[PLUG] 5-1/4" Floppy Issue

Richard C. Steffens rsteff at comcast.net
Mon Nov 26 18:25:34 PST 2012

On 11/26/2012 06:20 PM, John Jason Jordan wrote:
> On Mon, 26 Nov 2012 17:19:21 -0800
> "Richard C. Steffens" <rsteff at comcast.net> dijo:
>> Is it possible that the BIOS doesn't support 5-1/4" drives? Or did I
>> miss something else?
> It is not only possible, but likely. One of the advantages of the
> (then) new 3-1/2" drives was that they were standardized. The bad old
> 5-1/4" drives were sometimes 360 MB, sometimes some other number, the
> number of sectors were different from one manufacturer to the next,
> and there were all kinds of other incompatibilities. It was a nightmare
> for BIOS manufacturers as well as users. You were lucky if your 5-1/4"
> floppy could be read on your friend's machine. The computer world
> flocked to 3-1/2" drives as quickly as possible.

I do remember those days. My first machine had 10 hole, hard sector drives.
> Assuming the disk you want to read is for an IBM PC (or clone), which
> at least standardized on 360 MB, you'll need a BIOS from probably
> significantly before 2000.

It is from a PC.

> I'll bet Free Geek has a ton of old motherboards with a BIOS that would
> do the trick. In fact, you can probably get one for free just by
> dumpster diving in their trash.

I'll have to check that out.

Thanks for the thoughts.


Dick Steffens

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