No, you stupid computer, my floppy is not bootable.

Discussion in 'Computer Science & Culture' started by Athelwulf, Nov 24, 2007.

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  1. Athelwulf Rest in peace Kurt... Registered Senior Member

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    I usually use floppy disks to carry papers and other documents for my classes. Spare me if you're one of those anti-floppy nuts, I've heard it all

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    . But I've had a memory problem with my floppies, and I will sometimes forget it in a computer at the college and only remember it some hours later. All the computers are set to reboot themselves every so often if they're logged off, and if a floppy is in there when it does that, it tries to boot off the floppy. But because my floppies aren't bootable, it gets stuck trying to find an OS or something on there. This ends up totally ruining the floppy. I talked to the IT guy, but he won't change the BIOS settings. He says it would be a pain, and I guess he's got a point.

    Anyway. Is there an awesome, clever hack or something I could do to my floppies or other portable drives which will tell the computer there's nothing to boot off of and it would be stupid if it tried? You might tell me to just try to remember, but if there's a fallback for when I do forget again (and I will), then I'd love to know about it.
     
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  3. mikenostic Stop pretending you're smart! Registered Senior Member

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    What BIOS settings were you thinking he needs to change? You mean like place the a: drive at the bottom of the boot order list? Unless they have a BIOS password set on it, you can go into the BIOS and change the setting yourself.
    One other thing, I'm not anti-floppy per se' but I'm very pro flash/thumb drive. What has made you decide against one of those? If all you are carrying are class files and documents, even a 256K or 512K one would hold as much as you need.
     
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  5. Athelwulf Rest in peace Kurt... Registered Senior Member

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    Yup.

    Well the computers have this Deep Freeze thing. Any data you change or save when you run Windows gets reverted every time Windows shuts down. I assumed by extension that the same would be true of the BIOS, but I guess there's a possibility it isn't.

    Their cost. Floppies are hella cheap, and I had bought a ten-pack of then when I started my first term at the college. Also, you can just put the floppy in and go. I get annoyed when I plug in a stick drive or my iPod and Windows treats me like I'm an idiot: "Hey! I found a USB device! Hey! This device is an external drive! Hey! I know this device's brand! Hey! I've installed all the shit I needed to install in order for you to use your fancy new hardware! Hey! You can use your external hard drive now!"

    But now I have a huge stick drive that I got at a Black Friday sale at Staples. I froze my balls off for an hour before the store opened, and there was a line clear back to the street. I was happy I was near the front. And I'm happy I have four gigabytes for maybe a third of the original price.

    I'm worried though that I'm gonna forget my stick drive, and it might get ruined. Is there something I could do? I've considered installing Linux on it so it would be bootable and it wouldn't get ruined (this is in another thread). But is there a way to tell the computer the device just isn't bootable?
     
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  7. John99 Banned Banned

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    The best thing to ever happen to copmputers was getting rid of floppy drives. Dont those computers have USB ports? But i am not sure how attampting to boot from those disks would detroy them anyway.
     
  8. Athelwulf Rest in peace Kurt... Registered Senior Member

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    I find floppies a fine alternative, except for the part where computers are still set to boot off of them first.

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    Yes. But for reasons I explained to mikenostic, plugging USB devices into Windows computers annoys me.
     
  9. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member

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    You would think that allowing a computer to boot off of a floppy in a public setting like a college would be a security risk.
     
  10. Athelwulf Rest in peace Kurt... Registered Senior Member

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    I didn't think of that. I think I'll tell that to the IT guy.
     
  11. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    how?
    the computer (at least every single one i've ever used) only tries to boot from a non bootable floppy for maybe 10 seconds then displays "OS not found. replace the disk and press any key".
    the computer will patiently wait untill you press a key to reboot.
    unless someone is there to press a key the floppy will only be read once.

    edit:
    the boot order can be adjusted to bypass the floppy without compromising security. as a matter of fact it (the BIOS) should already be set to boot in the following order:
    1. HDD
    2. CD
    3 floppy.
     
  12. John99 Banned Banned

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    thats true. sounds like the IT people want to shit can floppie use.
     
  13. mikenostic Stop pretending you're smart! Registered Senior Member

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    Windows has no control over the BIOS. When the PC first starts up, hit either F2 or F10 (varies from brand to brand). If not one of those, there should be a message appear on the screen for a second or two that tells you which key to push to enter setup.
    Unless the IT guy has placed a password on the BIOS, you should be taken right in.
     
  14. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

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    Go get an USB!!! Problem solved!!!

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    (And you can also carry millions of times more documents then with a dumb floppy....

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    )
     
  15. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

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    Haha!! You have a "memory problem" with floppies!!! HAHA!!!!

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  16. Idle Mind What the hell, man? Valued Senior Member

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    QFE, people.
     
  17. dsdsds Valued Senior Member

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    Tigerdirect (Canada) is selling a 128MB stick for $2 (after rebate). That's more than 80 floppies worth of memory.

    I'm not "anti-floppy". Actually, I still have one on my computer to install the RAID driver during windows XP installation. The floppy drive was a great peice of hardware. I think it was the only component that never failed on me.
     
  18. MacGyver1968 Fixin' Shit that Ain't Broke Valued Senior Member

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    Lol...that's the only reason I have one on my machine, to install the SCSI driver. I think that's the only real reason to have one anymore.

    Time for a flash drive.
     
  19. Enmos Staff Member

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    Can't you set the floppy's to Read Only ? There always used to be a switch on the backside..
     
  20. Enmos Staff Member

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    Read-only switch:

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  21. redarmy11 Registered Senior Member

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    That won't make any difference. He needs to stop being a mong and get a flash drive instead of wandering around in a dreamworld pretending it's still 1985.
    Well duh. What, the mean IT guy won't alter the BIOs on all your college's computers, just so that you can use a piece of technology that went out with the Ark? You're a knob, Athelwulf. Join the real world.
     
  22. Enmos Staff Member

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    If it's read-only the computer can't do anything to the floppy..
    But I agree, he should just get a flash drive.
     
  23. redarmy11 Registered Senior Member

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    It can still read from the floppy, whether the read-only switch is set or not. So setting it won't make one iota of difference. Just trust me on this.
     
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