Access Floppy Drive in Vista RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • In Vista, Windows Explorer and My Computer do not recognize the Floppy Drive.   The floppy drive shows up as working correctly in Device Manager.   I have tried disabling it, Uninstalling it, physically disconnecting it, and disabling it in BIOS; then reconnecting and re-enabling.   All to no avail.

    How can I get Windows Explorer and My Computer to see the floppy drive?   I have no problems with it in XP (dual boot set up)

    Sunday, March 29, 2009 2:01 AM

All replies

  • Hi Roger,


    Thank you for posting.


    Based on my research, I would like to suggest the following:


    1.    Please ensure that the Floppy Drive is compatible with Windows Vista.


    You can go to Vista Hardware Compatibility Check Site or contact your computer’s manufacture to check its compatibility information.


    2.    Check the following registry key.

    Note: Please perform a full system backup first.


    1)    Click Start, type regedit in the Start Search box, and then click regedit in the Programs list.

    If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type your password, or click Continue.


    2)    Locate, and then click the following registry subkey:


    3)    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E969-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}


    4)    If there is a upper or lower filter entry, please remove it.


    3.    Please check if the Floppy Drive exits in Disk Management.


    1)    Open Computer Management by clicking the Start, right-clicking Manage. In the Navigation pane, under Storage, click Disk Management.

    2)    If the Floppy Drive exists, please see if a Driver Letter has been assigned.


    Please also capture a screenshot on this.


    Capture a screenshot


    1)    Press the Print Screen key (PrtScn) on your keyboard.

    2)    Click the "Start" menu, type "mspaint" in the Search Bar and Press Enter.

    3)    In the Paint program, click the "Edit" menu, click "Paste", click the "File" menu, and click "Save".

    4)    The "Save As" dialogue box will appear. Type a file name in the "File name:" box, for example: "screenshot".

    5)    Make sure "JPEG (*.JPG;*.JPEG;*.JPE;*.JFIF)" is selected in the "Save as type" box, click “Desktop” on the left pane and then click "Save".


    Please use Windows Live SkyDrive (http://www.skydrive.live.com/) to upload the files and share the URLs with us.


    Hope this helps.

    Nicholas Li - MSFT
    Tuesday, March 31, 2009 10:27 AM
  • Thanks for that Nicholas.  I know that the drive is compatible with Vista because it was working perfectly well some time ago.  I do not know when it disappeared from view. The floppy drive does not show up in Disk Manager.   I found no filters to delete in regedit.   I have uploaded the screenshot of Disk Manager to Skydrive but I do not know how to share it with you.  

    The URL for the file is https://cid-a1ab835a562274d7.skydrive.live.com/browse.aspx/.Documents/Floppy%20Problem


    Wednesday, April 1, 2009 7:14 PM
  • Hi Roger,


    If everything worked before, a quick solution is to restore the system back to the previous status when the issue didn’t occur with System Restore. (Note: Performing a system restore may cause the loss of the current system settings; therefore, before doing this, please make sure that the system restore point is not too old and set a restore point for the current status.)


    At this time, please also try the following:


    1.    Please check if there are any unknown devices with a exclamation mark in Device Manger. If so, please try to reinstall or upgrade its driver.


    2.    You can also click “Action - Scan for hardware changes.” in Device Manager to see if a new device appears. If so, please install its driver to see if it works.


    Regarding the screenshot, I cannot access it. Please move it to the public folder of your Skydive and provide me the link.


    Thank you for your efforts.

    Nicholas Li - MSFT
    Thursday, April 2, 2009 10:22 AM

  • Greetings again Nicholas.

    I have copied the screenshot to my public folder on Skydrive.   The URL is:


    I do not want to do a system restore to recover the floppy drive because there have been other fixes and installations that I would lose if I did that.  These are ones I have implemented myself, not to mention Windows Updates.   Also, I don't know how far back I would have to go to pick it up.   It could be quite a long time because I had not used the floppy drive since before XMAS.

    No problems show up in device manager.

    'Scan for hardware changes'  does not bring anything up.

    And thank you, very much, for your efforts to help me with this.


    Roger Browne
    Monday, April 6, 2009 8:15 AM
  • Hi,


    Thank you for your update.


    Please try the following to see if it works:


    1.    Click Start, type “hdwwiz.exe” in the search bar and press Enter to open the Add hardware Wizard. Then, try to install the hardware with the direction.


    2.    Check the related registry key:


    The following key defines the floppy drive in device manager:




    Please make sure we have at least one entry under this key (such as 5&14e44c3b&0&0).


    If the key is not found, please export it from a good machine and import it to this computer.



    Nicholas Li - MSFT
    Thursday, April 9, 2009 10:28 AM

  • Good morning Nicholas.

    The floppy drive is certainly installed as it shows up in device manager as 'working properly'  I uninstalled it and tried to install it with the hardware wizard (hdwwiz.exe) as you suggested but was unbable to do so because no floppy drives appear on the harware lists.   The floppy drive reinstalled automatically on a restart but still does not show up in 'My Computer' or 'Windows Explorer'.

    The GENERIC_FLOPPY_DRIVE key has an entry under it which I have copied to Skydrive at URL:


    I did try to copy the registry key from the XP installation (which works fine) to the Vista installation but was unable to do so.   I get the error message:  "Cannot import F:\XPReg1.reg: Error accessing the registry"    (I have saved a copy of the XP registry entry on my F drive.)   Should I type in that registry entry manually in regedit?

    Where do we go from here?


    Friday, April 10, 2009 2:09 AM

    Hi Roger,


    Thank you for writing back.


    Please export the key from a good Windows Vista computer which has a floppy drive and import the key to the problematic computer to see if it works.


    At this time, let’s try continue troubleshooting the issue with the following:


    1.    Please insert a floppy disk, then press “Win+R”, type in “A:” (without quotations) and press Enter to see if you can browse the disk.


    2.    I suspect the Drive A was hidden, please check the Group Policy setting:


    1)    Open the Group Policy Object Editor snap-in by clicking the "Start" menu, typing "gpedit.msc" in the Search Bar and Press Enter.

    Note: If prompted, please click Continue on the User Account Control (UAC) window.


    2)    Open User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Windows Explorer


    3)    Check the item Hide these specified drives in My Computer and see if it is enabled and some drives has been hidden. Please disable this policy to see if it works.


    For more information about this policy you can also refer to the following document:


    Using Group Policy Objects to hide specified drives



    3.    You can also try the following to see if it works:


    Note: Please perform a full system backup before doing this.


    1)    Shut down the computer and unplug the Floppy Drive.

    2)    Boot the computer and go to the key “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum\FDC\GENERIC_FLOPPY_DRIVE"

    3)    Right click on this key and select "Export" and save the key to a Flash Drive or other removable storage device.

    4)    Remove the Key “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum\FDC\GENERIC_FLOPPY_DRIVE”.

    5)    Shut down the computer and plug the Floppy Drive.

    6)    Start the computer and see if the device will be installed automatically. If not, please go to device manager and scan for the new device.


    Hope this helps.

    Nicholas Li - MSFT
    Friday, April 10, 2009 5:55 AM