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auto versus manual type of disk drive

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cmstuber's trade ad made me wonder about this, were there only two types of 1.44mb drives for all computers? and if so in that case the main question I had here was; do I have to use specific one paired to the logic board in question or are auto and manual type ones interchangeable?


sorry if this had been asked before as I don't think I noticed anything in the search results

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Any that uses an auto-inject floppy drive is interchangeable with any other auto-inject version, and any one that uses a manual inject is compatible with any other manual inject. In fact, they are all compatible with each other with any machine as far as read/write electronics, the only issue is the case of each machine itself: slots were made differently for each drive type.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The floppy drives are mostly compatible but there are specific differences in some models. For example, the 400k floppy drives don't work in 800k Macs without changing the cable (from red to yellow-striped, important if you were putting a Plus logic board in a 512k case with the original 400k floppy drive). Also, there were changes in the floppy controller in the mid-90s that prevented the use of auto-inject floppy drives with (primarily PCI-based) Power Macs. You could still use an auto-inject floppy drive in one of the later Power Macs if you cut one of the wires in the floppy cable, but then you couldn't go back and use a manual-inject drive in the same computer without repairing the cable. The only Macs that were readily interchangeable with auto and manual floppy drives were the late Quadras and the x100 Power Macs (these were designed with logic boards that could be installed in older chassis with auto-inject floppy drives such as the Q900 or C610). And as mentioned, even if the drive works, it's likely the drive opening won't like up properly (except in the later Quadras such as the 800/840av).


In short: if it's an '030, '040, or first gen Power Mac, you can pretty much use any floppy drive. Otherwise it's best to stick with whichever type was originally installed.

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