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Since the Pentium (the first ones) era all the motherboard I've used only had one floppy I/O controller (and two IDE controllers and lately 2-8 SATA).

I'm currently building a vintage PC and I want to install a CD/DVD-ROM, a 3.5 floppy and a 5.25 floppy drive. The motherboard I'm using is no different, one floppy controller and two IDE controllers.

I know that with two IDE controllers you can hook up to four IDE drives (HDDs and/or CD-ROM drives) but what about floppy drives? Can I hook up a 3.25 floppy and a 5.25 floppy on the same floppy I/O controller? I know I must get an old big flat wire that will have both connectors type on it, but will it work toogether?

If it's impossible to do, do you know if a floppy/IDE/SCSI I/O controller (must at least support floppy) exists in the PCI format (all my ISA slots are used in this PC) and where I can get one (searched eBay without success)?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Yes, the cable should have two headers, which will be hard wired with one as A: and the other as B:.

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As an aside, I've got loads spare, including the IO controllers (ISA or VESA bus) and probably drives if I dug in the loft long enough -- postage would be more than the value of the items though ;) – Rowland Shaw Jun 21 '10 at 15:13
Hahah VESA! I didn't remember that kind of bus :) Yeah I think the only thing hard to find (and it seems, as per your answer, I won't need it) is the PCI I/O controller. For the cable I think I have some in my spare parts box and the 5.25 drive seem easy to find on eBay. – AlexV Jun 21 '10 at 15:25
I still remember being confused when I built my 3rd PC, and it booted with a B: but no A: as I'd used the wrong header, to be tidier... – Rowland Shaw Jun 21 '10 at 15:28
A: is the connector at the end of the cable; B: is the connector in the middle. Just added this for clarity to the comments above. – Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Aug 23 '10 at 12:10

Not only CAN you hook up a 5.25 and 3.5 floppy to the same controller, somebody eventually made a dual floppy that fits in a single chassis slot - might have been TEAC, I'd have to look in the attic. The original IBM PCs were either single or dual floppy - up until the first 10 MB hard drive. Not misprint - 10 megabytes - hard drive.


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Ohh that's nice. Are you able to use both drives at the same time? If you find it in your attic, let me know! My 1st PC DIDN'T have any HDD only 2 * 5.25 floppy. My 2nd PC had a 200 MB HDD IIRC. – AlexV Jun 21 '10 at 15:35
Thanks for the memories - my first XT had a 5 1/4", full-height, 5 MB HDD. Seek time was something like 100ms - and that sucker was loud. – chris Jun 21 '10 at 17:11
Gateway 2000 - when it was Gateway 2000 and not Gateway or now Acer sold 486 and low end pentiums with the dual drive. and yes, both drives worked simultaneously. See… – Multiverse IT Jun 21 '10 at 19:50

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