Non-local Syskey on XP - Floppy = Must?

Discussion in 'hardware' started by luciddream, Mar 17, 2013.

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  1. luciddream

    luciddream Registered Member

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    I'm far away from my main box right now, and my home, but pondering this question. The Inspiron 530 I got doesn't have a floppy drive. In it's place is an SD card reader. I was wondering if you could store a non-local syskey on an SD card instead by choosing the option to store the key on a floppy disk? That it would work the same way?...

    I can't test it out myself right now and won't be able to for about 2 weeks. If it won't work I guess I'll be looking to buy a floppy drive for it, because this is a measure I personally consider prudent to utilize. But I'm kinda stuck between Scylla & Charybdis here... newer boxes faze out floppy drives, yet on XP I still have use for one in this manner. I don't even know if I can FIND a floppy drive for this computer. Do they come in non-IDE flavors? I honestly don't know? If the above won't work, can anyone recommend a good floppy/SD combo drive for an Inspiron 530? Or even just the floppy drive, as I already have a SD to USB reader/converter. So I don't even need the SD ports. I'd order it awhile and have it shipped home so it's there waiting for me by the time I get back.

    Thanks for any help.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2013
  2. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    You can buy a USB floppy drive. I've used one a few times.
     
  3. luciddream

    luciddream Registered Member

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    I appreciate the response, but I'm looking for an internal solution, not an external drive. A floppy drive would fit perfectly in the place where the SD card reader drive is now. But I'm not sure any exist that can be hooked up with the same cable?

    Ideally, someone will chime in and tell me that "yes", when I choose to save my syskey to a floppy it'll store it on an SD card too. But I've tried searching the subject to no avail. In fact when I try to look such a thing up... this post is at the top of the results, lol. And is about the only thing really.

    Apparently I'm the only person on the planet still on XP that wishes to keep a non-locally stored syskey on a SATA machine. I wish the thing were just IDE so I wouldn't have this problem.
     
  4. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Can you store it on a card? Sure. Can you use it from a card? I don't know. If the OS only knows to look on a floppy, you may be out of luck.

    ALL floppy drive are "non-IDE". There is no such thing as an IDE floppy. Originally, the floppy controller was a unique controller that uses a unique floppy cable attached to a unique floppy connector on the motherboard. IDE is for hard and optical drives only.

    You need to inspect your motherboard and see if it has a floppy controller and connector. It will typically be located next to the IDE connectors. If your motherboard supports a floppy, any internal floppy drive will do as they are standardized.

    If your motherboard does not support a floppy connection, you will need to go USB, SATA (maybe), or buy a PCI controller card (if you can find one).

    Another alternative is IF your motherboard supports a direct card reader connection, there are floppy/memory card combination devices.
     
  5. luciddream

    luciddream Registered Member

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    A friend of mine told me that he stored/used his XP syskey on a USB stick before, so I have a feeling it'll work with an SD card as well. If not, I'll use a dedicated USB stick instead.

    I'll let everyone know if the SD card works then...

    And I even knew right after I posted it that I didn't word that right, as you pointed out Bill, but I didn't know how to say it... that twisted cord thingy, didn't know the technical jargon for it. So I just said it in a way I figured everyone would understand. Thanks for the clarification.
     
  6. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    lol - well "twisted cord thingy" actually works - when used in the context of floppy drives.

    For the record, those wide, flat IDE and floppy cables are called "ribbon cables", or specifically, the floppy ribbon cable for the floppy drive. That said, they do come in round versions to minimize disrupting the desired front-to-back air flow through the case. Round cables, but the same connectors on each end.

    Again, as long as you can tell XP to look on the card. I suspect if the card uses a USB interface, it will be easier to do this. Sorry I cannot be of better help but my experience here is very limited.

    Please keep us posted.
     
  7. luciddream

    luciddream Registered Member

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    Well on XP when you try to keep a non-local syskey it looks for media in drive A: specifically. So I'm convinced it could be anything... just so long as it can be found in that drive letter. Problem being... on my computer there is no drive a:. It starts at c:... c-f are my card slots. g & h my cd/dvd drives. So that's my dilemma.

    Anyone have any idea how I could change a drive letter? Like say make my F: drive my A: drive? That is what I'd like to do. Then I'm convinced it would read off the card just fine.
     
  8. luciddream

    luciddream Registered Member

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    I just figured out the solution to my own dilemma. If anyone cares to read about it it's in the other post I made about changing a drive letter.

    Thanks for the help Bill : )... and life goes on even after the "twisted cord thingies" go extinct.
     
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  10. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Glad you got it sorted out and thanks for the followup.
     
  11. luciddream

    luciddream Registered Member

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    I ran into an issue with Sandboxie that I mentioned in the other thread. The problem was/is remedied though... Tzuk figured it out in an old thread in SBIE's forums.

    So all's well now.

    Thanks again for all the help. And I hope I may help some people in the future looking to accomplish the same thing... maintain a non-local Syskey on XP without a floppy drive on a newer machine. Though I doubt many are in my boat. People running newer machines are on newer OS's too. But hey, what can I say?... I keep it old school.
     
  12. luciddream

    luciddream Registered Member

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    What I REALLY want, actually, is a floppy drive (only) that uses that type of cord... with 4 prongs at the top and 5 at the bottom, with a closed space at the upper left, just like the one with that drive. Is there any particular term for that type of cable?... to assist me in my searching. Or maybe a terminology for that type of floppy drive, that uses a cable like that?

    Does such a thing exist? Because I really have no use for a card reader and it's just sucking up partition letters I could otherwise be using. I'm very anal about isolating things on my box and I don't have enough letters left after all the ones being used up by this drive. "I" is the first one I can use for Pete's sake...

    Thanks for any help.
     
  13. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    I have no clue what you mean.

    Here are images for floppy connectors. Nothing there with 4 on top and 5 on bottom.

    Floppy drives come in two formats. The standard one uses the old flat ribbon cables for data, and a smaller 4 pin for power.

    Newer floppy drives come in USB enclosures and you connect via USB for data, and typically they have an external power source - such as a DC transformer/power block. Much less common is a floppy drive that uses SATA.
     
  14. SirDrexl

    SirDrexl Registered Member

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    He means the USB pinouts on the motherboard, typically used for connecting to front ports.
     
  15. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    You may be right but I am not going to assume that.
     
  16. luciddream

    luciddream Registered Member

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    I really should have looked closer before I just started spouting off here... my Inspiron 530 indeed DOES have a floppy port on the motherboard, and a power cable for it. I couldn't see it buried under a bunch of stuff at first, and really didn't look hard. I just assumed the card reader was the only option.

    I've plucked the card reader out and inserted the floppy drive from my old computer, and changed the syskey on that one to the default local store.

    Problem solved... I have a true floppy drive in there. And have extra partitions now to use.

    My problem now is that this PS2 to USB converter to keep using my PS2 keyboard & mouse on this box that lacks PS2 input. It seemed to work fine at first, but now sometimes when I reboot the computer I get the message that it can't detect my keyboard. So I'm just buying a USB keyboard & mouse instead. It's a Belkin too that had great reviews. So I'm guessing if it can happen to that one, it can happen to them all.

    So one step forward... one back here. But I'll get there eventually.
     
  17. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    I am glad you got it sorted out before spending money needlessly.

    And I would say you made two steps forward, and one small one back. Two because (1) you now have a working floppy, and (2) you got smarter about computers. :)
     
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