Floppy cable

Updated: 04/26/2017 by Computer Hope
Floppy disk drive cable illustration

A floppy cable is a ribbon cable found in PC's that allow one or more floppy disk drives to be connected to a computer. In the illustration to the right, is a visual example of what a floppy cable may look like and where each end of connectors connect. As can be seen, this cable allows a desktop computer to have two floppy drives connected to one floppy controller.

Computer floppy drive cable

Floppy cable with twist

Because floppy drives do not have a master or slave jumper, the drives are defined by cable select, which can be identified by looking for the cable twist as shown in the pictures. Like an IDE cable, most floppy cables also have a red strip along one side of the ribbon cable to indicate pin 1. Today, if any floppy drive is in the computer it would be connected to "Drive A:" and the end cable connected to the motherboard.

The floppy channel, FDD header, or floppy connection is where the floppy drive connects to the computer motherboard. In the picture below, is an example of a motherboard with two IDE connections and a floppy channel connector.

Floppy channel cable connection

Finally, the standard PC floppy drive connector contains 34-pin holes. Below is a listing of each of these pins and their descriptions.

Pin Description
PIN 1 Ground
PIN 2 Unused
PIN 3 Ground
PIN 4 Unused
PIN 5 Ground
PIN 6 Unused
PIN 7 Ground
PIN 8 Index
PIN 9 Ground
PIN 10 Motor Enable A
PIN 11 Ground
PIN 12 Drive Select B
PIN 13 Ground
PIN 14 Drive Select A
PIN 15 Ground
PIN 16 Motor Enable B
PIN 17 Ground
PIN 18 Direction (Stepper Motor)
PIN 19 Ground
PIN 20 Step Pulse
PIN 21 Ground
PIN 22 Write Data
PIN 23 Ground
PIN 24 Write Enable
PIN 25 Ground
PIN 26 Track 0
PIN 27 Ground
PIN 28 Write Protect
PIN 29 Ground
PIN 30 Read Data
PIN 31 Ground
PIN 32 Select Head 1
PIN 33 Ground
PIN 34 Ground

Floppy disk drive, Floppy diskette, Floppy drive terms, IDE cable