[SOLVED] Floppy drive on modern motherboard?

Myronazz

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I've been thinking about this for a while now (I think I've even made posts about it before, not sure) and I approached the idea through numerous ways like using a USB adapter and mounting it internally through one of the headers or get a motherboard with a floppy controller which is well not happening. Don't mention USB floppy drives, I'd hate carrying them around plus its a boring solution.

I have a B350-Plus that DOES have regular PCI slots and from that I got an idea... would it be possible to get a PCI Floppy controller card and go from there? Would those ancient things even work on a modern system? It raises some questions:
  • BIOS Compatibility: Assuming it fits on my PCI slot, will my modern UEFI bios even recognise the card? I think floppy controllers have their own BIOS that needs to be seeked through an option ROM feature or something along those lines. I think even modern UEFI has legacy BIOS support, but I have no idea if that would be enough to get the two to work with each other.
  • Drivers: Assuming the controller works, it can be accessed through the Southbridge, it is able to seek my floppy drive and everything, would Windows 10 even be able to recognise the controller to actually access the floppy drive? I don't really know if there are generic drivers for floppy controllers or if each card has its own unique drivers.
  • Anything else I'm missing that prevents this from working? It's not like I know everything.
I can find a couple of floppy controllers on ebay so that's not a problem. Any experts from way back have any advice for little young me? Thank you in advance!
 
hmm... fdd pci card... good luck with that
your best best would be using whats available on market
internal fdd:
https://www.amazon.com/SAMSUNG-Samsung-1-44MB-SFD-321B-PBN2-SFD-321B/dp/B004570AUO
34pin ide to usb:
https://www.amazon.com/IYSHOUGONG-1-44MB-Floppy-Connector-Adapter/dp/B07QYYF36N
usb A to internal usb:
https://www.amazon.com/StarTech-Motherboard-4-Pin-Header-USBMBADAPT/dp/B000IV6S9S
4pin FDD power (any recent PSU doesnt have it, but u will need 2 of them)
https://www.amazon.com/Kentek-Floppy-Internal-Computer-Adapter/dp/B07KS5NHTC

now if u look at that prize, it woul d be like 80 bucks
now compare it with external fdd for 20 bucks..is it worth it?
 
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hmm... fdd pci card... good luck with that
your best best would be using whats available on market
internal fdd:
https://www.amazon.com/SAMSUNG-Samsung-1-44MB-SFD-321B-PBN2-SFD-321B/dp/B004570AUO
34pin ide to usb:
https://www.amazon.com/IYSHOUGONG-1-44MB-Floppy-Connector-Adapter/dp/B07QYYF36N
usb A to internal usb:
https://www.amazon.com/StarTech-Motherboard-4-Pin-Header-USBMBADAPT/dp/B000IV6S9S
4pin FDD power (any recent PSU doesnt have it, but u will need 2 of them)
https://www.amazon.com/Kentek-Floppy-Internal-Computer-Adapter/dp/B07KS5NHTC

now if u look at that prize, it woul d be like 80 bucks
now compare it with external fdd for 20 bucks..is it worth it?
 
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Myronazz

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I actually already have most of this stuff, except the USB converters. I only really need a way to connec them to my modern computer, hence why I came up with the FDD controller which I can find on ebay for around £10-20. The question is whether it would work or not. I've done research and have seen people get it to work; it really depends on the motherboard but not sure what exactly (legacy support, option ROM, etc.)

Edit: On second thought, looks like PCi controllers ARE hard to find. I swear I was looking at two last night but they disappeared when I tried to find them again today. I'll just try to find those USB adapters and do it that way.
 
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Endre

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Apr 30, 2019
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I've been thinking about this for a while now (I think I've even made posts about it before, not sure) and I approached the idea through numerous ways like using a USB adapter and mounting it internally through one of the headers or get a motherboard with a floppy controller which is well not happening. Don't mention USB floppy drives, I'd hate carrying them around plus its a boring solution.

I have a B350-Plus that DOES have regular PCI slots and from that I got an idea... would it be possible to get a PCI Floppy controller card and go from there? Would those ancient things even work on a modern system? It raises some questions:
  • BIOS Compatibility: Assuming it fits on my PCI slot, will my modern UEFI bios even recognise the card? I think floppy controllers have their own BIOS that needs to be seeked through an option ROM feature or something along those lines. I think even modern UEFI has legacy BIOS support, but I have no idea if that would be enough to get the two to work with each other.
  • Drivers: Assuming the controller works, it can be accessed through the Southbridge, it is able to seek my floppy drive and everything, would Windows 10 even be able to recognise the controller to actually access the floppy drive? I don't really know if there are generic drivers for floppy controllers or if each card has its own unique drivers.
  • Anything else I'm missing that prevents this from working? It's not like I know everything.
I can find a couple of floppy controllers on ebay so that's not a problem. Any experts from way back have any advice for little young me? Thank you in advance!
My only question is: Why?
Why would you add a floppy drive to a PC in 2020?
What could be the benefits of doing that?
 
...
  • BIOS Compatibility: Assuming it fits on my PCI slot, will my modern UEFI bios even recognise the card? I think floppy controllers have their own BIOS that needs to be seeked through an option ROM feature or something along those lines. I think even modern UEFI has legacy BIOS support, but I have no idea if that would be enough to get the two to work with each other.
...
Is your intent to boot to the floppy? That's the only time I can imagine the BIOS has to recognize the card. A PCIe floppy controller should come with drivers to let the OS recognize the card and drive. Win10 may even come bundled with drivers for it as well as many Linux distro's.

If you use a USB interface, though, most any modern BIOS should recognize and allow booting to it even in UEFI mode. Although, I wonder what OS you're using with only 1.4Mb at most to work with. MS-DOS on modern hardware?
 

Myronazz

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Why would you add a floppy drive to a PC in 2020?
What could be the benefits of doing that?
Because I have a hobby that involves old computers. I often need to create boot diskettes or simply use them to transfer data (obviously machines from the 80s and 90s have no USB ports). Having an interally drive would solve me quite a bit of hassle.

Is your intent to boot to the floppy? That's the only time I can imagine the BIOS has to recognize the card.
No. I thought that the BIOS may need to recognise the card before it can be used. Correct me if I'm wrong but FDD controllers have their own BIOS in order to recognise and seek drives. So I was thinking that if the BIOS of the card doesn't start then it won't detect the drives and it will therefore not report itself to the OS, let alone the drives.

The only reason I say this is because I've seen people have this sort of trouble with SCSI controllers where if their little BIOS screen doesn't pop up after the motherboard's own BIOS screen, then it doesn't work at all. The same principle should apply to FDD controllers. Or so I was thinking...
 
Because I have a hobby that involves old computers. I often need to create boot diskettes or simply use them to transfer data (obviously machines from the 80s and 90s have no USB ports). Having an interally drive would solve me quite a bit of hassle.



No. I thought that the BIOS may need to recognise the card before it can be used. Correct me if I'm wrong but FDD controllers have their own BIOS in order to recognise and seek drives. So I was thinking that if the BIOS of the card doesn't start then it won't detect the drives and it will therefore not report itself to the OS, let alone the drives.

The only reason I say this is because I've seen people have this sort of trouble with SCSI controllers where if their little BIOS screen doesn't pop up after the motherboard's own BIOS screen, then it doesn't work at all. The same principle should apply to FDD controllers. Or so I was thinking...
I'm sure the device will have it's own BIOS, but an appropriate device driver in the OS would would allow it to 'talk' to the device BIOS so it will seek and retrieve or write data and pass it to the OS. The reason the computer BIOS would need to recognize the device's BIOS is to use it as a boot device, which is something most modern UEFI's don't allow for security reasons unless the device BIOS was designed for it. The thing about USB floppies is they should look like a USB drive, which UEFI's do work with.
 
Thank you for the information. If I can find another controller I'd grab it instantly. It was a mistake not to get one as soon as I found it.
No problem... and BTW...have you looked for USB add-in card for one of your legacy machines to read a flash drive if transferring files is important? And then also a network card.

Even more interesting are other ways like connecting parrallel ports we used to use all the time. Since your hobby involves legacy machines, I'd have to think you would be interested in using some of the ways it used to be done.
 

Endre

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Because I have a hobby that involves old computers. I often need to create boot diskettes or simply use them to transfer data (obviously machines from the 80s and 90s have no USB ports). Having an interally drive would solve me quite a bit of hassle.



No. I thought that the BIOS may need to recognise the card before it can be used. Correct me if I'm wrong but FDD controllers have their own BIOS in order to recognise and seek drives. So I was thinking that if the BIOS of the card doesn't start then it won't detect the drives and it will therefore not report itself to the OS, let alone the drives.

The only reason I say this is because I've seen people have this sort of trouble with SCSI controllers where if their little BIOS screen doesn't pop up after the motherboard's own BIOS screen, then it doesn't work at all. The same principle should apply to FDD controllers. Or so I was thinking...
OK.
Now I understand.
 
hmm... fdd pci card... good luck with that
your best best would be using whats available on market
internal fdd:
https://www.amazon.com/SAMSUNG-Samsung-1-44MB-SFD-321B-PBN2-SFD-321B/dp/B004570AUO
34pin ide to usb:
https://www.amazon.com/IYSHOUGONG-1-44MB-Floppy-Connector-Adapter/dp/B07QYYF36N
usb A to internal usb:
https://www.amazon.com/StarTech-Motherboard-4-Pin-Header-USBMBADAPT/dp/B000IV6S9S
4pin FDD power (any recent PSU doesnt have it, but u will need 2 of them)
https://www.amazon.com/Kentek-Floppy-Internal-Computer-Adapter/dp/B07KS5NHTC

now if u look at that prize, it woul d be like 80 bucks
now compare it with external fdd for 20 bucks..is it worth it?
You only need to cut off the USB plug from an external drive and solder on the internal connector,if you don't like solder or can't do it a terminal strip is child's play and only needs a screwdriver,if you get an external drive that opens up easily you end up with an internal drive with USB.

Also what kerberos said, gotek for the win.
 

Myronazz

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No problem... and BTW...have you looked for USB add-in card?
...
Even more interesting are other ways like connecting parrallel ports
Not all old machines would support such things. There is a much better chance to work with 3,1/4" floppy drive. Because it's a floppy controller card, it may even have support for older floppy disks like the 5,1/4" size, so I could have two drives of both sizes. Though that really depends on the controller, too.

As for the parallel cable, I have thought of that and it's another potential way. The main issue that comes to mind is if I need special software to estabilish a data link, because if I do then how would I get that in the first place before anything else?

well there are fdd to usb emulators, they cost like 20~30 bucks on aliexpress
and give u usb connectivity through fdd, its replacement for fdd drive

https://ar.aliexpress.com/item/32888865792.html
One possibility I guess, but if I have multiple machines then I'd need multiple of those. It's cheaper in the long run to have actual floppy disks because I have plenty of those and drives.

You only need to cut off the USB plug from an external drive and solder on the internal connector,if you don't like solder or can't do it a terminal strip is child's play and only needs a screwdriver,if you get an external drive that opens up easily you end up with an internal drive with USB.
Actually I did think of that, but wasn't sure. I can solder and everything, but that's unnessary anyway because there seems to be stock of USB converters on ebay anyway. If I can't find a controller I'd get that instead.
 
As for the parallel cable, I have thought of that and it's another potential way. The main issue that comes to mind is if I need special software to estabilish a data link, because if I do then how would I get that in the first place before anything else?
Well freedos gives you all you need to get an FTP over network cable going and to exchange files.

For Dos machines,and any other ones as well I guess, you can just jank out the drive and copy anything you want on it from any other system even a windows 10 one,but with dos you can set up everything including dos beforehand.

Any old system that includes USB ports you can read usb drives from DOS using these two commands,you can find the .sys files on the net,like on hiren's the first command makes usb available the second one scans them for drives.There are several usb drivers but this one worked for me on everything I tried.
devload usbaspi1.sys
devload di1000dd.sys
 

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