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Problems Formatting or Reading a Floppy Disk

This article was previously published under Q96769
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
SYMPTOMS
When you try to read information from a floppy disk, or format afloppy disk by using the FORMAT command, you receive one of thefollowing error messages:
Invalid media type -- track 0 bad

Parameters not supported by drive
CAUSE
Some hardware manufacturers used earlier versions of MS-DOS to definethe capacity of the floppy disk drives on their computers. MS-DOSversions 5.0 and later do not recognize some of these definitions. Ifyour drive doesn't format floppy disks, you must either redefine thedisk drive using the DRIVPARM command in your CONFIG.SYS file, definea second configuration for the disk drive using DRIVER.SYS in yourCONFIG.SYS file, or contact the original manufacturer of your hardwarefor a BIOS that supports MS-DOS 5.0 and later.
RESOLUTION
If MS-DOS won't read or format a high-density disk (1.2 megabyte [MB]or 1.44 MB), reconfigure your existing drive as described in Procedure1. If you cannot read or format a low-density disk (360 kilobytes [K]or 720K) or a disk with an unusual configuration, read the "Problemswith Other Disk Sizes" section later in this article before you try asolution.

IMPORTANT: Try Procedure 1 first. If it does not correct the problem,try Procedure 2.

Procedure 1: Reconfigure an Existing Drive

  1. Use a text editor, such as MS-DOS Editor, to open your CONFIG.SYS file. If you want to use MS-DOS Editor, type the following at the MS-DOS command prompt and press ENTER
    edit <drive>:\config.sys
    where <drive> is the startup drive where your CONFIG.SYS file currently resides. For example, if your startup drive is drive C, type the following command:
    edit c:\config.sys
  2. At the end of the CONFIG.SYS file, add one of the following commands.

    To get your first (or only) floppy disk drive to work with 1.2-MB (5.25-inch) disks, add the following line:
    drivparm=/d:0 /f:1
    To get your first (or only) floppy disk drive to work with 1.44-MB (3.5-inch) disks, add the following line:
    drivparm=/d:0 /f:7 /i
    To get your second floppy disk drive (if your computer has two) to work with 1.2-MB (5.25-inch) disks, add the following line:
    drivparm=/d:1 /f:1
    To get your second floppy disk drive (if your computer has two) to work with 1.44-MB (3.5-inch) disks, add the following line:
    drivparm=/d:1 /f:7 /i
  3. Save your CONFIG.SYS file and exit the text editor. If you're using MS-DOS Editor, choose Exit from the File menu. When MS-DOS Editor displays a dialog box prompting you to save your file, choose the Yes button or press ENTER.
  4. Restart your computer by pressing CTRL+ALT+DEL.
  5. Try reading or formatting the floppy disk again.

    If you can read or format the disk, you've corrected the problem and can stop here. If you still cannot read or format the disk, perform the next procedure.

Procedure 2: Create an Additional Logical Drive

If Procedure 1 did not correct the problem, do the following:

  1. Use a text editor, such as MS-DOS Editor, to open your CONFIG.SYS file. If you want to use MS-DOS Editor, type the following at the MS-DOS command prompt and press ENTER:
    edit <drive>:\config.sys
  2. If you added a DRIVPARM command to your CONFIG.SYS file while following the first procedure, delete the DRIVPARM command.
  3. At the end of the CONFIG.SYS file, add one of the following DEVICE commands.

    To get your first (or only) floppy disk drive to work with 1.2-MB (5.25-inch) disks, add the following line
    device=<path>\driver.sys /d:0 /f:1
    where <path> is the path to your DRIVER.SYS file. For example, if your DRIVER.SYS file is located in the DOS directory on drive C, type the following line:
    device=c:\dos\driver.sys /d:0 /f:1
    To get your first (or only) floppy disk drive to work with 1.44-MB (3.5-inch) disks, add the following line:
    device=<path>\driver.sys /d:0 /f:7
    To get your second floppy disk drive (if your computer has two) to work with 1.2-MB (5.25-inch) disks, add the following line:
    device=<path>\driver.sys /d:1 /f:1
    To get your second floppy disk drive (if your computer has two) to work with 1.44-MB (3.5-inch) disks, add the following line:
    device=<path>\driver.sys /d:1 /f:7
  4. Save your CONFIG.SYS file and exit the text editor. If you're using MS-DOS Editor, choose Exit from the File menu. When MS-DOS Editor displays a dialog box prompting you to save your file, choose the Yes button or press ENTER.
  5. Restart your computer by pressing CTRL+ALT+DEL.

    When your computer starts, MS-DOS displays a message stating that it has created a logical disk drive. This message includes the letter it has assigned to the new drive. For example, if you had drives A and C on your system before, this new drive is drive D, and MS-DOS displays the following message when you start your computer:
    Loaded External Disk Driver for Drive D
  6. Insert a disk in the floppy disk drive and try formatting the disk using the new drive letter. For example, if the new drive is D, issue the FORMAT command using "d:" as the drive specification by typing the following at the MS-DOS command prompt and pressing ENTER:
    format d:
If you still cannot format a floppy disk, you need to get updated hardwareor software. If you used DRIVPARM or DRIVER.SYS successfully with yourearlier version of MS-DOS, contact your computer manufacturer for a BIOSthat supports MS-DOS 5.0 and later. If you have not used DRIVPARM orDRIVER.SYS before, you might need to get an updated version of yourcomputer manufacturer's version of MS-DOS from your computer vendor.

Problems with Other Disk Sizes

If MS-DOS won't read or format a low-density disk (360K or 720K) or a2.88-MB disk, you can follow the procedures outlined earlier in thisarticle, but you must use a different value for the /F switch. Thefollowing table lists the /F switch values to use:
   Drive Size    Disk Capacity    Values to Use   --------------------------------------------   5.25-inch     160K, 180K,      /F:0                 320K, 360K   3.5-inch      720K             /F:2   3.5-inch      2.88 MB          /F:9				
For example, if you are having problems using a 720K disk drive, followProcedure 1 or 2, but substitute /F:2 for the /F switch value shown in theprocedure. When using DRIVPARM to specify drive parameters on a 3.5-inchdisk drive, it may be necessary to use the /I (the letter "I") switch inaddition to the /F switch. The /I switch is valid with DRIVPARM only andshould not be used with DRIVER.SYS.

If you have a disk with an unusual configuration (a nonstandard numberof heads or sectors, for example), you can specify additional switcheswith DRIVPARM or DRIVER.SYS. For more information, see the MicrosoftMS-DOS 5.0 "User's Guide and Reference" or MS-DOS Help for version 6.0or 6.2 (type help at the MS-DOS commandprompt).
REFERENCES

Version 5.0

  • For more information about adding disk drives, see Chapter 11 of the "User's Guide and Reference."
  • For more information about the DRIVPARM command, see Chapter 14 of the "User's Guide and Reference."
  • For more information about the command-line syntax for DRIVER.SYS, see Chapter 15 of the "User's Guide and Reference."

Versions 6.0,6.2, and 6.21

For more information about adding disk drives, the DRIVPARM command,or the command-line syntax for DRIVER.SYS, see MS-DOS Help (typehelp at the MS-DOS command prompt).
6.22 6.00 5.00 6.20 dos tshoot diskette
Properties

Article ID: 96769 - Last Review: 12/04/2015 09:24:58 - Revision: 2.0

Microsoft MS-DOS 5.0 Standard Edition, Microsoft MS-DOS 5.0a, Microsoft MS-DOS 6.0 Standard Edition, Microsoft MS-DOS 6.2 Standard Edition, Microsoft MS-DOS 6.21 Standard Edition, Microsoft MS-DOS 6.22 Standard Edition

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