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Troubleshoot the Floppy

Friday, August 11th, 2006 by | Filed Under: File & Disk Management
 
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Q:
Do you have any troubleshooting ideas for floppy drives?

A:
That’s a good question, because even though floppy drives and disks are quickly fading from the computer scene (thanks to flash drives), there are still several of you who use floppies, so it’s best not to stray away from them completely. To begin, there are obviously many different things that could go wrong with a floppy drive or disk, so I will just go over some of the more common mishaps for you today. If you are having trouble with yours, hopefully you will be able to find a fix here.

One problem you may be having is with your floppy drive making noises when you start up your computer. Floppy drives do usually make some strange noises when they’re starting up, so they can be interpreted as a bad noise, but to be honest, it’s almost always a normal noise. The noise can be loud and odd sounding, but that’s usually just what floppy drives do.

Every time you restart your computer, it will read the drive to verify if there’s a floppy disk in it or not. That’s one noise you may hear. Another is when the drive itself is detecting and then reading the disk (when you have one inserted in the drive). You may also hear a noise when you’re using certain programs, such as a virus scanner. Sometimes these types of programs try to access the floppy drive to check for viruses there. The virus scanner also comes into play when you’re shutting your computer down. When you turn your computer off, the virus scanning program you have installed checks the drive for any viruses. This is very important, because if you happened to have a virus on the floppy disk, your whole computer could be infected.

So, all in all, if you hear any noises during those times, don’t panic! It’s probably just a normal sound and you don’t have anything to worry about. If your floppy drive makes other noises at other times, you may want to have it checked out by a computer technician.

Another common problem that you may encounter is a stuck or broken floppy drive door. There are a few things you can check on with this particular problem. First, it could be a bad floppy drive and you may need to have it replaced. Second, you could have inserted the floppy disk incorrectly and third, there could be a small object stuck in the door preventing it from opening. Maybe a young child put something in the drive. If so, that can either leave it stuck or even break the drive door completely.

You have to be completely careful when trying to fix this problem. You may be able to use a screw- driver to lightly force the object out or if you just have a sticky drive, you could use an oiler or lubricator to stop that. If the drive appears to be broken, you may need to purchase a new one or have a professional look it over.

Here’s one more tidbit for you. If you use floppy disks often, you know there is a magnet part in the middle of the disk. Make sure you don’t mess with that magnet or you could lose all of the information you have saved. If your disk stops working suddenly, chances are something happened with the magnet, so watch out for that!

I know there are several other floppy problems out there, but this tip covers some of the most common ones. Hope I was able to help at least one person!

~ Erin

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