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Multibooter

LS-120 SuperDisk drive under Win98 and DOS

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Multibooter    0

I have substantially updated posting #88 (review of external LS-120 drives) and added a modded PPD2 drive (parallel port, 2x speed, top DOS drive) to my Toolbox in posting #1.

Notes about the bare drives

An excellent listing of all Matsus***a bare LS-120/240 drives can be found here http://web.archive.org/web/20030608221432/http://www.mke.panasonic.co.jp/en/down/index.html

LKM-F933-1 - good and bad versions

The LKM-F933-1 bare drive comes apparently only inside Imation M2, U2, PPD2, M3 and U3 drives.

The LKM-F933-1 drive exists in 2 versions: the bad first version, with the sticker on the bare drive displaying a manufacturing date of April 1999, and the good second version with manufacturing dates June thru September 1999. For both versions Win98 displays the same firmware revision. Drives of the first version (April 1999) canNOT re-initialize de-magnetized LS-120 diskettes, while drives of the 2nd version (June thru September 1999) can. No idea what other issues the first version drives have. I would not use April 1999 drives, except for experimentation.

All Imation M2 and PPD2 drives seem to come with the bad first version drives of April 1999 inside. The Imation M2 is readily available at ebay, but its main components (the bare bad drive and the strange connector+USB dongle-cable) are not even useful as spare parts. The only components of an M2 drive which could serve as spare parts for other models are the external power supply, the eject button (requires dexterity to transplant into another bare drive) and the 6 screws of the enclosure.

The Imation U2 drives, even if they have a dongle-cable like the M2 and the PPD2, have already the good drives of the 2nd version inside.

All M3 and U3 drives come with the good second version drives.

Edited by Multibooter

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Multibooter    0

Regular floppy drives for down-formatting bulk-erased LS-120 diskettes

Most of my regular floppy disk drives could NOT down-format a de-magnetized LS-120 diskette to 720KB/1.44MB, when connected to the onboard controller of my desktop.

a ) The following regular floppy drives, when connected inside the desktop, COULD down-format a bulk-erased LS-120 diskette:

- Teac FD-235HG C628U, P/N 193077C628, rev.A00, made in Malaysia

- Sony MPF920. Z/161 MAR

b ) the following regular floppy drives, when connected inside the desktop, could NOT down-format a bulk-erased LS-120 diskette:

- Sony MPF920-Z Z/131 FEB2002

- Sony MPF920-E E/131

- Sony MPF920-F F/FM3 MAY 2002

- Sony MPF920-L

- Samsung SFD-321J /ADNR

Buslink USB floppy drive and Cubig USB floppy bridge

The Buslink USB floppy drive FDD1 http://web.archive.org/web/20030802041314/http://www.buslink.com/index.cgi?view_product=yes&product_sku=677891130316 comes in a big enclosure. Inside is a regular 3.5" desktop floppy drive Mitsumi D353M3D, a "Cubig USBFD-1 © 2000" USB to floppy bridge and a small regular floppy cable, to connect the Mitsumi drive to the USB floppy bridge.

This Cubig USB bridge seems to work miracles. When I connected the 5 regular floppy drives listed under b ) to this Cubig USB bridge, they could all down-format bulk-erased LS-120 diskettes to 720KB.

I was down-formatting in a Win98 DOS window with the command "format j: /f:720 /u" and used nusb 3.3 instead of the manufacturer-provided Win98 driver.

The Samsung SFD-321J /ADNR floppy drive in b ), when connected to the onboard controller in the desktop, could only format 1.44MB, not 720KB. When connected to the Cubig USB bridge, however, this floppy drive could also format 720K, with regular diskettes and with LS-120 diskettes.

Maybe the cause for this miracle are longer time-out settings with the Cubig USB bridge, regular floppy drives when connected to the Cubig bridge seem to become slow, and slow to respond, but work fine. Or maybe the cause is that I have installed on my 11-year-old laptop (to which I connected the floppy drives plus Cubig USB bridge) the "Unofficial CD/DISK/SCSI/SMART/VOL IO Subsytem Drivers Fix", but not on my dual-core desktop. Or maybe the onboard floppy disk controller of my desktop has issues ...

The Cubig USB bridge has one issue with its connector for the external power supply and the on/off switch for DC-in: When an external power supply is connected and the DC-in switch is set to on, the Buslink USB floppy drive/Cubig USB bridge is installed Ok, but upon reboot it is detected again as "Unknown device". As work-around I have not connected a power supply to the Cubig USB bridge, but instead to the power-in connector on the USB 2.0 PCCard in my laptop.

In WinXP Device Manager the Buslink USB floppy drive is listed:

- in class Floppy disk drives as "SMSC USB FDC USB Device", with the Device Instance Id USBSTOR\SFLOPPY&VEN_SMSC&PROD_USB_FDC&REV_1.0;\7&3498A363&0

- in class Universal Serial Bus controllers as "SMSC USB Floppy", with the Device Instance Id USB\VID_0424&PID_0FDC\6&C19F6C&0&1

ChipGenius displays for the Buslink USB floppy drive:

Device Name: +[b:]+SMSC USB Floppy(SMSC USB FDC USB Device)

PnP Device ID: VID = 0424 PID = 0FDC

Serial Number: 6&&C19F6C&&0&&1

Revision: 1.0;

Device Type: Standard USB device - USB2.0 Full-Speed (USB1.1)

Chip Vendor: (No match record)

Chip Part-Number: (No match record)

Product Vendor: SMSC

Product Model: USB FDC

http://www.linux-usb.org/usb.ids lists for VID=0424: Standard Microsystems Corp., and for PID=0FDC: Floppy

The Cubig USB floppy bridge can also serve as a tool to quickly test a large number of regular floppy drives. The Buslink USB floppy drive is hard to find nowadays. I have added the Cubig USB floppy bridge to my Toolbox in posting #1

Bad sectors on down-formatted LS-120 diskettes

Out of 6 left-bay modules containing a regular floppy drive for my 11-year-old Inspiron 7500 laptop:

- 2 were able right-away to down-format a bulk-erased LS-120 diskette, without bad sectors ,

- 1 only after a thorough cleaning with Cleaner http://www.clubedohardware.com.br/download/software/cleaner.zip by Rosenthal Engineering and a non-abrasive Imation Dry Head Cleaning Disk (for LS-120 and regular floppy drives).

- 3 regular floppy drives, even after a repeated cleaning, down-formatted de-magnetized LS-120 diskettes to 720KB, with between 50KB and 300KB of bad sectors.

The 3 regular Inspiron floppy drives which, even after cleaning, wrote bad sectors actually came from a box of old unused stuff. The down-formatting of a de-magnetized LS-120 diskette appears to be a good test of the writing capability of a regular floppy disk drive.

Bad sectors, even if they don't occur in sector 0, may or may not be an obstacle to the successful re-initialization and re-formatting of bulk-erased LS-120 diskettes to 120MB. For example, a first attempt at re-initializing and re-formatting an LS-120 diskette with bad sectors failed, while a second attempt, after a repeated de-magnetization + down-formatting + transfer of sector 0, succeeded.

In any case these bad sectors indicate that there are serious issues with the specific regular floppy disk drive. Bad sectors may also be displayed if the LS-120 diskette was not de-magnetized sufficiently long. Repeating the de-magnetization, but a little longer, may help.

I have attached a screen shot of a down-formatted LS-120 diskette with 395,264 bytes in bad sectors. Despite of the bad sectors, WinHex could transfer a good sector 0 to the LS-120 diskette after several messages, e.g. "Error #6. Cannot read from Sector 64 of Drive A".

post-183045-0-18199800-1316709315_thumb.

Edited by Multibooter

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Multibooter    0

Bad sectors on re-initialized and re-formatted 120MB diskette

When I ran ScanDisk with surface test on the LS-120 diskette of the preceding posting (i.e. initialized and re-formatted with SuperDisk Format Utility to 120MB), ScanDisk indicated 2 bad sectors on the 120MB diskette (see screen shot below). The 2 bad sectors in the 120MB format were apparently remnants of the 772 bad sectors (=395,264 bytes), written in wide tracks by the bad regular floppy drive.

Since I had "View Results" de-selected (selecting View Results had caused issues during previous experimentation), the SuperDisk Format Utility did not display that bad sectors were encountered.

After a full format with GRDuw, the 120MB diskette had no more bad sectors.

After re-initializing and re-formatting a de-magnetized LS-120 diskette with SuperDisk Format Utility, one should either run ScanDisk with surface test, or make a full format with GRDuw. GRDuw indicates without issues when a bad sector is encountered and also displays the time required by the full format, which is a rough indication of the quality of the LS-120 diskette.

Down-formatting to 720KB vs 1.44MB

Tracks written by regular floppy drives are much wider than those written by LS-120 drives when writing in 120MB format, so some of the stuff left-over from the earlier down-formatting must have been interfering. Most likely it is better to down-format an LS-120 diskette to 720KB, instead of 1.44MB: the less stuff is written in wide tracks onto an LS-120 diskette, the less their remnants can interfere with the 120MB format.

post-183045-0-78307600-1316717339_thumb.

Edited by Multibooter

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Multibooter    0

LS-120 drives connected via Firewire

Under WinXP, when an LS-120 drive is connected via USB, My Computer displays the drive as "3 1/2 Floppy (B:)", Type: "3 1/2-Inch Floppy Disk".

When the same drive is connected via Firewire, however, My Computer displays the LS-120 drive as "Removable Disk (M:[for example])", File System: FAT, Type: "Removable Disk".

Some software does not work with the Type: "Floppy Disk", but works with the Type "Removable Disk". By connecting an LS-120 drive via Firewire, a whole new set of software tools becomes available with the LS-120 drive. MBRWizard, for example, does not display an LS-120 drive in its menu selection "Select a Hard Disk" when the LS-120 drive is connected via USB. When the LS-120 drive is connected via Firewire, however, MBRWizard does display the LS-120 drive in its menu selection "Select a Hard Disk".

In another topic the formatting of a Caleb UHD144 drive seems to be a little puzzling, so I am posting here how MBRWizard sees an LS-120 diskette when connected via Firewire. There may be similarities between an "LS-120" drive and a Caleb drive, the Caleb drive is displayed in Device Manager as "Caleb LS-120".

As far as I know, LS-120 drives have not been sold with a Firewire interface.

MBRWizard Suite, v. 4.0.0.135

Details for Disk 1: Prolific PL3507 Combo Device (1394 ATAPI_Rev 1.00) IEEE 1394 SBP2 Device

Date Saved: 7/31/2012

Disk Information

--------------------------------------------------------

Model Prolific PL3507 Combo Device (1394 ATAPI_Rev 1.00) IEEE 1394 SBP2 Device

MBR/GPT: MBR

Physical Size: 126,222,336

Formatted size: 120.38MiB

Sector Count: 246,528

Signature: 6F727265

Interface: SBP2

Connection: Removable

Total Partitions: 4

Primary Partitions: 4

Logical Partitions: 0

Primary Partition #1

--------------------------------------------------------

Type: 79 (UNKNWN)

Active (boot): No (72)

Start Sector (LBA): 538988361

Total Sectors (LBA): 538976288

Starting CHS: 356 101 33

Ending CHS: 0 13 10

Size (in bytes): 275955859456

Volume Label:

Primary Partition #2

--------------------------------------------------------

Type: 53 (DSKMGR)

Active (boot): No (53)

Start Sector (LBA): 1394614304

Total Sectors (LBA): 21337

Starting CHS: 333 89 19

Ending CHS: 339 68 15

Size (in bytes): 10924544

Volume Label:

Primary Partition #3

--------------------------------------------------------

Type: 6C (UNKNWN)

Active (boot): No (a)

Start Sector (LBA): 1684955424

Total Sectors (LBA): 1701998624

Starting CHS: 368 82 37

Ending CHS: 357 97 35

Size (in bytes): 871423295488

Volume Label:

Primary Partition #4

--------------------------------------------------------

Type: 6E (UNKNWN)

Active (boot): No (73)

Start Sector (LBA): 1998616933

Total Sectors (LBA): 544105832

Starting CHS: 97 115 32

Ending CHS: 107 121 32

Size (in bytes): 278582185984

Volume Label:

The LS-120 diskette was a new "Windows/MS-DOS Formatted" diskette, fresh out of the box. 4 primary partitions? Is this information provided by MBRWizard correct?

Edited by Multibooter

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jaclaz    927

Is this information provided by MBRWizard correct?

NO, it is NOT.

Make a copy of first absolute sector of the diskette.

Put it into a .zip file.

Attach the .zip file.

Just like you did on the mentioned Caleb thread.

MBRWizard tries to interpret or parse *whatever* it finds, assuming :ph34r: it represents a MBR, you need to check the *whatever* AND NOT the "interpreted" *whatever*.

jaclaz

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Multibooter    0

Is this information provided by MBRWizard correct?

NO, it is NOT.

I agree :blushing: Below is what MBRWizard displays about a regular 1.44MB blank floppy disk in an LS-120 drive connected via Firewire:

MBRWizard Suite, v. 4.0.0.135

Details for Disk 1: Prolific PL3507 Combo Device (1394 ATAPI_Rev 1.00) IEEE 1394 SBP2 Device

Date Saved: 7/31/2012

Disk Information

--------------------------------------------------------

Model Prolific PL3507 Combo Device (1394 ATAPI_Rev 1.00) IEEE 1394 SBP2 Device

MBR/GPT: MBR

Physical Size: 1,474,560

Formatted size: 1.41MiB

Sector Count: 2,880

Signature: 73696420

Interface: SBP2

Connection: Removable

Total Partitions: 4

Primary Partitions: 4

Logical Partitions: 0

Primary Partition #1

--------------------------------------------------------

Type: 53 (DSKMGR)

Active (boot): No (20)

Start Sector (LBA): 538989391

Total Sectors (LBA): 1398362912

Starting CHS: 345 32 19

Ending CHS: 324 77 19

Size (in bytes): 715961810944

Volume Label:

Primary Partition #2

--------------------------------------------------------

Type: 6B (UNKNWN)

Active (boot): No (61)

Start Sector (LBA): 1330184202

Total Sectors (LBA): 538976288

Starting CHS: 288 110 57

Ending CHS: 269 101 57

Size (in bytes): 275955859456

Volume Label:

Primary Partition #3

--------------------------------------------------------

Type: 49 (UNKNWN)

Active (boot): Yes (80)

Start Sector (LBA): 1394627663

Total Sectors (LBA): 21337

Starting CHS: 87 1 0

Ending CHS: 335 78 2

Size (in bytes): 10924544

Volume Label:

Primary Partition #4

--------------------------------------------------------

Type: 20 (UNKNWN)

Active (boot): No (20)

Start Sector (LBA): 1919950958

Total Sectors (LBA): 544437093

Starting CHS: 356 97 46

Ending CHS: 357 116 40

Size (in bytes): 278751791616

Volume Label:

I am attaching the MBR of the virgin maxell 120MB LS-120 diskette, created by HDHacker v1.4 from the LS-120 diskette in an LS-120 drive connected via Firewire.

BTW, a LS-120 drive connected via Firewire + the Hitachi Filter Driver could perhaps make a regular 1.44MB floppy disk into a Local Disk under WinXP, there seems to be a lot of room for experimentation with LS-120 drives connected via Firewire.

MBR_HardDisk1_LS-120_virgin_120MB.rar

Edited by Multibooter

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Multibooter    0

Magic with LS-120 drives connected via Firewire

1. GRDuw v4.1.17 [Win98]

I just used GRDuw v4.1.17 under Win98SE to format a regular 1.44MB floppy. The LS-120 drive connected via Firewire is displayed by GRDuw as "REMOVABLE HD". I put a 1.44MB floppy disk into the LS-120 drive, and selected 1.44MB , the formatting was Ok. Then I selected 720kB and repeated the formatting - without taping a hole: the 1.44MB was formatted Ok to 720kB!

2. Hard Disk Low Level Format Tool v2.36 [WinXP]

A regular 1.44MB floppy disk in the LS-120 drive is displayed in the program's window. An attempt to low-level format the 1.44MB floppy disk fails with the error message: "Cannot access this device. This device cannot be accessed because it iss smaller than 65535 sectors."

Edited by Multibooter

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jaclaz    927

I am attaching the MBR of the virgin maxell 120MB LS-120 diskette, created by HDHacker v1.4 from the LS-120 diskette in an LS-120 drive connected via Firewire.

Technically, and to be a little picky ;), what you attached is NOT a MBR.

It is first sector of a \\PhysicalDrive, depending on it's contents, it may be:

  1. a MBR
  2. a bootsector/PBR/VBR
  3. all 0's <-equates to "a suffusion of yellow"
  4. something else

Once the contents of such sector has been analyzed and found to be conforming to a MBR (either DATA or CODE or both) structure or to a PBR (again either DATA or CODE or both) structure, then you will know what it is.

MBRwizard parses *whatever* you give it as if it was conforming to a MBR structure, imagine that you want to use an Italian-English dictionary to translate from Spanish to English even if you find some words that are similar or actually the same, the result will be mostly gibberish....

It is still a FAT16 bootsector, the difference with the one on the Caleb, besides the differnces in DATA is the CODE, this one is the "real MS-DOS" code, "MSDOS5.0", whilst the Caleb is "MSWIN4.0", i.e. Win 9x.

Another thing to note is that this one is media 240 (Floppy) whilst the Caleb is media 248 (hard disk).

Bootsector or PBR structure:Start position: 0x00000000
Position 0 of open file: 0x00000000
GENERAL DATA: Offset Description Value Notes
0 0000 JMP instruction: EB3C90
54 0036 Filesytem: FAT16
510 01FE Magic Bytes: 0xAA55
3 0003 OEM String: MSDOS5.0
11 000B Bytes per sector: 0200 512
13 000D Sectors per cluster: 04 4
14 000E Reserved sectors: 0001 1
16 0010 Number of FAT(s): 02 2
17 0011 Max ROOT entries: 0200 512
19 0013 Small type sectors: 0000 0
21 0015 Media type: F0 240
22 0016 Sectors per FAT: 00F1 241
24 0018 Sectors per Head: 0020 32
26 001A Number of Heads: 0008 8
28 001C Sectors Before: 00000000 0
32 0020 Large Sectors: 0003C300 246528
36 0024 Disk number: 00 0
37 0025 Current Head: 00 0
38 0026 NT signature: 29 41
77 004D Volume Serial: 16561E37 374742583
43 002B Volume label: NO NAME
54 0036 System ID: FAT16

You may find of interest these:

and the spreadsheets posted.

jaclaz

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naaloh    0

Hi, Multibooter.

Thank you for the thread it was very interesting, if only for academic purposes :D I want to ask the following question: which types of interface can an LS120/LS240 drive have? I've seen "parallel" and "ATAPI/IDE" mentioned in this thread. Am I correct to assume that the first means LPT parallel port, commonly used to connect graphical printers, and the second means Parallel ATA interface, commonly used for HDDs, CD and DVD drives? Are those two the only types available natively (not counting USB bridges)?

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Multibooter    0
which types of interface can an LS120/LS240 drive have? I've seen "parallel" and "ATAPI/IDE" mentioned in this thread. Am I correct to assume that the first means LPT parallel port, commonly used to connect graphical printers, and the second means Parallel ATA interface, commonly used for HDDs, CD and DVD drives? Are those two the only types available natively (not counting USB bridges)?
Hi naaloh,

Interfaces of LS-120 drives

The LS-120 drives come in enclosures with parallel (=LPT1), USB and PCMCIA interfaces, depending on the model. I have not seen any LS-120 drives with a SCSI interface, although there were internal and external SCSI models, e.g. http://web.archive.org/web/19980207104856/http://www.winstation.com/scsils.html and http://web.archive.org/web/20011218095613/http://www.winstation.com/Superdisk.htm (also SCSI LS-240 drives). The early Winstation models apparently had a Mitsubishi drive inside, not a Matsus***a/Panasonic drive, http://web.archive.org/web/19990421233257/http://www.winstation.com/removable.html "IDE SuperDisk Drive & IDE Zip Drive are not compatible in the same system" according to http://web.archive.org/web/19990430030706/http://www.winstation.com/ssdspec.html

The bare ATAPI LS-120 drive connects inside a desktop computer, or inside an IDE/PATA enclosure, like a regular bare HDD, except that the internal LS-120 drives have a small 4-pin power connector (like for 3.5" floppy drives). You need a short adapter cable to convert the big 4-pin Molex power connector to a small 4-pin floppy power connector, these adapter cables eventually will become scarce, Fry's, for example, doesn't have them anymore, but they are still plentiful at ebay.

The only external enclosure I know of, with a fitting opening for the ATAPI LS-120 drive inside, so that diskettes can be inserted, is model ME-720, by e.g. Bytecc, also no-name. The ME-720 comes with various interfaces (USB, Firewire, USB+Firewire, eSATA). The Firewire interface was probably never tested by the manufacturers of the LS-120 drives and by developers of software for LS-120 drives.

I have not been able to get the Matsus***a SuperDisk Utility (29-Nov-2001) [for formatting LS-120 diskettes, download link https://p3.support.panasonic.co.jp/p3/EokpControl;jsessionid=2765AFBF30224277FD16BC06EDA6D5DC.sc-ap16-1?&sid=835039aeb6f2601eb4c14f25979c1c0f&event=AE0001&fid=17647

] , to work with LS-120 drives in the ME-720 enclosure, connected via USB, only with the original drives by Imation [can also re-format degaussed LS-120 diskettes) and by Que! [the LS-240 drive by Que! cannot re-format degaussed LS-120 diskettes since it cannot full/quick format with the SuperDisk Format Utility when NoCheck is set to 01]. The Matsus***a SuperDisk Utility (29-Nov-2001) seems to have a very special handling of VIDs/PIDs, and I have not yet found a way for the Matsus***a SuperDisk Utility (29-Nov-2001) to accept the VID/PID of the USB-bridge inside the ME-720 enclosure. Switchfk.ini in data1.cab in the installer LK-RF240UZ.EXE seems to allow custom VID/PIDs, but I couldn't get it to work with the ME-720 enclosure.

There are also slim LS-120/240 ATAPI drives for laptops, the slim LS-120 drive modules for my 11-year-old Inspiron 7500 laptop work fine. I was never able to get slim LS-120/240 drives for other laptop makes to work with slim drive to IDE 40-pin adapters, esp. the IBM LS-240 drives, which seem to be custom-made. During one experiment, smoke came from such a slim drive to IDE adapter, the adapter itself was burnt, the LS-240 laptop drive definitely dead and the AC power supply damaged.

Edited by Multibooter

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naaloh    0

So the drives themselves always have PATA interface, while LPT1, USB, PCMCIA, etc. are the possible interfaces of their enclosures. Was it not possible to produce LS120/240 drives with FDD interface, so that they could be installed in place of a regular floppy drive? Surely, the read/write speed of LS120/240 drives would not exceed the bandwidth of the FDD interface, so it must be some other limitation, any idea what it was?

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dencorso    532

It seems all superfloppies were always made with a true IDE/ATA or, later, ATAPI interface. This also holds for iomega's Zip100s. I think they never were produced with floppy interface.

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Multibooter    0
Was it not possible to produce LS120/240 drives with FDD interface, so that they could be installed in place of a regular floppy drive? Surely, the read/write speed of LS120/240 drives would not exceed the bandwidth of the FDD interface, so it must be some other limitation, any idea what it was?
Hi naaloh,

This is a very good question: "Why was the IDE interface, and not the floppy drive interface, used for superfloppies/LS-120 drives?" Any insights?

I think they never were produced with floppy interface.
It is indeed strange that the LS-120 drives, as supposed successors of the floppy disk drives, did not connect to the 34-pin floppy drive cable from the motherboard, but to the 40-pin IDE cable.

None of my 34-pin floppy drive cables fit onto the 40-pin IDE connector at the back of the LS-120 drive, because of the protrusion ("cable key") in the center and a protrusion at the side of the floppy drive cable. So the 40-pin IDE connectors were made in such a way that an IDE drive could not be connected with a 34-pin floppy drive cable to the floppy drive controller.

But wait: In a shrink-wrapped box of an LS-120 drive by Digital Research Technologies, containing an IDE LS-120 drive by Mitsubishi Electric, Model MF357G-2111UAL, manufactured Feb.1998, there was a strange little plug adapter in the box, with no explanation. This adapter has on one side a female 34-pin connector [to the LS-120 drive?], and on the other side an old male 34-pin connector, as for 5.25" floppy drives. By means of the plug adapter the LS-120 drive, with its 40-pin IDE connector, can be connected to an old-style floppy drive cable (5.25" Drive B connector type), for those who like risky experiments.

The 34-pin plug adapter does not have a "cable key" protrusion, so I don't know where to connect it on the 40-pin IDE connector of the LS-120 drive. I was afraid of damaging both the LS-120 drive and the motherboard when connecting the LS-120 drive via this plug adapter to the floppy drive controller on the motherboard.

This plug adapter may reflect attempts to connect an LS-120 drive to the floppy drive controller. I am attaching 3 pictures of this wondrous plug adapter from the Digital Research box. The back of the plug adapter shows a custom connection. Any suggestions?

post-183045-0-59211000-1345320191_thumb.

post-183045-0-21964600-1345320218_thumb.

post-183045-0-43684700-1345320241_thumb.

Edited by Multibooter

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Interesting thread Multibooter (like all the similar threads), you do good research and testing and should be writing hardware manuals. The "documentation" that ships these days could use such thorough treatment.

Totally unrelated to the general discussion and it's probably nothing, but there looks to be sloppy soldering in that left picture. If problems ever arose I would zero in on that connector and reflow the cold solder joints.

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rloew    90
Was it not possible to produce LS120/240 drives with FDD interface, so that they could be installed in place of a regular floppy drive? Surely, the read/write speed of LS120/240 drives would not exceed the bandwidth of the FDD interface, so it must be some other limitation, any idea what it was?
Hi naaloh,

This is a very good question: "Why was the IDE interface, and not the floppy drive interface, used for superfloppies/LS-120 drives?" Any insights?

I think they never were produced with floppy interface.
It is indeed strange that the LS-120 drives, as supposed successors of the floppy disk drives, did not connect to the 34-pin floppy drive cable from the motherboard, but to the 40-pin IDE cable.

None of my 34-pin floppy drive cables fit onto the 40-pin IDE connector at the back of the LS-120 drive, because of the protrusion ("cable key") in the center and a protrusion at the side of the floppy drive cable. So the 40-pin IDE connectors were made in such a way that an IDE drive could not be connected with a 34-pin floppy drive cable to the floppy drive controller.

But wait: In a shrink-wrapped box of an LS-120 drive by Digital Research Technologies, containing an IDE LS-120 drive by Mitsubishi Electric, Model MF357G-2111UAL, manufactured Feb.1998, there was a strange little plug adapter in the box, with no explanation. This adapter has on one side a female 34-pin connector [to the LS-120 drive?], and on the other side an old male 34-pin connector, as for 5.25" floppy drives. By means of the plug adapter the LS-120 drive, with its 40-pin IDE connector, can be connected to an old-style floppy drive cable (5.25" Drive B connector type), for those who like risky experiments.

The 34-pin plug adapter does not have a "cable key" protrusion, so I don't know where to connect it on the 40-pin IDE connector of the LS-120 drive. I was afraid of damaging both the LS-120 drive and the motherboard when connecting the LS-120 drive via this plug adapter to the floppy drive controller on the motherboard.

This plug adapter may reflect attempts to connect an LS-120 drive to the floppy drive controller. I am attaching 3 pictures of this wondrous plug adapter from the Digital Research box. The back of the plug adapter shows a custom connection. Any suggestions?

Don't even think about it.

The Floppy Interface is totally different from the IDE Interface. Connecting the 34-pin Connector in any position into the 40-pin Connector will not work. Without checking the pinouts, I am not sure if you will get a cloud of smoke or not.

I don't know enough about how the LS-120 encodes data on the disk to say if it is possible to make a LS-120 Drive using the Floppy Drive Interface. The Floppy Controller in PCs is not very flexible.

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