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Sorry, an external floppy drive will not work for a Designer 1. You would have no where to plug the cable in to. The internal floppy drive is quite expensive. You might want to look around for a used Designer 1. You can probably find one for $400-$500. Replacing the floppy drive on yours would cost you almost $400 depending on the local dealer pricing.
Could need a new drive, could need a new cable, could need a new floppy disk. Try the disks that came with the embroidery unit. If you put the same disk in 5 times will the machine respond the same way to it each time?
These 3.5-inch floppy disk drives are never produced by the manufacturer of the device, but by one of a few floppy disk drive manufacturers (usually Sony) and as such, should your disk drive start to fail, you may be able to disassemble the case of the Viking Designer 1, remove the floppy drive, and insert another standard floppy salvaged from a tower-type PC, thus fixing the problem. Since 3.5-in. floppy drives are becoming more and more scarce in modern computers (in favor of CD-RW drives) you may have a obsolete tower computer (remember Windows 98?) in your basement (or your friend's basement/yard sale/flea market/www.Craigslist.org/www.eBay.com) that could supply a useable FDD (floppy disk drive).
You can have replacement discs ordered from Husqvarna Viking. Visit an authorized Husqvarna Viking dealer for them to order the replacement discs. However, you might luck out and they have some already on hand from a scrapped machine or a trade-in. You can find your nearest dealer by visiting the Husqvarna Viking website - http://www.husqvarnaviking.com and clicking on dealer link down the left side of the page.
You need to use either Organizer or Disk Manager to put designs on the floppy disk. Both of these are Husqvarna programs, not part of your computers operating system. If you copy shv file directly, the machine does not have all of the information that it needs to read the files. If the folder containing your original shv files that you purchased contains additional files, you just need to copy EVERY file within that folder to the floppy disk and it might work. Don't attempt to move individual files to the floppy. You will need them all.
First you need the USB upgrade kit that has the connectors and parts to change the cover of the machine. Next, you will need a new main circuit board if your machine was made prior to about 2006. At this point, the cost of parts is about $489. If you can get someone to install these for $10, you can get this done for under $500. Otherwise, go to an authorized Husqvarna Viking dealer and check into trading your Designer 1 in for a Designer SE. You will then be able to plug in an external 3.5 floppy drive to read your old disks, a USB stick, or plug directly into your computer and read them from the hard drive (an upgraded Designer 1 can read ONLY from the stick). Used Designer SE's are very reasonably priced since the introduction of the Designer Diamond as the new top of the line and you may be able to get a full manufacturers warranty on the gently used machine.
Hi - I think you have a Viking Designer 1, which has a slot for a floppy disk on the side of the machine. If so, you need to purchase embroidery software that supports file type .sv1, and you will need to buy floppy disks.
You can buy embroidery software from Viking that will allow you to write design files onto floppy disks, but you can find other embroidery software packages that support the D1 which cost quite a bit less - make sure that file type .sv1 is supported before you buy.
Viking does sell designs that come on a D1 floppy disk. You can just pop the floppy into the machine, select you design, and go. You can find Viking designs online from time to time, but before you buy, ask if a floppy is included - the newer Viking design packages come with a DVD but might not include the floppy for the D1.
Hope this helps, Ginny
If you have a Viking #1+, you won't be able to use floppy disks with your machine. Please repost and I'll tell you what to look for.
I am pretty sure you can download Disk 100 free from the Husqvarna Viking website. This has all the embroideries that came free with the machine, plus the alphabets (I think!). You can download this direct to your PC or to a set of floppies, depending on what your Designer needs and what support software you have (or have not) got. If you have no Husqvarna software at all, your PC will not be able to read the floppy. It is in .shv format which PCs are unable to read, being an embroidery machine language only. If you are trying to open the faulty disk in your Disk Manager software, I always found it worked better if I didn't put the disk in the floppy drive of the computer until after I had already opened Disk Manager. Hope some of the above is useful to you.