Floppy drive won't recognise disks - help?

Discussion in 'Compaq' started by poachedeggs, Nov 8, 2008.

  1. poachedeggs

    poachedeggs Guest

    The remaining problem with this DeskPro EN 866 sff is that the floppy
    drive won't work. Initially the seller, a refurbishing company, seem
    to have not plugged the power connector in (labelled P2?), which I've
    now done. I don't see how any of the leads can be in wrong - they
    seem to only go one way? I tried to fit another drive I had in a
    drawer to see if it was the drive itself but the fit is wrong. The
    light lights up, it seems to work _mechanically_, so to speak - tries
    to read the disk, but prompts for a disk to be put in, even though
    there is one. I've tried reading or formatting from a C: prompt to no

    I don't suppose it really matters, as who uses floppies now, but if
    there's something simple I'd like to get it sorted. I have a few
    files on some floppies I could make use of.

    Otherwise, a really good machine for 30 quid - almost makes me sick I
    bought a new laptop.


    p.s. Being curious about Linux, if anyone can also let me know if I
    can set this machine up to dual-boot, and what is recommended, that
    info would be great, here or emailed to poachedeggs at hotmail dot co
    dot uk .
    poachedeggs, Nov 8, 2008
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  2. poachedeggs

    Ben Myers Guest

    It is possible that the floppy drive is clogged with dust and dirt.
    Does the motherboard BIOS recognize that the floppy is there? Seems
    like it does. If you have a can of compressed air, blast some air
    inside the floppy drive. Do so out of doors, to keep from inhaling the
    dust... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Nov 8, 2008
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  3. Hi!
    One of my Deskpro EN SFF machines exhibited this same failure. It
    turned out that the stepper motor and lead screw driving the heads was
    simply stuck. It seemed to have been caused by disuse.

    I got it freed up by repetitively inserting and removing a garbage
    diskette and asking the computer to read it. It slowly came back to
    life and is now working fine.

    Particularly bad cases might call for taking the drive apart (which
    requires a precision set of small tools in some cases) and cleaning
    it. You might also need to make sure the lead screw driving the heads
    can move freely and isn't jammed or blocked.

    These things collect plenty of lint over the years, so you might find
    a lint ball in the drive that is messing things up. You could probably
    see one (if there's one in there) by flipping open the drive door and
    shining a light in there.
    I would imagine that the prior owner of the machine did this instead
    of the refurbishing company. Chances are they thought of it as a
    "security" measure.

    If you don't mind my asking, where did you get your Deskpro?
    If you put the power connector in backwards, you'd have a smoking ruin
    in place of a floppy drive. The data connector can be connected
    backwards without lasting damage.

    I never tried a generic floppy drive in any of mine--they haven't
    needed replacement.
    They are *really* great systems. If you're ever looking for a similar
    system with more processing power (Pentium 4!) the Evo D500 series
    (also available in SFF) are much less common but still nicely made. I
    have one of the Evo D500 SFF models and it's just a Deskpro with the
    drives moved around and a P4 1.7 GHz CPU.
    You can dual boot just like you would any other computer. The Deskpro
    EN will run Linux nicely--I've been using gOS Beta 3.0 on one of my
    mine. It's only single boot, though.

    William R. Walsh, Nov 10, 2008
  4. poachedeggs

    Ben Myers Guest

    Maybe it's me, but it is far easier to replace a floppy drive than to
    disassemble it. Cleaning out dust and dirt inside a floppy drive
    sometimes works, too... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Nov 10, 2008
  5. Hi!
    I get the feeling you handle a lot more computer equipment than I
    do. :)

    It depends upon what day of the week it is--bright and early on a
    Monday morning (maybe) I'm much more inclined to crack open a drive
    and work on it. On Friday afternoon, probably not so much.

    I'm also inclined to do what I can to keep things out of the
    Dumpster...my "other job" *is* dumpster diving and trashpicking.

    William R. Walsh, Nov 10, 2008
  6. poachedeggs

    Ben Myers Guest

    You're right. I have a few Compaq floppy drives here without bezels and
    with the rounded eject button. It is interesting that Compaq assigned
    different part numbers to floppys that were 100% physically compatible
    across many product lines and over a span of years. Interesting, but
    stupid inventory management. Of course, when a know-nothing corporate
    procurement manager wants a specific part number, an identical
    substitute will never do. Equally stupid... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Nov 11, 2008
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