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FLOPPY DISK|DRIVE KILLERS- SPRING CLEANING, COMPUTER STYLE
Floppy Disk|Drive Killers- The last time we discussed the fix for the Rebellious Mouse in Part 5, Spring Cleaning or Spring Training, Computer Style. Today we will address the fix for the Killer Floppy Disk|Drive.
THE KILLER FLOPPY DISK|DRIVE- SPRING CLEANING
(The floppy disk drive is the 3.5 or 5.25-inch open horizontal slot on the front of your computer desktop case. It uses removable 3.5 or 5.25-inch plastic disks that are inserted into the drive. It is an alternative storage location (usually drive A:) to the unseen, fixed hard drive (usually drive C:) inside your computer case. It is not the CD ROM drive. A laptop floppy drive may be internal or external (attachable). Macintosh will display an icon of a floppy disk on the desktop after disk insertion.)
Ok so you tried one, two, three floppy disks in your 3.5 or 5.25-inch floppy drive and none of them worked. Your computer reports an error of some sort. It also might tell you that the disk in the drive is not formatted and asks if you want to format it now? (DO NOT do this unless you are sure the disk is unformatted and blank.)
You also may have wondered how to copy from hard drive to floppy disk when the target floppy drive reports an error.
Is your floppy drive broken? Well, maybe not. Maybe all you need is Spring Cleaning, Computer Style. Let’s fix this problem now.
WINDOWS AND MACINTOSH
WARNING: A misaligned or dirty drive can KILL the precious data on your floppy disks. Do not use floppy disks as a PRIMARY storage media for your key files. The chances of failure are too great.
Use the hard disk instead, and use floppies only for file sharing/transfer and backup (better alternatives include a USB Flash Key, Zip or Jaz drive, DVD/CD Rewriteable/Recordable drive, tape, a second hard drive in the system, another computer hard drive on a network and an Internet backup service).
There are a number of reasons that your floppy drive or disk may not work. The action list below is by no means exhaustive. Briefly listed, do the following:
· Obtain a Floppy Drive Disk Cleaner Kit. Kensington makes one for 3.5-inch disk drives that is available at Staples for about $6.00. COMP USA has same one only on its Website for $2.93 (www.compusa.com). Clean the drive. Try the disk again.
· Make sure that you have the right size and capacity floppy disk for your drive (check with your computer consultant, manufacturer or computer manual).
· Make sure that the floppy disk is fully inserted and locked in the drive.
· Check that the floppy disk Write Protect Tab is not in the “down” position. The down position will prevent you from saving or writing to the disk. Push the tab up if necessary.
· Make sure the disk is pre-formatted and if not, then format it.
· Remove the disk; tap it on a hard surface. Alternately shake it so that you can hear the plastic media inside move. Try to read the disk again.
Use a different brand or another floppy disk in the drive.
If the sliding metal/plastic sleeve at the top of the floppy disk is missing, it will not work. Make sure that the sleeve was not left behind in the drive after ejection. The floppy disk is a goner.
Run Windows Scandisk, Macintosh First Aid or Norton Utilities Disk Doctor on the floppy disk. If the utility is able to correct any errors, immediately copy the contents of the floppy to a folder on your hard drive. Discard the floppy.
If the drive still does not work, call your local computer consultant or computer repair shop. (If you are the greater Los Angeles Area, call NO SWEAT !!! COMPUTER CONSULTANTS in Santa Monica, CA at 310-392-4840. They have been in business since 1991 and they will come to your home or office for repairs, training or for any computer need.)
The floppy drive, floppy controller, cabling or system BIOS may be the culprits. Often simply replacing the drive will do the trick. The drives cost only $20-$30 each so replacement, not repair is the way to go.
information on specific floppy drive error messages, diagnostics and
recommendations go to http://www.pcguide.com/ts/x/comp/fdd/index.htm
for PC’s and use the Knowledge Base in the Support Section at
www.apple.com for Macintosh.
That’s it for now from the Killer Floppy Disk|Drive.
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