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Windows 7: USB Floppy Drive not working in Win7 Ultimate x64


21 Nov 2011   #1
bioNuke

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 
USB Floppy Drive not working in Win7 Ultimate x64

Hi guys.

I'm new to the forum but I've read through this thread ( USB Floppy Drive driver error ) and posted there as well but no response as yet, but it's an old thread so hence why I'm making this one.

I've a problem with getting hold of a vista sfloppy.sys file though. Can anyone tell me which version of vista I need for it / how to get it / or simply attach the file to a reply?

I've just finished trying the last suggestion now (installing xp vm and running the floppy as a virtual drive) - but it says the same messages that windows 7 does. Even if it did work it seems a little redundant to have to install our work software on a vm just to use a floppy drive.

The messages I get are as follows:
When I double click the drive in my computer:
The disk needs to be formatted. (Even if it works fine in a normal drive it will say this).
When I click format in the message above it says:
Windows cannot format the disk.
When I try using command line format it does the following:
Insert new disk for drive B:
and press ENTER when ready...
The type of the file system is RAW.
The new file system is FAT.
Verifying 1.44M
(Then it starts at 0% and after about 5-10 seconds displays the next line)
Invalid media or Track 0 bad - disk unusable.

At least it's more informative than the windows formatter (which is useless for floppy disks anyway in my experience).

The floppy drive shows up in my computer but NOT in disk management.

I'm doing this on my PC at home which is running the same version of windows as our work computers (Windows 7 Ultimate x64). All the computers are consistent in their error messages.

Really need to get this working because I work with fairly dated industrial machines that only read floppy disks and we've just purchased a new PC which does not have the floppy IDE port on the mobo. If we can't read & write to floppy disks on the work pc there is no point in even having it and we will have just wasted $600 odd dollars.

Also, our old PC (which has a normal IDE floppy drive) is becoming unreliable due to age and overheating - hence why we spent the money on a new PC in the first place.

It's worth noting that the manufacturer of the industrial machines we use does have a USB adapter that you plug a flash drive into and put the other end (which is a floppy disk) into the machine but they want $600 for that too and we think that's a little unreasonable. Also, a newer machine that uses flash drives instead of floppy disks will cost at least $70,000 plus taxes so we'd prefer not to have to buy one!!!

Thanks in advance for any help anyone can offer.
bioNuke




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My System SpecsSystem Spec
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21 Nov 2011   #2
badger906

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, & Mac OS X 10.9.2
 
 

Welcome to the forum. And kudos (if that's still a word lol) for the well written accounts of the problem.

I've searched high and low for you on this one, and information regarding the issue is sketchy at best.

Microsoft tech support goes through the usual condescending path.

These are: does the issue effect other usb peripheral storage devices?

Run hardware trouble shoot... But in your case device manage does not recognise your drive

And finally update usb chipset drivers to the latest version.

Out of interest does the drive show up in disk drive management as a mass storage device, and or a drive without an associated letter?

(Your pictures may show this but I can't see them on my phone for some reason)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Nov 2011   #3
bioNuke

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by badger906 View Post
Welcome to the forum. And kudos (if that's still a word lol) for the well written accounts of the problem.
Thanks for the welcome and the compliment! I tried to be as thorough as possible because I know how frustrating it is (being the go-to-guy for tech support in my social / family / work circle) when someone says "Help! My computer is broken!". :P
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by badger906 View Post
I've searched high and low for you on this one, and information regarding the issue is sketchy at best.
Tell me about it. The only time I found anything useful was after I viewed the driver details in device manager and it told me it uses sfloppy.sys, then I googled that.
That's how I found this awesome forum!!!
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by badger906 View Post
Microsoft tech support goes through the usual condescending path.

These are: does the issue effect other usb peripheral storage devices?
We can use flash drives and external hard disks without any problems, it's just the floppy drive.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by badger906 View Post
Run hardware trouble shoot... But in your case device manage does not recognise your drive
The device shows up in device manager just fine (see attached screenshots).
Hardware troubleshoot only detects that I have my virtual box lan adapter disabled and my internal floppy drive disabled (because I don't have one, didn't see any point in having the drive show up in my computer when it doesn't exist). I've attached a screenshot to show you what I mean.
I originally had the floppy drive enabled when I first plugged the USB one in, and it still didn't work so re-enabling the non-existent one won't help things any.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by badger906 View Post
And finally update usb chipset drivers to the latest version.
Done and done. Unfortunately it still does the same thing
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by badger906 View Post
Out of interest does the drive show up in disk drive management as a mass storage device, and or a drive without an associated letter?

(Your pictures may show this but I can't see them on my phone for some reason)

No it doesn't show up in disk management at all, just in My Computer (as a Floppy Disk Drive).
I've also attached a screenshot of this with some (badly drawn) additions for clarification.

Thanks for the help and suggestions, though! Keep 'em coming
bioNuke

P.S. It's so nice to not have anyone telling me to go get a Mac!!!


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21 Nov 2011   #4
badger906

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, & Mac OS X 10.9.2
 
 

Lol that was my next suggestion!! I'm also a mac person but shh don't want to become an outcast lol.

Did the drive come with any software? That can be ran in compatibility mode?

Also do you have access to a non windows 7 machine? An old laptop or anything, even your old unreliable pc at work.
Want to determine if this is a windows problem or other.

I'm determine to solve this one lol don't know why maybe its the fact you didn't start your thead with "HELP!?!?!?!?!?,?,?bhdijbfjk floppy won't work!!!!!"
I shall do some more research (it will help me avoid the work I'm being paid to do lol)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Nov 2011   #5
badger906

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, & Mac OS X 10.9.2
 
 

Ok I've come across a work around if all else fails (but being old tech second hand route maybe needed)

You cannot get a pci express floppy disk controller, but you can get an ISA floppy controller.

A ISA card won't work in a pci slot as they aren't backwards compatible. But you can get a ISA to pci slot adapter card..

If you see where I'm going with this lol

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Nov 2011   #6
Corazon

Windows 7 Professional SP1 32-bit
 
 

Just a random thought, but is it possible the USB floppy only handles DD disks (720KB) and you're trying to use HD 1.44MB disks with it? Sure would explain the complete failure to format.

As for why the drive doesn't show up in Disk Management, that's typical for logical drives as opposed to physical devices in Windows. Not to be confused with logical partitions on an MBR harddisk, logical drives are basically just emulated, virtual drives (like a RAM disk or a CD/DVD mounted image).

Maybe that's how the driver for the USB floppy works; by presenting the disk inside the physical floppy as a logical drive to Windows.

badger: good idea about the ISA card, but I'm afraid his mobo isn't going to have any ISA slots - those went the way of the dodo even before floppy controllers!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Nov 2011   #7
seavixen32

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

Probably a long shot, but have you considered using XP Mode in a virtual PC?

Windows XP Mode - Install and Setup
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Nov 2011   #8
badger906

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, & Mac OS X 10.9.2
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Corazon View Post

badger: good idea about the ISA card, but I'm afraid his mobo isn't going to have any ISA slots - those went the way of the dodo even before floppy controllers!

Lol yeah I did add about a PCI to ISA adaptor.
I'm sure those are still in existence? Used to have one on my ancient AMD duron rig, never found a use for it lol.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Nov 2011   #9
bioNuke

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Wow, thanks for all the replies lol. Sorry, I live in Australia so my hours of activity are a bit different from yours, hence the delayed response.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by badger906 View Post
Did the drive come with any software? That can be ran in compatibility mode?
Unfortunately, no. No CD, DVD, Floppy or otherwise. I have looked around on the net as well, but couldn't find anything that worked. The model number of the device is FD-05PUB, no branding though. From memory I think I found it was a Teac, but with the amount of sleep I've been getting lately I wouldn't rely on that!

I've attached a couple of photos of the drive (what it looks like and the sticker on the bottom which shows model number etc). Sorry about the quality, my phone's camera is crap. Don't buy a HTC Desire Z!!!

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by badger906 View Post
Also do you have access to a non windows 7 machine? An old laptop or anything, even your old unreliable pc at work.
Want to determine if this is a windows problem or other.
I have two PC's at home and a laptop, all running Win7 x64, and two computers at work, both running Win7 x64. Lots of choices there! My parents use Vista x64 though, maybe I could take the drive over there and see if I have any luck. Might try that after work tomorrow.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by badger906 View Post
I'm determine to solve this one lol don't know why maybe its the fact you didn't start your thead with "HELP!?!?!?!?!?,?,?bhdijbfjk floppy won't work!!!!!"
I shall do some more research (it will help me avoid the work I'm being paid to do lol)

Thanks for all your efforts mate

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by badger906 View Post
Ok I've come across a work around if all else fails (but being old tech second hand route maybe needed)

You cannot get a pci express floppy disk controller, but you can get an ISA floppy controller.

A ISA card won't work in a pci slot as they aren't backwards compatible. But you can get a ISA to pci slot adapter card..

If you see where I'm going with this lol

I've never even heard of an ISA slot lol, when I got into computers a Geforce2 was considered awesome, back when good old AGP was the go.

I shall have a look around though and see what I can find. Unfortunately I don't really know what I'm looking for but we'll see what I can rummage up. (I'll try googling 'PCI to ISA adapter' and 'ISA Floppy Controller' and see what turns up)

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Corazon View Post
Just a random thought, but is it possible the USB floppy only handles DD disks (720KB) and you're trying to use HD 1.44MB disks with it? Sure would explain the complete failure to format.
That is indeed entirely possible but I fail to see why manufacturers would make a drive that only supports disks that I can't find anywhere. But hey, people have made worse decisions. Is there any way to check which type of floppy it supports? Other than actually using a 720K floppy, since I don't have one anywhere, and given floppy disks reliability, even if I found one it would probably be dead by now.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Corazon View Post
As for why the drive doesn't show up in Disk Management, that's typical for logical drives as opposed to physical devices in Windows. Not to be confused with logical partitions on an MBR harddisk, logical drives are basically just emulated, virtual drives (like a RAM disk or a CD/DVD mounted image).

Maybe that's how the driver for the USB floppy works; by presenting the disk inside the physical floppy as a logical drive to Windows.
That makes sense to me, however I have Daemon Tools installed with a virtual bluray drive and it shows up in my disk management... So maybe that isn't always the case?

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by seavixen32 View Post
Probably a long shot, but have you considered using XP Mode in a virtual PC?

Windows XP Mode - Install and Setup
I have indeed, see below quote from my original post:

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bioNuke View Post
I'm new to the forum but I've read through this thread ( USB Floppy Drive driver error ) and posted there as well but no response as yet, but it's an old thread so hence why I'm making this one.

I've a problem with getting hold of a vista sfloppy.sys file though. Can anyone tell me which version of vista I need for it / how to get it / or simply attach the file to a reply?

I've just finished trying the last suggestion now (installing xp vm and running the floppy as a virtual drive) - but it says the same messages that windows 7 does. Even if it did work it seems a little redundant to have to install our work software on a vm just to use a floppy drive.

The messages I get are as follows:
When I double click the drive in my computer:
The disk needs to be formatted. (Even if it works fine in a normal drive it will say this).
When I click format in the message above it says:
Windows cannot format the disk.
When I try using command line format it does the following:
Insert new disk for drive B:
and press ENTER when ready...
The type of the file system is RAW.
The new file system is FAT.
Verifying 1.44M
(Then it starts at 0% and after about 5-10 seconds displays the next line)
Invalid media or Track 0 bad - disk unusable.
Thanks for all the suggestions guys!

The one thing I was most interested in though was in this thread: USB Floppy Drive driver error

Apparently some people have had some luck getting usb floppy drives to work when they use an sfloppy.sys file from vista or xp. Unfortunately the posts in that thread were a bit unclear as to which version of xp/vista they got the file from. Since I don't own either of them I'll need to download an image of the disc to grab the file and I need to know which one to download. I know my problem is a bit different to theirs but at this point I'm ready to give it a go.

Any ideas?


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My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Nov 2011   #10
Corazon

Windows 7 Professional SP1 32-bit
 
 

Well, I have a surprise for you The red floppy disk in your photo really is a DD 720KB disk, not a 1.44MB one. Now I wonder if the issue is actually reversed: trying to format a 720KB as 1.44MB = obvious failure.

You can tell by the holes at the corners opposite the metal slider. There's only one, which is the write protection. HD disks have another hole (without a slider to open/close the hole) on the other side identifying them as 1.44MB.

Regarding Daemon Tools showing up in Disk Management, well, that would be a true emulation of a physical drive vs. a simple logical drive - it just depends on how the device driver is implementing it, could be either one. But it's safe to say it really makes no difference in regard to the USB floppy working or not, so no worries there.

Try to format the floppy as 720K (must be specified as a commandline option with format). Does that work?

BTW, badger, I didn't see you mentioning an ISA-to-PCI adapter at first...did you edit your post after I replied, or was I just blind? (lol)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 USB Floppy Drive not working in Win7 Ultimate x64




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