View Full Version : Lost Floppy Drive

15-07-2002, 03:44 PM
We are unable to use our A: drive. On bootup a message appears saying that there is a problem with the Master Boot Record. I have checked the BIOS settings and A: drive is set as the 1st boot drive but if I insert a floppy before powering up the PC, the PC boots direct from the hard drive.
I have tried to uninstall A: drive from Windows device manager and restart the PC. When I do this windows reinstalls A: drive and tells me that it is working fine, but it is still not accessible.
I have checked the wiring and everything is connected as it should be.
Can anyone help?

Graham L
15-07-2002, 03:53 PM
Have you tried with more than one floppy? Try making a new boot disk from the Windows, if that is still working. ;-) (However, it's a bit unusual for the system to complain about a MBR on a floppy ...)

Does the BIOS "know" that the drive is 3.5", 1.44 MB ? I don't know what the defaults are these days, but I have seen a few which think they have a 5.25", 1.2 MB.

15-07-2002, 08:23 PM
The message about the MBR comes while the computer is booting normally. The BIOS setting is for a 1.44 floppy.
The problem is that the computer will not read any floppy. This goes for starting the computer as well as under a normal operating environment. I originally thought that the problem was a faulty disk drive but the MBR message made me think that maybe the problem is else where.

15-07-2002, 10:27 PM
You could be painting yourself into a corner here, as you may need to run a program from a boot disk to fix the MBR problem, but you cannot as the floppy drive does not work.

The MBR is the first sector of the HDD. It can be repaired if its not the actual drive. If the PC boots, now is the time to backup all those critical files.....but how?

Terry Porritt
15-07-2002, 10:50 PM
Just speculating, if you have a CDRW, it should be possible to make a bootable CD and put fdisk on it. Then you could run fdisk /mbr and hope the master boot record is repaired. I havent tried this but it sounds plausible.

Graham L
16-07-2002, 01:58 PM
Check that the cables to the floppy are fully inserted (both ends -- the flat cables are often hard to see through at the motherboard end, and they can get partially unplugged by accident). Does the LED flicker twice during the boot process (once just before the HD and CD LEDs flicker during the POST, and then just before the HD starts booting)?

You can often get a second-hand floppy drive quite cheaply (at prices down to free if you take away the rest of the computer).