Flash memory recognized as a floppy disk... Why?

Friends,

Please, I’d like you to help me with this. A friend of mine has a flash memory (Kingston DataTraveler 1GB) which is recognized as a floppy disk (1.44 MB) in any computer he inserts it.

I’m not talking about a “bootable” flash memory. I’m talking about inserting it in a USB port when the computer is already turned on and Windows XP has already been loaded.

At first, he thought this was something related to Windows XP, some settings, whatever. Then, he realized that this is a feature of the flash memory itself because it’s recognized as a floppy disk in any computer he uses it.

He doesn’t know how this thing started to happen. It wasn’t him who set it to be like that and he doesn’t know how to revert this either.

We’ve read about it on the internet and we found something which says that a flash memory is able to “emulate” a floppy drive. We don’t know exactly if that’s what’s happening here. We don’t even know how to do that “emulation” either.

Another curiosity… His flash memory has two partitions: one of them is as big as a floppy disk (1.44 MB) and the other one is as big as the residual amount of space.

Well, that’s it. Now, what I want to know is:

  • Why is this flash memory being recognized as a floppy disk?
  • I have a flash memory just like my friend’s, same model. How can I make this flash memory of mine be recognized as floppy disk as well?
  • How can we revert my friend’s flash memory behavior, I mean, make it be recognized as an ordinary flash memory?
  • Do those two partitions have something to do with its behavior?
  • How do I delete a partition and create a new one for my flash memory?
  • What about that “emulation” thing?

Thanks a lot for your attention, guys.

Hugs,

Brunces

Some flash drives are made like this for some reason.
I guess it’s to do with booting from them.

Just ignore the 1.44M bit and use the other bit.

bdg2,

Thanks for your answer. :slight_smile:

About ignoring that little partition… that’s OK, but I don’t want to just ignore it. I want to know how to do it, how to undo it. I want to learn how to delete and create partitions in a flash memory, which software I have to use and etc.

Does anyone know? :slight_smile:

Thanks again, bdg2.

Brunces

I think it’s built that way and you could only change it by ripping the drive apart and putting a different chip in.

That’s strange. I don’t know why it appears as a floppy. Does it have drive letter A or B? Maybe if it’s 1.44 meg and uses FAT, XP will see it as a floppy.

You can probably delete the partitions and reformat, just like a hard drive. Use Disk Management. Or you can try simply reformatting the small partition.

There were instructions that came with it. If they aren’t around, you might be able to find them on the web.
You could try here:
http://www.kingston.com/support/flash.asp?tab=DT

Mine came with Secure Traveler that can create an encrypted partition and a second unencrypted partition. The floppy thing is new to me.

I say again I don’t think it’s a partition, well not in the sense that there is a partition table you can fiddle with anyway.
I think the chip reports itself to the computer as two separate devices.
I think if you look in Device Manager you will see two devices, a USB floppy, and an ordinary USB mass storage.

However I don’t own one of these so could someone who does check please.

Guys,

He’s already tried Windows XP Disk Management. It really shows 2 partitions, but it doesn’t allow him to delete any partition (this option is disabled). The only thing he can do is format any of the two partitions, but he intends to delete both and create a single one.

He’s also tried other appropriated third-party softwares, but none of them allowed him to delete/create partitions. :frowning:

steve, Kingston website has no software to be downloaded for the model DTI/XX. It has only manuals/guides and a driver for Win98, unless we haven’t looked carefully for it and there’s something else there we haven’t seen yet. If so, please let us know, OK?

Thank you very much for your answers, friends. :slight_smile:

Brunces

Could you look and see what appears in Device Manager.

That’s the decider.

Here’s all I know. I have the Data Traveler II. It comes with SecureTraveler. I just checked and I can’t delete the partitions with Disk Management either. I have one public partition and one secure partition. The secure partition doesn’t show up in XP. When I try to delete the public partition with Disk Management, the “delete partition” entry is grayed out.

But I can rearrange the two partitions by using secureTraveler.exe.

I guess this doesn’t relate to your DataTraveler, but I thought I would mention it anyway.

I have the same problem as it was not designed that way, it just started one day. I have a 5gb memory stick that worked fine. One day i plugged it in and it said it was unrecognizable and needed to be reformatted. So i did. Now its a A: floppy 1.44
Re formated, tried different computers, nothing. Deleted it (as a floppy) in device manager, replug it in and the 1.44 capacity floppy is back.
Cant get rid of it. Cant get the 4gb.

Correction, it shows up as a USB DISK Pro USB DEVICE in the device manager, but as a floppy on the system. Cant change drive letter, wont show up in drive manager, this is under vista. Grrrr

[QUOTE=steve b;1807303]That’s strange. I don’t know why it appears as a floppy. Does it have drive letter A or B? Maybe if it’s 1.44 meg and uses FAT, XP will see it as a floppy.
[/QUOTE]

It should appear as a removable drive, nothing else.
Maybe the floppy icon is also abducted for removable drives…

[QUOTE=bobkaron;1968224]Correction, it shows up as a USB DISK Pro USB DEVICE in the device manager, but as a floppy on the system. Cant change drive letter, wont show up in drive manager, this is under vista. Grrrr[/QUOTE]

That is just correct. Nothing wrong with it.

As repeatedly said before, some USB pen drives are made like operating as floppy disk + hard disk. I own a Samsung USB pen drive, that does the same. They provide software for it, that can put it either into floppy+hdd mode or into hdd-only mode. An according software should exist for your Kingston drive, as well. I did a little search - obviously they don’t care that much about it. Here is what I found - don’t know if it’s useful.

Genuine Kingston site:
http://www.kingston.com/support/USBFlashDrives/default.asp
Browse to your drive model there. Then click on the link that promises to lead to some driver (no matter if you want this driver or not). It may lead you to a page that has much more. If you are lucky, you’ll find something like a “boot utility” or similar. I suspect this program will be able to swap modes, as well.

Other:
Go to
http://www.laptopvideo2go.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=6637
Switch to “Linear” mode at the bottom of the page, in case threads look collapsed.
Then in this page search for “bootutility.exe” (without the quotes). You should be able to spot a download link named “KINGSTON_USB_BootUtility.exe”. You can download this. No idea for what, from whom, why, whatever - so you have been warned. However, this posting looks serious, and if Kingston have discontinued the drive you own, then this may be your last chance to get the software.

Would be nice to read, if one of these utilities worked, and if so, which one it was.

Good luck,
Robert

Check BIOS to make sure the floppy is not enabled. Windows will sometimes make a fake floppy drive upon insertion of any USB key, or in my case my USB floppy which shows up as my B drive but a fake A drive appeared anyway, because I forgot to disbale the floppy in BIOS.

Hi. Sometimes us manufacturers create partitions on the drives typically so that an application will automatically run from the partition, such as security software for instance. Some flash drives will appear as a flash drive when you plug them in, but there will also be a new CD Rom drive or floppy drive which appears. We use the CD rom partition to fool the system into thinking that part of the flash drive is a CD Rom. as CD roms are not writable, it ensures that the user cannot wipe the CD Rom element.

The same type of procedure applies for the floppy drive that you are seeing. in this circumstance you cannot remove this partition without a special bios flash from the specific manufacturer of that drive. Please don’t waste your time searching the web. I ensure you that unless you are very lucky and that the manufacturer has released a bios flash (typically only released to manufacturers such as myself) then you will not be able to wipe it!

Why not try formatting the 1.44 Mb partition as a floppy boot disc and boot up with floppy first to see if the PC recognises the drive as a floppy for boot up purposes.
This would open up possibilities for trouble shooting software on PC’s whose BIOS can’t be set to boot up from USB directly [usually by specifying the flash drive as a hard disk]

Why not for giggles and laughs…put in a floppy disk and then insert the memory stick…see what happens then…

also…how old is the stick…has it been wet or left in a hot car …or something like that?

Okay, for anyone who has one of these odd USB memory drives:

I’m looking for one that can show up as a driver floppy to Windows XP Setup.

If you have one of these that shows up as two devices in windows device manager, I’d like to either know the exact model number, or I’ll trade my Sandisk Titanium 4GB with U3 for it, or I’ll buy it from you.

To test if your flash drive does what I want, download this zip file containing SATA RAID Drivers:

http://www.siliconimage.com/docs/3x12-x86-1.3.68.2-logo.zip

It’s the SIL3112 RAID driver for XP 32-bit.

Extract the zip file, and put all the files on the 1.44MB part of the flash drive. Put some more zip files and stuff on the other larger side of the drive too, and make sure they’re all still there once this is all over. (I’d like to store all my SATA floppys on the other large side, so I can just copy over the correct one and go.)

Now, put in a windows XP installation CD, boot from the CD, and press F6 when it says to at the bottom (should only take a minute to show up, it’s one of the first messages that shows), and see if it shows you drivers for a Silicon Image SIL3112. If it displays the drivers, try it on another couple computers.
You do NOT need to install windows, just make sure the Driver selector shows the drivers, you can eject the cd and cancel windows setup after.

If it shows up on every computer you try, I’m interested in getting a hold of it.

I do a LOT of XP installations at work, and I’m sick of having to remaster the windows CD with all the drivers.

Here’s a list of the USB device IDs that windows will accept as a supported floppy drive during installation:

USB\VID_03EE&PID_6901
USB\VID_057B&PID_0000
USB\VID_0644&PID_0000

If you have one of these, contact me at kamilion at gmail dot com.

Thanks a lot!