Compaq Presario 1080 Floppy Drive fails to read media

edited September 2016 in Hardware ... 7675.l2557

A few days ago, I won through an eBay bid this vintage laptop and took it to a repair shop to replace the dead CMOS battery. According to the technicians, they checked everything but the floppy drive, and (except a bit of sulfate near the battery compartment in the motherboard) the whole notebook runs like a shining star in its glory days. Lucky for me, the notebook was well taken care of and seems it was used only a few times through the notebook's lifespan.

That's where they did not check that the floppy drive indeed was not working. Since the laptop's hard drive was empty, I tried to use the restore CDs that came to me with the purchase (fortunately being the original discs provided by Compaq), but it wouldn't boot to floppy. CD boot worked perfectly, so I was able to make a bootable CD of the restore software by combining both floppy as the boot sector and the CD itself as the ISO image as normal. I was able to install the software and have it just like back in its days.

Now, as for the floppy disk drive, the thing is, when I don't have a floppy in the drive, Windows detects that there is no disk and the "not ready" prompt appears right away. Otherwise, as I stick a floppy disk (a functional, brand new formatted 1.44MB floppy), it gets stuck and the "not ready" prompt appears after half a minute, as it seems it is trying to read the floppy but fails every time.

What problem can the floppy drive have? I asked a few friends and technicians on repair stores. and most told me the drive could most probably be dirty. And seeing that there are experts in hardware in this site, I wanted to ask your opinion or help.

Thank you very much for your comprehension and for your time.


  • Uh, yea. That is the most likely cause. Just grab a cleaning disk off of eBay, and give it a spin. Hopefully that is all it is because there really isn't much else that can be easily done for a laptop drive.
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