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Avocado's picture
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Joined: 2018 Oct 8
USB floppy drive help

I have just received a USB floppy drive earlier today along with my 25 set of 1.44b disks so I can transfer software over to my mac LC II coming soon. At first it was working, even on the iBook G3 with Mac Os 9.2, my Windows 10 PC and Macbook Pro. After a bit, when I inserted the 1.44mb floppy into the drive, the iBook began to freeze up til I took the diskette out of the drive. The other computers had slightly better but that was about it. Overtime, I was getting the feeling something was either wrong with the disks or disk drive. I knew the disk pack I had ordered were never opened so I can say that the drive might be acting up. Does anyone have anyway to solve this? Thank you sincerely.

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WhosIt.There's picture
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Joined: 2014 Aug 23

Windows of course can't read Mac-formatted disks without some extra software.

If it's only some disks, then the disk are probably corrupted.

If it's all disks, then it's more likely the drive is broken in some way. It could be as "simple" as needing a clean / realignment or a new USB cable (possibly a Y-cable to supply more USB power).

You may also need to be careful about which USB port you plug it into since not all ports are created equal (even on the same computer).

Avocado's picture
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Joined: 2018 Oct 8

I am aware of windows being unable to read mac disks, though I am also aware that there is an application known as HFVExplorer. I will likely look into buying a y cable and take all things considered into account. Thank you for your insight. Smile

sfp1954's picture
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If the disks are old enough they may all need to be low level formatted on the LC before use.
(In fact I would say they SHOULD all be reformatted before use.)
That process will also scan for bad blocks.
Not sure if you can format floppies on a USB drive.

Avocado's picture
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Joined: 2018 Oct 8

When I looked at the pack of the disks, the copyright date was from 1996. They have yet to be opened and i did use them for a bit before my drive was acting up.

sfp1954's picture
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If you're running 9.2 see if you get the erase option in the drop down menu at the top of the screen.
I'll check it out here as well. I have several external USB floppy drives and plenty of machines running OS9.

sfp1954's picture
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If they were formatted that long ago it possible the sector markings have faded away to nothing.
I would reformat (erase option) them all before using. Preferably on the LC.

uxware's picture
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Joined: 2018 Dec 22

do you mean old (800/400k) disks?
There is Kryoflux - alas NOT a cheap solution.

https://www.kryoflux.com/
https://forum.kryoflux.com/viewtopic.php?t=135

Avocado's picture
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NO, not those. I use the 1.44 megabyte disks and they work with my drive since it is also a 1.44mb drive.

noway's picture
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I would agree that your USB floppy drive probably has hardware issues.
Did you buy a new drive or a used one?
I doubt that repairing a second hand USB slim line device is worth the effort,
as new devices are sold for about € 15.

If you are located in the EU, I might send you another used USB floppy from my crap box.

You may know that Basilisk II Build 142 for Windows does write Mac HFS floppies fine too -
just in case your iBook G3 does not "like" your floppy device.
Writing HFS floppies from your MBP is not impossible, but not as easy as with Basilisk II Build 142.

Avocado's picture
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I bought it brand new, however I suppose it was a lemon likewise what some of the customers say their’s was.

24bit's picture
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Bad luck.
Lets hope you will get a replacement drive or your money back at least.
Maybe an oldish Teac or Mitsumi USB floppy is more reliable?
My oldies do still work, just tried with Basilisk II B142 and Windows 10.
( Control-shift-F11 mounts the floppy on the Mac side, just in case you did not know this.)

sfp1954's picture
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Joined: 2013 Dec 29

I have had good luck with the Imation and VST models.

Troyd's picture
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I would echo the VST Smartdisk USB drive as reliable as far as USB drives go and maybe stay clear of IBM drives, which all seem to have weaker motors and read head issues on Macs.