Error: Unable to Read Drive A: For Some Step By Step Disks

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SYMPTOMS

When you attempt to install the software from the companion disk, you may receive an error similar to the following:
Unable to read Drive A:

CAUSE

Many of the Microsoft Office 4.3 and other pre-Windows 95 "Step by Step" books come with one low density 3.5-inch disk containing Practice Files. However, some newer computers come with floppy disk drives that are unable to read low density disks.

NOTE: High density 3.5-inch disks have two square holes along the top edge of the disk (one hole on each side). Low density 3.5-inch disks only have one square hole near the top right corner of the disk.

WORKAROUND

Contact the computer manufacturer (OEM) or where you purchased your computer. Ask if you can obtain a replacement disk drive that is compatible with low density disks.

Another solution is to locate a computer that can read the low density disk, and then use the following steps to copy the files to a blank high- density disk:

Copy the Practice Files to a High Density Disk

To copy the practice files to a high-density disk, follow the appropriate steps for your version of Windows:

Windows 95

  1. Using the right mouse button, right-click the Desktop, point to New, and then click Folder.
  2. Right-click the new folder, then click Rename, and then type Temporary and press Enter.
  3. Open the Temporary folder.
  4. Insert the original practice disk in the 3.5-inch floppy drive.
  5. Open My Computer, and then open your 3.5-inch floppy. Make sure both the Temporary folder window and the 3.5-inch floppy window are visible on your screen. Resize the windows if necessary.
  6. Click anywhere on the 3.5-inch floppy window to place the window in focus, and then hit Ctrl-A to select all of the files and folders in that window.
  7. Drag the files and folders to your Temporary folder.
  8. Remove the original Practice Files disk and insert a blank high density 3.5-inch disk in the 3.5-inch floppy drive.
  9. Select the 3.5-inch floppy window, and then hit F5 to refresh the window.
  10. Select your Temporary folder window, and then hit Ctrl-A to select all of the files and folders in that window.
  11. Drag the files and folders to your 3.5-inch floppy.
  12. Close all windows and delete the Temporary directory.

Windows 3.1

  1. Open the File Manager and create a new directory on your hard drive.
  2. Rename the new folder to SBSTEMP.
  3. Insert the original practice disk in the 3.5-inch floppy drive.
  4. Open a new window in the Program Manager, and then open your 3.5-inch floppy drive. Make sure both the SBSTEMP folder window and the 3.5-inch floppy window are visible on your screen. Resize the windows if necessary.
  5. Click anywhere in the left pane of the 3.5-inch floppy window to place the window in focus, and then hit Ctrl-A to select all of the files and folders in that window.
  6. Drag the files and folders to your SBSTEMP folder.
  7. Remove the original Practice Files disk and insert a blank high density 3.5-inch disk in the 3.5-inch floppy drive.
  8. Select the 3.5-inch floppy window, and then hit F5 to refresh the window.
  9. Select your SBSTEMP folder window, and then hit Ctrl-A to select all of the files and folders in that window.
  10. Drag the files and folders to your 3.5-inch floppy.
  11. Delete the SBSTEMP directory and close the File Manager.
You should now be able to install the Practice files on your original computer using the high density disk.

Properties

Article ID: 174583 - Last Review: February 24, 2014 - Revision: 1.1
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