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HP USB Floppy Drive Key

Occasional Visitor

HP USB Floppy Drive Key

Hi all,

I recently discovered HP has a USB Floppy Drive Key (part ref: 442988-002) that is supposed to help when loading third party SCSI drivers when building a HP Proliant server using Windows.

I purchased a couple of these devices, with a view to using them for server builds and other disaster recovery scenarios. According to the "technology brief" on HP's web site, they are compatible with the "F6" function of a Windows text-mode setup....however I'm not having much luck getting it going.

I've copied the hpcissm2 driver files to the A: partition of the device, plugged it in and booted the server from the Windows 2003 server cdrom. I hit F6, then when prompted I tell it to look at the floppy drive for drivers, which fails (it just returns to the screen prompting for the disk to be inserted again).

The technology brief suggests that it might be worth disabling "Virtual Install Disk" in the HP BIOS... have tried this, but I can't even get the text-only portion of setup to recognise the floppy drive exists....

Has anyone else bought one of these keys, and if so, have you had any luck getting it going? I must say I was quite excited at the prospect of not having to rely on an old floppy disk to build servers in 2008, but it's not looking too promising just yet...

Thanks in advance,
Víctor Cespón
Honored Contributor

Re: HP USB Floppy Drive Key

Hi, just one detail, this key emulates 2 devices: a 1.44 MB floppy and a USB flash drive. Do you have it set on the floppy mode?
In what server model ayer you using it?
Esteemed Contributor

Re: HP USB Floppy Drive Key

To emulate the Floppy functionality, you would also have to use the HP USB Key Utility for Windows to copy the files. If you just copy / extract the drivers, it will not work.

Download the HP USB Key Utility for Windows here:
Occasional Visitor

Re: HP USB Floppy Drive Key

Hi guys,

Thanks for your responses. Firstly, yes I have tried both the "floppy disk" and "hard disk" switch settings on the memory key - neither make any difference in the text-mode portion of Windows setup.

I am attempting to use this against a Proliant DL360 G5 host (it's only a week old!)

As for the other suggestion of using the HP USB Key Utility, it doesn't appear to do what I intended... the description when the utility starts says "This utility will create a bootable USB key based upon the HP SmartStart CD or HP Firmware Maintenance CD. The USB key can be used in place of the StartStart or Firmware Maintenance CD on HP Proliant Servers that support bootable USB keys".

I am not intending to use SmartStart to build this server... otherwise I would have used the CD in the first place! Aside from doing the initial server build, being able to load the array controller drivers at the text-only portion of setup also plays a role in our disaster recovery plans using Windows ASR (you have to boot from the Windows server disk, then press F6 to load SCSI drivers and then F2 to run a Windows ASR).

Whilst I could use SmartStart to do the initial server build, I can't use it in a DRP situation where I wanted to run ASR.

Any further clues from anyone out there? Surely I'm missing something - HP's documentation on these keys seems to suggest that using it after hitting F6 is feasible.... I'm just not sure of what else needs to be done to make it happen.

Thanks again in advance,
Occasional Visitor

Re: HP USB Floppy Drive Key

i haven't successfully done it yet, but from what i have read, the usb key needs to be inserted at boot or just afterwards, if you wait until the windows install screen comes up it's too late


Windows F6 driver installation (non hot-plug)
During installation of Windows operating systems, floppy drives can be used to provide drivers via the F6 key. To use the HP USB Floppy Drive Key instead of floppy drives, the key must be inserted before starting Windows Setup. The key cannot be inserted after pressing F6 at the Insert Disk screen. For Windows 2000, USB 2.0 must be disabled in RBSU. After the installation is complete, USB 2.0 can be re-enabled. For information on how to disable the USB 2.0 Controller, see the HP ROM-Based Setup Utility User Guide at this URL: