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| Troubleshooting Floppy Disk Drives | Errors
I am getting "General failure reading drive A:" error messages trying to
access the floppy disk
Explanation: While attempting to access the floppy disk, you get a general failure
error. The disk may or may not actually be accessed (meaning the activity light may or may
not come on) when you try the command.
Diagnosis: The most common cause of this problem is trying to read an unformatted
disk. If a working disk produces this problem, and especially if the drive activity light
doesn't come on, this points to a problem with the drive or controller.
- Make sure that you have a disk in the drive that is formatted and working properly.
Using an install disk from a software package for testing is a good idea. Try several
disks and see if the problem occurs with all of them.
- Make sure the floppy drive
types are properly set up in the system BIOS.
- If the drive activity light comes on before the error is displayed then this implies a
problem with the drive or with the disk in the drive at the time.
- The disk could be badly corrupted. Troubleshoot corruption
- Watch for any known-good disks that stop working after a period of time; there could be
a virus at work so be sure to scan for viruses on your hard disk and any floppies you use
- If the drive activity light does not come on at all when you try to access the drive and
immediately you get a general failure error, this implies strongly that there is a problem
with the floppy disk controller. (Usually a failure of the drive would cause the disk to
not be recognized at all, producing an "Invalid
drive specification" error). Troubleshoot the
- If you can't find any other cause, suspect the floppy disk itself and troubleshoot it in this section.
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