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What Is an FDC Failure?

An FDC failure indicates a problem with your computer’s floppy disk controller. This issue can occur on any computer with a motherboard capable of using a floppy disk, even if you have no floppy drive attached.

In most computers, you can fix the error by removing the old floppy disk controller in your device manager, then letting the operating system redetect the device. If the motherboard or floppy I/O card are damaged, the problem may be permanent. You can safely ignore this error if you don’t use floppy disks.

FDC Failure


Floppy Disk Controller

The term floppy disk controller can refer both to a piece of hardware slotted or built into the motherboard and to the software that the operating system uses to drive this hardware. Both controllers are responsible for letting the floppy disk drive interface with the rest of the computer. If the controller fails, you’ll be unable to use the floppy drive, but the rest of the computer should work normally.



A floppy disk controller might fail for several different reasons. If the computer has been handled roughly, the built-in controller found on most modern motherboards may have been damaged.

Very old motherboards don’t use a built-in controller. Instead, they have an I/O card that slots into the motherboard and can become partially unseated if the computer is dropped or shaken in transit. The controller may be working properly, but can’t communicate correctly with the motherboard due to a conflict from another device. The software used to control it may also be corrupt.



A damaged built-in controller can be hard to fix without replacing the entire motherboard, but damaged I/O cards on obsolete machines can be reseated or replaced entirely. If you suspect the problem is a conflict with other devices, check for resource conflicts in your operating system’s device manager or use diagnostic software.

Your controller uses IRQ6 and DMA channel 2. If another device tries to use these resources, the floppy controller may fail. In case the controller has stopped responding due to a misconfiguration, enter your BIOS settings and determine that the FDC is listed as “Enabled.”

Enter your operating system’s device manager to see if the controller is currently active. If it shows an error, select the entry for the controller software and remove it, then attempt to add new hardware and allow the system to automatically detect the FDC. If your operating system finds the controller, reboot and try to access the floppy disk.



Most users don’t have floppy disk drives and will never need one. This obsolete form of media storage is used primarily to access archived files from the 1990s and earlier. If you never use a floppy drive, an FDC failure error can be annoying, but it isn’t likely to affect your day-to-day computer use. You can ignore the error without causing any problems.


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