Friday, July 22, 2005

Them thar floppies...

You'd figure that the floppy disk on new computer systems would be as useful as a USB toothbrush or the human appendix: it doesn't really serve a purpose but doesn't really hurt to have around.

Well, I've been proven wrong. The problem comes in when you are installing Windows and the drivers for the disk subsystem are not on that CD. The workaround for this is that Windows will allow you to hit F6 during the initial load and before it actually tries to run, it'll give you the opportunity to insert a floppy disk with the drivers.

As a workaround, the BIOS on new systems will allow you to make a USB flash disk look like a floppy or perhaps you can use a USB floppy drive.

When you see the BIOS option, you figure there is some light at the end of the tunnel but the problem is that the install process needs to access the floppy twice. Once when the installer operating system is loading (so it can see the disks to allow you to partition and format them) and then one more time to copy them to the newly installed hard drive.

What seems to happen is that the BIOS can help you out for the first access. However, once the operating system loads, the BIOS hands control over and now suddenly you don't have a floppy disk in A:\ and so the install bombs.

Unless you were lucky enough to get one of those USB floppy drives that is recognized. (

So, what would I tell my earlier self? Just get the damn floppy drive for now. Hopefully, Microsoft will fix this issue in Longhorn.

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