Skip to main content
Electronic Theatre Controls Inc

Can I replace the floppy drive in my Expression 3 console with a Floppy-to-USB emulator?

While ETC does not currently support replacing the floppy disk drive with a Floppy-to-USB emulator (emulator), some users have been able to do just this, breathing more life into their aging and beloved consoles.

If you do wish to replace the floppy drive with an emulator, please reference your emulators manual for any jumper settings. Also note that the USB drive should be formatted with the console itself, as newer versions of PC operating systems have trouble formatting the USB drive in a way that the console can understand. The console also uses DOS format for the file system on the disk (eight alphanumeric characters, decimal, and three letter extension code. Example: TESTSHOW.SHW). The USB drive will be formatted as a floppy drive, so a 64GB USB drive will show up on your PC as a 1.44MB drive.

Emulators also generally have the ability to have multiple "disks" on the USB drive, allowing for 99 or more show files on a single USB drive. Some emulators may have accompanying software to access additional "disks" on the USB drive on a PC.

At this time, only the Express, Expression 3, and Insight 3 line of consoles have been tested at ETC with a single manufacturer of emulator. While the emulator worked well with Express, Expression 3 and Insight 3 had a couple intermittent issues, ranging from unable to read/write the USB drive as a Bad Disk error, to reading as a No Disk error.


  • Was this article helpful?