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Can I, should I get rid of it and use the space for a second hard drive? Never seem to use it any more and there is no space for a second hard drive which might come in handy. If the answer is yes, can anyone give some help on how please?
ps I'm using Windows 2000 pro on my self built desktop.
I would check that your motherboard BIOS supports booting from USB memory sticks and from the optical drives first, for recovery reasons. This remains the only real use for a floppy, but if your bios can boot from another portable format then there isn't really much reason to keep the floppy drive.
Whether or not the bios supports USB/CD booting, I'd keep the floppy away somewhere anyways in case you need it.
Before you do anything inside a PC you should try to avoid static problems. Plug your PC into a mains socket, but leave that socket switched off at the wall (this gets your PC earthed, whilst avoiding electrocuting yourself!).
Ideally you can get hold of an earthing strap which connects to your wrist and to the PC with a crocodile clip so that you are earthed too. If not, then grab hold of the metal case before you start working, sit reasonably still (to avoid generating excess static as you work) and hope for the best!
Open the case and locate the back of the floppy drive.
There will be a power connector (small with black and red wires) and a data connector (larger with a flat ribbon cable, usually grey or cream coloured) going in to the back of the floppy drive.
Detatch both connectors. They can be left inside the PC but best to attach them to similar cables using tie clips, to stop them flapping around and finding their way into fans etc!
Remove the screws holding the drive itself into the bay; these will be on the left and right sides. Probably only one screw but maybe two on each side.
The floppy drive will slide out of the bay, either forwards or backwards depending on the design of your case.
The procedure for adding the disk is easy but beware of drive letter. Check the 'jumpers' setting on all your ide devices and keep the original drive in the correct place, or you may end up with problem booting windows because of drive 'letters' changed. Your new drive recognized as 'C' and W2000 not finding its files because cwindows is now dwindows for ie....
Nothing too difficult to correct, but if you don't understand this, I would suggest, you buy the new HD and ask a computer more savy friend to make it for you. It should take him/her less than ten minutes.
The A: drive is just a drive letter as such, but the hardware side of it is different. If you already are full on the hard drive slot side, (usually 4), you can't connect a hard drive to the floppy port, they are not the same.
If you don't have 4 HDD's, then you can add more, and use any letter you like to allocate them, or change the existing letters to something new.
You may run into problems if you try to allocate A: to a HDD, there are some applications that are hard coded to see a floppy on A:, and the results of trying to access a HDD on A: are at best unpredicatble, and at worst downright dangerous, especially if the application has it's own inbuilt driver for the floppy drive.
If it's only the physical space that's the issue, that should be OK, but you may need to check that the power supply has the right connectors for the HDD, the floppy drive connector and the HDD connector are usually different. I've seen converters to go from HDD to FLoppy connector, but I can't recall seeing the opposite way round.
I thought floppy drives were extinct untill I built a new system a couple of weeks ago.
Put a brand new SATA HDD in only to find WinXP wont recognise it during install. Need additional drivers but you cant eject the windows cd while installing. OK I've found the floppy in the box. So go to my mate take the drive from his computer and plug it in to my motherboard. Find the provided floppy is corrupted. Tech support website says download these files to a fresh floppy. So download files to my mac - burn to cd- take cd and floppy drive back to my mates house- plug Fd back in and transfer files to floppy.- take drive and floppy back to my house, plug back in to Motherboard and start again. Success. Then unplug floppy drive and return with case of lager.
All so I can avoid spending £5 on a new floppy drive
My laptop came without a floppy drive, but that didn't bother me too much because I already had a 64Mb USB memory stick. However, snag at work was that the system was NT, which does not support USB. So I bought an inexpensive external USB floppy drive, which is a small box about 6"X4"x5/8". Plugs into a USB port and picked up automatically by plug and play.
I also had cause recently to transfer a large amount of data from one machine to another. I bought a USB powered external hard drive about the same size as the above. About £120 for 80Gb of spare drive [Western Digital], useable everywhere under plug and play. To me, good value. [40Gb drive about £80, and you may be able to get bigger than 80Gb].
In fact, this option may be better than a fixed internal hard disk - you can stick it in you pocket; it doesn't weigh much, either.