- Choose which drive bay you want to install the drive to and remove the face plate off of that bay. Save the face plate for future use. Pick a bay that will fit the drive. If you have to install a 3.5″ drive in a 5.25″ bay, you’ll have to use a special front panel to adapt it. This panel sometimes comes with a new floppy drive when you buy it.
- Now, slide the drive into the bay from the front. Make sure the front of the drive is flush with the front of the PC. Also make sure the screw holes on the drive align with the screw holes on the drive mounting rack.
- If your particular case has a removable drive rack (as does the one we are using for this tutorial), then you may need to remove the rack from the system to secure the drive. But, in using removable racks, you need to pay attention to which set of screw holes to use on the rack which will result in the drive face being flush with the front of the PC. In some cases, it is still easier to install the drive from the front and make it flush just to see which screwholes to use. Then you can remove the drive rack, making note of which holes to use.
- Secure the floppy drive. Using your screwdriver and screws, secure the drive to the drive rack. For removable racks, you can do this separate from the case. If the rack is part of the chassis itself, then sometimes it is easier to turn the case on its side to secure the drive so that you are not fighting gravity as you try to get the screws into the holes.
- OPTIONAL: If you are installing a 3.5″ drive into a 5.25″ drive bay, you will need to use a rack system which will bridge the gap between the drive and the chassis. These racks are simply metal rails which are secured to the drive by screws. These effectively make the 3.5″ drive as wide as a 5.25″ drive. Then you can install and secure the drive as normal.
- Connect the power supply to the floppy drive. On the 3.5″ drives, the plug is very small…the smallest coming out of the power supply. On the larger 5.25″ drives, the connector is a large 4-wire connector, just like the hard drive power connectors. These are a little harder to plug in, and may take some rocking. The mini-plugs are much easier to plug into the 3.5″ drives. It is designed so that it is obvious which way to attach it.
- Attach the Ribbon Cable. Floppy cables have a twist in the cable. The “A:” drive goes AFTER the twist. If you have a second “B:” drive, this goes before the twist. You do not need to mess with master/slave jumpers. If you choose not to mess with the twist, you can, with later BIOS versions, swap the order of the drives in the BIOS. 3.5″ drives use a set of pins for the connection to the ribbon cable. 5.25″ drives use a card-edge connector, just like the typical edge of an expansion card. You need to use a cable with the proper connectors for each type you use. Many floppy cables come with connectors for each type on each side of the twist. Always check Pin 1 on the ribbon cable connector. The red edge of the cable is aligned to Pin 1 on the connector of the drive. If you accidentally reverse this, your drive won’t be damaged, it just won’t work, and the floppy drive light will stay on all the time until fixed. The connector on the far end of the ribbon cable connects to the floppy controller on the motherboard or I/O card (usually labeled FDD). Consult your motherboard’s manual to determine which is your floppy controller.
If you are installing any other 3.5″ drives (such as a ZIP drive), then you can install those the exact same way.