View Full Version : Floppy drive not being read; 2nd HDD

23-09-2001, 11:41 PM
Am working on an old 486 40MHz. Does not have PCI only ISA cards adn there are 2 IO cards available if I can use them - see later.

The c: drive has been set up ok but the FDD is not being recognised.

I can get thru the initial bootup process but when I try to read a FDD disk, it tells me its not ready - ie the Abort retry fail options

Could it be the cable?
Could it be the IO card?
Could it be the writer!!!!!

Anyone point me in the correct direction please.

Also the second HDD drive needs to be set up as D: - a 210 MB drive

Can this be done using a SECOND ISA IO card?

This PC does not have a cd rom at this stage



24-09-2001, 08:12 AM
Most old 486 boards had the IDE and floppy interfaces onboard in which case you wouldn't need to use the IO card/cards. If you don't have them on board, then most IO cards can drive 2 HDD's and 1 floppy. Both of your HDD's could run of the one cable, if there is only 1 IDE socket on the IO card. Make sure the floppy the cable is around the right way, ie red edge of cable towards pin 1, (if the floppy light stays on, it's around the wrong way)also the end of the floppy cable that has a split and some wires turned over, goes towards the floppy drive. If you add an IDE CD rom later you may need the second IO card. If you run the floppy of the IO card and you have an on board floppy socket, then you need to disable the on board connection in the bios. I think I've got this right, somebody correct me If I am wrong.

24-09-2001, 09:34 AM
Just to add a few points, I/O cards were not all that reliable, and it was not uncommon to experience failures, maybe even more so now because of their age.
It was generally PCI m/boards that had built in HDD/FDD controllers and ports.
Another point to watch, it doesnt have anything to do with the FDD not working, there were 3 different kinds of COM2 serial port connector cable ie a 10 pin plug(9 pins used) to 25 pin, looking exactly the same but wired differently. One for XT's one for PC's with I/O cards, and one for the PCI onboard connector.

Also check that the right size FDD has been selected in the BIOS setup.

24-09-2001, 11:12 AM
Yet some more points: In above I was thinking of 'clone' 486 ISA/VESA m/boards having I/O cards mainly. The branded names like IBM and Compaq had built in controllers.

Sometimes a FDD can stick and not read a disk. A cleaning disk carefully used can sometimes restore a floppy drive.