5.25" Floppy drive on a "modern" PC

11 posts / 0 new
Last post
Offline
Last seen: 7 years 9 months ago
Joined: Dec 30 2003 - 00:38
Posts: 85
5.25" Floppy drive on a "modern" PC

I'm considering putting together a media computer, meaning a computer that can read wide variety of old obsolete media. Something like, 3.5" floppy, MO disks (128 and 230MB), zip, CDs (they'll soon be obsolete), Bernoulli, and perhaps a 5.25" floppy (most of these through a SCSI). Once upon a time I had a computer with two 5.25" floppies (no hard drive, 8088 processor) but I wasn't into the hardware aspects then.
So my question is, does anyone know how I can hook up a 5.25" floppy (assuming I can get a hold of one) to a modern PC? What type of interface did they use (the same floppy as the modern PCs?). Do I need to find some sort of a special ISA card?

Thanks

IC

iamdigitalman's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 11 months ago
Joined: Mar 1 2004 - 22:18
Posts: 629
The interface is there, just need a cable.

I have one of these drives. It came from my dad's old 486s. The interface is the same IDE-like one used by the 3.5", but it's got a different connecter. I have a number of these cables. They have 5 plugs on them: 1 for the mother board, 2 3.5" plugs, and 2 5.25" plugs. A computer repair shop might have one for a buck or so. Very common back in the day, but not so much if any anymore. Just make sure You have the plug on there completely, and make sure it is orientated the right way. I think they have a notch on them, but don't know for sure. If you have it in the wrong way, the read light on the drive in question will be on steady. If this happens, power the machine off, and flip the cable around. Sometimes it says which side is pin one.

-digital Wink

Offline
Last seen: 6 years 10 months ago
Joined: Apr 22 2004 - 15:37
Posts: 379
Nothing special needed

You should be able to use the built-in floppy controller. You will either need an adapter to connect the 5.25" floppy drive to the "standard" floppy cable with 2 34-pin female connectors, or find an older cable with the card edge connector.

Offline
Last seen: 7 years 9 months ago
Joined: Dec 30 2003 - 00:38
Posts: 85
OK

So the floppy controller still can handle two drives (3.5" or 5.25")? I wasn't sure if it could still do that. When I find a drive, I might be able to find the cable at the same time.

Thanks

IC

Jon
Jon's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 years 4 months ago
Joined: Dec 20 2003 - 10:38
Posts: 2804
If you can find one most mobo

If you can find one most mobos can handle the PS/2 2.88MB floppy drives too. Of course there aren't many disks that are 2.88MB any way...

Offline
Last seen: 3 months 1 week ago
Joined: Jun 7 2007 - 20:27
Posts: 213
I use 5.25

I have an internal 5.25 inch floppy on my comp. I pulled it out of my old one that wasn't working. It uses the same cable as every other floppy. You just need to set the stuff up in the BIOS settings. That is, if your computer can support two floppies.

pmjett's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 9 months ago
Joined: Sep 4 2005 - 22:47
Posts: 181
well- maybe

IceCap wrote:
So the floppy controller still can handle two drives (3.5" or 5.25")? I wasn't sure if it could still do that. When I find a drive, I might be able to find the cable at the same time

I tried that with a P4 Dell that I had at work, and it definitely could only work with one floppy drive. I am pretty sure that even that cruddy controller could handle the 5 1/4", just no two floppies at once. I've had other modern machines that would take two drives. YMMV.

You might or might not need an adapter for the 5 1/4 to go on the cable. I've got some drives with card edge connectors, and I swear some with "normal" ones like their newer 3 1/2 brethren.

I would mention that just to save you some frustration, if you decide that you are going to find a PCI floppy controller card, they don't appear to exist- outside of the Amiga-centric Catweasel card. I've been looking for years for a PCI controller card.

I can mail you a cable with card edge connectors integral if you want.

mike

Jon
Jon's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 years 4 months ago
Joined: Dec 20 2003 - 10:38
Posts: 2804
The Catweasel may be Amiga ce

The Catweasel may be Amiga centric, but it is fully programmable, so it can handle most any floppy type.

Offline
Last seen: 7 years 9 months ago
Joined: Dec 30 2003 - 00:38
Posts: 85
It is really the BIOS

So I guess it is really the bios that needs to support two floppies. That makes sense and also that at some point the bios programmers needed the space taken up by the second floppy support and dropped it.
If my conclusion is correct, any ideas as to which type (or developer) is more likely to have kept the second floppy drive support the longest?
Regarding the cable, if it is a standard floppy connector (or an older edge-on connector) I should be able to buy a connector (from say DigiKey) and crimp it onto a standard floppy cable. Nothing magical about that, right?
I'm near a big university which has a huge "surplus" (read old stuff) electronics (mostly computers) inventory so I should be able to find a computer there with a 5.25" drive if I dig really far deep into the bins.

Thanks all

IC

Jon
Jon's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 years 4 months ago
Joined: Dec 20 2003 - 10:38
Posts: 2804
You can find an old floppy ca

You can find an old floppy cable with 4 connectors: both of 2 pin socket connectors and 2 card edge connectors, at nearly any used computer shop for next to nothing. Heck, with a little haggling they might let you walk out with one for free if you buy something else at the same time.

coius's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 6 months ago
Joined: Aug 25 2004 - 13:56
Posts: 1975
I've got several with the 5 connectors.

let me know where you live (in the USA) and I will even pay shipping!! I got too many floppy cables!!! (I want to keep one of them)

You should be able to use 1x3.5"+ 1x5.25" or 2x3.5" or 2x 5.25" at the same time. just mix and match!! I have YET to see a machine that doesn't support dual floppies. In all the machine i have come across, it's either dual floppy, or no floppy at all. Btw, in exchange for the floppy cable, i doubt I could hassle you to get a 5.25" drive out of you, could I? Hopefully with a black floppy bezel. but a beige would be nice Smile

I have been looking for a 5.25" floppy drive around this part of the USA, and I have been on craigslist and stuff, but no one seems to offer them!!

oh, Private Message me with your location!

Log in or register to post comments