# 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. ### EnmosStaff Member

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Athelwulf:
This ends up totally ruining the floppy.

I get from above quote that the computer ruins the floppy.
Now I know that the computer can still read from the floppy if it's read-only, but it can't write anything on it. So it can't ruin it.
Unless it tries to fry to floppy ofcourse :shrug:

3. ### redarmy11Registered Senior Member

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Yes, a bit of a puzzle, I agree. Probably the repeated seeking messes up the disk's mechanism. But since Athelwunf appears to be having connection problems as well as floppy disk problems, I don't suppose we'll ever be any the wiser.

5. ### EnmosStaff Member

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LOL

Best advice is still "Get a freakin' Flashdrive !"

7. ### RubiksMasterReal eyes realize real liesRegistered Senior Member

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No doubt this is still faster than all the shenanigans the floppy drive goes through - the clicking and grinding as it starts to spin, and don't forget the really slow transfer rates, and of course, the 1.44 MB capacity (which is always substantially lower, because they degrade and get bad sectors so easily, which ultimately leads to the dreaded message "not ready reading drive A:" when clearly there is a disk there).

On a funny note, I stopped using floppy disks for my school work back in high school when the metal slider thingy snapped completely off inside the drive of the school's computer. It wouldn't eject, so there was nothing I could do but pull it as hard as I could. That computer was "out of order" for a few days after that, and they never knew it was me. I still wonder if they got it out, or just put in a whole new drive.

Now I usually have no need for portable storage because any time I need something, I can just ssh into my computer from the lab, and download the files I need.

8. ### ranthiRegistered Member

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This is a good problem since I really dont use floppys or flash drives or any of those..I stick with cds and dvd's. I suppose if you were good enough and wanted to waste the time with the extra effort you could make each disk you want to use a windows bootable floppy..(or whatever operating system is on the college computers)..then just use the extra space for your files. That way if you leave them in accidentally, I gather that the floppys should boot into the operating system on the computer just fine but if you just wanted to view your files..stick the disk in and navigate to them. This wouldnt leave you much room on your floppies for documents or whatnot but it would definately solve your problem I would think.

9. ### leopoldValued Senior Member

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1.44MB is the maximum capacity of the disk.
the funny thing is it will hold that many bytes if there are no bad sectors.
the formatted capacity of a 3.5" high density disk is 1.36 MB with all good sectors. the remaining byte count goes into the FAT table.
there are also extra bytes in every track, possibly to accommodate variations in spindle RPMs.

10. ### RubiksMasterReal eyes realize real liesRegistered Senior Member

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You're right. I just meant that in my experience, a substantial portion of the "available" space (even after all those other subtractions) is used up by bad sectors.

11. ### AthelwulfRest in peace Kurt...Registered Senior Member

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. Allow me to direct you to these two bits:

I hope that helps some of you. To the rest of you, I appreciate the help.

You haven't used these computers then. They keep reading the floppy until they find something to boot off of, which they never do nor will. I've come up to retrieve my floppy — one time it was the next day — and it was still reading it.

I'll try that.

And if I forget my USB drive? Do you think I'll more easily remember a USB drive just because it's a USB drive? What if it gets ruined too?

That hasn't been an issue with me. I only ever have Word documents and shit like that on them. And if I need to save something much bigger, then I use my iPod. That is infrequent enough that it's inconvenient to use my iPod, so I stick to my floppy.

That switch will do no good. The computer will still try to read the floppy for ages, which it can do whether or not the floppy is read-only. And besides, I may forget to switch it over when I want to edit to it, which will annoy me.

Floppies are dirt cheap. If they get ruined, well gee, I just lost fourteen cents. If a USB drive gets ruined, that's a thousand times more money, or more. I'd be royally pissed.

Please read the first sentence in this post. Also, what the fuck's a mong?! Am I supposed to be offended?

What connection problems?

Hey, I like this solution. I wasn't sure if bootable floppies could actually be used as regular floppies. But I'll try that.

12. ### RubiksMasterReal eyes realize real liesRegistered Senior Member

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The fact that your floppy got ruined is just a fluke. As someone already mentioned, it will try to boot from it ONCE and then sit there waiting for you to restart. When the disk got ruined, it was probably on its last legs anyway.

There is no reason your USB drive should be ruined. Being worried of that is analagous to being worried you'll drown in the shower. Besides, most computers won't even check the USB ports when it boots up.

You'll want to make sure to format the floppy as bootable on the school machine. This is because if you have a completely different setup at home, or a slightly different version of windows, there's a chance it might not work.

In my opinion though, actually booting from a floppy, and failing to boot from a floppy both cause the exact same amount of stress on the disk.

13. ### MacGyver1968Fixin' Shit that Ain't BrokeValued Senior Member

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Just curious...what operating system does your school computers use? I'm still not understanding why they continue to read the disk after it checks if it's bootable. I've never seen that..ever. I'm not doubting you...just wondering.

I'm bad about loosing things too...I have diagnostic cd's at work that I regularly forget and leave in customer's machines.
USB stick drives are the size of a pack of gum...I wear mine on a strap around my neck that has a quick release on it. Even my stoner-degraded memory has managed to hold on to it. I have one on my keychain also.

Price just isn't an issue anymore. Flash drives are dirt cheap...sometimes free.

1gb flash drive- $.99 US That's almost 1000 floppies...plus...most computers don't default boot from usb...so you probably won't have the problem with constant reading failures, if you leave it behind. Just a suggestion. Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! 14. ### phlogisticianBannedBanned Messages: 10,342 Yeah, get a flash drive. I did IT support for a University for a while. Too many students would knock on my door, show me a cracked floppy disk, that they had forgotten was in their back pocket before sitting down, and ask me if I could do anything with it. My answer was always 'I can throw it away for you'. 15. ### EnmosStaff Member Messages: 43,184 512 MB flashdrive 8.99euro :shrug: 16. ### TruthSeekerFancy Virtual Reality MonkeyValued Senior Member Messages: 15,162 If you forget it, you just buy a new one for$.99! LOL!!

They don't get ruined like the floppys do. Plus they cost \$.99. So just buy a new one!!

Great! You can fit over 1,000 word documents in a flashdrive!

17. ### TruthSeekerFancy Virtual Reality MonkeyValued Senior Member

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Do you have Wal-Mart there? That's what you need- cheap slave chinese labour.

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19. ### Repo ManValued Senior Member

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This wouldn't have anything to do with the OS; this is where the BIOS is looking for an operating system. I've never seen a BIOS that kept trying to read from a non bootable floppy. In my experience, it checks it, and if it doesn't find an operating system, it tells you that no operating system was found, press enter to retry (or some variation on that).

Having the CMOS set to boot from the floppy drive first is archaic. Any thing newer than Win98 is going to be installed by booting from the CDROM. And if you aren't installing an OS, the computer should be set to boot from the hard disk, rather than wasting time checking optical drives for a bootable CDROM.

20. ### RubiksMasterReal eyes realize real liesRegistered Senior Member

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That's why I'm convinced it was on its last legs anyway. Either that or they have some weird system where they reboot it if no OS was found (which I have also never seen, and makes no sense whatsoever).

21. ### AthelwulfRest in peace Kurt...Registered Senior Member

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I can reasonably say that's impossible. I've lost floppies that were fresh out of the box maybe a week ago, and they really don't get that much serious use. I'm telling you guys, the computer just sits there while the BIOS goes, "I KNOW THERE'S AN OPERATING SYSTEM ON HERE, I JUST KNOW IT!!!" for hours on end. That's just what's happening. People may not have the same experiences with computers as I do, but I don't need to see a handful of people remarking on how unusual that is. I don't mean to sound abrasive, but it's unhelpful.

Every time I've had a stick drive or my iPod plugged in on my home computer, the BIOS gets stuck. I'm seriously not shitting you guys or telling you tales of leprechauns that steal my bytes. I'm just telling you what's been happening.

So far I have evidence that blows your opinion out of the water, at least in some cases.

I'm really wondering too. It's like the BIOS is stupid. But anyway, someone else already pointed out it doesn't matter, but these computers have Windows XP Professional SP2. I guess I would have to make my floppy bootable here if I'm gonna try it, since I have Home Edition at home instead.

I doubt I'm always gonna be able to find one-dollar stick drives that are a gigabyte. In fact, that seems like an unbelievably rare occurrence. I have never, never seen those things so cheap before.

Because everyone knows that one-dollar stick drives are so plentiful in the market that I can easily obtain one. They're everywhere. You can't escape them. They're common as dirt. Right?

That's barely a half truth. You and I both know that not all stick drives are ninety-nine cents. The existence of 1GB stick drives that cost one dollar is unheard of to me. So much so that I doubt I can so easily get one for a dollar whenever I want or need one. Stop kidding yourself, and please stop wasting your time on my thread if you're not gonna give me advice I haven't heard before. I already said I'm gonna use my floppies, and I'm seeking advice on how to get around these computers' stupidity while sticking to floppies. Yes, I could get a stick drive, and I actually do have one now, but I'm seeking advice on how to use floppies more effectively. Telling me to get a stick drive when I've already said I'm not interested in hearing it is just wasting your time as well as mine. If you must, then you can treat my problem as a little challenge I've decided I'd like to overcome just for shits and giggles, and you're helping me out just to share in those shits and giggles. Either way, if you're not happy with giving me the advice I'm seeking, then that's your problem.

Wonderful. A shitload of space I'll never use. I couldn't have done it without you.

22. ### Repo ManValued Senior Member

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The only time I've ever seen anything like this was when the floppy drive itself was worn out. A worn drive that cannot read the MBR will continually try. This will rapidly destroy the disk. Sorry Athelwulf, but floppy drives and disks are notoriously unreliable and failure prone. Many of us in this thread have lost important data on them, and avoid them for just that reason. I'm really looking forward to motherboards with BIOSs that will allow you to update the BIOS or load SATA drivers from a USB drive. I'll never use a floppy again once that happens.

23. ### RubiksMasterReal eyes realize real liesRegistered Senior Member

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Well, I guess I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. It must be a weird, nonstandard BIOS or something.

Well maybe your computer is one of the minority. But even so, I wouldn't be too worried about it getting damaged in any way, becuase there are no moving parts in a USB flash drive.

Also, in my experience, a USB drive is much less likely to be forgotten (yes, I have left more than a handful of floppies behind accidentally). A USB drive sticks out and you can actually see it, giving you a visual reminder to take it with you. Whereas a floppy disk goes completely inside where you can't see it and remember to take it with you.