Apple //c Drive Issues

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Joined: Oct 22 2014
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Hi guys.

Trying to relive childhood and get an Apple //c back up and running. I have the system successfully bootstrapping from ADTPro, but I think there is an issue with my disk drive.

It makes a loud clicking at start up and will not read and disks. ADTPro typically shows an I/O error. If I manually slide the head towards the front of the drive, it will work it's way backwards and sometimes allow me to format a disk. That disk does not boot the system.

I have been trying to come up with a way to determine if the speed is correct, but without being able to make a Copy II Plus disk, I can't check.

Any thoughts or ideas? See the link below for a YouTube of the disk drive at startup.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHF8mwqq40Y&feature=youtu.be

Thanks!

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gsmcten's picture
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Joined: Oct 4 2005
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Re: Apple //c Drive Issues

mbaran,

You'll have to excuse me for saying this, but your video
was hardly long enough to understand what was happening.

It hardly had time to latch on to anything on the disk.
(Just my opinion)

Steven Smile

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Steven (gsmcten)

"Apple ][.....It's ALIVE!!!!!"

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Re: Apple //c Drive Issues

That is all that happens.

The head does not move, it remains stationary in it's position. As soon as I stopped recording, there was already a "Check Disk" message on my monitor.

I cannot bootstrap into ADTPro with a diskette in the drive as it hangs up just spinning (I can hear the spinner motor, but not the stepper motor)

edit: here is what happens when ADTPro scans the drive to format

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVlIxqRolis

I get a (I/O Error)

edit2: it does seem that if I manually move the head to the front, it will take a format and a write successfully. I was then able to send the disk data back to ADT server and get a complete disk image on the PC side. So the drive does read/write correctly. It just will not come out of it's parked position and start.

The disk that was created that I verified, will not actually start the system cold. it just grinds and says check disk drive.

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Joined: Apr 24 2012
Posts: 251
Re: Apple //c Drive Issues

Without more info, the first thing that comes to my mind is a bad connection to the computer, check that the cable is connected correctly, sometimes it can be wrongly connected one row to the left or right.
Another thing to check is the rubber band underneath. Hope it helps.
Javster.

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Joined: Oct 22 2014
Posts: 33
Re: Apple //c Drive Issues

It's alive!

I disassembled the drive, pulled the stepper motor to verify it was working. PS. if anyone has ever done this, what a PAIN to get the small metal "band" back together on the stepper motor gear.

Anyway, I tripled checked all of my connectors and it seems to be working now. The I/O error I was getting is because I am using brand new sealed unformatted diskettes. Once formatted, they run without error.

I've copied ADTPro, Appleworks 3, and Lemonade Stand to floppy and all work well. Copy II Plus 6 reports that the drive speed is 200.2ms.

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Joined: Oct 22 2014
Posts: 33
Re: Apple //c Drive Issues

aaaaand it's dead again.

I put the cage back on it and it stopped reading. It's doing exactly as it does in the first post. loud clicking for a few seconds followed by "Check Disk Drive"

Any thoughts? I know the stepper works correctly. Could it be a head issue?

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Posts: 365
Re: Apple //c Drive Issues

Did you notice if it was a particular disk you put in when it started acting up again as before? DO you have a cleaning diskette with cleaning solution?

I ask not because of a necessarily "dirty" disk making the head dirty, but a particular disk making the head not read/write properly. I have encounter a number of disks that once inserted into a drive the drive will no longer read or write, or will struggle to read or write or will simply act as if no disk is inserted once I put the "bad" disk into the drive.

The ONLY way to get the drive working properly again was to "clean" the head. First that meant disassembling the drive and using isopropyl alcohol and later once I found my cleaning disks (and bought some new ones) running them in the drive for a few secs.

I cannot explain it other than this has been a tried and true method for me as recently as a few days ago. I have not done it with a IIc drive but with a number of Disk ][ and Unidisk drives over the past year.

I have had a drive disassembled, inserted the disk, it would then not read anything, looked at the head seeing no contamination (at least not visible to the naked eye) and a quick clean fixed the problem. The "bad" disks could often be formatted or have data copied to them and may or may not work once and then right back to not functioning and causing the problem.

Someone smarter than I (not too hard to find!) could perhaps explain why this would be. Is it the magnetic media screwing with the head? is there simply contaminants that cannot be seen? Why does a 10 second or less running of a cleaning diskette (often even without using the cleaning solution on it) make the difference but using a regular, good diskette will not?

Could the cage be bent and rubbing against one of the moving parts, causing a speed issue or problem that you cannot see once reassembled?

These are all issues I have run into (albeit not with a IIc drive) and are worth checking unless someone has run into your exact problem and has a solution.
Zan

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Joined: Oct 22 2014
Posts: 33
Re: Apple //c Drive Issues

It's definitely funky...

Tightening all of the bolts must have slightly altered the head alignment.

I reformatted everything I created and re copied it all via ADTPro and it works like a champ again. I guess the slight change in position of the stepper motor from torquing down the bolts changes the geometry inside the drive?

Either way, it seems to be cooperating now. I don't think it's the disks as they're BNIB sealed disks from ATHANA.

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Re: Apple //c Drive Issues

You shouldn't have messed with mechanical alignments in the first place. A head cleaning and slight cleaning and lubrication of the head rail would have been enough. But to unscrew the stepper motor bolts (their position should have been marked with color paint after factory adjustments) was very stupid. Therefore the geometry of the tracks now is unique to your floppy drive only.

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Joined: Oct 22 2014
Posts: 33
Re: Apple //c Drive Issues

Fortunately I have no retail software, it's all self created. I will have to get someone to send me a real Apple II diskette and see if I cannot get the alignment correct on that, then recreate my collection once again.

The motor appeared to be stuck at first, prompting it's removal for inspection.

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Re: Apple //c Drive Issues

It's always good to have a drive that is compatible with other drives, too...You'll need an oscilloscope for those alignments, too..It's easier to buy another drive though...

gsmcten's picture
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Re: Apple //c Drive Issues

Quote:

Georgel said:

You shouldn't have messed with mechanical alignments in the first place. A head cleaning and slight cleaning and lubrication of the head rail would have been enough. But to unscrew the stepper motor bolts (their position should have been marked with color paint after factory adjustments) was very stupid.

Georgel,

mbaran is having troubles working on his equipment, just as the rest of us have
had troubles working on equipment at one time or another.

I'm sure that you have had your share.
I can only hope no one called you Stupid in the process.

Regards,

Steven Smile

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Steven (gsmcten)

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Re: Apple //c Drive Issues

Even the greatest genius in the world can be stupid on a bad day. But the stupidest person in the world can't be a genius on a good day. Ignorance on how to fix something is not a sign of stupidity, it is just ignorance. If we try to avoid making those mistakes then we would never try to fix anything at all. The price we pay in order to learn how to fix things is breaking them.

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Re: Apple //c Drive Issues

I recommend you to read SpeedyG's Awesome Disk maintenance and calibration guide. I use it to learn how to set the correct speed on all my //cc's drives:
http://www.harrowalsh.de/Elektronik/APPLEBOX/appleboxdiskiipage1.htm
Cheers
Javster

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Re: Apple //c Drive Issues

Also I remember once I had some issues after putting back the cage. Check all connections and cables, you could be bending or clipping a cable. //c drives are very sturdy and withstand a lot. Smile
Javster

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Re: Apple //c Drive Issues

insanitor wrote:

Even the greatest genius in the world can be stupid on a bad day. But the stupidest person in the world can't be a genius on a good day. Ignorance on how to fix something is not a sign of stupidity, it is just ignorance. If we try to avoid making those mistakes then we would never try to fix anything at all. The price we pay in order to learn how to fix things is breaking them.

We are in the Internet age. In this case all the information is public. Books/manuals/tutorials/scematics are scanned. To learn by breaking things without RTFM first is stupid. But why not buy another FDD? Despite the fact they are no longer manufactured they are still much cheaper than they were in those days when most of us tortured themselves by using tape recorders instead. But let's imagine we are in the the Apple2 age. We have only pieces of information. Everything is new and we are learning. But looking at those bolts and thinking for a while most of us would have concluded that things were designed to be trimmed. And we should unscrew these bolts only if there is no other hope to make things work.

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Re: Apple //c Drive Issues

insanitor wrote:

Even the greatest genius in the world can be stupid on a bad day. But the stupidest person in the world can't be a genius on a good day. Ignorance on how to fix something is not a sign of stupidity, it is just ignorance. If we try to avoid making those mistakes then we would never try to fix anything at all. The price we pay in order to learn how to fix things is breaking them.

georgel wrote:

We are in the Internet age. In this case all the information is public. Books/manuals/tutorials/scematics are scanned. To learn by breaking things without RTFM first is stupid. But why not buy another FDD? Despite the fact they are no longer manufactured they are still much cheaper than they were in those days when most of us tortured themselves by using tape recorders instead. But let's imagine we are in the the Apple2 age. We have only pieces of information. Everything is new and we are learning. But looking at those bolts and thinking for a while most of us would have concluded that things were designed to be trimmed. And we should unscrew these bolts only if there is no other hope to make things work.

Even someone learning how to repair electronic components with the service manual will break something. That is the learning process. Everybody learns by doing. Have you considered that? No... Apparently not. To assume that everybody can afford the money to go to school to become an electronics technician and then to read the service manual to repair everything properly is stupid. Even then, every technician has to have the proper tools to repair things. I, myself was a watchmaker by trade. But I do not bother to repair watches anymore due to the fact that I do not have the proper tools and equipment to do so. Have you thought of that? So... To call two different people on an internet forum stupid is completely stupid.

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Re: Apple //c Drive Issues

I would also call stupid thinking that there is direct relation/connection between money and knowledge, between school and knowledge, between being an electronics technician and mechanical alignment, and alas between being a technician and knowledge Wink Watch out - your counter might wrap. I am not a lawyer but nevertheless I called nobody stupid here Wink Can you read?

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Re: Apple //c Drive Issues

georgel wrote:

I would also call stupid thinking that there is direct relation/connection between money and knowledge, between school and knowledge, between electronics and mechanical alignment, and alas between being a technician and knowledge Wink Watch out - your counter might wrap. I am not a lawyer but nevertheless I called nobody stupid here Wink Can you read?

Referring to someone's actions as being stupid is the same as calling someone stupid. Can you understand that? I would also call stupid thinking that there is a direct relation/connection between the complete assurance of repairing something and reading the service manual first without making mistakes. Every student needs instruction from someone who has more experience. To not take that into consideration is stupid. Thus, the embodiment of stupidity is the assumption that reading a service manual first before repairing something will always guarantee the avoidance of making mistakes. That is worse than stupid thinking. That's not thinking at all. The correct tool required to repair an apple disk drive in certain situations requires the use of an oscilloscope. And using an oscilloscope requires instruction due to the fact that one must learn which situation requires the use of it (to it's full potential) that being the fact that some things cannot be done without it and knowing exactly what to test with it. Just read SpeedyG's website. That's how you accomplish the "mechanical alignment" that you are referring to. Here it is: http://www.appleii-box.de/appleboxAppleIIDiskService3.htm And you learn how to use an oscilloscope when you go to school to become an electronics technician. I know this because I went to class. But wait.. You did not help this person who has a problem with his iic disk drive. You just called this person stupid. You did this without directing him to Speedy's website - to read his "service manual". That was stupid.

Now let's address your additional stupid assumptions, shall we?

A direct relation/connection between money and knowledge:

Try getting someone to teach you to be an electronics technician without some form of payment. Assuming that everybody can always do this is stupid. And if you are also assuming that one can get knowledge of electronics without having to pay money will ultimately lead you to make mistakes due to the absence of a teacher. So that is why I mentioned the fact that we then must resort to learning by doing and sometimes breaking something.

A direct relation/connection between school and knowledge:

In the electronics world, my previous answer will suffice. It fits into this subject matter.

A direct relation/connection between being a technician and knowledge:

So, there are technicians without knowledge? Watch out - the validity of your electronics technician's certificate is in serious jeopardy. Or, we can just say that the idea that people can become technicians without knowledge is just stupid.

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Re: Apple //c Drive Issues

insanitor wrote:
georgel wrote:

I would also call stupid thinking that there is direct relation/connection between money and knowledge, between school and knowledge, between electronics and mechanical alignment, and alas between being a technician and knowledge Wink Watch out - your counter might wrap. I am not a lawyer but nevertheless I called nobody stupid here Wink Can you read?

Referring to someone's actions as being stupid is the same as calling someone stupid. Can you understand that? I would also call stupid thinking that there is a direct relation/connection between the complete assurance of repairing something and reading the service manual first without making mistakes. Every student needs instruction from someone who has more experience. To not take that into consideration is stupid. Thus, the embodiment of stupidity is the assumption that reading a service manual first before repairing something will always guarantee the avoidance of making mistakes. That is worse than stupid thinking. That's not thinking at all. The correct tool required to repair an apple disk drive in certain situations requires the use of an oscilloscope. And using an oscilloscope requires instruction due to the fact that one must learn which situation requires the use of it (to it's full potential) that being the fact that some things cannot be done without it and knowing exactly what to test with it. Just read SpeedyG's website. That's how you accomplish the "mechanical alignment" that you are referring to. Here it is: http://www.appleii-box.de/appleboxAppleIIDiskService3.htm And you learn how to use an oscilloscope when you go to school to become an electronics technician. I know this because I went to class. But wait.. You did not help this person who has a problem with his iic disk drive. You just called this person stupid. You did this without directing him to Speedy's website - to read his "service manual". That was stupid.

Now let's address your additional stupid assumptions, shall we?

A direct relation/connection between money and knowledge:

Try getting someone to teach you to be an electronics technician without some form of payment. Assuming that everybody can always do this is stupid. And if you are also assuming that one can get knowledge of electronics without having to pay money will ultimately lead you to make mistakes due to the absence of a teacher. So that is why I mentioned the fact that we then must resort to learning by doing and sometimes breaking something.

A direct relation/connection between school and knowledge:

In the electronics world, my previous answer will suffice. It fits into this subject matter.

A direct relation/connection between being a technician and knowledge:

So, there are technicians without knowledge? Watch out - the validity of your electronics technician's certificate is in serious jeopardy. Or, we can just say that the idea that people can become technicians without knowledge is just stupid.

Best response I've seen in quite awhile.

Whatever the counter response ends up being will probably just sound stupid. Wink
(but if I say it will BE stupid before reading it, well that would just be stupid)

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Re: Apple //c Drive Issues

this is quite entertaining!

I have a disk written on a known good drive already in the mail. It does seem that *some* software can check alignment (Csa2 mentioned APTEST) so I will get that running and see if I can get this known good disk running on my II.

Once that works, I'll recreate my disks. I don't think in the history of these systems I am the only one to have adjusted it trying to repair it. I've got a good sense I can get it back within spec. The adjustment window is not that large, and these disks are not that dense.

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Re: Apple //c Drive Issues

and just like that (without an oscilloscope!) I was able to adjust my //c drive to read disks created on another system.

All is well in the world of vintage computing back here!

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Re: Apple //c Drive Issues

Congratulations! See, we learn by doing and sometimes we make mistakes. There is nothing wrong with that. If we say that we never make mistakes, then that is being full of pride. And from pride comes all sorts of other problems. This is because pride is the seed from which evil often blossoms. When it concerns repairing something, there are not many mistakes that we can make which have no remedy. Learning by doing also has another advantage. It is known that negative memories tend to be remembered better than other types. When I teach people my skills, if I see the beginning of a huge mistake, I sometimes let it happen. Typically, the reaction is, "Why did you not warn me?" And my reply is, "From now on, you will need no warning."

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Re: Apple //c Drive Issues

Imagine a doctor who is learning on a patient (you)! Sometimes it is OK but sometimes this leads to permanent damage of the patient! I've seen such killers in my country!

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Re: Apple //c Drive Issues

Right, because doctor's who went to school and both "Learned" and gained "Knowledge" ahead of time, read books, etc, never make mistakes for the rest of their career.

Malpractice only applies to doctor's who never studied.
Zan

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Re: Apple //c Drive Issues

Zan8675 wrote:

Right, because doctor's who went to school and both "Learned" and gained "Knowledge" ahead of time, read books, etc, never make mistakes for the rest of their career.
Zan

Good point!

georgel wrote:

Imagine a doctor who is learning on a patient (you)! Sometimes it is OK but sometimes this leads to permanent damage of the patient! I've seen such killers in my country!

I don't know whether or not you realize this, but you're not making a point. In fact, you're actually making a bad analogy while at the same time, you're going to extremes. Did it not occur to you that there are some diseases that even now, doctors have to experiment on patients? In my country they are called, "studies". We test new drugs on patients. We do experimental surgeries on patients. And what happens? Some patients die, but also some doctors learn. The human condition is one in which there are more unknowns than there is knowledge. Additionally, almost all medical knowledge that doctors use today from "reading the manual to prevent mistakes" actually came from experimentation. The refusal to recognize this can be classified as willful ignorance.

What is willful ignorance in medicine? It is a refusal to accept facts no matter how those facts appear to contradict known medical principles. You are doing something similar. You are sticking to your point of view, and that is preventing you from seeing the whole picture.

Let me tell you a short story which illustrates my point.

Once upon a time, two doctors found a correlation between a certain species of bacteria and the formation of peptic ulcers in some people. This disease is characterized by heartburn, ulcers, sometimes those which perforate. The method of transmission of this disease was thought to be the introduction of this bacteria by mouth. Although we are not yet sure of all methods of transmission, we are fairly certain that one method is the transmittion from person to person when there is contact between one person and another known to have the disease. Since it was known at the time that bacteria usually do not survive the acid inside the human stomach, this idea seemed ludicrous. The medical world readily rejected it. So, one of the doctors decided to do something drastic to prove it. He cultured the bacteria and swallowed it, and developed the symptoms of the disease. He then proceeded to put himself on antibiotics and cured himself.

The medical world then started to take this idea seriously. It was then discovered that this bacteria, moves directly below the acid layer of the stomach and can live there for years until symptoms develop. Even it's very shape allows it's infiltration.

In medicine, we now have named this peculiar species of bacteria. - Helicobacter Pylori.

Read about it here: http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/hpylori/

The story I just told you can also be found on Wikipedia, Just look up H. Pylori.

Now while you may believe that "doctors who experiment on patients are killers", I believe that even in experimental medicine, it is never the intention of any medical researcher to actually kill a patient.

Now, what is MY point? I will use a quote which puts it eloquently:

"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.

Arthur Schopenhauer

Now, georgel: it is time for you to stop ridiculing others and to start accepting the truth. That truth being that not everyone can always attain the knowledge necessary to avoid making mistakes. The resources are not always available to everyone and it is not always known to everyone that it exists even if it is readily available. The path to knowledge often requires experimentation. Lastly, not all repairs to something requires the reading of the service manual. It is often the judgment of the technician to determine the necessity to read it. And even if something is broken due to bad judgment from not reading the service manual at first, it is not stupidity, it is ignorance, a mistake.