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Simple floppy drive question
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arr
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1. Simple floppy drive question
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This one has bugged me for a long time so I am finally going to ask about it. Why does warp 4 give me a drive a and drive b when there is no drive b on my system? Does the ibm floppy driver with no switches added assume you have two drives attached to the controller? Are there switches to tell warp I only have one drive attached to the controller?

Kind regards,
Adam

Date: 31 Jan, 2004 on 13:37
oli
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2. Re:Simple floppy drive question
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Warp, and quite a few other OS's query the bios for information, so if by mistake there is another drive configured in the BIOS, the OS' will "take it'sword for it" so to speak. Also some portable computer create ghost flopppy drives in the BIOS for a variety of reasons (such as hotswapping and disk emulation etc)
Date: 01 Feb, 2004 on 14:12
arr
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3. Re:Simple floppy drive question
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There is only one floppy drive configured in the bios, so that cannot be it. I have checked so that's not it and this is not a laptop, it is a desktop computer. Hmmm, interesting! Thanks anyways.

kind regards,
arr

Date: 01 Feb, 2004 on 14:20
Cris
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4. Re:Simple floppy drive question
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... That's not easy for one that has seen only the recent breed of Windows OSes (and PCs)...

Here is the explanation:

PCs have always had two *logical* floppy drives, even when having one *phisycal* floppy. This is due to the fact that early PCs had small (or no) hard drives, and having these two logical floppies would enable you to e.g. copy a floppy (a very frequent operation back then) without having to make an image on the hard drive.

It worked like this (and it still works):

You put floppy 1 in the drive. You issue "diskcopy a: b:" at the command line, which means "please copy the floppy that is in drive a: to the floppy that is in drive b:". The latter drive does not exist, but that doesn't matter, because when it's the time to write to floppy b: the program gets interrupted and the OS asks you to replace the source floppy that's in the drive with the destination floppy. When you've done your swapping, writing begins. As soon as the PC needs more data from the source floppy, you need to swap the floppies once again, and so on...

At some point in time Windows choose to represent only the phisycal "A:" drive in its explorer interface. On the other hand, OS/2 will show both the logical A: and B: floppy drives. It's just a matter of choices.

Hope this helps...
Bye

Cris

Date: 02 Feb, 2004 on 12:23
arr
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5. Re:Simple floppy drive question
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Well, your explanation makes sense Chris. So it is is one less thing to be concerned about then since it is supposed to be that way. That's what I like about life, you learn something new every day. I do have the b: icon hidden in the drives folder(Just to make sure I don't accidently click on it.).

Thanks,
arr

Date: 02 Feb, 2004 on 14:19
Kim
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6. Re:Simple floppy drive question
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last updated at 02 Feb, 2004 19:14 (1 times)
Well, here is how to remove the icon if you cant live with it;-)

1) Open the System folder and choose Properties for the Drive icon/folder.

2) Choose the Include section and click Add to enter a new rule how to handle Drive B

3) Set the attribute to Object Title and Comparison Type to is equal to and final, set the Comparison value to Drive B


Date: 02 Feb, 2004 on 19:14 Attachment: HowDeleteDriveB.gif
Rodders
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7. Re:Simple floppy drive question
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Thankyou Kim - I also prefer not to see a drive which does not exist. BUT - the burning question - if I remove the drive from the BIOS, thus releasing IRQ 6 for better things, it would appear to be difficult to re-assign it, since the BIOS generally ignores IRQ 6 as a valid possibility. Any ideas?
Date: 02 Feb, 2004 on 19:35
Kim
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8. Re:Simple floppy drive question
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last updated at 02 Feb, 2004 20:29 (1 times)
Well, not really I tried the same myself without any luck, drivers sometimes tend to be pain in the butt regarding IRQ6. And here is a little something that might backup what we already know:

This interrupt is reserved for use by the floppy disk controller. Technically, it is available for use by other devices, and some devices will allow you to select IRQ6. Most however do not, realizing that virtually every PC uses at least one floppy disk drive. The most common devices that will let you use IRQ6 are probably tape drive accelerator cards. This is probably because these cards are used for tape drives that run off the floppy interface, and many of them can be set to drive floppy disks themselves.

Some reading about IRQs can be found at following url:

http://www.pcguide.com/ref/mbsys/res/irq/num.htm

Date: 02 Feb, 2004 on 20:26
oli
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9. Re:Simple floppy drive question
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Cris (02 Feb, 2004 13:23):

PCs have always had two *logical* floppy drives, even when having one *phisycal* floppy. This is due to the fact that early PCs had small (or no) hard drives, and having these two logical floppies would enable you to e.g. copy a floppy (a very frequent operation back then) without having to make an image on the hard drive.


Nope

Original PC's did not assume or create a ghost drive, not the IBM PC ones anyway nor was there such a mechanism in early DOS, besides, the original PC had 64k but came with 2x 360k drives so that operation would have been very time consuming.

In 1991 I bought one such from a fefunct IBM dealer (along with the famous "Instrumentation PC" that shuld have become the IBM PC, 68k CP/M68k), the PC actually had a 300/1200 baud tape interface ............

Date: 02 Feb, 2004 on 21:02
Cris
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10. Re:Simple floppy drive question
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Oli, I really don't know if it was in the original IBM PC specs, but for what I can say from personal experience, they have had this possibility built in since the very early models.

I had my first IBM PC around 1987, it was an IBM PS/2 model 20. It was the base model of the PS/2 family, but it wasn't really a PS/2: it didn't have the Microchannel architecture. It was a standard IBM PC, with an Intel 8086 processor and two 3.5" 720Kb floppy drives (this was the most innovative thing; I think this is why they put it in the PS/2 family, since all other PCs back then had 5.25" 360Kb or 1.2Mb floppy drives). Later I bought a 20Mb hard drive and put it in one of the floppy slots, removing one floppy.
I had to buy an ESDI (IIRC) controller for that. From that moment onwards, I still had the two logical drives A: and B:, but mapped to the single physical drive that was installed. The hard drive got the letter C:.

It may well be possible that earlier IBM PCs did not have this kind of behaviour. I don't even know if this is implemented at the floppy controller level, at the BIOS level, or what else.

Thankyou for your contributions!
Bye

Cris

Date: 03 Feb, 2004 on 09:53
icebear
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11. Re:This simple Floppy Drive question ...
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... gets even more complicated on a system (Thinpad T30) WITHOUT a Floppy Drive !

The system's Drives Folder shows Floppy Drives A & B however they are not present !!

With a Diskette as input I am able to connect to my other system's Floppy Drive !!!

BUT: How does one overcome the situation if a request for Drive A appears

Any suggestions for a good solution ??

Thanks in advance !

Date: 03 Feb, 2004 on 12:51
Cris
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12. Re:Simple floppy drive question
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Sam, this is an entirely diferent problem (I think).
This should be due to the fact that portables usually have the possibility to insert an external floppy, or a dual floppy/cdrom drive, or to swap the cdrom and floppy drives in a bay. Thus the floppy drive has to be configured in the system, ready for when you want to put it in. I think you should be able to disable the "phantom floppy" from the BIOS of the Thinkpad.

Hope this helps...
Bye

Cris

Date: 04 Feb, 2004 on 09:24
Simple floppy drive question
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