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5.25" USB Floppy Drive

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Guys... I've seen plenty of 3.5" USB floppy drives, but has anyone seen a 5.25" USB floppy drive?

 

Just curious...

 

I kinda think my Pentium Core i7 needs a 5.25" floppy drive.

 

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These two posts are going to be about as good as you can get. I looked into my options for installing a 5.25 drive in my desktop a couple years ago. I started out with the foolish assumption that I could just install it download drivers an bingo it works. After hours and hours of searching the web for a way to make it work all I found was the boards listed above. Then one day while driving I saw a 90's compaq sitting in someones trash. Now my method for writing floppies is.... net to laptop, laptop to 3.5 floppy, 3.5 floppy to compaq, compaq to 5.25 floppy, 5.25 floppy to TI 994A or 800xl. The process is so cumbersome but It works and I didn't have to buy anything. If your goal is to write floppy's for an old computer usually the best option is something like sio2pc (Atari) or some other rs232 link. Or maybe some kind of sd card reader for your old computer. In either situation its going to be your vintage computer doing the writing of the floppy. There are plenty of options for writing a floppy depending on what type of vintage computer you use. If you just want to have a floppy drive in your modern pc because it would be sweet. In my oppinion its not worth the effort.

Edited by Dripfree

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going off topic

 

newest computer I have in house with a floppy port is a 2008 era amd X2 system, and yes up to windows 7 just shrugs and says ok (though it will randomly access it when trying to index, never tried anything newer)

 

even then the bios only supports 1 drive (which is kind of dumb) so for my 3.5 inch I use a LS120 "superdisk" which plugs into the IDE port (and also works with usb <> ide adapters) the super disk was a 3.5inch cousin to the zip drive that was also backwards compatible, dont think I have ever seen a actual superdisk though, and I have had 2 or 3 drives over the years heh

Edited by Osgeld

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going off topic

 

newest computer I have in house with a floppy port is a 2008 era amd X2 system, and yes up to windows 7 just shrugs and says ok (though it will randomly access it when trying to index, never tried anything newer)

 

even then the bios only supports 1 drive (which is kind of dumb) so for my 3.5 inch I use a LS120 "superdisk" which plugs into the IDE port (and also works with usb <> ide adapters) the super disk was a 3.5inch cousin to the zip drive that was also backwards compatible, dont think I have ever seen a actual superdisk though, and I have had 2 or 3 drives over the years heh

A friend of mine had a ls120 drive. Always liked the concept of using the 3.5" format to store 120mb on a superfloppy while maintaining backwards compatability with the standard 3.5" 1.44mb disks.

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floppy drives are MFM, not IDE or SATA, wont work

 

Right. Forgot about that.

 

Why do you need a 5.25 floppy disc usb reader?

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Right. Forgot about that.

 

Why do you need a 5.25 floppy disc usb reader?

 

Personally, I need an 8" reader... got a drive generously donated to me, just need the interface and crossed fingers that the drive works and the data on the disks are still good. :)

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Personally, I need an 8" reader... got a drive generously donated to me, just need the interface and crossed fingers that the drive works and the data on the disks are still good. :)

An 8 INCH FLOPPY DISK? damn, those are ooollldddd. Anyways, will an 8 inch reader even fit in a normal 5.25 inch drive bay?

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no its 8 inches wide not 5.25 :evil:

 

back when I didnt have a 5.25 drive, I thought I needed one, now that I have one on the other computer I rarely use it :)

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no its 8 inches wide not 5.25 :evil:

 

back when I didnt have a 5.25 drive, I thought I needed one, now that I have one on the other computer I rarely use it :)

 

So how would you even be able to put one in a drive bay?

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So how would you even be able to put one in a drive bay?

 

"You don't." Mine will be free-standing if I get it all to work. I have seen some 8" stand-alone bays on eBay for much more than I am willing to pay.

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An 8 INCH FLOPPY DISK? damn, those are ooollldddd. Anyways, will an 8 inch reader even fit in a normal 5.25 inch drive bay?

 

Yeah, no kidding. The last time I saw one of those had to back back around 1984 or 85 when I sold a TRS-80 Model 16B to some dude who thought it was just 'too cool'. I remember it to this day, the guy shelled out 5K cash + tax for that P.O.S.!

 

I wonder if it'll take a Lotharek? It might be interesting getting the proper emulation format.

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Yeah, no kidding. The last time I saw one of those had to back back around 1984 or 85 when I sold a TRS-80 Model 16B to some dude who thought it was just 'too cool'. I remember it to this day, the guy shelled out 5K cash + tax for that P.O.S.!

 

I wonder if it'll take a Lotharek? It might be interesting getting the proper emulation format.

 

My goal right now is to recover my "library" from an old System/34 disk from high school. I have some OCL scripts, menus, and other stuff I created.

 

I have actually amassed quite a collection of relic media devices like old QIC tape drives (the floppy controller kind,) various disk drives, and what-not intending to be used for odd-ball data recovery. A working 8" disk installation would be cake. I am hoping to go back a little further with the tape drives, but some of the readers are stupid expensive these days (though with the right job it would be worth it -- I have one really nice forensic recovery device that a customer paid for with his fee.)

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"You don't." Mine will be free-standing if I get it all to work. I have seen some 8" stand-alone bays on eBay for much more than I am willing to pay.

 

So wait, what kind of computers were these 8 inch floppies used on?

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Off the top of my head, a lot of the old S100 bus stuff could use them, the IMSAI, the IBM System/34 and family "main-frames," but that is the limit of my experience. Old Computers notes that the TRS-80 II used them.

 

Couple of interesting tidbits:

 

http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/04/60-minutes-shocked-to-find-8-inch-floppies-drive-nuclear-deterrent/

 

http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/ibm100/us/en/icons/floppy/breakthroughs/

(This one mentions 80k on a disk in 1971; the disk I used on our system in high school was in the 1MB range, IIRC)

 

List of 8" floppy formats (vindicates my memory above)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_floppy_disk_formats

 

https://ub.fnwi.uva.nl/computermuseum/diskettes.php

 

Here is a PC floppy controller to 8" adapter

http://www.dbit.com/fdadap.html

 

And in case you want to order some floppies

http://www.athana.com/html/diskette.html

 

:)

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they were real popular on rack mount mini systems like dec and IBM, but yes you could get one in a box and set it on your desk and some systems like the tandy had enough room in case for them

Edited by Osgeld

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When did 8" disks fall out of (common) use?

 

Other than the catalogue entries for the Tandy Model II/12/16, I never saw any actual computers that used them. I took an "Intro to Computers in Business" class in first-year university (Fall 1988), and I seem to recall that the Prof brought in an 8" floppy disk as an example of obsolete hardware.

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When did 8" disks fall out of (common) use?

 

Other than the catalogue entries for the Tandy Model II/12/16, I never saw any actual computers that used them. I took an "Intro to Computers in Business" class in first-year university (Fall 1988), and I seem to recall that the Prof brought in an 8" floppy disk as an example of obsolete hardware.

 

I'd say by 1981 they were effectively dead and more or less irrelevant by the end of the previous decade. They were primarily used in the home in CP/M-based machines. In my collection I only have one system with dual 8" drives, and that's the Exidy Sorcerer with an expansion box. I also have two CP/M games in the 8" format that someone was kind enough to convert to a more usable 5.25" format for me.

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I'd say by 1981 they were effectively dead and more or less irrelevant by the end of the previous decade. They were primarily used in the home in CP/M-based machines. In my collection I only have one system with dual 8" drives, and that's the Exidy Sorcerer with an expansion box. I also have two CP/M games in the 8" format that someone was kind enough to convert to a more usable 5.25" format for me.

 

This, definitely. 1977 is the year IBM recognizes as being the introduction of the 5.25" and the "Shugart" drives. The 3.5" was introduced around 1984-ish. I was still using 5.25" floppies for school until around '88-ish. I remember obtaining my first Commodore 1581 DSDD* 3.5" drive in 1990 and CMD marketing HD and ED (1.44MB, 2.88MB, respectively) drives, as well as a 4.76MB format for which I have been unable to find information on (it very well might have been vaporware.) So for me, having a couple of 8" floppies in 1990, not to mention the mechanical floppy catalog the System/34 used, was quite an exciting novelty :)

 

* Oh, how I wish Commodore had used HD mechanism in the 1581, but I suspect that would have made the drive a good bit more expensive than it already was.

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add in the "cheap" 5.25 inch drives started by the apple disk II (and the commie drives) the 8 inchers didnt last long in the consumer market, they stuck around for a little bit in the rack machines but rare to see once the 2.5,3.0 and the 3.5 inch media's came out other than a novelty at a surplus electronics shop

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5.25"s were still around and well in use as late as the early 90s. I don't really remember them at all after 95, though.

Actually, according to this guy's video, they were producing 8 inch floppies up until the 90s.

 

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