Adding another floppy (Was: TEAC FD-55GFR = Quad Density?

Chuck Guzis cclist at
Sat Oct 8 12:01:01 CDT 2005

On 10/8/2005 at 9:37 AM Fred Cisin wrote:

>... or a SCSI "Floptical" (also handles 1.4M),
>or MicroSolutions "Backpack" external parallel port floppy (my 2.8m one
>has been pretty reliable),
>or a second floppy controller (at an alternate address if you can't fully
>disable the internal one),
>or a manual toggle switch on the drive select lines (OK for drives that
>you don't use often, such as 3" or 3.25"),
>there were software controlled drive select switches available for adding
>some of the floppy port tape drives - some of those CAN be used to switch
>additional floppies.

The moment you start talking about non-DOS OS support hings like the parallel-port drives and secondary controllers run into trouble with finding drivers to support them.  The "flopticals" like the LS-120 on SCSI (or even an old Teac FD-235S SCSI floppy) have a problem in that they pretty much all assume 512 or 1024 byte sectors with very regular addressing (like every USB drive I've ever seen), so they can't be used for importing "foreign" media--and many DOS-based programs don't understand them at all.

The current crop of Dell Optiplexes have no ISA slots at all, which makes any sort of add-in floppy controller a bit of a problem.

Oddly, it may be cheapest and more expedient to simply trash the motherboard in the Dell, stripping off the CPU and RAM and refit the box with another maker's motherboard with full support (and an ISA slot or four).


More information about the cctalk mailing list