Hey,
I am using this kind of device with my notebook:



As you can notice it uses usb port to connect with my notebook. I have a bootable floppy disc and i need to use it when BIOS starts up (to start operating system from floppy disc for my personal reasons :P).

How to do it ? I've found some info/tips that I should write usb-floppy driver, but how if its BIOS side funcion to boot it up and not mine, well not mine at all ?

Any ideas ?

Thank you for help.

Posted on 2012-12-22 07:19:33 by hElllk
I've used similar USB attached floppy drives. Every time I've used one on a computer without a built-in drive, the BIOS treated it as the first floppy disk.

This suggests that many/most BIOS implementations have built-in support for abstracting the USB interface away as a legacy drive, akin to USB flash drive support.

If you want to go beyond the BIOS, you'll need to look into a few things, at the very least the USB specs and probably the PCI specs.

If the operating system you are using expects to be loaded from the floppy disk via the BIOS, e.g. DOS, it will probably load without issue.

If this is a custom operating system, and you don't actually need run-time floppy disk support at the moment, I would recommend just loading the entire contents of the disk into RAM via the BIOS and work from there.

A decent alternative to playing around with floppy drives at all is to utilize SYSLINUX with MEMDISK, which will load a floppy disk image from a flash drive (or hard drive, cd drive, etc.) into RAM and hook the BIOS to treat that area of RAM as the floppy drive. This is similar to versions of MS-DOS with RAMDrive support.
Posted on 2012-12-22 11:26:18 by SpooK
I'm not sure where people get off suggesting to write a driver... because how on earth would you load that driver in the first place?
Any half-modern BIOS should be able to detect a number of standard USB devices, and use them at bootup, including floppy drives.
So all you need to do is hook it up and select it as one of the boot devices in your BIOS (floppy boot is probably disabled by default). Many BIOSes also have a simple boot device selection hotkey, so you don't have to go through the whole BIOS setup screens just to boot from CD, floppy etc once in a while. On my systems this is F8 for example. If I press F8 during POST, I get a menu which lists the available boot devices, and then I can select floppy.

If your system is really old (that would probably mean Pentium III or older), it may simply not be capable of booting from USB, and there's not much you can do about that, except perhaps some kind of emulation such as what SpooK mentioned above with SYSLINUX/MEMDISK.
Posted on 2012-12-23 05:52:41 by Scali