Floppy drive in Windows UEFI mode


Captain Jack Sparrow

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Hi guys,

I know it's been a while but I've been busy installing Windows 7 x64 from scratch and installing over 500GB of games, then taking measures to make sure they all work.

As I've just finished, it kills me to say this, but it looks like I might have to do it all again because my floppy disk drive isn't working.

It appears that the problem is with the Windows bootloader, which is configured by Microsoft to block floppy drives :eek: when Windows 7/8.x/10 boots in UEFI mode. This means that I'll have to completely wipe my fresh Windows 7 installation and do it all again from scratch! :wall:

Now I know that the drive itself is fine, because the drive is recognised by the BIOS and can boot DOS from a floppy, but it doesn't show up anywhere in Windows 7, I've checked in Device Manager and Disk Management. In Device Manager, the Floppy Controller is recognised, but the actual Floppy Drive doesn't show up. I have also double checked to ensure that the Floppy Controller and Floppy Drive is enabled in the UEFI configuration.

Damn, I knew that switching to UEFI would only bring nothing but trouble. I wish that I had just stayed with legacy boot.

If there's absolutely no way around this, then it looks like I'll have to completely wipe Windows 7, disable UEFI boot and reinstall it in MBR mode... I hope that I can keep my non-boot GPT formatted hard drives! Probably a good thing about having to reinstall 500GB of games though as the HDD the games are stored on makes an awful grinding sound and takes forever to load a game. I need to replace that imo.

Now before you get all riled up and start being snarky, the reason I need a floppy drive is for a DOS and Windows 95 virtual machine which I use and no, a USB floppy drive does NOT work.

Any suggestions before I decide to use a sledgehammer to hammer in a nail?

- Capt. Jack Sparrow.
 
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Ian

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I've had a good search and can't see a way out of this unfortunately :(. It looks like quite a few others have run in to the same problem.

If it's only a few Floppy Disks you are using, you could perhaps try imaging them and use a virtual floppy drive instead?

I've renamed this thread a little, as I'm sure it'll be searched for quite a bit, and perhaps someone else with a fix will stumble across it :).
 

Captain Jack Sparrow

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I've had a good search and can't see a way out of this unfortunately :(. It looks like quite a few others have run in to the same problem.

If it's only a few Floppy Disks you are using, you could perhaps try imaging them and use a virtual floppy drive instead?

I've renamed this thread a little, as I'm sure it'll be searched for quite a bit, and perhaps someone else with a fix will stumble across it :).
Hi Ian,

Thanks for getting back to me.
Could you please change the thread title to Windows 7 and newer, I'm actually having the problem with Windows 7 Professional x64, although it does affect all versions of Windows that can boot in UEFI mode. Sorry for any confusion caused.

I've never had this problem before, but this AsRock 890FX Deluxe5 is the first motherboard I've ever owned which supports UEFI. When I installed Windows 7 earlier this year, it defaulted its installation type to UEFI boot mode. I should be able to wipe Windows 7 and install it in legacy mode without issues, it's just a pain in the a** to do and wastes a lot of SSD write cycles.

Imaging the floppy disks could also be an option I suppose, but it's hardly a solution. Unfortunately a lot of old skool games and software from a bygone era, which I'd like to run, are only available on diskettes and it would take a long time to do this! I'd rather just have the luxury of sticking the disk in and playing! :D

Based on random data corruption, loud grinding noises and stupidly long loading times when running games from my Western Digital Enterprise HDD, which is where all my games currently reside, drive failure is probably imminent.

So I just grabbed a used 1TB Samsung HDD from the Uni's "tech junk" pile, apparently stolen property but they don't want it back anyways, so this drive should be good to replace my games HDD as long as its still working. I'd have to reinstall all my non-diskette PC games anyway, so maybe this was a saving grace. There was also an Xbox 360 in the "tech junk" pile, although without a PSU or controller, I wonder if they'll let me have this too? :p

But I'm still not sure why Microsoft decided to block floppy drives when booting in UEFI mode, seems like a really stupid and un-user friendly decision. If they could give a valid reason, I wouldn't be so annoyed with them as I am now. If I want to use an internal floppy disk drive in my self-built PC, that should be my prerogative, no corporate entity should have any kind of say in that! Why do I have to use a MBR boot disk just to get this functionality?!

Hope you can understand my frustration.

- Capt. Jack Sparrow.
 
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Ian

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I wonder why they prevent this in the first place - seems a little strange to do, given there's no technical reason. I suppose to encourage phasing it out.

You may just have to bit the bullet and re-install in MBR sadly :(.

I've altered the title so that it covers all Windows UEFI editions :).
 

Captain Jack Sparrow

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I wonder why they prevent this in the first place - seems a little strange to do, given there's no technical reason. I suppose to encourage phasing it out.

You may just have to bit the bullet and re-install in MBR sadly :(.

I've altered the title so that it covers all Windows UEFI editions :).
(Sigh), that's what it looks like I'd have to do. Just thought I'll try here and see if anybody knows any tricks of modifying the Windows bootloader or the EFI partition.

When Windows 7 and later boots in UEFI mode, it passes a --no-floppy parameter which disables detection of any floppy disk drives and is therefore the root cause of this problem.

Looks like it'll have to be reinstalling Windows 7 yet again but this time, with UEFI boot disabled. Hah, you won't hear from me again for a few months!

Only kidding, I will continue to watch this topic and I will also image the SSD before wiping it. Although I feel that this is unlikely, if a solution is provided before I have completed the MBR Windows 7 reinstallation, I can simply restore the UEFI GPT image.

I'll start the back-up and reinstallation process next week, first I need to find out if my free 1TB hard drive works and if it does, then I need to format it. Wonder if I can get away with having this one as a GPT disk, as it isn't a boot-critical drive.

- Capt. Jack Sparrow.
 
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Captain Jack Sparrow

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An external (usb) floppy drive mayhaps?

Now before you get all riled up and start being snarky, the reason I need a floppy drive is for a DOS and Windows 95 virtual machine which I use and no, a USB floppy drive does NOT work.
As mentioned, I did already try a USB floppy drive, but it wasn't good enough. The drive itself did work, but only in the host OS. When I passed through the USB floppy drive to my DOS and Windows 95 virtual machines, neither of them recognised it.

This is because there is no USB support in DOS or Windows 95. If I remember correctly, USB support was not added until Windows 98 SE.

Forgot to mention this, but I'm using VMware Workstation Pro 12.

So it looks like the only option is to get the internal one working. If reinstalling Windows 7 in legacy boot mode is my only option, then I suppose I've got to have my cake and eat it too.

- Capt. Jack Sparrow.
 

Abarbarian

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Can you not find a second hand pc with a floppy connector and use that for 95 and your DOS stuff. You should be able to find one for nowt or somewhere like Aria sells refurbs every now and again for less than £100.

:cool:
 

Captain Jack Sparrow

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Can you not find a second hand pc with a floppy connector and use that for 95 and your DOS stuff. You should be able to find one for nowt or somewhere like Aria sells refurbs every now and again for less than £100.

:cool:
Well... there's that too. :D

But when you think about it, that also means finding the room for another tower, another keyboard, mouse and screen, which takes up even more room.

I think I'm just going to reinstall Windows in legacy mode with a MBR disk, as far as I can tell, there aren't any measurable advantages of having a GPT SSD with a UEFI bootloader whatsoever. I really should have just used legacy mode all along really. If I had known that I would have faced this issue, I would never have installed it in UEFI mode. The motherboard should have been configured to legacy/non-UEFI boot by default imo.

GPT disks should still be recognisable as long as they are not the boot disk of a legacy boot installation.

- Capt. Jack Sparrow.
 
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Abarbarian

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Well... there's that too. :D

But when you think about it, that also means finding the room for another tower, another keyboard, mouse and screen, which takes up even more room.

I think I'm just going to reinstall Windows in legacy mode with a MBR disk, as far as I can tell, there aren't any measurable advantages of having a GPT SSD with a UEFI bootloader whatsoever. I really should have just used legacy mode all along really. If I had known that I would have faced this issue, I would never have installed it in UEFI mode. The motherboard should have been configured to legacy/non-UEFI boot by default imo.

GPT disks should still be recognisable as long as they are not the boot disk of a legacy boot installation.

- Capt. Jack Sparrow.

If your doing a fresh install why waste time on Windows 10 when you can have all the advantages of a normal pc and all the games consoles ever invented all in the same box.

Lakka is powerful

:lol:
 

Captain Jack Sparrow

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If your doing a fresh install why waste time on Windows 10 when you can have all the advantages of a normal pc and all the games consoles ever invented all in the same box.
I'm actually installing Windows 7 again. Windows 10 is not free and Jack Sparrow is tight, so he doesn't want to pay for it. He also simply doesn't like it.

The only time I ever use Windows 10 is to perform Xbox One Controller firmware upgrades. Even then, that's done from inside a virtual machine.

I like Windows 7, it does everything I need it to do, still looks brilliant, no Windows Store nonsense and gives administrators more control over the operating system. Did I mention that it is more reliable based on my (somewhat limited) experience.

I know that Windows 7 support expires in 2020, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

If I want to emulate something, I'd probably download a dedicated emulator, or install it on a virtual machine.

Long live Windows 7!! :p

- Capt. Jack Sparrow.
 

Abarbarian

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My slip up I meant 7 in the above. An Lakka contains dedicated emulators I think. Oh an I like 7 too as much as anyone can like Microsoft products. Thinking about it I liked XP once I had it set up to suit me. :cool:
 

Captain Jack Sparrow

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My slip up I meant 7 in the above. An Lakka contains dedicated emulators I think. Oh an I like 7 too as much as anyone can like Microsoft products. Thinking about it I liked XP once I had it set up to suit me. :cool:
I keep an virtual machine with Windows XP (which also can no longer recognise the floppy drive!) for sentimental and compatibility reasons. I have virtual machines with DOS, Windows 95, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 10, Ubuntu and macOS so I really have quite a collection of VMs. The first 3 don't recognise a USB floppy drive and all of them obviously, (since installing Windows 7 as UEFI) don't recognise the built-in floppy drive.

Right now, the focus is backing everything up (again) and re-installing Windows in MBR mode with UEFI boot disabled. Hopefully it'll work how I want it to now.

- Capt. Jack Sparrow.
 
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