1 2 3 Previous Next 35 Replies Latest reply: Dec 20, 2010 12:05 AM by snowshed Go to original post
  • 15. Re: USB external floppy disk drives
    snowshed Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    This is sort of a "reply to all", as it is inclusive of the Apple Care replies posted to mrtotes' post.

    I'm not minding the comments and experiences being expressed about Apple Care. I consider it educational, indicating what I might run into if I should ever use it. So, if anyone else wishes to make similar comments, please feel free.


    mrtotes wrote:

    Hi, I've just tried my Teac FD-05PUB on my Alu iMac (Late '07 model) under OS X 10.6.4 and it 'just works'. Tried several 1.44MB disks which worked fine. 800KB disks wouldn't work, but I recall they never did.

     



    I'm glad to have a 2nd confirmation that the drive should work. I got the same answer from Teac, it should work under 10.5.8.

    The drive should work with Mac 1.4, PC formatted 720 and 1.44 floppies under OS 8.6 - 9.2. This is all from Teac paperwork I downloaded from their site.

    I own a PowerMac 6400 w/ OS 9.1 installed, and when I first tried the drive on it, the drive failed. But, I was double checking that this afternoon, and discovered after a lot of reboots of the 6400, the drive did not work because of the 4 port hub I was using. It's a powered hub, and I'm currently missing the power supply. I've got one ordered. Once I removed the hub, and learned to sit on my hands while the slow old 6400 did it's thing, the drive worked perfectly.

    So, my thinking that the drive may be faulty is probably wrong. There's something wrong with this iMac. But I suspect software issues, not hardware issues, as the unit shows up in System Profiler. It doesn't matter where on the USB system, except for the low power port on the keyboard.

    The Teac drive cannot read 800k Mac formatted floppies. To read those, you need a drive with a variable speed motor, and since the drive doesn't have this, it cannot read those floppies. More on this later on in the post.

    I booted into BootCamp and under Win7RC: again it 'just worked'.

     

    These disks would have last seen action under OS9 or possibly OS7.5 so haven't been formatted recently.

     

    I have a vague recollection of getting a Kernel Panic when connecting this to a previous OS X Mac but can't recall any details of OS X version, which Mac or circumstances but it was this drive.

     



    I may have posted this earlier, but the drive works fine on a native multiboot Windows computer with XP Pro and Vista, both completely kept up to date. And on my netbook with Win7 Starter.

    Here's some more detail on formatting requirements:>



    That's a nice article, but there are a couple of errors.

    If my memory is correct, a lot of the earlier versions of System X could read and write PC formatted floppies. Not sure when it actually started. In those days, I was an Atari user, still have a couple to set up, and the Atari floppies were identical to the PC floppies except they were missing a couple of bytes on a formatted disk. Write those bytes manually or with one of numerous 3rd party utilities that were available, and any PC could read it. In fact, with some of those utilities, you could format a 720k floppy with over 800k of space that the PC could read and write to, but couldn't create. The DOS commands to create them were there, but I suspect the BIOS was modified on the motherboard to prevent it. I used to really irritate a PC fanatic friend of mine by creating all kinds of stuff on my Atari's that his PC could use but not create. LOL

    In fact, I actually had System 6 running on one of my Atari's using a hardware emulator.

    Unfortunately, I've forgotten my HFS related drive formatting education.

    In the reply section of the blog, I consider Andrew Lazarus' reply to be incorrect. As I remember it (LOL)... The PC method of formatting a floppy jams the same amount of data in each track, regardless of linear length of the track. Apple believed that data integrity would be better if each segment in a track had the same linear length, regardless of which track it was located on. The answer was a variable speed motor, and in actual formatting of the tracks, tracks 1 & 2 were formatted identically, 3 & 4 were identical, 5 & 6 were identical, etc. The speed of the motor changed for each pair of tracks. At some point, when you got to a track further towards the outer edge of the floppy, you could add an additional sector or two. Consequently, you eventually ended up storing more data on a Mac floppy.

    Why this idea was not continued when they went to 1.4 floppies, I don't know, but I would hazard a guess it was to make things easier to being compatible with the PC floppies.


    My hunch is that Apple would be unable (*thanks elmac!) to answer this question even if you did manage to speak to them; my experience of AppleCare phone support is entirely negative - they only seem to be able to search these forums anyhow.

     



    I wouldn't be surprised either. As I posted earlier about the nearest Apple store, unless I find someone working there that is starting to turn grey, I usually know more general stuff about computers than they do. They know their product, but get past that, and the knowledge is pretty sparse.
  • 16. Re: USB external floppy disk drives
    snowshed Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    From Teac tech support, the unit is compatible with Snow Leopard.
  • 17. Re: USB external floppy disk drives
    mrtotes Level 6 Level 6 (11,815 points)
    My assumption was always that USB Floppy Drives just presented the system with "USB Mass Storage" and so should work with any OS that recognizes USB Mass Storage.

     

    You clearly know a lot about the subject and I'm rusty on my Mac knowledge at the moment so I suspect my suggestions will be a little basic:

    • I assume you have checked that External Drives are set to show in the Finder Sidebar and/or on the desktop.
    • That you are using a USB port on the iMac not the keyboard (even though the Alu keyboard is pretty good at USB in my experience).
    • The floppy disks you are using are known good?
    • You have logged into a different OS X user account and checked the drive there?

     

    cheers

     

    mrtotes

  • 18. Re: USB external floppy disk drives
    snowshed Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Good morning, mrtotes:

    "This mission, should you decide to accept it......" LOL



    mrtotes wrote:

    My assumption was always that USB Floppy Drives just presented the system with "USB Mass Storage" and so should work with any OS that recognizes USB Mass Storage.

     



    Essentially, I made the same/similar assumption since this is a USB device. But I was willing to accept that, since we are talking a floppy drive here, that Apple may have completely dropped any kind of floppy support by now since they no longer include a floppy in the hardware.

    I actually found a post, couple years old, in the Parallels Desktop for Mac forums that said floppies would not work with OS X. But having contacted the mfgr. of my drive, I know that is false when it comes to my drive.

    You clearly know a lot about the subject and I'm rusty on my Mac knowledge at the moment so I suspect my suggestions will be a little basic:



    Oh, come on! Haven't you heard the old joke about the word assume?

    My Mac knowledge is also not the best. I know a little about a lot of OS's, including Atari 8-bit & 16/32-bit, DOS w/ Windows for Workgroups and a couple others shells, Win 98, XP, and System 9. Bottom of the knowledge barrel is Win 7, with Vista and OS X being about equal. But I'm slowly catching up on the last 3.

    • I assume you have checked that External Drives are set to show in the Finder Sidebar and/or on the desktop.


    My assumption is that it will appear on the desktop. I've not made any changes to any factory settings, and a CD/DVD inserted shows up on the desktop and in the sidebar. And at the moment, I don't know how to make those changes, nor to manually add things to the sidebar which I know can be done.

    I've had this iMac for a year and a half, but simply haven't had or taken the time to get that deep into the inner workings yet.

    And it won't be today, either! Semi-retired here, and I'd rather take a drive across the Continental Divide, following an abandoned railroad grade for the Denver and Rio Grande Western.

    • That you are using a USB port on the iMac not the keyboard (even though the Alu keyboard is pretty good at USB in my experience).


    Correct, as well as trying a powered USB hub (goes to my printers) and the hub is also plugged into the Mac.

    • The floppy disks you are using are known good?


    Definitely good. It's the Rescue floppy for my long gone Win98 Dell, and it works in XP and Vista, both in the desktop floppy drive as well as this USB drive, and the PowerMac could read the floppy using the USB drive. I didn't go to the effort to try the floppy in the PowerMac floppy drive, but I'm sure it would work.

    • You have logged into a different OS X user account and checked the drive there?

       



    This I have not tried. Another OS X feature I've not investigated. Got a quick link to a webpage to find out how to do this? I've got a book on Leopard that sits gathering dust, actual reading of the book has been a bit low on the priority list.

    If you create another user, do you end up installing software all over again as you do under Windows? If so, and the setting between additional users are 100% separated, then for User #2, I could NOT install Parallels Desktop for Mac which is my currently suspected culprit for the problem.

    And another idea you've sparked... I partitioned my HD long ago so I could install Ubuntu Linux in order to learn about Linux. I never got that done!! I could install a fresh copy of Leopard in that partition, and simply boot into that partition for testing the drive, right???

    Still another thought, perhaps Parallels Desktop for Mac is what is causing the problems I'm having with the scroll button on my mouse.
  • 19. Re: USB external floppy disk drives
    mrtotes Level 6 Level 6 (11,815 points)
    "Assume"; a word I simply can't use at work to the management:- it either is or isn't!

     

    Back on topic, just as a check I have also now tried the same Teac drive on my older iMac G4 which is running 10.5.8 so we can be really confident this should work.

     



    snowshed wrote:
    I actually found a post, couple years old, in the Parallels Desktop for Mac forums that said floppies would not work with OS X. But having contacted the mfgr. of my drive, I know that is false when it comes to my drive.


    I think earlier versions recognized the disks as floppies and used an appropriate icon but not in recent years.

     


    snowshed wrote:
    My assumption is that it will appear on the desktop. I've not made any changes to any factory settings, and a CD/DVD inserted shows up on the desktop and in the sidebar. And at the moment, I don't know how to make those changes, nor to manually add things to the sidebar which I know can be done.


    I recall this is the default but as I have used the migrate function in recent years I haven't set up a new Mac for a long time as settings migrate from Mac to Mac. Let's just check this just in case. In the Finder go to the Finder menu > Preferences... under 'general' ensure 'External disks' mount on Desktop and under the 'Sidebar' tab likewise.

     



    snowshed wrote:
    And it won't be today, either! Semi-retired here, and I'd rather take a drive across the Continental Divide, following an abandoned railroad grade for the Denver and Rio Grande Western.


    Sounds good. Wish I could do that on a weekend.

     



    snowshed wrote:
    This I have not tried. Another OS X feature I've not investigated. Got a quick link to a webpage to find out how to do this? I've got a book on Leopard that sits gathering dust, actual reading of the book has been a bit low on the priority list.

    If you create another user, do you end up installing software all over again as you do under Windows? If so, and the setting between additional users are 100% separated, then for User #2, I could NOT install Parallels Desktop for Mac which is my currently suspected culprit for the problem.

    And another idea you've sparked... I partitioned my HD long ago so I could install Ubuntu Linux in order to learn about Linux. I never got that done!! I could install a fresh copy of Leopard in that partition, and simply boot into that partition for testing the drive, right???


    This is fairly easy to achieve- at least just for a simple test like this. Some software needs to be installed again but depends on the case; I've never used Parallels. I'm viewing this more as an investigation technique rather than a solution.

     

    Just go to  menu > System Preferences... > Accounts > Log in as admin then click the + icon. Create a new name and password. (Search Mac Help on the desktop for "Creating a new user account".) Then  menu > Log out {yourname} and log in as the new user. Try the drive once more.

     

    //Off topic. Incidentally for security reasons I recommend even single user Macs are set to use a standard OS X account as the primary account and the admin account is there and unused. You never need log into the admin account but you will be prompted a little more often for Admin permission to complete OS tasks which makes the system more secure.

     



    snowshed wrote:
    Still another thought, perhaps Parallels Desktop for Mac is what is causing the problems I'm having with the scroll button on my mouse.


    Possibly, as I say I don't have parallels to compare.

     

    cheers

     

    mrtotes

  • 20. Re: USB external floppy disk drives
    snowshed Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    mrtotes wrote:

    Back on topic, just as a check I have also now tried the same Teac drive on my older iMac G4 which is running 10.5.8 so we can be really confident this should work.


    Did it work?


    I think earlier versions recognized the disks as floppies and used an appropriate icon but not in recent years.


    My actual first experience with OX X was shopping for a Mac model so my mother could replace her PowerMac. The one and same PowerMac I now have up and running, except for complete network connectivity. Just haven't had the time to complete that project.

    When she passed, I inherited the iMac, which had 10.2 on it. This is the first time I've wished I had that Mac! I sold it on eBay, as I had it updated as far as it could go, and wasn't happy with the performance.

    Wish I could do that on a weekend.


    The trip turned into a long day, left my house at 9 AM, returned at 8: PM. But, I got to see something most people see only on the TV/movie screen, and it wasn't railroad related. We got to see 2 Big Horn Sheep rams rear up and butt heads! And they were less than 100 yards away, and from a US highway to boot!

    This is fairly easy to achieve- at least just for a simple test like this. Some software needs to be installed again but depends on the case; I've never used Parallels. I'm viewing this more as an investigation technique rather than a solution.

    Just go to  menu > System Preferences... > Accounts > Log in as admin then click the + icon. Create a new name and password. (Search Mac Help on the desktop for "Creating a new user account".) Then  menu > Log out {yourname} and log in as the new user. Try the drive once more.




    I created a new user, and then logged into the account. The drive did not work. It sits there, LED on the drive blinking as is should, but the floppy is never recognized. I even formatted a new floppy under Vista, still no go.

    But I did notice another anomaly. I'd forgotten the Close, Minimize, and Full Screen buttons were colored!!!! They are now black and white in my administrator account. For using the computer, that's neither here nor there, but does indicate that some program or other bad guy has mucked around somewhere in the administrator account.

    Off topic. Incidentally for security reasons I recommend even single user Macs are set to use a standard OS X account as the primary account and the admin account is there and unused. You never need log into the admin account but you will be prompted a little more often for Admin permission to complete OS tasks which makes the system more secure.


    If things in the future pan out to where, for some reason, I reinstall Leopard, or upgrade to Snow Leopard, I'll set things up that way. And create a 3rd account simply for testing and troubleshooting issues like this.

    snowshed wrote:

    Still another thought, perhaps Parallels Desktop for Mac is what is causing the problems I'm having with the scroll button on my mouse.


    Possibly, as I say I don't have parallels to compare.


    I think my next step, now, will be to take the drive and the newly formatted floppy (it does have data on it) to the Apple Store, probably on Tuesday. And see what happens there.

    If it works, the problem is something to do with my Mac. If not, then the Teac tech support person is wrong, and I'll go back to them and bluntly ask if they actually plugged the drive into a real Mac, or simply made some assumptions.

    As for Parallels, I have this same question posted. People have been reading it, but no replies as of yet. Depending on what finally transpires here, I may try contacting Parallels directly.
  • 21. Re: USB external floppy disk drives
    mrtotes Level 6 Level 6 (11,815 points)
    Yeah it worked on 10.5.8 too (iMac G4).

     

    You can change the "theme" (I use the term very loosely) in  menu > System Preferences... > Appearance > Appearance this will allow you to restore colour to the Close, Minimize and Zoom buttons. - apologies if you knew this.

     

    Did you say the drive is recognized in Disk Utility?

     

     

    Do you get the first and second tiers as shown?

     

    (As shown - drive works on my MacBook Pro too.)

     

    cheers

     

    mrtotes

  • 22. Re: USB external floppy disk drives
    snowshed Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    mrtotes wrote:
    Yeah it worked on 10.5.8 too (iMac G4).

     

    You can change the "theme" (I use the term very loosely) in  menu > System Preferences... > Appearance > Appearance this will allow you to restore colour to the Close, Minimize and Zoom buttons. - apologies if you knew this.



    I had completely spaced out the appearance option. Long ago, I obviously switched to the graphite theme, I personally don't care, or didn't then, to have the bright blue. I may go back and see how I feel about it now.

    Do you know if there are public domain appearance options the user can make use of?

    Did you say the drive is recognized in Disk Utility?


    It shows up in System Profiler. I hadn't thought about Disk Utility, but it's a no-go there.

    And my disk utility display is different than yours. From left to right, my icons are:

    Verify
    Info
    Burn
    Mount/Unmount/Open (depending on whether you've selected a drive or disk image)
    Eject
    Enable Journaling
    New Image
    Convert
    Resize Image


    Which machine did your screen shot come from?

    I do get the 2 tiers.

    If you want to see an image of my Disk Utility display, I can set one up. Just too lazy to do it right now. LOL
  • 23. Re: USB external floppy disk drives
    mrtotes Level 6 Level 6 (11,815 points)
    snowshed wrote:
    Do you know if there are public domain appearance options the user can make use of?


    Err no. :-// OS X is just the way SJ likes it; themes would offend the design!!!

     



    snowshed wrote:
    It shows up in System Profiler. I hadn't thought about Disk Utility, but it's a no-go there.

    And my disk utility display is different than yours. From left to right, my icons are:
    Which machine did your screen shot come from?


    It's a shot from the MacBook Pro running 10.6.4. Like most Mac windows the toolbar buttons can easily be customized to suit the user - perhaps a earlier switch like the appearance? Actually to be honest I can't be bothered to switch the 10.5 iMac on, they could be that way by default in 10.5.

     

    Odd that you see both tiers refering to the Teac listed. The first usually indicates the drive is present and the lower tier the mounted partition or disc on that drive. Can you select the drive and choose Unmount/Mount?

     

    cheers

     

    mrtotes

  • 24. Re: USB external floppy disk drives
    snowshed Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    mrtotes wrote:

    snowshed wrote:
    Do you know if there are public domain appearance options the user can make use of?


    Err no. :-// OS X is just the way SJ likes it; themes would offend the design!!!


    Bummer! I have to admit, I like to play with the desktop appearance in Windows, and many years ago with my Atari's. I use those colors to more easily determine which window is the active window when the desktop is cluttered.

    System 9.1 has 3 or 4 built in themes, and to be honest, I like the over all appearance of System 9 far more than I do OS X. I'm going to run the Blue theme for awhile, and see if it wears on me.


    It's a shot from the MacBook Pro running 10.6.4. Like most Mac windows the toolbar buttons can easily be customized to suit the user - perhaps a earlier switch like the appearance? Actually to be honest I can't be bothered to switch the 10.5 iMac on, they could be that way by default in 10.5.


    I never thought about the possibility of customized toolbars. It's a feature of both Mac and Windows that I don't play with, except in Firefox. FF never seems to want to put a print icon in the toolbar as a default!

    Odd that you see both tiers refering to the Teac listed. The first usually indicates the drive is present and the lower tier the mounted partition or disc on that drive. Can you select the drive and choose Unmount/Mount?


    Oops! I've led you astray. I referring to your screen shot where the Teac drive shows up in Disk Utility. It doesn't for me. I only see the Teac listed in System Profiler.

    Now... This makes me wonder... I know zippety doo dah about Mac laptops. I'm assuming it also does not have an internal floppy drive. Which means, Snow Leopard knows how to talk to the Teac. Maybe tomorrow, at the Apple Store, I can find out why my Mac with Leopard doesn't. I wonder if there's a bug or possibly a feature that was removed, then reinstated.

    I'm finding this detective work to be a bit of fun!
  • 25. Re: USB external floppy disk drives
    mrtotes Level 6 Level 6 (11,815 points)

     

    No sport tonight, so overcame laziness; here's an image from iMac G4 running 10.5.8.

     

    No Mac has shipped with a floppy for over a decade about the time OS X arrived - it occurs to me it was only ever there as legacy support.

     

    Do let us know what resolves it - I'm always keen to learn.

     

    cheers

     

    mrtotes

  • 26. Re: USB external floppy disk drives
    snowshed Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    mrtotes wrote:

    No Mac has shipped with a floppy for over a decade about the time OS X arrived - it occurs to me it was only ever there as legacy support.


    It's definitely a software problem. I took the drive to the Apple store today, plugged it into a MacBook, and the poor little youngster working there got all apoplectic because the drive light came on!!!

    But, it did eventually came up on the desktop like it should. And read the floppy disk just fine. Snow Leopard.

    I bought a copy of Snow Leopard, and installed it in the 2nd partition of my HD, and the drive works fine.

    There's obviously a problem with something under Leopard. I've thought about just installing Snow Leopard in the Leopard partition, but that won't necessarily cure the problem. Since the drive didn't want to work with Leopard 10.5.6 in the 2nd partition, I'm thinking Leopard is the culprit. I'll install 10.5.8 in the 2nd partition and see what happens.


    Do let us know what resolves it - I'm always keen to learn.


    This has become a serious quest now!!!! I want to know why it doesn't work, even though it's just such a minor issue as far as using the computer. I what to know WHY!!
  • 27. Re: USB external floppy disk drives
    snowshed Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I installed 10.5.8 in the 2nd partition, bare bones. I didn't even install the software supplied with the computer.

    The drive still does not work.

    I called Apple phone support, and even though I'm long out of warranty, the person on the other end did his best to find an answer in the knowledge base. He was up front on the point that the problem may be above his pay grade, and we had a good laugh over that!

    For phone support, my only option to go up the line was to pay $49. Not that important! But the support person said I could go to the feedback page, and file a report there that goes straight to engineering.

    And that I just finished doing.

    I'll post something here if I learn anything.
  • 28. Re: USB external floppy disk drives
    mrtotes Level 6 Level 6 (11,815 points)
    So the question that pops into my head now is why don't you just upgrade the iMac to SL as the main OS?

     

    mrtotes

  • 29. Re: USB external floppy disk drives
    snowshed Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    mrtotes wrote:

    So the question that pops into my head now is why don't you just upgrade the iMac to SL as the main OS?


    That assumes that a 3rd party piece of software, or one of Apple's supplied software, is not the culprit.

    Even though my process has led me to the conclusion that Leopard is the culprit, it doesn't mean I'm right.

    Since I'm in no hurry to have it work, I'll give the Apple engineers whatever time I feel is adequate to get back to me or whatever they may decide to do.

    But since I now own Snow Leopard, updating to it will happen eventually, and I just have to hope that a 3rd party piece of software is not the culprit.