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  • 5.25″ Floppy Disks work with Win98?

    Home Forums AskWoody support Windows Windows Vista, XP and earlier Questions: Vista, XP back to 3.1 5.25″ Floppy Disks work with Win98?

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    • Author
      • #356282
        AskWoody Lounger

        Hopefully this is an easy question for many of you.
        I’m trying to prove a friend wrong – he says 5.25″ floppy disks aren’t supported under win98.
        This is wrong isn’t it?
        Surely my other colleague just needs to find the correct driver for his apparently non-plug & play disk drive which he can still use under dos but it’s not recognised in win98?

      • #527128
        AskWoody Lounger

        It’s hard to say if you will ever get a reply on this one.. WHy in the good lords name would one ever even try this? My feeling on it is that as 5.25 disks were at the end of thier shelf life with the advent of 3.1, Microsoft wouldn’t have bothered including support for them in ’98. However, you can make your DOS devices run fine in Windows if you configure them properly… The question then really is, how can I get Windows 98 to recognize that my 5.25 drive is a viable disk drive?

        This one genuinely boggles the mind… rofl

        Hope that helps!

        • #527144
          AskWoody Lounger

          I agree with the Gifmeister – as usual!. To obtain Win98 on floppies required extra effort as it was normally supplied on cd, so would doubt very nuch that it would be available on 5.25. yikes

        • #527373
          WSBrian Swann
          AskWoody Lounger


          WHy in the good lords name would one ever even try this?

          [/indent]Well Drk, in defence of Davids friend, it’s very possible he has some quite important data stored on 5.25 disks. Perhaps data he never thought he’d need again. Certainly back in 3.1 days I temporarily installed a floppy drive for just such a purpose. You never know shrug

      • #527241
        WSAndrew Cronnolly
        AskWoody Lounger

        If you go to the MSDOS prompt and type Format /? you should see that Format /4 allows you to format a 5.25 inch (360kb). At least that is what I see in Windows ME. I would be very surprised if support was removed, but I would be even more surprised if anybody wanted to make any use of such discs.

        What about 8″ (I think) drives, remember those.

        Andrew C

        • #527298
          AskWoody Lounger

          Yes, and I still have a use for them.

          Split them open, throw away the disk and peel the inside lining off. Cut into strips 1 to 1.5 inches wide. These are great for cleaning out the platens on dot matrix printers and typewriters.

      • #527255
        AskWoody Lounger

        I think you win.

        I have a PC that’s been upgraded several times. We bought it in 1994-95. Even at that time, 5.25″ floppies were no longer standard so we paid extra for it. The upgrades have included a new motherboard (about 2-3 yrs ago), memory, several hard disks, new CD-ROM, new 3.5 floppy drive, and several versions of windows. We have never upgraded the 5.25″ disk (it never “broke” since we don’t use it a whole lot).

        And it still works with Windows 98, which is what we are running now. No new drivers were needed. We still use it on occasion to read 5.25″ disks, of which we still have a few. A friend used it about 2-3 months ago for that reason (his PC being too new to have a 5.25″ floppy).


        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #533781
        AskWoody Lounger

        Yes they do. My first thought when I read this was the same – why do you want to? Then I remembered getting a stack of 5.25 inchers from a new client that had the source code for his primary business system on them. The local retailer gave me a used drive and I hooked it up (without even bolting it in), got the files I needed, and threw the drive away.

        Bottom line, it works, if ya gotta.

      • #2348042

        why would someone throw out a good 5.25″ Floppy drive when you could sell it?

      • #2348047
        AskWoody Plus

        A friend asked me to look at a desktop PC in early 2020 that was running W98, and yes I can verify that it had a 5.25 inch and a 3.5 inch floppy drive.  We tested each drive just to see if they worked, and they spun up and read the disks.

        By the way, some military hardware might still be using floppies



        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2348053
        AskWoody Plus

        5.25″ floppy disk drives were fully supported in Windows up to and including Windows XP SP1. Note that one would have to use the correct parameters for the format command.

        Apparently XP SP2 and SP3 removed full support for 5.25″ floppy disks by changing the flpydisk.sys driver. Supposedly one can copy and replace the flpydisk.sys driver in XP SP2 or SP3 with the flpydisk.sys from SP1 in order to regain formatting capability. I have never tested this.

        Interestingly, XP did not support formatting 3.5″ 720KB floppies unless special drivers were installed. Back in those olden days, people used to purchase a punch tool which would create the square shaped notch hole which would allow both sides of a 3.5″ 720KB floppy disk to be formatted as a 3.5″ 1.44MB disk in 1.44MB floppy drives.

        Notably, Windows 7 can read and write to 5.25″ floppies. Windows 7 cannot format 5.25″ floppies.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2348059
          AskWoody Plus

          My new-ish motherboard that supports 9th generation Intel processors has a header for the older IDE interface, and my case has empty 5¼” drive bays, so what’s to stop me from trying it with a Windows 10 20h2 installation? Answer: Lack of access to a 5¼” drive itself. 🙁

          I’d love to see if Windows 10 supported at least reading one of these older floppies, though!


          • #2348103
            AskWoody MVP

            that’ll be an 80pin header for IDE ATA133, I doubt a 39pin header will be on new-ish mainboards. Count the pins or RTFM 🙂

            W10, the itch you simply cannot scratch!
          • #2348108
            AskWoody Lounger

            As far as I remember from early Windows 10 days, 3.5″ support was removed and then added back due to many user requests :). I myself owned a 3.5″ at that time and had it installed.

            MSI H110 PC MATE * Intel Core i7-6700 * 2 x 8 GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 2133 MHz * Aorus Radeon RX 570 4GB * Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD * SanDisk Ultra 3D 1TB SSD * Western Digital Blue 1TB HDD * DVD RW Lite-ON iHAS 124 * Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer PCI * Windows 10 Pro 20H2 64-bit
      • #2348062
        AskWoody Plus

        Floppy drives did not use the IDE interface. The interface and connector cables for floppy drives are different than IDE.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2348110
          AskWoody Lounger

          I assume some able guru could craft reduction to the USB. Floppy drive cable looked like IDE, but it was smaller if I rememeber correctly. There was special connector on the motherboard.

          Dell Latitude E6530, Intel Core i5 @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, W10 1809 Enterprise

          HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

      • #2348063
        Richard Merchant
        AskWoody Plus

        Which begs the question – assuming that (like me) you have a 5.25 drive, and cables, is it possible to get an interface that works on a modern motherboard?   I’ve kept an old computer around for that purpose but I need to clean out the basement – but wouldn’t mind keeping the possibility of access the 5.25 for a while…..

        • #2348107
          AskWoody Plus

          I did some searching on Amazon. I saw some USB to floppy adapters, yet those work only with 3.5″ 1.44MB floppy drives. I didn’t find anything for 5.25″ floppy drives.

          • #2348123
            AskWoody Lounger

            I didn’t find anything for 5.25″ floppy drives.

            Its not mainstream, it will be “garage product”

            I found this, its handmade 🙂
            Last webpage update is in september 2020, so its still active

            According to the webpage, who wants to, he can try to email them at deviceside(at)

            Dell Latitude E6530, Intel Core i5 @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, W10 1809 Enterprise

            HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

            • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by doriel. Reason: email addres
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