3.348 adding 3.5-inch drives (127)

Sun, 13 Aug 89 22:47:05 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 3, No. 348. Sunday, 13 Aug 1989.

(1) Date: Sat, 12 Aug 89 10:14 CDT (47 lines)
From: "John K. Baima" <D024JKB@UTARLG>
Subject: 3.5" Drives

(2) Date: 12 August 1989 (61 lines)
From: Jeutonne Brewer <BREWERJ@UNCG>
Subject: 3.5" drive

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Sat, 12 Aug 89 10:14 CDT
From: "John K. Baima" <D024JKB@UTARLG>
Subject: 3.5" Drives

Any normal disk controller that can handle 360k drives can also work
with 3.5" drives. The 3.5" drives were designed to work with a standard
controller, unlike 1.2meg 5 1/4 drives. They have the same spin rate,
the same transfer rate and the same format. They only differ in the
number of tracks which is not something the controller cares about. So,
that is not a concern for a standard clone.

DOS 3.2 is necessary for a 720k drive and DOS 3.3 is necessary for a
1.44 meg drive.

Adding a "Y" to a power cable is the standard way of adding another
device to the power supply. If you do not have room inside your
computer, you could dangle the drive outside, but that is not

Most PC's have a switch on the mother board that indicates the number
of installed floppies. I would suggest leaving that at 1 and installing
the drive as an external drive even although the 3.5" drive is inside
your computer and uses your internal controller. This is done by adding
a line such as

device = \dos\driver.sys /d:01

to your CONFIG.SYS file. The DRIVER.SYS file comes with DOS. Complete
documentation is in the DOS manual. This line is for a 720k drive.

The reason for making it an external drive is so you will be able to
format 3.5" disks properly. If you just install it like another 360k
drive, you will be able to read and write to the disk just fine, but
when you try to format the disk, it will be formated as a 360k disk!
Installing the disk as an external drive with DRIVER.SYS will allow the
disks to be formated properly.

I have heard that there are sometimes problems attaching a 1.44 meg
drive to an XT. I am not sure why that should be so, but I consider the
person who told me reliable.

I hope that this saves you some time installing a 3.5" drive.

John Baima

(2) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: 12 August 1989
From: Jeutonne Brewer <BREWERJ@UNCG>
Subject: 3.5" drive

There are at least three questions to consider in adding a 3.5" drive
to an older computer:

1. Will the computer's BIOS support a 3.5" drive?
2. Will the computer's controller card support the 3.5" drive?
3. What kind of case does the computer have? (full height
drives or half height drives)

The answer to these questions and the amount of time you are
willing to spend in figuring out the answers to installation problems
will determine whether the external drive is a more expensive or
a more practical solution.

Guy Pace's comments about the controller card are important. Even
more basic than the controller card, however, is the BIOS,
particularly for 1.44 meg drives. You may have to replace the BIOS.
Or you may have to replace the controller card. Or you may have
to replace both. (Interestingly, the BIOS is more basic but often less
expensive to replace than the controller card.)

Last year I decided to add a 1.44 meg 3.5" drive to my AT
compatible (Five Star 286/10), knowing that I would have to figure
out what changes might be necessary. The result was that I had to
replace the BIOS chip. The controller card worked fine.

If your computer has full height drives instead of half height
drives, there are additional concerns. The earlier XT compatible
computers and the earlier AT compatible computers had one full height
floppy drive and one full height hard
disk (usually 10 meg.). In a case like this you have to work out a
way to add a frame to hold half height drives, or figure out a way
to attach the half height drives to the computer case. 3.5 " drives come
with kits to place them in 5.25" drive slots. What you have to do is
attach the kit to the computer case.

Anyone who has to change BIOS, controller card and drive
attachments will find that an external drive may be an attractive answer
in terms of time and money.

If you have a half height drive bay available, but you are not sure about
BIOS and controller card, you can buy a controller card that is designed
to allow the PC or XT or AT use a 3.5" drive. An example is the
CompatiCard series by Micro Solutions. This is a second controller card
that will allow you to use various kinds of drives. You simply plug the
3.5" drive into the new controller card.

If you decide on an external drive, I suggest that you check with
companies like Micro Solutions, Manzana, and Sysgen.

* Jeutonne P. Brewer <BREWERJ@UNCG> *
* Associate Professor, English, U of North Carolina at Greensboro *
* Greensboro, NC 27412 *
* Telephone: (919) 334-5263 [office]; (919) 334-5384 [messages] *
* Research: Linguistics: Sociolinguistics, including Black English and *
* Lumbee English; computer terminology; language of technology *