Adapting ASUS Z87 - Plus Motherboard to use a floppy drive

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hlewton
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Adapting ASUS Z87 - Plus Motherboard to use a floppy drive

Post by hlewton »

Is there any cable that can be used on an ASUS Z87 - Plus motherboard or any motherboard, for that matter, to adapt to and use a 33 Pin twisted wire data cable in order to use a 3 1/2" floppy drive? Or any other suggestions on how I can hook up a 3 1/2" floppy drive to be seen as an A: Drive?
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Re: Adapting ASUS Z87 - Plus Motherboard to use a floppy drive

Post by PJ_in_FL »

Per the ASUS manual for the Z87 Plus MB, there is no interface that supports the unique floppy drive interface.

There are probably two options that make the most logical sense:

1. Find an old PC that has both floppy drive and USB port, put a USB thumb drive in the USB port and read the floppy files directly to the USB thumb drive to transfer the files from the old PC to the ASUS.
2. Purchase a USB floppy drive, less than $20 on Amazon.

The old interfaces like floppy, PATA, ESDI, etc. were superseded by the newer interfaces that put more of the intelligence and control in the device and less in the CPU/MB chip set. It's not economically feasible to leave the circuitry and connectors on the MB to support these obsolete interfaces.
PJ in (usually sunny) FL

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Re: Adapting ASUS Z87 - Plus Motherboard to use a floppy drive

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PJ_in_FL wrote:
23 Jan 2023, 17:04

2. Purchase a USB floppy drive, less than $20 on Amazon.

Thank you. I have one on the way that I purchased yesterday. I am hoping I can make it boot to that USB drive first in the BIOS.

I was also thinking about trying to experiment with what may be called a Virtual Machine. I have reset the computer I am playing around with and it was reset from the computer itself. I saw a brief message that it is running Windows 10 but I thought it said it was a lesser version of it, or something like that. I also have a wireless dongle coming that I think I can use and possibly run another Reset PC and have Windows 10 reinstalled from the Internet. I am not sure if it can run Windows 10 and also load and run MS DOS 6.22. But in either case, I'd still need that USB 3 1/2" external drive I have on order. If you know of a good link to using a VM, I could use it.
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Re: Adapting ASUS Z87 - Plus Motherboard to use a floppy drive

Post by PJ_in_FL »

I'll look with interest on any information on running a VM myself. Never used one.
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Re: Adapting ASUS Z87 - Plus Motherboard to use a floppy drive

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PJ_in_FL wrote:
23 Jan 2023, 19:07
I'll look with interest on any information on running a VM myself. Never used one.
I'm searching, even as we speak. I just have to find something I understand.
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Re: Adapting ASUS Z87 - Plus Motherboard to use a floppy drive

Post by Jay Freedman »

I've used virtual machines for at least a decade. They're very useful as long as you can meet the requirements.

A virtual machine is called that because it runs on "virtualized" hardware. That is, the "real" hardware is represented by code. When a program in a virtual machine calls for memory, or a drive, or a printer, or anything else, that request is passed through a software layer before being sent to the real hardware. That software layer is called a "hypervisor".

There are a number of hypervisors from different manufacturers. If you have Windows 10 or 11 Enterprise, Pro, or Educational, the Hyper-V hypervisor is built in (although disabled by default, it's easy to enable). It doesn't come with Windows Home, although there are instructions on the Net for installing it. Oracle makes a freeware hypervisor called VirtualBox. VMWare, the biggest supplier of hypervisors for servers, has a free VMWare Workstation.

After installing a hypervisor and getting it configured, you need to load it with an operating system. If you have an unused license for Windows, you can use that. Most hypervisors will let you run Linux and sometimes other OSes. Then you install application programs in that OS as you would on real hardware.

A good start for learning about Hyper-V and hypervisors in general is https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/virtu ... mendations.

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Re: Adapting ASUS Z87 - Plus Motherboard to use a floppy drive

Post by hlewton »

Jay Freedman wrote:
23 Jan 2023, 23:04
I've used virtual machines for at least a decade. They're very useful as long as you can meet the requirements.

A virtual machine is called that because it runs on "virtualized" hardware. That is, the "real" hardware is represented by code. When a program in a virtual machine calls for memory, or a drive, or a printer, or anything else, that request is passed through a software layer before being sent to the real hardware. That software layer is called a "hypervisor".

There are a number of hypervisors from different manufacturers. If you have Windows 10 or 11 Enterprise, Pro, or Educational, the Hyper-V hypervisor is built in (although disabled by default, it's easy to enable). It doesn't come with Windows Home, although there are instructions on the Net for installing it. Oracle makes a freeware hypervisor called VirtualBox. VMWare, the biggest supplier of hypervisors for servers, has a free VMWare Workstation.

After installing a hypervisor and getting it configured, you need to load it with an operating system. If you have an unused license for Windows, you can use that. Most hypervisors will let you run Linux and sometimes other OSes. Then you install application programs in that OS as you would on real hardware.

A good start for learning about Hyper-V and hypervisors in general is https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/virtu ... mendations.
Thank you for the information. I am a little confused though. I have Windows 10 Pro installed so if I can figure out how to use its hypervisor I thought that would be where I'd install MS DOS 6.22. Maybe it'll be more clear after I look at your link.
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Re: Adapting ASUS Z87 - Plus Motherboard to use a floppy drive

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I'm getting nowhere fast. I kind of came to the conclusion that probably a VM was not the route I needed to take, especially since it is very confusing to me. Also, from what I read, DOSBox doesn't seem feasible either since it seems it is mostly used for games. I don't see a way to load MS DOS 6.22 using it.

So I purchased an USB external 3 1/2" floppy drive thinking that I could make the USB the first drive the computer boots from thus allowing me to format the computer and load DOS from the 3 installation disks of the DOS program. I hooked this floppy drive up to see if, first, Windows 10 saw it using Windows File Explorer. It did not. I opened the BIOS and sure enough that USB floppy drive was there and I was allowed to place it first in the boot up drive sequence. The computer would no longer boot to the Windows environment even though the floppy drive had no disk in it. Any idea why this would be the case would be helpful. The computer just sits there with a black screen when the USB drive is the first in the boot sequence. One other thing that is really confusing is that little USB stick in the Systray used to eject an USB device, showed that drive attached but, again, the File Explorer did not list it at all.

I did hook this 3 1/2" floppy drive to another Win 10 computer and File Explorer saw it but would not read any of the disks I put into it. I assume that is because they were all *.WK1 Lotus worksheets. I knew it could not open any of them, but I thought it at least would have displayed a list of the files on the disks. But it didn't even do that. Instead it messed up File Explorer and that had to be terminated.
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Re: Adapting ASUS Z87 - Plus Motherboard to use a floppy drive

Post by stuck »

I think your problem is that your Win 10 is a native 64 bit OS while MS DOS is a 16 bit OS. Does this article help you:
https://www.pcworld.com/article/415275/ ... ws-10.html

Ken

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Re: Adapting ASUS Z87 - Plus Motherboard to use a floppy drive

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stuck wrote:
25 Jan 2023, 12:07
I think your problem is that your Win 10 is a native 64 bit OS while MS DOS is a 16 bit OS. Does this article help you:
https://www.pcworld.com/article/415275/ ... ws-10.html

Ken
Thank you for the link. I read it all and I don't think it would let me load my program, Lotus 123, in the folder it created but I may be not understanding it correctly. However, any program I would need to load is on 3 1/2" floppies. If I can't get that computer to read that drive, all I am trying to do would be worthless.

Here is what I have done since my last post. The first time I ran the Reset PC, I had it reinstall Windows 10 from the computer it was resetting. So I hooked it up to the Internet, by using an Ethernet cable, and ran Reset PC again telling it to reload Windows 10 from the cloud. It made absolutely no difference. Windows File Explorer would not recognize that floppy drive even though the "Safely Remove" icon in the Systray plainly displayed it and showed it was OK to remove it when I asked it to.

I'm not sure why this is happening but if that can't be solved I wouldn't be able to do what I was wanting to do anyway. Again, thanks.
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Re: Adapting ASUS Z87 - Plus Motherboard to use a floppy drive

Post by hlewton »

OK, I do believe this would be a hardware question and I hope someone has had a similar experience because I am very undecided as what to do next. In case someone doesn't want to read all the posts above, here is what I want to ask.

I have an external usb 3 1/2" floppy drive that when attached to the Windows 10 Pro computer does not show up in File Explorer. It does, however, show up and can be ejected by the Safely Remove Hardware icon in the systray. It also shows up when I enter the BIOS of this machine. If I place it first in the drive boot sequence of which drives to access, it causes the screen to remain black and nothing can be seen or done.

I then tried placing it first in the boot sequence and placed the MS DOS 6.22 installation disk in it and tried again to boot the machine. It did boot to this floppy drive and started to DOS installation before I canceled it and went back into Win 10. I stopped DOS from installing because I am concerned that even though is seems I can make this computer a DOS only computer, I may not be able to once again access the 3 1/2 " floppy drive to install the DOS programs and files I need to install, such as Lotus 123.

Any thoughts on this would be helpful.
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Re: Adapting ASUS Z87 - Plus Motherboard to use a floppy drive

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By the way, I did read up on and created both a bootable USB Media Creation Tool stick and a bootable DVD Media Creation Tool on DVD. I also made a record of my Windows 10 Pro key. However, I have never done anything like this before and this is the question I have about this: If the installation of DOS somehow fails after formatting my computer the way it needs to, will these Media Creation tools I made enable me to get the machine back to a Windows 10 machine, as I believe they should, or do I need something else I have not read or thought about to get a Win 10 computer again?
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Re: Adapting ASUS Z87 - Plus Motherboard to use a floppy drive

Post by stuck »

I can't help you with your question but it occurs to me that if you had an old HD lying around you could fit it to that XP machine from which you recently removed a HD and then turn that machine into a MS DOS box.

No worries then about not being able to go back to Win 10.

Ken

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Re: Adapting ASUS Z87 - Plus Motherboard to use a floppy drive

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stuck wrote:
26 Jan 2023, 18:34
I can't help you with your question but it occurs to me that if you had an old HD lying around you could fit it to that XP machine from which you recently removed a HD and then turn that machine into a MS DOS box.

No worries then about not being able to go back to Win 10.

Ken
I don't have an extra hard drive and that old XP box is in the dumb. It was picked up earlier this week. I wish I would have thought of your suggestion because it even had an internal 3 1/2" floppy drive that would have still worked. It's true what they say, "Hind sight is 20/20." Your suggestion was great, just a little too late. :cheers:
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Re: Adapting ASUS Z87 - Plus Motherboard to use a floppy drive

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stuck wrote:
26 Jan 2023, 18:34
I can't help you with your question but it occurs to me that if you had an old HD lying around you could fit it to that XP machine from which you recently removed a HD and then turn that machine into a MS DOS box.

No worries then about not being able to go back to Win 10.

Ken
I like your suggestion so much I sent photos of how the hard drive is connected in this computer to my computer builder asking him what I can order to replace it with a new and smaller hard drive. I would install DOS on this right out of the box and still be able to keep the drive that is in it now all set up with Win 10. I think that should work, hopefully. Thanks again.
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Re: Adapting ASUS Z87 - Plus Motherboard to use a floppy drive

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That hard drive I ordered is supposed to be delivered today. If everything works out, as planned, once I am through playing around with DOS I should easily be able to reinstall the current drive with Windows 10 installed. However, I'm not sure if any changes will have to be made to the BIOS, except the boot up sequence, in order for DOS to be installed. Also the size of the hard drive and the amount of memory in this computer is astronomical compared to the old DOS computers. Not sure if that means anything or not.
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Re: Adapting ASUS Z87 - Plus Motherboard to use a floppy drive

Post by Jay Freedman »

Out of the box, DOS 6.22 can't address more than 64 megabytes of memory. There are some hacks to get access to 4 gigabytes, but it probably isn't worth doing for a temporary setup.
https://forum.winworldpc.com/discussion ... windows-98

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Re: Adapting ASUS Z87 - Plus Motherboard to use a floppy drive

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Jay Freedman wrote:
31 Jan 2023, 15:13
Out of the box, DOS 6.22 can't address more than 64 megabytes of memory. There are some hacks to get access to 4 gigabytes, but it probably isn't worth doing for a temporary setup.
https://forum.winworldpc.com/discussion ... windows-98
Thanks for that information. I was wondering about that. I'm going to check out your link to see what can be done.
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Re: Adapting ASUS Z87 - Plus Motherboard to use a floppy drive

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OK, I read it all and probably not understanding it completely but I need to say and ask this; I don't care nor need MS DOS 6.22 to recognize or use any additional RAM than its programmed for. So in that case can I still install it on my computer and use As Is?
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Re: Adapting ASUS Z87 - Plus Motherboard to use a floppy drive

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Well I need some help, advice. I installed the new hard drive I got and managed to format it and load MS DOS 6.22 on it. It came time to have it reboot and come up to a DOS screen. It rebooted but would not show anything but a black screen. I did read everything Jay Freedman linked me to. My understand of all of it was the use of memory or extra memory. I am happy to leave that alone and let DOS decide what it is using. But could that be why the screen will not display anything but a black screen? The actual DOS installation went very smoothly until this problem popped up. Not sure what else I can do at this point so any advice would be appreciated.
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