TROUBLESHOOTING FLOPPY DRIVE PROBLEMS
This document is designed to assist you in troubleshooting problems with
your floppy drive.
POSSIBLE CAUSES OF FLOPPY DRIVE PROBLEMS
BASIC TROUBLESHOOTING PROCEDURES:
Diskette is damaged.
The system's CMOS settings may be incorrect.
The ribbon cable that goes from the back of the floppy drive to the system
board or controller may be bad or the connection may be loose.
The power connector to the floppy may be loose or disconnected.
Conflict within the system with some newly added hardware or software.
The drive may be damaged.
The following are general troubleshooting steps that may resolve or
diagnose floppy drive problems.
1. TRY TO BOOT SYSTEM WITH A KNOWN WORKING BOOTABLE FLOPPY
2. TRY TO FORMAT A FLOPPY DISKETTE:
Another good test for the floppy drive is to see whether it formats
You will be prompted to insert a blank diskette into the drive and press
Enter when ready to proceed. A warning that all data on the diskette will
be lost will appear on the screen. Press the Y key and then press Enter
to proceed with the format. Once the diskette is done formatting, press
the N key in response to formatting another diskette.
Start your computer, or if already in Windows, restart your computer.
When you see the "Starting Windows 95" message, press the F8 key, and hen
choose Command Prompt Only from the Startup menu. Your computer should
then the boot to the command prompt C:\>
Place a blank diskette into the A: drive
Type format a: and press enter
If you are able to complete both of these tests, the problem may be
with the diskette that you are trying to read or write to. Another possible
cause may be new software that you added to the system. Following the above
procedures allowed you to boot clean, bypassing the system files and software
applications that load as the system boots to Windows 95.
RESOLVING FLOPPY DRIVE PROBLEMS:
FLOPPY IDENTIFICATION IN CMOS:
If the floppy drive is identified incorrectly in CMOS, you will probably
be unable to boot to or format a floppy diskette. You should check your
CMOS to verify that the proper drive settings correspond with the correct
drive type (i.e., 3.5 in., 1.44MB is the current standard for diskette
drive 0 or diskette drive A). If you have a Pentium or PCI system, check
the security section of the CMOS and remove the supervisor password if
one has been set. The supervisor password causes the floppy drive to display
error messages identical to those usually associated with a defective floppy
drive or cable.
Drive A : 1.44, 3.5 in.
As soon as your computer begins to re-start You should see a message "Hit
DEL if you want to enter setup"., begin pressing the <DEL> key until
you enter the CMOS setup.
In CMOS use the arrow key to highlight Standard CMOS Setup and press <ENTER>.
Be sure the options for Drive A; and Drive B: You can modify the settings
by highlighting them with the arrow key and using the <PAGE UP> or <PAGE
DOWN> keys. The current standard setup is:
Drive B : None
LOOSE OR POORLY CONNECTED CABLES:
Press <ESCAPE> to exit Standard CMOS setup.
Highlight Save settings and exit and press <ENTER>.
If you have checked the CMOS settings and the settings are correct,
the problem may be a poor connection between the floppy drive and the system
board or controller.
In the following examples, make sure you pull the connectors, not the
NEWLY ADDED HARDWARE:
Power down the system and remove the system case.
Orient yourself with the back of the floppy drive inside the system.
Follow the front of the floppy around to the inside of the system. On the
back of the floppy drive you will find a red, yellow, and black cable and
a flat, gray ribbon cable. The red, yellow and black cable is the power
lead. The flat, gray ribbon cable is the data cable that needs to be reseated
first. Firmly pull the cable straight off the back of the floppy drive
(pull the connector, not the cable) and press it firmly back in place the
same way you took it off. If it has become completely disconnected you
will need to re-connect it. Make sure the end of the ribbon cable with
the red stripe is towards the floppy power connector.
Follow the ribbon cable down to where it connects to the system board.
Note how it is oriented and firmly pull the cable straight off and push
it back on the same way that you took it off. If it has become completely
disconnected you will need to re-connect it. A good general rule to follow
is to make sure the end of the ribbon cable with the red stripe is oriented
the same way as the other large ribbon cables connecting to the motherboard.
Power up the system and try to boot to a floppy diskette and format a floppy
diskette as mentioned on the previously. If your problem is solved, power
down system and put the system case back on and you are done. If you are
still unable to do access your floppy drive proceed to the next step.
Power down the system again and pull the red, yellow, and black power lead
off the back of the drive (pull the connector, not the cable). Replace
it with another available power lead that appears similar to the one originally
on the drive. Power up the system, and try to boot to a floppy diskette
and format a floppy diskette as mentioned on the previously.
If you have recently added any hardware such as a tape backup unit,
sound card, scanner, network card, etc. to the system, try removing these
items from the system one at a time. Each time you remove an item, try
to boot to a floppy diskette and format a diskette. If the floppy works,
it is possible the hardware that was added may be conflicting with the
floppy drive. Re-configure the new hardware, and try replacing it to see
if the problem persists.
FLOPPY DRIVE LIGHT STAYS ON CONTINUOUSLY:
If the light on the floppy drive(s) stays on constantly from the time
the system is powered up, the data cable on the system board or controller
card may be on backwards. Power down the system and locate where the data
cable is attached to the system board. Once you have located it, pull the
cable off gently (pull the connector, not the cable). Turn the cable around
180 degrees and put it back onto the system board. Power up the system
to see if the lights stay on continuously.
If you started experiencing floppy drive problems after adding a tape
backup unit, try using the additional floppy cable that came with the tape
backup unit kit. Instructions for this operation are usually included with
most tape backup unit kits.
You may receive some of the following error messages when trying to
access your floppy drive. The error messages can often pinpoint a specific
Diskette Drive 0 Failure
This error is usually seen as the system boots up. Check the CMOS to
make sure that the drive(s) are identified correctly. If that does not
correct the error, open the system and reseat the floppy drive cable. If
that still does not correct the error, try another floppy cable.
Not ready reading drive A:
This error may be caused by incorrect drive identification in CMOS.
Check to make sure that the drive(s) are identified correctly. This error
can be caused by not having a diskette in the floppy drive(s) when you
try to access it. If the floppy cable is poorly seated, this error will
often occur. If you have a Pentium or PCI system, this error may occur
if you have the supervisor password enabled in the CMOS.
Invalid drive specification
This error can be caused by incorrect CMOS settings including the floppy
drive not being identified at all.
Invalid media type
This error may occur if you are trying to format a diskette that is defective
or of a media type that is incompatible with your floppy drive.
Error selecting drive
This error occurs primarily in Windows when you attempt to access the floppy
drive without a diskette inserted. This error can occur with some operating
systems such as Norton Desktop or PC Tools; often these programs have updates
to correct the problem.
Non system disk or disk error
This error occurs if you have a diskette other than a bootable floppy diskette
or the #1 MS-DOS setup diskette in the floppy drive as you boot up the
system. If you have a bootable diskette in the drive and still receive
this error, the cable to the floppy cable is loose or defective.