ARCHIVED: Why does my Windows computer keep randomly accessing the floppy drive?

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Reasons

If your Windows operating system appears to be randomly accessing the floppy drive (i.e., the A: drive), you may be experiencing one of the following situations:

  • A virus program (such as Symantec/Norton AntiVirus) or other system utility (such as ScanDisk or Disk Defragmenter) that has been set to scan all drives, including the floppy drive, is active and running in the background.
  • A program such as Microsoft Task Manager, Quicken, or Word has been configured to back up information periodically to the floppy drive.
  • You are launching documents and programs from floppy disks. You can avoid this by saving documents to the hard drive and accessing them from there in the future.
  • You are running DOS programs without opening a DOS prompt first.

In all cases, you may receive an error message stating something like "Drive not ready" or "Can't read, copy, or write to floppy drive".

Solutions

Following are some solutions you can try when it appears that your operating system is randomly seeking your floppy drive:

  • Examine the various software settings of those programs you think may be accessing your floppy drive. Change the settings so that the software does not scan or save to the floppy drive.
  • If files in the Documents menu (located in your Start menu) are on a floppy disk, you can clear this menu using the instructions below: Windows XP
    1. Right-click the Taskbar and select Properties.
    2. Click the Start Menu tab, and then click the Customize... button.
    3. Click the Clear button.

    Windows 2000
    1. Right-click the Taskbar and select Properties.
    2. In the resulting window, click the Advanced tab.
    3. In the "Customize Start menu" section, click the Clear button.

    Windows Me
    1. Right-click the Taskbar and select Properties.
    2. In the resulting window, click the Advanced tab.
    3. In the "Start menu" section, click the Clear button.

    Windows 95, 98, and NT
    1. Right-click the Taskbar and select Properties.
    2. In the resulting window, click the Start Menu Programs tab.
    3. In the "Documents menu" section, click the Clear button.

  • Delete any shortcut pointing to your A: drive: Windows XP
    1. Double-click My Computer, and right-click the hard drive that contains your Windows directory (in most cases, this is the C: drive).
    2. Choose Search....
    3. In the field beneath "All or part of the file name:", enter:
        *.lnk;*.pif
    4. In the field beneath "A word or phrase in the file:", enter A: and click Search Now.
    5. Your search will generate a list of shortcuts pointing to your A: drive. On the right of the Search Results window, you will see a pane which contains this list. To view the location of a shortcut, you will have to select it.
    6. To stop the random floppy access, you can safely delete all shortcuts except those in the SendTo folder.

    Windows Me and 2000
    1. Double-click My Computer, and right-click the hard drive that contains your Windows directory (in most cases, this is the C: drive).
    2. Choose Search....
    3. In the field beneath "Search for files or folders named:", enter:
        *.lnk;*.pif
    4. In the field beneath "Containing text:", enter A: and click Search Now.
    5. Your search will generate a list of shortcuts pointing to your A: drive. On the right of the Search Results window, you will see a pane which contains this list. To view the location of a shortcut, you will have to select it.
    6. To stop the random floppy access, you can safely delete all shortcuts except those in the SendTo folder.

    Windows 95, 98, and NT
    1. Double-click My Computer, and right-click the hard drive that contains your Windows directory (in most cases, this is the C: drive).
    2. Choose Find....
    3. In the field beside "Named:", enter:
        *.lnk;*.pif
    4. In the field beside "Containing text:", enter A: and click Find Now.
    5. Your search will generate a list of shortcuts pointing to your A: drive. In the bottom of your Find: window, you will see a pane which contains this list. The shortcut locations are noted beneath the column labeled "In Folder".
    6. To stop the random floppy access, you can safely delete all shortcuts except those in the SendTo folder.

This is document ahts in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2018-01-18 12:49:38.

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