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Windows 95 Almost Autodetected Floppy Disks

timothy posted about 5 years ago | from the be-nearly-nostalgic dept.

Windows 334

bonch writes "Windows 95 almost shipped with a technique for detecting whether a floppy disk was inserted without spinning up the drive. Microsoft's floppy driver developer discovered a sequence of commands that detected a disk without spinup — unfortunately, unspecified behavior in the floppy hardware specification meant that half the drives worked one way and half the other, each giving opposite results for the detection routine. Microsoft considered a dialog prompting the user to insert a disk to 'train' the routine, but the idea was scrapped."

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334 comments

Um (5, Insightful)

linumax (910946) | about 5 years ago | (#27459099)

Why not do the behavior detection on first instance a floppy disk was used?

Re:Um (1)

Threni (635302) | about 5 years ago | (#27459149)

If you can detect a floppy is inserted you can do stuff with it straight away. If you have to wait for it to be used, then...well, what are you doing? You're saying "we're using a floppy disk so there must be a floppy disk in the drive". What does that tell you?

Re:Um (5, Informative)

joeware (672849) | about 5 years ago | (#27459197)

I think you misunderstood linumax's comment. He is saying that instead of prompting the user to insert a floppy to train it, just automatically do the training behind the scenes the first time a floppy is inserted.

Re:Um (1)

lseltzer (311306) | about 5 years ago | (#27459311)

One arguement against that would be that it takes the user out of their context; they stick a floppy in to do something with it and Windows pops up to get them to do something? Perhaps it seemed unfriendly.

They could have had more of that Mac-like experience though. It's a shame.

Re:Um (4, Insightful)

enjo13 (444114) | about 5 years ago | (#27459359)

The point is you don't have to do even that. The routine would look something like:

- User initiates action with the floppy drive
- Run the auto-detection routine to see what answer you get
- Spin up the drive and check to see if something is in the drive
- Compare that with the pre-spun result to see what answer you get.

Something along those lines. There are several variations on this that would work and never require you to interact with the user at all.

Re:Um (2, Funny)

localman (111171) | about 5 years ago | (#27459475)

Bingo. There must have been some other reason they didn't include this feature, as that solution is obvious and simple.

Re:Um (3, Insightful)

Asmor (775910) | about 5 years ago | (#27459947)

For that matter, they could have done it during setup or any other time. It doesn't matter if a floppy's in the drive or not. Check if there is one the old fashioned way (spinning the motor) and then do your routine. Bam, trained, and you never have to spin the drive again for this purpose.

Re:Um (2, Insightful)

jonbryce (703250) | about 5 years ago | (#27459555)

If you spin up the drive and find there isn't a disk there, that either means there isn't a disk there, or the disk is faulty.

Re:Um (2, Insightful)

glavenoid (636808) | about 5 years ago | (#27459667)

...Or the drive is faulty, or the drive controller is faulty, or the drive's driver software is faulty, etc...

Re:Um (5, Funny)

chickens (626775) | about 5 years ago | (#27459727)

If you'd ever used Windows before, you'd know that the consequences of interrupting the user with stupid dialog boxes is not something its UI designers worry (worried?) much about...

*ahem*

It looks like you've inserted a floppy disc! Would you like any help with that?

Re:Um (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | about 5 years ago | (#27459447)

Assuming that you actually meant "behind the scenes the first time a floppy is accessed" and never do it aagain...

The article's author (Raymond Chen) addressed that in his follow-up article [msdn.com], posted yesterday.

Re:Um (4, Insightful)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | about 5 years ago | (#27459581)

problem: some users are idiots
solution: treat all users like idiots

I know its not the msway but a would regkey you could manually set have been that hard?

Re:Um (2, Funny)

v1 (525388) | about 5 years ago | (#27459199)

isn't that some of what makes Windows so exciting? autorun on media insert...

Re:Um (1)

Curtman (556920) | about 5 years ago | (#27459535)

Yeah, exciting is right. Give the malware a chance to infect the machine without any user interaction at all beyond inserting a disc. Sometimes I install Windows and actually use it for a while just so I don't miss out on all the excitement.

Actually there were viruses that did this in DOS (4, Interesting)

clusterix (606570) | about 5 years ago | (#27459685)

I had a DOS virus once and it did this so that any disk in the drive while the virus was in memory would become immediately infected.

So viruses were doing this years before Windows 95.

Re:Um (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | about 5 years ago | (#27459663)

That was the most common comment on the blog post. His answer [msdn.com] makes sense, basically saying that it would be confusing for the user that it not work the first time they put the disk in the drive but it would every time thereafter. In addition, if the disk drive were switched out for another one of the opposite type, then the user would return it with the statement that it was broken. Overall, it would cause more confusion than the training option, which had already been discarded as too onerous.

Floppy? (4, Funny)

TheKidWho (705796) | about 5 years ago | (#27459103)

What's a Floppy?

So... (1)

Skiron (735617) | about 5 years ago | (#27459135)

... good job he didn't detect it, else the Internet would have been infected with MS Windows virus/trojans from day #1.

Detection via delta? (2, Interesting)

Ryvar (122400) | about 5 years ago | (#27459141)

Couldn't you perform the detection by measuring the delta of the state?

On booting Windows 95, attempt to read from the floppy drive. If there's no disk, then take whatever that hardware state is - whether 1 or 0 - as the 'base' value, and periodically check to see if that value has changed.

I may be missing something but it seems like the appropriate trigger isn't the specific value of the flag, but rather the setting of said flag.

--Ryvar

Re:Detection via delta? (4, Funny)

ushering05401 (1086795) | about 5 years ago | (#27459355)

Reading would require a spin-up.

The article only says that the non spin up method was an extremely clever chain of commands so..

We are sitting here talking about MS tech for no apparent reason with no apparent hope of arriving at any sort of conclusion...

Why am I here again?

Re:Detection via delta? (1)

Ironsides (739422) | about 5 years ago | (#27459367)

That wasn't Win95 attempting to read, that was the BIOS. The BIOS boot order was generally Floppy, HD, SCSI.

Re:Detection via delta? (1, Insightful)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | about 5 years ago | (#27459425)

Yes, and that's been a danger since day one. The removable media should _never_ have been the default: it should have been the fallthrough boot medium, to keep idiots from booting with floppies or later CD's and USB devices automatically to take control of your hardware.

Re:Detection via delta? (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | about 5 years ago | (#27459625)

You can't fallthrough if there is a HDD with no OS is installed, the default setting allows you to install an OS on 1st run, which is normally what you need to do! Later you should change that setting when you no longer need to install the OS.

Where did I put that SlowNewsDay tag? (1)

BlueBoxSW.com (745855) | about 5 years ago | (#27459147)

???

How about veryslownewsday? (1, Insightful)

bigsexyjoe (581721) | about 5 years ago | (#27459295)

I mean this was "who cares?" ten years ago. Now it's well beyond that.

Re:How about veryslownewsday? (1)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | about 5 years ago | (#27459491)

One of the most annoying things about Slashdot is people who post to a story questioning its relevance or quality.

If you think the story shouldn't have been posted:
- Why did you click Read More?
- Why did you write a reply? Did you think people care about your opinion on stories so much that you needed to post?
- What's wrong with simply discussing interesting technical history? This is a nerd site.

Re:Where did I put that SlowNewsDay tag? (3, Insightful)

GuldKalle (1065310) | about 5 years ago | (#27459645)

Hopefully far away.
To ordinary people, this is indeed a non-story. But to a true nerd, a story about an undocumented feature in a (once) popular tech almost being implemented in a (once) popular OS is interesting reading.
It may not be "news for nerds, stuff that matters" but it's definitely "stuff for nerds".

Obligatory Linux Comment (2, Interesting)

Zero_DgZ (1047348) | about 5 years ago | (#27459163)

Just out of curiosity, what mechanism does Linux use to do this? In Ubuntu both on my laptop and desktop it magically detects floppies when they're inserted seemingly without spinning the drive. My laptop uses an external USB drive, but my desktop has a bog standard internal drive circa 1992.

But on a different note, if you want Windows to autodetect floppies for you... Buy an LS-120 drive.

near technological break-thrus from Microsoft (1)

mutantSushi (950662) | about 5 years ago | (#27459175)

Hmm... I was going to make a comment on archeo-tech, but then I remembered the computer I'm typing on still has a DVD drive/burner. In any case, wouldn't the obvious solution have been using the inefficient spin-up method to check "for sure" if there is a floppy or not, and using that info and the "no spin up" code, figure out which of the 2 drive types it was, and use that going forward?

To be fair.. (1)

tomm3h (1406683) | about 5 years ago | (#27459195)

...I'd always thought this was impossible with basic FDD tech. How wrong was I. :)

(AND I run Linux. I just haven't used an actual FDD with a mainstream distro since I switched. Kinda glad it's that way around, actually!)

Is it just me? (1)

edivad (1186799) | about 5 years ago | (#27459203)

I clearly remember that one of the very first releases of NT 3.0 had a feature like that. You could insert a floppy and automatically the OS was trying to read/detect the content of it.

Re:Is it just me? (1)

imamac (1083405) | about 5 years ago | (#27459277)

I clearly remember that my Apple ][ GS had a nifty little feature like that...

Re:Is it just me? (4, Informative)

jonbryce (703250) | about 5 years ago | (#27459593)

But Apple computers required you to unmount your floppies before you could get them back. Or if your computer crashed, you had to get it out with a paperclip.

i always forgot if my duke nukem floppy was in... (2, Funny)

Denihil (1208200) | about 5 years ago | (#27459217)

maaaan, i could have saved HOURS OF LABOUR. HOURS!!!!!! Thanks, Micro$oft. Just another failure in your long list of FAILURES.

You also have issue of replacing floppy (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about 5 years ago | (#27459223)

And you find your new drive doesn't work... because it's the opposite.

Hmmm.

However, you could record the state of last insert
And then when the use attempts to read the disk, if you read it successfully, then have it.
And it would have been self healing.

So then the only issue would be two different drives in the same system (we used to have them you know-- to copy floppies easily) which had different types of insert.

How often would THAT happen? (1)

denzacar (181829) | about 5 years ago | (#27459381)

Really..?

IMHE - floppy drives are on of those things you could salvage even from a case that was partially burned or submerged in water.
Only things in the case that are more robust and/or reusable are cables, case itself and the screws.

Re:How often would THAT happen? (1)

troll8901 (1397145) | about 5 years ago | (#27459795)

IMHE - floppy drives are on of those things you could salvage even from a case that was partially burned or submerged in water.

In your humble experience, your casing was on fire, so you poured water on it?

Macs (2, Interesting)

Ukab the Great (87152) | about 5 years ago | (#27459275)

I never imagined that MS developers were smart enough to actually to think of something like this. We in Macintosh land where auto-detection of floppies was standard from the beginning had simply chalked it up to a simple case of microsoft being microsoft.

Re:Macs (4, Interesting)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | about 5 years ago | (#27459373)

You had something resembling a hardware spec, you lucky beggars. One thing that has slowed Linux development has been the plethora of weird hardware specs that Microsoft and their partners designed and supported, and people in Linux-land are expected to have "just work" despite this kind of specification insanity. In fact, when I can, I prefer to buy hardware that is listed as "Macintosh compatible" because the specs are so much more reliable and the quality is generally higher.

Re:Macs (3, Informative)

Blakey Rat (99501) | about 5 years ago | (#27459407)

You can do a lot of stuff when you control the hardware as well as the software. Apple just installed the correct drive in all their machines in the first place.

It has nothing to do with Microsoft "being stupid", it has to do with Microsoft having to run on shit hardware.

Re:Macs (2, Informative)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | about 5 years ago | (#27459791)

And it had nothing to do with being the 'correct' drive, either, just the 'same' drive. The problem was certain models responding one way, others responding differently.

Re:Macs (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 5 years ago | (#27459457)

Macs were ten times worse - no eject button on the drive. IIRC the way to get your floppy was to drag the floppy disk icon to the trashcan.

Totally intuitive gesture, that one. I guess this is the "easy to use" interface that Mac fans are always sighing over.

Re:Macs (2, Informative)

ThrowAwaySociety (1351793) | about 5 years ago | (#27459607)

You recall incorrectly. There was a menu command called "eject disk" which did exactly what it was supposed to.

Dragging the disk to the trash was a way to un-mount the volume, which (for floppy disks) also resulted in their being ejected.

Having an eject button on the drive would make them like modern CD/DVD drives (which auto-detect and mount discs like TFA is discussing) where pushing the Eject button doesn't always eject the disc, since it may be in use.

Re:Macs (1)

Viol8 (599362) | about 5 years ago | (#27459715)

Oh it got better than that. On the very old macs which booted off a floppy - if that floppy was corrupted and the machine crashed you'd have to go find a paperclip to get the damn thing out because resetting the machine was a waste of time - it would just attempt to boot of the disk and crash again. Yeah , well thought out that one Apple.

Re:Macs (1)

HAKdragon (193605) | about 5 years ago | (#27459961)

I know on newer Macs you can just hold down the mouse button (or left mouse button if you're using a multi-button mouse) at boot to eject CDs and DVDs. Was this not the case for floppies?

Re:Macs (1)

denzacar (181829) | about 5 years ago | (#27459463)

I never imagined that MS developers were smart enough to actually to think of something like this. We in Macintosh land where auto-detection of floppies was standard from the beginning had simply chalked it up to a simple case of microsoft being microsoft

Such small things as having your hardware custom built, instead of dealing with gazillion different models and manufacturers, have probably made implementation of such a feature far simpler.

Oh... and that electronic floppy ejection system, which was controlled by the OS, might have had a part in that too.

This was a non-feature to begin with... (1)

koh (124962) | about 5 years ago | (#27459291)

Read the original link. In the end, they figured out that users were not trained to expect a floppy to spin immediately upon insertion, and would suspect they unleashed a virus or something even nastier.

Their decision was a good one, for once.

Re:This was a non-feature to begin with... (1)

Chris Pimlott (16212) | about 5 years ago | (#27459403)

No, re-read it yourself. They're were not talking about auto-run, they were talking about detecting the disk in the drive without reading from it:

... if you issued just the right extremely clever sequence of commands, you could determine whether a disk was in the floppy drive without spinning up the drive.

Re:This was a non-feature to begin with... (1)

GuldKalle (1065310) | about 5 years ago | (#27459687)

But if you read the follow-up, [msdn.com] they talk about having a game autorun as a feature they planned to implement.
The "no-spinning-up" was probably just to avoid your machine go "Bzzt" every two seconds.

Suspicion? What about other less suspicious ideas? (1)

pikine (771084) | about 5 years ago | (#27459691)

Many anti-virus software spun up the floopy drive when Windows 95 was starting up, and when it was shutting down. The way I see it, Windows 95 could do a read with or without the floppy at start up. If an error is returned, it would indicate whether there is a disk or not or if that's a different kind of error. Compare the result with the algorithm that detects presence of a disk without spinning up. Just need to do this once during boot time. Don't even bother caching the result in the registry since a user could have replaced a floppy drive with an "opposite" one.

Another idea is to always show the floopy disk icon when the system first starts, regardless whether there is a disk in the drive. If the user clicks on the icon, attempts a read. Determine the polarity of the spinless floppy presence algorithm at this point and compare the result. If read succeeds, keep the icon. If the read fails, ask the user to insert a disk to try again or cancel. If the user cancels, remove the icon. You have now determined the polarity and can do spinless detection reliably.

Re:Suspicion? What about other less suspicious ide (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | about 5 years ago | (#27459807)

so you confuse the shit out of the user by having ghost floppies show up every boot?

OSNews (1)

sharperguy (1065162) | about 5 years ago | (#27459303)

This was on OSnews two days ago. Hurry up ./!!!

Re:OSNews (1)

icannotthinkofaname (1480543) | about 5 years ago | (#27459729)

Hurry up ./!!!

What is your problem with the current working directory? Why is it slow? Do you just need to start working in a different directory or something?

Or is there some other news site called "Dotslash" that was slow in posting a story, and you happened to post in the wrong thread?

*google searches for "dotslash"*

...hmm.... Okay, you clearly have a problem with the current working directory. Hopefully, a more knowledgeable user can help you with that.

I have my doubts... (3, Informative)

cdrguru (88047) | about 5 years ago | (#27459331)

One of the signficant problems with DOS and Windows 3 was what appeared to be a policy from Microsoft. They refused, for hardware compatibility reasons I am sure, to make use of DMA with floppy drives. Similarly, until Windows 95 there was no use of DMA except by third-party drivers at all.

The result of this was that any Microsoft backup utility ran at half (or less) the speed3 of any DMA-using backup utility. Also, if you didn't have a third-party DMA driver, hard disk access was considerably slower.

Windows 3.11 finally included what was apparently a licensed DMA driver for 32-bit hard disk access. It did not appear to have too many compatibility problems, but there were some. If anything, I would see this as reinforcing the idea of continuing to use BIOS access for the floppy drive and BIOS access only.

There was some relaxation of this with Windows 95, but by no means was it complete. DMA continued to be under-utilized for I/O, partly because of kernel design and partly because of hardware compatibility issues. With more rigorous standards from Microsoft about how stuff is required to work, somewhere around 1999 we started getting more "standardized" hardware for the Windows world.

Anyone comparing this to Apple doesn't understand the problem. With Apple there was one hardware standard and only one, since 1984.

Re:I have my doubts... (1)

glavenoid (636808) | about 5 years ago | (#27459769)

The problems with DMA continued well into the XP era, particularly with optical drives which would often reset to PIO mode for no apparent reason.

And this is relevant because...? (1)

Hugonz (20064) | about 5 years ago | (#27459345)

It's not like it's 1995 anymore....

Re:And this is relevant because...? (1)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | about 5 years ago | (#27459515)

Questions to ask yourself if you don't like a story Slashdot has posted:

- What's wrong with discussing it for the sake of nerdy discussion?
- Why did you click Read More on the story instead of scrolling past it?
- Why did you click reply and write a post to the story?

Re:And this is relevant because...? (0, Offtopic)

icannotthinkofaname (1480543) | about 5 years ago | (#27459771)

- What's wrong with discussing it for the sake of nerdy discussion?

Only the fact that for a discussing something this old, one must be extremely bored to carry it on, because there is no longer a problem to fix. Heck, the storage media that is the subject of this story has been obsolete for quite a while.

- Why did you click Read More on the story instead of scrolling past it?

(1) You don't use a web feed? I have a Slashdot RSS feed on my Firefox Bookmarks Toolbar. That's where I clicked from. In other words, I never click "Read More". (2) I was hoping the posted story would be somehow relevant to today's technology.

- Why did you click reply and write a post to the story?

To answer your silly questions.

Re:And this is relevant because...? (1)

troll8901 (1397145) | about 5 years ago | (#27459817)

Thank you, Overly Critical Guy. That's a good one. I just don't have your guts to say it out.

Re:And this is relevant because...? (0, Offtopic)

Lost Engineer (459920) | about 5 years ago | (#27459937)

Why did you click reply to the guy and write a post to the guy who posted to complain about the story?

Personally I clicked read more to read to the comments to find out why this story is interesting. I was disappointed.

Lots of other systems had this feature (1)

ksattic (803397) | about 5 years ago | (#27459383)

Systems that relied on specific hardware (i.e. Acorn, Amiga, Atari, etc) were capable of this feature. It's nothing special.

I know the feeling. (5, Funny)

anexanhume (1375619) | about 5 years ago | (#27459411)

I know what it's like to not have your floppy detected upon insertion.

Re:I know the feeling. (1)

troll8901 (1397145) | about 5 years ago | (#27459853)

It's better than the hard one, where you have to perform insane surgery and connect it directly to the guts within. (Ewww.)

I question this. (2, Informative)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 5 years ago | (#27459429)

I don't know who wrote this article, but I have questions about its veracity.

5.25" floppy drives had two optical switches, one on either side of the disk. One detected the presence of the disk, the other was for the write-protect tab.

Similarly, 3.5" disks had three switches. One detected the cutout that represented disk capacity (720K or 1.44M), one was for presence of the disk, the other for write-protection.

The drives reported the status of these switches when queried by software.

Re:I question this. (1)

bami (1376931) | about 5 years ago | (#27459483)

If I understand the post correctly (to lazy to read TFA), some floppy drives gave back a "0" when a floppy was inserted, and other floppy drives gave back a "1". So Microsoft dropped the feature instead of having to "train" the program which value represented which state by the user.

This was of course no problem with systems that had properly spec'd floppy drives: they'd always return the same value for the same state, so they could implement that feature.

Re:I question this. (2, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 5 years ago | (#27459551)

Yes, I had read the article, but I misunderstood it the first time through. I thought they were saying that the spin-up routine was giving ambiguous results.

If the hardware switches did indeed report differently depending on the model, then yes I can see this. But the article makes it sound like the programmer was some kind of clever genius; rather, the insertion detection was right there in the specification to begin with.

Um.. (1)

PhasmatisApparatus (1086395) | about 5 years ago | (#27459451)

Typical narrow-minded Microsoft thinking. Couldn't they have just done the autodetect, then immediately tried to read from it, remember which result was correct?

Re:Um.. (1)

Samschnooks (1415697) | about 5 years ago | (#27459599)

Typical narrow-minded Microsoft thinking. Couldn't they have just done the autodetect, then immediately tried to read from it, remember which result was correct?

Instead of the training session? Interesting.

FTFA: You can't just try to figure out what type of drive the user has by comparing the clever technique against the boring "turn on the floppy drive light and make grinding noises" technique, at least not without displaying a warning to the user that you're about to do thisâ"users tend to freak out when the floppy drive light turns on for no apparent reason. "Thank you for using Windows 95. Before we begin, I'm going to turn on your floppy drive light and make grinding noises. Press OK." Floppy disk insertion detection is not a sufficiently compelling feature that users will say, "I appreciate the benefit of going through this exercise."

I think that's what killed "your" idea.

Re:Um.. (1)

IntlHarvester (11985) | about 5 years ago | (#27459879)

IIRC, there was a beta of Windows 95 that did periodically turn on the floppy drive light.

If you had a better quality floppy drive, it was almost silent, but the cheaper models did go BZZT-CLANK-BZT every minute or so.

Re:Um.. (1)

kbg (241421) | about 5 years ago | (#27459945)

The correct way to do this is when the OS is being installed for the first time. If it is being installed from the floppy, well then the problem is solved. If it is being installed from CD-ROM the you have a check in the installing routine to display text "Checking floppy" or something and spin up the drive and store the results. If the floppy was installed after the OS was installed you check it in the first boot after that. A small spin up in the boot up after installing a new floppy drive is a small step for having automatic auto detection for the floppy drive.

Follow-up Article (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | about 5 years ago | (#27459453)

The article's author, Raymond Chen, posted a follow-up article [msdn.com] to the one linked in the summary that answers some of the questions people had about it. Why that didn't make it into the summary, I don't know.

Re:Follow-up Article (1)

bonch (38532) | about 5 years ago | (#27459533)

The followup article didn't exist yet when I submitted the story on Thursday.

ok, but... (2, Insightful)

yup2000 (182755) | about 5 years ago | (#27459485)

Why didn't they spin up the drive to check for a disk, run the routine that doesn't spin the drive up and based on the results, adapt the result to the computer...

Fond memories (1)

hackstraw (262471) | about 5 years ago | (#27459561)

I vaguely remember back then with at least the first release of Windows 95 where if you used a floppy to read or save a file, then you were cursed by having the floppy drive accessed a couple of times every time you would go to open or save a file from either a particular application or however else the "Recently used" file information was shared. It was actually worse if you had a floppy in the drive, because it would then read the contents as well.

Also new in Win95 was that you could read/write to a floppy and barely multitask while waiting for the read/write to finish. Most all OSes sucked at the time in different ways regarding removable media.

I'll take my 2GB USB thumbdrive over a floppy any day. Actually, my 2GB thumdrive is almost 3x the size of my harddisk back then. My how things change.

For of all sad words of tongue or pen.. (1)

RevWaldo (1186281) | about 5 years ago | (#27459603)

For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these: "It might have been!"
- John Greenleaf Whittier

More sad are these we daily see:
"It is, but hadn't ought to be."
- Bret Harte

Big deal (3, Insightful)

AmigaMMC (1103025) | about 5 years ago | (#27459859)

AmigaOS 1.0 did that

Re:Big deal (1)

British (51765) | about 5 years ago | (#27459987)

I'm not surprised. For all computer platforms that used floppy disks, the MS-DOS world seemingly got the shaft. Amigas and Macs had utilities that could read MS-DOS disks and such, but with the way MS-DOS did disks(correct me if I'm wrong), they couldn't read any other format. Putting long filename support aside, eh, it just wasn't that great. A hardware-level detection if a floppy disk is inserted would have been welcome. Autorun? No(but that's software).

Real reason (1)

randomProof (1225104) | about 5 years ago | (#27459907)

The reason reason this feature was removed was to keep from having a thread repeatedly checking the floppy drive. I'm sure CD-ROMs and such send an interupt when discs are inserted, but not the floppy drive.

Another Windows 95 amazing autodetection (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 5 years ago | (#27459955)

It could detect when an user is just watching the screen, coloring it blue to show that was successful. Was impressive how reliable worked that.

Good Feature (1)

pgn674 (995941) | about 5 years ago | (#27459983)

I would have absolutely loved that feature. I hated it when I would open up My Computer (or what ever the various drives display window was called at the time), and it would freeze for a few seconds while my floppy drive would spin up. I think this feature could have been included as an option. Basically, by default use the spin up method, but if an exploratory individual went into the floppy drive properties, there was a training button sitting there waiting for them.
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