USB floppy emulator Nalbantov N-Drive
N-Drive can be installed on almost any equipment, manufactured with a floppy drive. N-Drive USB floppy emulator has all the features you need to replace your old floppy disk drive. Instead of floppies, you can use a USB stick. N-Drive floppy emulator will perfectly replace almost all existing 3.5″, 5.25″ or Slim floppy drive. N-Drive USB emulator has the same size and connectors. It imitates the work of a normal floppy drive using the floppy interface inside your equipment. That way you can easily replace your old floppy drive without any additional changes.
Nalbantov Electronics manifacture over 600 types of USB floppy drive emulators for home and industrial use. Depending on your equipment, the settings of the emulator may vary: hardware, firmware, software, connection type, emulator jumper and settings.
Every N-Drive USB floppy emulator is sold with all necessary components, so you can install it to your equipment and have it work immediately. The Package includes: N-Drive floppy emulator, configured for your equipment; USB flash memory, formatted and configured with virtual floppies; software with PC (Windows) and Apple (MAC OS) support; assembly components. The optional components depending on your equipment are: suitable connectors; suitable ribbon cables; operating system; boot disk; specific virtual image files and more.
For industrial purposes, we produce N-Drive Industrial USB floppy emulators. They support huge list of industrial CNC machines and controllers. N-Drive Industrial floppy emulators are used 24/7 in harsh industrial environments all over the world from many years without failures.
For home use, we produce N-Drive 100, N-Drive 1000 and N-Drive eXtreme floppy emulators.
N-Drive 100 is a basic model floppy emulator. It has all the features you need to replace your floppy disk drive. Instead of floppy disks, you can use a flash drive. You can store up to 100 floppy disks in a single USB flash drive.
N-Drive 1000 floppy emulator increases 10 times the ability to store information in one flash drive. You can store up to 1000 floppy disks in a single USB flash drive! An additional benefit is that it is able to support not only PC but also MAC.
N-Drive eXtreme is a floppy emulator with much more convenient graphical OLED display, that lists names. This way you will see the names of your favorite floppies, written on the emulator screen. In addition, the N-Drive eXtreme is equipped with a rotary selector to help you select the right content faster. It also supports PC and MAC.
Some devices are manufactured with thinner floppy disk drives. For these purposes, we have developed the N-Drive Slim floppy emulator. It has the same features as the N-Drive 1000, but it is much thinner to fit like a glove.
You can use the search bar on top to find the right emulator for your equipment. If you are unable to find your equipment, please fill in Check Compatibility form.
Free Floppy Emulator Software to Use USB Flash Drive as a Floppy Disk
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Here is a free Floppy emulator software for Windows that lets you use a USB flash drive as a Floppy disk. What it does is formats a USB flash drive and make its file system like that of a Floppy. It converts the USB storage into 100 virtual Floppy disks and then you can write some data onto them and then use them whenever you want. It has a very simple interface to read and write data and track the storage. If you want to remember some good old days of Floppy drives then you will like this software. However, one problem here is that it only supports FAT32 compatible files to write on the virtual floppy tracks that it creates.
If you want to just play with the Floppy disks then you can make use of this software. Otherwise, one useful use case of the software is backing up the old actual Floppy data that you have. If you have some old Floppy disks and Floppy drive in your computer, then you can just backup all the data securely in a USB drive so it will be preserved for many years. Since Floppy disks do not support modern file system of Windows, so in order to write data into the Floppy block that this software creates, you will have to take help from some disk imaging software. Everything else is just simple, just read along the article.
As I already mentioned that this software can create 100 virtual Floppy disks in a single USB drive of any format that you want. It supports 3 Floppy formats –namely, 1.44M, 1.2M, and 720K. Before getting started, you will need a spare USB drive and make sure that you copy all data from it because after formatting all data will be lost.
Download the Floppy emulator software from here and there install it. Now, you just plug your USB drive in your computer and run the software. The very first thing that you have to do it format the USB flash drive and convert it into a virtual floppy disk. It will automatically detect the USB drive and just click on it’s letter in the left pane and then choose the formatting option. In the formatting option, you can specify the type of Floppy and the number of virtual Floppy disks is that you want to create. The maximum number is 100.
Now, after the formatting process completes, it will show you all the virtual Floppy disks that it has created in the USB drive. You can see the list of all the Floppy disks and the space there are currently occupying. Initially they are all blank and you just have to write some data into them.
To write data in one of the virtual Floppy disks that you have created, you need to convert a file into Fat32 compatible format. There is a software called MagicISO that you can use to do it. You can use this software to basically convert any file to a valid Floppy image that you can write to any virtual Floppy disk that you have already created in your USB flash drive.
Now, come back to the Floppy emulator software and right click on any virtual Floppy disk. Choose “Write image file” option and then select the disc image that you created using Magic ISO software. It will immediately write that image and the storage capacity of the virtual Floppy disk will be changed accordingly. Similarly, you can write to data to other floppy disks in the same way.
Now, when you want to read the data that you have already written to A Floppy disk then just double-click on it. It will display the data in the correct form and then you are free to do whatever you want. You can perform any operation on the file that is saved inside the virtual Floppy disk. You can even export the Floppy disk in raw data format.
In this way, you can make use of this simple and quite interesting Floppy emulator software. You can use an old USB pen drive that you have and convert it to a 100 virtual Floppy disks with the help of the software. This is simple and very straightforward. And you can use it to actually archive Floppy data that you have on an actual Floppy disk. However, for that you will need a working Floppy drive on your computer to retrieve the data from a physical Floppy disk.
If you want to experience the old days of Floppy disks, then the Floppy emulator software I have mentioned here will help you. You just require a spare USB drive so that you can convert that in a virtual Floppy disk that you can use to store some data in any way you want. I really liked the concept and the way this software works. You can create any number of virtual floppy disk between 1 and 100 and then do whatever you want. However, keep in mind that a single Floppy disk only has 1.4 MB storage space, so insert the files in it accordingly.
What can be done from a floppy drive and how to make a CD ROM from a USB flash drive, using emulator programs
Whatever they say about the fact that it is the 21st century on the street and everyone lives in the clouds, floppy disks will not leave us soon. Until now, there is a lot of equipment that is powered by floppy disks — machine tools, synthesizers, just old computers — and you need to somehow exchange information with it. But on modern computers, there has long been no built-in drive controller. “So there are USB drives,” an invisible but random passerby will say. Eat. The problem is more with the media than the drives.
It was 20-30 years ago that floppy disks could be considered a more or less reliable storage medium (until they lie on a magnet). And for the last few years, from a pack of 10 pieces, it’s good if 2-3 decent ones come across, and sometimes even less. In order not to suffer with modern floppy disks, a hardware drive emulator was created. It connects to the same controller as a regular 3.5″ drive, but uses a USB flash drive as a medium.
Purchase and delivery
There were no problems with the purchase, it was a little more than two weeks, with a track.
The kit comes with the device itself and a CD with documentation and software.
The front panel has a three-digit digital display, a USB port, two control buttons and an activity indicator.
Behind the usual 34-pin floppy connector, power connector and a few jumpers for configuration. Although from the settings there is only a choice of the device number on the cable — the first or second. I haven’t touched anything and that’s how it works.
The largest chip, blurry, but you can make out something.
Dimensions compared to a conventional drive.
The unit comes with a CD containing several Chinese programs, some advertising, Chinese documentation, and Chinese English documentation. Almost everything is useless, I could not use any program. They showed a bunch of hieroglyphs, occasionally flashed words about 2000 and XP, but when I tried to do something with the flash drive, the message “access is not possible” flew out, even when run as administrator.
Although there is still winhex with a keygen — it is proposed to use it to create floppy images. And the attached instructions even mention that you need to use a keygen for registration.
Preparing a flash drive
The only useful information from the disk is that you can prepare a flash drive for working with the device by plugging it into the connector, holding both buttons and applying power. Then the flash drive will be formatted for use. The rest is practically useless.
But if the device is already installed in the case, then it can be inconvenient to press the buttons and plug in the power at the same time, therefore it is easier to use a specially trained program.
On the Internet there is a program from a European office (the site of which is no longer there), designed to work with a similar emulator. Just in case, I post it in one more place, more copies, useful and identical.
After installation (better not in program files, but in some other folder — the program wants to write to its directory, although this behavior is configurable), you can run USB_Floppy_Manager_v1. 40i and see the Batch Manage Tool program window. The programmers were somewhat inconsistent.
An attentive person will see something in common with the Chinese program. Yes, there is something. But here at least the letters are understandable, unlike the Chinese.
On the left is a list of connected flash drives.
Before use, right-click on the desired flash drive and format it.
In this window, you can once again check that you are formatting the correct flash drive, select the size of the disks, whether to make them bootable during formatting (the minimum set of files is thrown), choose how many floppy disks you want to have on the flash drive. In theory, the device itself supports up to a thousand (0-999), but this software only supports up to 100 (0-99). It’s enough for me.
A formatted flash drive is perceived by the computer as a 1.44 megabyte USB drive. Well, depending on how you format it (1.44, 1.2, 720k). You can write something, read something there — it will then be normally visible on the zero “floppy disk”. Although someone unsubscribed that when you try to upload a large file there, other images may be corrupted. I haven’t come across it myself, but just in case I use direct recording infrequently, and I keep a zero floppy disk free, only the label file is lying there, in case I suddenly forget that this is a flash drive for the emulator. In disk management, by the way, the flash drive is visible to its full volume as a single partition (I have two gigabytes).
After formatting, you can proceed to work with «floppies». Their list is on the right side of the window. Serial number, volume, filling, last update date. No additional information, such as signatures, no.
Here you can open the “floppy disk” to work with it, save changes, write the image to a diskette and save the contents of the diskette to an image. Well, format a specific floppy disk, and not all together.
When you open the «floppy disk» (Open), the content is copied to the hard disk in the working folder, where you can work with files — add, delete, edit. At the end of the work, you must return to the program window and click «Save» on the desired floppy disk — otherwise the changes will not be written to disk, and when the «floppy disk» is reopened, they will be deleted from the working folder. When you close the program, the files are not deleted and live until you open the “floppy disk” again — after that they will be overwritten.
Uses img files for floppy images. It does not support any non-standard formats, so forget about installing Windows 95 from floppy disks, floppy disks were formatted there for 1.6, if memory serves. Only boot normal size was.
You can select several «floppies» and perform batch operations on them.
Opening will copy the contents of the selected «floppies» to disk and send you to the root of the program’s working directory, not to a specific floppy disk. Saving will write the changes to the allocated «floppies». Formatting — formats through the same standard window. And writing an image will write one image to the allocated «floppies». Several different images can not be recorded in this way. Just as there is no way to save several «floppies» into images — this will have to be done individually.
Well, that’s all from the software side.
The program does not require admin rights to work — unless, of course, the working folders are moved outside the Program files.
Works fine on Windows 10 x64.
How to use it all
Everything is simple here. First, connect instead of a drive.
When power is applied, zeros on the display light up. Dots indicate the absence of a flash drive in the drive.
If you stick a flash drive, then the points disappear. The buttons on the right switch the number of the “floppy disk”. The right button cycles through units, the left button cycles through tens, and pressing both buttons simultaneously cycles through hundreds. When accessing the diskette, the light is on. The device does not emit sounds during operation. I won’t be filming a video.
Well, a little speed test.
Windows 98SE, full floppy format (from clicking the «Start» button to the appearance of a window with the result):
Copy folder with 1 megabyte files — 1048576 bytes (DOS included with Windows 98SE, copy *.* a:\):
Disk drive: 45 seconds
Emulator: 34 seconds
- Works silently, so it creates a feeling of slowness. A conventional drive also slows down, but at the same time it makes sounds — you can hear that it is working. And this one, after receiving the dir command, for example, will be silent, silent and give the result after about the same time as the drive. This silent pause is perceived as brakes. Yes, and the music also can not play because of the silent operation.
- Problems with native software, you need to look for an alternative one.
- Not universal, emulates a specific type of drive — 3.5 «HD. But some devices require DD (some synthesizers) and for them it will not work just “format the floppy disk” on 720, give a suitable device. The manufacturer also claims other drives (1 ,2, 720) — but this is exactly what other devices have, the parameters of their «floppy disks» are flashed and do not change. Hence, there are also problems with non-standard formats.0093
- There are no comments on the recorded floppy disks, therefore the index must be maintained independently — in a file, on a piece of paper, in the head … They are meant for something else.
First, there is KryoFlux.
This is a converter for connecting conventional drives to a USB port. And, first of all, it is intended for saving diskette images (well, writing them back to diskettes). The advantage is that it works with almost all formats. In the minuses — this is not a replacement for the drive as such. Well, it cannot be seen as a disk under Windows.
Secondly, there is FC5025 USB 5.25″ floppy controller.
This is about the same KryoFlux, only the pipe is lower — it only works with 5.25″ floppy disks, it cannot write to floppy disks.
some kind of adapter for 5.25
Thirdly, there is a CATWEASEL MK IV. PCI multicard.
True, it is rather theoretically there, production was stopped somewhere in the 2000s and now you can’t meet it alive.
Fourth, USB drives.
But, as I already said, these are not alternatives, they all work the other way — connect the drive to a modern computer. Instead of making an old device happy with a modern flash drive.
For its price — almost a must-have, no competitors. Unless, of course, you need such a device at all. 🙂
And let the old drives retire. For example, to play in an orchestra:
In general, I thought to put Still Alive, but then I decided to Final Countdown. Somehow closer in mood and in general the quality of performance is better. 🙂
Update : here they threw a link to alternative firmware: zx-pk.ru/threads/25546-proshivka-gotek-floppy-disk-emulator-dlya-raboty-s-zx-spectrum.html
github.com/keirf/FlashFloppy/wiki — this option seems interesting
How to make a floppy drive emulator from a flash drive — [USBDev.ru]
This USB-FDD device can be used in completely different areas. This can be either used as a boot device from under BIOS , or as a loophole to bypass device control systems .
By the way, in one of my articles, I wrote about a similar discovered hole in NOD — antivirus — Vulnerabilities in the control system of flash drives ESET NOD32 Antivirus . The fact is that NOD32 is completely unable to block Floppy devices, at least in 2016 was not able to.
As you understand, not all of the devices discussed below can be taken in the store. And not even because this is some kind of exclusive product, but simply they are no longer sold anywhere.
But there are at least three solutions available to any mortal who are ready to help with the implementation of your idea. These include an external box from Zalman , my favorite SMI controllers and a little less favorite Phison chips installed in USB flash drives.
If devices from Zalman can be attributed to not too economical solutions, which in itself (without hard drive) will cost you about 50-70 US dollars .
That flash drives on chips SMI are distinguished by low prices, because. always focused on the low-cost segment of the market. The main task is to buy the right flash drive. Although, given the price of 5$ , for a simple model, a mistake will not cost you a lot of nerves.
With Phison controllers, everything is a little more complicated and just buying a controller from this company is not enough. You need just the right combination of controller model, flash memory and related software. The fact is that the presence of compatible firmware is not the same as the ability to flash a USB flash drive in MODE4 .
Many have heard of the portable USB hard drive box, but not many people realize that it can emulate not only ISO images.
I am the owner of the Zalman ZM-VE400 device, so everything written below will only apply to it. I won’t vouch for other models from Zalman , although, judging by information from the network, FDD is also not alien to them.
Its firmware supports .IMA floppy images, but .IMG or .BIN never saw my box. With the files on the inserted image, it will be possible to work like with a regular floppy disk, i.e. boot from it, delete or add files.
I specially photographed the monitor screen, in the boot menu BIOS , this area was called FDD-Load Virtual Floppy .
For IMA -images, standard size 1.38MB , Floppy is emulated — the device on which its contents will be located. But if its volume exceeds this value, then the emulation of such a thick floppy image will be performed on a flash partition, with all the consequences.
As you can see from the screenshot, Zalman allows you to simultaneously insert images into both FLOPPY and CDROM areas.
ON WHICH FLASH DRIVE CONTROLLERS IT IS POSSIBLE
Unfortunately, the number of manufacturers of USB controllers that have included such a function in their products can be counted on the fingers of one hand.
I confess that while preparing for the article, I checked not all 100% available utilities. However, I don’t think I missed anything.
Guaranteed to fit only old models of controllers, but you have zero chance to get one now. To understand, the latest Fizon chip that allows you to flash a flash drive without dancing with a tambourine in floppy mode is PS2251-50 . Those. so 2010 should be a flash drive, but not newer. I saw evidence on the net that people were flashing the PS2134 controller into the floppy.
For obsolete flash drives, I have a separate article on my portal ( Floppy flash drive operation mode on the Phison PS2232 controller ), which describes in detail the transformation mechanism of one of the flash drives.
With modern members of the Phison family, things are much more nebulous. Specifically, the problem is that not every iron can be flashed with the available means. In more detail, with this problem, you can find in the following material — About converting a flash drive to a Floppy Drive using Phison MPALL .
Speaking of size FDD -domains, then physions do not support images larger than 1.38MB .
Always FLOPPY — the mode was and will not go anywhere, I hope it is not going to. Considering that SMI are one of the leaders in the affordable flash drives market, you should not have any problems with the purchase.
And I did not find any restrictions on the size of the created floppy area. Read more in the material — Creating a giant floppy from a flash drive on a regular SMI chip .
The instruction deals with a modern chip and the corresponding version of the firmware. In which the functionality is wider than in the old service utility for SMI SM321BB , the screenshot of which I provide.
So, if the utility you are using lacks some function, try to take the most recent distribution kit that can accept the hardware of your flash drive.
Personally, I did not create a floppy device based on FirstChip 9 chips0148 , but according to one of the regular visitors to the USBDev portal, this is possible. He did this with his flash drive on the controller FC1178E , using the following software — ApTools_20161027_JF .
To do this, in the settings, as the value of the parameter Disk type , you should specify the type 1.44 Floppy , and then specify the directory from which the files will be taken.
A long time ago in 2000s , I had a monolithic flash drive on chip eU201 but she died suddenly. To check whether it is really possible to bungle a floppy on eFortune or it, I do not know for sure. I just found the option Floppy in the settings, so I decided to share the information.
The most interesting thing is that in the settings you can simultaneously activate both AutoRun -section (that is, CDROM ) and our Floppy . Only I strongly doubt that they can get along with each other.
Floppy — mode, can be found both in flashers for eU201 and eU202 . For example, in the screenshot, the production utility eFortune eU202 MP [10.08.30]-A.00.00 .
READY SOLUTIONS OUT OF THE BOX
If you wish, you can google a bunch of different hardware solutions that can add a sort of substitute for a FDD drive to your computer. Only most likely, all of them will be sharpened to work in industrial equipment control systems. And such devices, as a rule, differ in decent cost and not too compact dimensions.