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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 2:02 am 
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Pilgrim
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I'm looking for a modern mobo (DDR4 if possible) with a legacy floppy connector and a BIOS able to address two 3 1/2 FDD. If it has PCI or ISA slots is a plus but not mandatory. I didn't find anything on the market if not Asrock DDR3 motherboards. So I'm in the market for an industrial mobo I think, but I don't know well this market segment. Well I need your help about it.

My build is for a rack computer, so I have plenty of space :)

Cheers for your suggestions.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 4:04 am 
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Enlightened Master
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Asrock is a good place to start. Get a board with a PCI slot and try and get hold of one of these. A lot of industrial machines still use floppy, especially knitting machines!! You will fine a lot of boards that have an EFI BIOS wont support floppy.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 5:28 am 
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Thanks for your answer, I was actually looking at PCI Floppy adapter and so the Catweasel was on my list. It seems to be discontinued and very much amiga oriented (even double socket for a SID soundchip!) so I wonder if that doesn't stuck in a way of letting regular PC floppy to work.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 7:31 am 
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Mobo-fu Master
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Instead of using a PCI slot, consider a USB external floppy drive option. Might be a lot less expense, and can be mounted internally with simple brackets. Usually 4x extra USB ports on most motherboards. Standard floppy drives require a +5 volt and +12 volt power source. Laptop design and USB design need only the +5 volt source.
Rack mount setups are cramped for space, no default provision for external drive bays on the units.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 7:56 am 
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Yes that would be a solution. But for imaging purpose it's far from ideal since the 2 USB Floppy I tested (different model and chipset) were failing me (regular copy of files is fine though). I think low level access to the FDD isn't well (or at all) implemented in those chipsets.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:51 am 
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Enlightened Master
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Are you going through a command line to access the floppies? I gather you are not using windows 10 as it has poor floppy support? Can you use ZIP drives instead of floppies?

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 9:19 am 
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Indeed I'm using Freedos, and Zip drive isn't an option, only 3.5" FD


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 2:50 am 
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Enlightened Master
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Have you thought about SCSI floppy drives? You could daisy chain them off a board either with an on board SCSI port (industrial/server/workstation) or use a PCI-e SCSI card.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:40 am 
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Mobo-fu Master
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The floppy drive, in most sizes, should be formatted in FAT12 class for default BIOS reads, or any BASIC boot needs. Other higher level formats (FAT16, FAT32, NTFS) restricts access to newer OS versions only. A specific command in Windows must be used, in the command-prompt window. Linux works differently. http://help.fdos.org/en/hhstndrd/base/format.htm
Then too, the accuracy for head tracking of floppy drives is not 100% true between different brands.

If you want a true command-prompt environment (default DOS), then consider a copy of Win 98SE, but only install the BASIC and other required system commands. Should be around 35 total commands for full DOS-based needs.. in 16-bit or 32-bit format.
Some older programs may not work properly, being 'timed' to the system bus speed instead of the real-time clock. And many older game formats relied on a sound card having an IRQ of 5 or 7, not higher.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:36 am 
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Pilgrim
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Mr T wrote:
Have you thought about SCSI floppy drives? You could daisy chain them off a board either with an on board SCSI port (industrial/server/workstation) or use a PCI-e SCSI card.


Yes but I use shugart ones because I've got FDD emulators (HxC and Goteks) and I want to hook them up (two at most but surely one regular mechanical FDD and a solid state one like the HxC).


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