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Thread: Problem trying to read floppy disks

  1. #1

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    Frenzied Member 2kaud's Avatar
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    Problem trying to read floppy disks

    I have a requirement to read and process data only stored on floppy disks on a Windows 7 or 10 computer. . (Don't ask, just don't ask...).

    I have:
    1) An ancient twin floppy PC that confirms that the data on the floppy disks can be read.

    2) A Windows 2000 computer with a floppy drive, a network connection and a writeable CD drive.
    The issue here is that Windows 2000 doesn't 'see' the floppy drive. The hardware is working as I can boot into ms-dos from the floppy drive. Windows 2000 says the device is present and working but the floppy drive does not appear in File Explorer and trying to access A: from a DOS prompt returns errors. I've tried removing the device in Device Manager. Upon reboot 2000 sees the floppy as new hardware and installs the drivers OK - but still no access to the A: drive. From the internet I understand that there is a registry setting to disable specified drives (HKCU/software/microsoft/windows/currentversion/policies/explorer). But there's no setting there re disabled drives.

    3) For the Windows 7 and Windows 10 computers (which don't have a physical floppy drive) I've tried two external USB floppy drives. But trying to read any floppy disk using them just reports an error.

    Does anyone have any thoughts please as to how I can transfer the data from floppy disks onto either the Windows 7 (laptop) or 10 (desktop) computer. Or why external USB floppy drives with Windows 7/10 won't read floppy disks that read fine from MS-DOS?? or why Windows 2000 isn't 'seeing' the floppy drive??

    Thanks.
    All advice is offered in good faith only. You are ultimately responsible for the effects of your programs and the integrity of the machines they run on. Anything I post, code snippets, advice, etc is licensed as Public Domain https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/

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  2. #2
    Super Moderator jmcilhinney's Avatar
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    Re: Problem trying to read floppy disks

    Is there any possibility of copying the files from the disks onto the hard drive on the machine that can read them, then removing that hard drive and connecting it to one of the other machines and read the files that way? I bought a fairly cheap device a while back that connects via USB and allows you to plug in an IDE hard drive.

  3. #3

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    Frenzied Member 2kaud's Avatar
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    Re: Problem trying to read floppy disks

    Unfortunately not as far as I know. The twin floppy machine has no hard drive. The 2000 machine has NTFS formatted drives which can't be accessed from a bootable MS-DOS floppy - but in any case they are SCSI drives and not IDE ones (the CD drives are also SCSI).
    All advice is offered in good faith only. You are ultimately responsible for the effects of your programs and the integrity of the machines they run on. Anything I post, code snippets, advice, etc is licensed as Public Domain https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/

    C++23 Compiler: Microsoft VS2022 (17.6.5)

  4. #4

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    Frenzied Member 2kaud's Avatar
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    Re: Problem trying to read floppy disks

    Well I've used a sledgehammer to crack a nut! I re-partitioned a hard drive and then created a new partition. I then installed a new version of Windows 2000 to that partition with dual boot. This new installed version has access to the floppy drive so can copy the floppy disks to the hard drive and access them via networking.

    Problem solved, but I'd really like to know why the original installed Windows 2000 refuses to provide access to the floppy drive even when it says that the hardware is present and working!
    All advice is offered in good faith only. You are ultimately responsible for the effects of your programs and the integrity of the machines they run on. Anything I post, code snippets, advice, etc is licensed as Public Domain https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/

    C++23 Compiler: Microsoft VS2022 (17.6.5)

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