply 19 of 26, by froller

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

I use this one and it does its job well

IMG_20210330_153406.jpg
Filename
IMG_20210330_153406.jpg
File size
370.77 KiB
Views
166 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception
IMG_20210330_153423.jpg
Filename
IMG_20210330_153423.jpg
File size
351.29 KiB
Views
166 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ 100%
Virus check complete. All viruses are working properly.