How to Unlock a Floppy Drive

Floppy disk drive is a magnetic storage device that was popular before CDs and USB flash drives. Units came in 8, 5.25 and 3.5 inches with the smallest being the most recent. They lasted nearly 30 years in popularity from the early 1970s to late 1990s. Sony, which produces 70 percent of floppy disks, will stop production in 2011. The 3.5-inch floppy has a storage capacity of about 1 .44 megabytes. The drives relied on physical mechanisms and software to lock the drive, and the disks were easily damaged, which could prevent data from being accessed and modified. Instructions
Check the floppies write – protect switch. Both 5.25 and 3.5 inch floppy disks have a write protection mechanism. For 5.25-inch discs, covering the groove along the side of the disc with tape will prevent recordings. For 3.5-inch disks, flipping a plastic switch down will unlock it for writing. Sometimes the key is missing and you can cover it with duct tape.

Check your computer’s BIOS for a setting write-protect floppy drive. The BIOS configures your computer’s hardware settings and is accessible when you turn on the machine, then using the F-keys or DEL to enter setup. BIOS settings vary from computer to computer, so look for a similar phrase for write-protected floppy disk, then disable it and save your changes.

Check if the disk is defective. Because floppy disks are prone to damage caused by dust, scratches, bending and magnets, it may be defective or damaged. Sometimes when the disk is corrupted, you may not be able to read or write to part of the disk. To inspect a 3.5-inch floppy disk for damage, remove the metal cover by sliding it back. Formatting the drive can correct problems caused by magnets.

Check if the unit is defective. Sometimes the sensor used to detect disk write-protection becomes faulty. The easiest way to check for a defect is to temporarily replace the unit with a known good one.

Check if the drive cable is defective. Temporarily replace him with an acquaintance of the good ones.

Check if you have a virus. A virus could be on the floppy disk and it could be protecting itself against deletion. Looking at the task manager for suspicious programs running can sometimes reveal viruses. Microsoft offers free anti-virus software for users of its operating system called Microsoft Security Essentials.

Restart the computer . Sometimes software or buggy operating systems will lock a file or drive in order to read the data and forget to unlock it when done.

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