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B Drive?


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19 replies to this topic

#1 Lanscader

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 01:12 AM

I was just wondering, why have I never seen a B drive on a computer? Is that reserved for ZIP drives or something, cuz I've never encountered one of those either...

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#2 KoanYorel

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 01:29 AM

If you've ever had a 51/4" floppy drive in a system then you had a B drive.

See this Yahoo item.
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#3 Lanscader

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 01:33 AM

Interesting...I did have 2 computers with 5 2/4 inch drives. One was a Tandy 1000. I was only 5 at the time, so I just remember that I couldn't use dos too well...

Thanks

And just cuz it's interesting, I have to quote Chewy509 on another forum (http://forums.storagereview.net/index.php?act=ST&f=2&t=11903) I was linked to (I don't know how to make the cool quote boxes).

"This comment are for the real anal people among us! :thumbsup:

If fact all current floppy drives are marked/jumped as "B Drive" according to the orignal NEC uPD765 datasheet (which explains the lines used between the host controller and drive). (The naming convention came from CP/M as this was the to be used OS instead of DOS, until DEC stuffed up the contract with big blue). The twist commonly seen in the floppy cable converts the B Drive power and data lines into the A Drive equivalent. As floppy cables would normally come as: (sorry about the ASCII art)

Host ---- Drive B -- (Twist) -- Drive A.

So manufacturers could save money, they simply made all drives jumped to Drive B, and relied on the twist to make the drive appear as Drive A. This also saved a lot of time with techs' not knowing how to rejumper a floppy drive...

So to answer your question, you never had a A drive, since it's actually a B Drive acting as a A Drive, due the twist in the cable... :flowers: "

Edited by Lanscader, 08 January 2006 - 01:44 AM.

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#4 Rimmer

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 06:46 AM

I beg to differ Koan. 5.25" floppy drives were A: or B: depending which connectors you had them hooked up to, just like the 3.5" ones. In the transition to 3.5" drives the 5.25" usually got shunted to the B: slot so you could still read those gigantic 5.25" floppies you had lying around without getting in the way of your Windows 3.1 installation (which came on 3.5" floppies), but there was no rule that said a 5.25" had to be the B: drive.

BTW if you want to be seriously prehistoric anyone here ever used 8.0" floppy drives? :thumbsup:

Anyone even heard of them? :flowers:

Oh yes, to come back to one of Lanscader's original questions:

Is that reserved for ZIP drives or something,

No, ZIP drives are IDE devices and share the same cable as the Hard Drive or CDROM drive. So they become drive E:, F:...... etc.

Edited by Rimmer, 08 January 2006 - 07:02 AM.


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#5 Lanscader

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 11:57 AM

BTW if you want to be seriously prehistoric anyone here ever used 8.0" floppy drives? :thumbsup:

Anyone even heard of them? :flowers:

I think I have heard of them, maybe even seen one. The computer programming at my school has (I think) every kind of storage disk ever made (incuding the single hard disks that are bigger than records).

How much did these ancient disks hold?

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#6 Albert Frankenstein

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 12:39 PM

why have I never seen a B drive on a computer

It won't be too much longer and someone will ask this about an A drive.
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#7 boopme

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 03:33 PM

Makes me remember punch cards. 3.5 soon will join the rest. My first DOS disks were on 5.25. I think windows 3.1 came on 3.5 disk (5 disks I think). I have to look as I stiill have all of them.

I'm pretty sure the storage was 650 mb.
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The disk at the rear is from a 14 inch disk cartridge similar in appearance to an RL02 disk and similar in size to an RK05 disk. It has (had) a capacity of 10 MB. In the middle row from left to right there are a modern AT drive with a capacity of may be 4.3GB, next an ST412 10MB full height drive, showing the electronics, next an ST412 full height 10 MB drive the right way up and finally a modern AT drive inverted to show the PCB.

In the front row, a 4.3GB drive from a laptop. It would take 430 14 inch disks like the one in the back row to hold this amount of information. In the case of an RL02, the drive weighed 70lbs. So, comparing weights, the lap-top drive weighs about 3 ounces and the same capacity using RL02 drives would weigh 70 430lbs, or roughly 13.4 tons.
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#8 rigel

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 08:05 AM

I had a second 3.5 as a "B" drive as standard equipment in my office computer. It made disk copying bearable. I have noted that my flash drive has a component of it labeled as B and then again as E. It appears to be a protected partion. The USB items in the sys tray only list E:

We used the 8" monster floppies in 3274 network controllers. They were a bear to replace.

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#9 ddeerrff

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 10:51 AM

BTW if you want to be seriously prehistoric anyone here ever used 8.0" floppy drives? :thumbsup:

Anyone even heard of them? :flowers:



Raises hand here. I used to keep test equipment calibration records on an ISIS system that used 8" floppies.
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#10 Rimmer

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 08:36 PM

ICL DRS systems - what today would be called "thin client" systems I guess. They had a hard drive but software was distributed on 8.0" floppies because they could hold 1.0MB if I remember correctly.

I suppose for 20 odd years ago that wasn't bad considering many of us are still using 1.44MB floppies now.

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#11 jgweed

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 08:52 PM

We used the 8" monster floppies in 3274 network controllers. They were a bear to replace.


Yeah, but they sure sailed through the computer room when you threw them!
Regards,
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Edited by jgweed, 09 January 2006 - 08:53 PM.

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#12 yano

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 09:00 PM

Ah I remember the 5 and 1/4 disks! :thumbsup:

Brings back the memories. :flowers:

I'll have to post some pictures of the ones I still have.

#13 Dngrsone

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 11:25 PM

Meh, you guys are making me feel old. I've used 8-inch floppies, and I used to repair those 14-inch hard disks... 5MB per side, one fixed, one removable (model HP-7906, while we're at it). Heads would crash if you look at them wrong, and for all that's holy, don't ever smoke in front of one.

BTW, I still have a working 5.25 in one of my machines. RImmer is correct, A:\ or B:\ can be 3.5, 5.25, LS120... it all depends on which connector you plug it on.

Edited by Dngrsone, 09 January 2006 - 11:27 PM.

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#14 Rimmer

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Posted 10 January 2006 - 04:33 AM

Dngrsone - Man! I remember those things! (just) We had our own variant, not the HP model but "5MB per side, one fixed, one removable" sounds awfully familiar. We also had the System120 which had two removable 14" single platter cartridge hard drives - a phenomenally successful small business machine which died out because of the propreitary OS.
The urban myth, not entirely untrue, about those drives was the tech who turned up to fix a headcrash and forgot to bring replacement heads. He trashes the cartridge, removes the heads, goes outside and grinds the heads smooth on the cement pavement (sidewalk), fit them back in, loads up another cartridge (aligns them by minimising the read errors because he also forgot the scope) and away you go! :thumbsup:

Okay - everyone else, who has no idea what I'm talking about, just pretend this post is blank. :flowers:

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#15 rigel

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Posted 10 January 2006 - 02:16 PM

Want to talk about old... One of the Nukes close to me had a system that had the memory CARDS. A huge bit of core memory. best I can remember 11X14 was 16K of memory. (been a while) This system had redundancies and controlled the ongoings of the station. The also had the big floppies, and bigger reel to reel tape drives that had vaccum feeds to help thread the tape.

{Ever climb into an tight equipment cabinet to reach that screw in the front of the enclosure?}

Edited by rigel, 10 January 2006 - 02:16 PM.

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