How to Install a Floppy Disk Drive

Introduction

With computers no longer coming with a floppy disk drive the user must buy and install one by himself if he wants to be able to read floppy disks. Even though floppies are less and less used you may have old (and important) data saved on floppies. In this tutorial we will teach you how to install a floppy disk drive using as example a very interesting unit from Mitsumi (model FA404M), which is a floppy disk drive with a 6-in-1 card reader embedded, allowing you to read floppies and six different kinds of memory cards.

In Figure 1, you can see the floppy disk drive we will use on our tutorial. As we mentioned, this unit from Mitsumi has an embedded 6-in-1 card reader, which can read Compact Flash (CF), Micro Drive (MD), Smart Media (SM), Memory Stick (MS), Secure Digital (SD) and MultiMedia Card (MMC) formats.

How to Install a Floppy Disk DriveFigure 1: Floppy disk drive with memory card reader from Mitsumi.

Since this model has a memory card reader we need to install the cable that comes attached to the unit to an available USB header on the motherboard. So if you have a floppy disk drive without a card reader (which is the most likely scenario) just skip the parts we talk about the installation of this cable to the motherboard.

In Figure 2 we show you the connectors available on a floppy disk drive.

How to Install a Floppy Disk DriveFigure 2: Connectors available on a floppy disk drive.

All you need to buy is the floppy disk drive (make sure to buy one that matches the color of your case, i.e., black if you have a black case, beige if you have a beige case, etc) itself and maybe a floppy disk drive flat-cable, if you don’t have one. This cable comes with the motherboard, so take a look at the boxes you have stored because this cable is probably there.

In Figure 3 we show you how this cable looks like. It is a 34-wire flat-cable using two 34-pin connectors at the ends of the cable (and optionally one 34-pin connector at the middle). The most distinctive feature of this cable is that it has a twist at one of its ends (at the end that should be connected to the floppy disk drive, by the way).

How to Install a Floppy Disk DriveFigure 3: Floppy disk drive cable.

For installing the floppy disk drive you will also need four 4-mm M3x0.5 round-head screws – a.k.a. short thin-thread rounded head screws, see Figure 4. These screws come with the case. For a detailed explanation about screws, read our Everything You Need to Know About the Screws Used on the PC tutorial.

How to Install a Floppy Disk DriveFigure 4: Screws that will be needed.

Now that you were introduced to the floppy disk drive and to its cable, let’s show you the step-by-step guide on how to install a floppy disk drive on your computer.

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Author: Gabriel Torres

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.

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