Apple II Plus, Disk II problems (aka I have no idea what I'm doing. Help!)

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This may be a familiar story but, like a lot of people, I wanted to play around with some of the old computers my high school used to have (as our family couldn't afford one at the time) so I've been keeping an eye out. It started with an LC II but as I was looking for the Apple IIe card, I ran into an extremely affordable Apple II plus for $55 and now I'm having a heck of a time getting it to work.

It came with five cards. The ever important language card, Epson printer card, some sort of video card (haven't really tested or played with that yet as I've been enjoying the monochromatic green phosphor), a S.A.M. card by don't ask (which I'm only vaguely aware that it has something to do with voice synth. Don't know if it adds any other audio enhancements), and what I'm guessing is some sort of z80 card.

It took me a week of cleaning and working the keys out but the keyboard is fully functional and it boots right up into applesoft and I seem to have no problem imputing basic commands. So far so good. Then I made the mistake of bidding on a couple untested disk II drives and controller cards only to have neither of them work (lesson learned!). I need to stop and take a breath before I waste any money and see if there is anything I can do to get a drive working. I'm just dying to see this thing run. Run ANYTHING.

The symptoms: The first drive and controller card I got had an obvious issue that I should have noticed, if I had any idea as to what I was doing, of a missing PROM 6 chip. I bid on another auction with a drive and pristine looking controller card (thinking it would be good to have the second drive regardless). I install everything and boot up, the red light comes on, you can hear the drive moving for a few seconds and then it just idles and spins and doesn't seem to read anything. (I have a couple DOS 3.3 disks, a BASIC and a MASTER). I swap out the second drive for the first one I got, and this time it spins for a few seconds then just STOPS. I opened the two drives up and swapped the boards inside and everything seems to have the same exact problem (i.e. no changes). The other thing I noticed, once I had them opened up, is that they are behaving differently mechanically. There would appear to be a white plastic disk with a spiral groove inside that is used to move the reader (or whatever it's called). The second drive does not seem to be making good contact with that groove and I'm wondering if that's why it continues to spin when the first drive (where there is excellent contact with the groove) just stops. So, to simplify...

Controller card 1: Missing ROM chip
Drive 1: spins for a few seconds then stops

Controller card 2: Appears to be in great condition and seems to tell both drives to spin, but neither is reading data
Drive 2: Spins for a few seconds then just idles without reading anything.

Could it be a problem with the controller card? I have two cards and disk drives, is there any way I could Frankenstein this.

I'm pretty desperate at this point to get SOMETHING working but I don't want to keep sinking money into this if I don't have to. Fully tested drives seem a little expensive (although not as expensive as wasting money on bad drives). I even tried downloading audio files to see if I could get anything to boot as if from a tape drive. I just kept getting ERR except for one 4 minute audio file that lingered until about 2 minutes in before I got the ERR. I did recently find a Panisonic tape drive that may be of some help.

As you can see, I don't know what I'm doing yet and am making plenty of noob mistakes. I've got a million questions but mostly I just want to play SOMETHING on my sweet new machine.

Open to all suggestions or troubleshooting.

I really appreciate any advice.

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Re: Apple II Plus, Disk II problems (aka I have no idea what ...

Anovah wrote:

This may be a familiar story but, like a lot of people, I wanted to play around with some of the old computers my high school used to have (as our family couldn't afford one at the time) so I've been keeping an eye out.

Sure thing. That's exactly how I started too.

So, long story short: I bet that pristine-looking controller card is OK. I'd count on that. Now, a particular thing about the Disk II drive with the 20-pin IDC header: if you (or anyone) has EVER plugged it in incorrectly, off by one row in any direction - there's a chip in the middle of the analog board (inside the drive) that has been fried. (74LS125? I'll have to look. I bought a whole sleeve of these chips for that very reason.) If that's the case, it will behave as you suggest: power-up starts it spinning, and if you insert any disk... it has the added bonus feature of ERASING the exact track you need, track zero.

So at this point I'd be suspectful of both drives; and you may have already erased any good disk you have ever inserted into one or both of them, canceling any chance of successfully booting.

So, what to do? How much money do you want to throw at this problem:

Free: Boot ADTPro or just plain old DOS 3.3 via audio (I didn't read that you have a serial card) and attempt to format a disk after bootstrapping: http://adtpro.sourceforge.net/bootstrapaudio.html

The cost of a chip: buy a 74LS125 and see if it works after that: http://apple2.org.za/gswv/a2zine/faqs/Csa2FDRIVE.html#012

These drives are really quite robust, and it's unusual that you'd buy two that were bad. So I bet the one with the correctly-working cam will be fine after chip replacement. Good luck!

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Re: Apple II Plus, Disk II problems (aka I have no idea what ...

Thanks for the response! Those are some great suggestions.

There is one critical detail I forgot to mention. When I have the controller card installed (slot 6), but no disk drive ribbon attached, it still fails to go to a dos prompt. Is that normal?

I think getting some replacement chips is a good idea regardless. If that's all it is, I'll be pretty happy. Hopefully I didn't erase anything but I've got at least one back up disk which may save me.

I should really give ADTpro a try. I've read a couple recommendations for it but just got a little discouraged after the initial test of those audio files.

Thanks again for the recommendation. I'd at least like to give repair a shot but it's tough to find a starting point. I'll let you know how it goes Smile

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Re: Apple II Plus, Disk II problems (aka I have no idea what ...

Anovah wrote:

There is one critical detail I forgot to mention. When I have the controller card installed (slot 6), but no disk drive ribbon attached, it still fails to go to a dos prompt. Is that normal?

Yes. The bare Disk II controller is a marvel of engineering economy. The amount of capability it has for the silicon expended is truly remarkable. That said... it waits indefinitely for some data to come in. No drive... no data. No boot, no Applesoft prompt until/unless you hit reset.

Funny thing about power failures. If an Apple so equipped is up and running, and the power fails and comes back on... if the drive door is open, that drive will spin forever until you come home to see the Apple merrily trying to boot from air.

Anovah wrote:

I think getting some replacement chips is a good idea regardless.

Yes it is. My eyesight isn't getting any better, and it's really quite easy to be off by just one pin in that very dark, small area.

Anovah wrote:

If that's all it is, I'll be pretty happy.

Sure. That all depends on whatever else you neglected to mention. Wink

Anovah wrote:

Hopefully I didn't erase anything but I've got at least one back up disk which may save me.

Ok, but don't touch that one good backup disk until you replace the chip.

Anovah wrote:

I should really give ADTpro a try. I've read a couple recommendations for it but just got a little discouraged after the initial test of those audio files.

Audio is tricky, and getting harder all the time as computers shed their mic inputs. Fortunately for you, the only direction you need to go - PC speakers to ][ - should be fine. Having your PC "hear" the ][ is what is getting harder. I suggest 50% of your PC speaker volume is a good starting point, and you could need to go up to 90%.

Anovah wrote:

Thanks again for the recommendation. I'd at least like to give repair a shot but it's tough to find a starting point. I'll let you know how it goes Smile

Sure. Something about fixing your own hardware gives you a special attachment... you may be headed down a path all too many of us have traveled. Finishing your attic or basement may be next in order to house your growing collection. Be warned.

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Re: Apple II Plus, Disk II problems (aka I have no idea what ...

Just besides it´s probably a good idea as mentioned in dozends of previous threads like this:
using the "search" function in the upper right corner...

there are quite a bunch of threads related to checking hardware and repair of specific items

and also mentioned several times previously too:
http://www.appleii-box.de/H084_1_AppleIIDiskService1.htm

related to the title:"I have no idea what I'm doing"
maybe it´s a good idea instead of just starting a run
first to check out the trail....
in other words sometimes it´s usefull to first search for -
and then read the information
( even if it´s just to remember back previous knowledge )
and then start the tasks
it might help you prevent from damaging hardware...

the other game is called "try and error" and your posting explains why that´s not a good idea...

anyhow.... welcome to the community....
sincerely speedyG

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In early days I had a lot of money but no time - now I have no money but a lot of time....
the second part includes less friends but a lot more joy on life....

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Re: Apple II Plus, Disk II problems (aka I have no idea what ...

I agree to all that has been said/written earlier.
Just one more thing: Fixing a Disk II and controller is one of the easier things on an Apple II. In my experience, once you get to the Applesoft prompt, there is not much that can really go wrong - except perhaps for RaM chips, and those are also easy to fix.
For example, it took me weeks to get my Europlus working until speedyg here came up with the right idea (the other ideas were also correct, but didn't apply to my specific problem).
That said, I wish you hours of fun with your Apple II - and make sure you check all the good new things: accelerators, cffas etc.

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Re: Apple II Plus, Disk II problems (aka I have no idea what ...

UPDATE! Aaaaand more questions lol

david__schmidt wrote:

Yes. The bare Disk II controller is a marvel of engineering economy. The amount of capability it has for the silicon expended is truly remarkable. That said... it waits indefinitely for some data to come in. No drive... no data. No boot, no Applesoft prompt until/unless you hit reset.

As silly as it sounds, this was perhaps the most helpful tidbit. Hit reset?! Gah! It's so obvious now lol

So yeah, in all my reading, I never caught that simple step. Thank you. That got me past a bit of a hurdle and allowed me to finally do some real troubleshooting and properly mess around with ADTPro. Which I also realized after the fact that you would appear to be the author, so it would seem I owe you another round of thank you's Smile Thank you!

Quote:

Funny thing about power failures. If an Apple so equipped is up and running, and the power fails and comes back on... if the drive door is open, that drive will spin forever until you come home to see the Apple merrily trying to boot from air.

Eek! Good to know.

Quote:

Yes it is. My eyesight isn't getting any better, and it's really quite easy to be off by just one pin in that very dark, small area.

So I was able to order the replacement chips and unfortunately had no change in symptoms. I still feel like it was a good move to put a fresh chip in though and I'm keeping my eye out for any other chips that may be good to replace.

Quote:

Ok, but don't touch that one good backup disk until you replace the chip.

So here's where things get weird.

After I tested the replacement chips, I took the two drives apart and cleaned and greased them best I could. Cleaned the read/write head, the whole bit. I went to test drive A and I'm noticing the problem appears the be the belt motor which was not moving (step motor seems to work though)

When I went to test drive B, it started working! The first thing I did was make an ADTPro disk, rebooted, and it came up great. Next I tested my DOS disks which thankfully booted fine (whew!). Next step was to try making a game disk (I went with number munchers) and that's where things went downhill.

I formatted another blank disk and began to receive the disk image and started getting a weird noise (maybe with the step motor? I'm not sure). It failed to write and I got a message to that effect so I went to start the process over and now I consistently get a 'Check disk or drive door!' error when attempting to format. So now it will not format or receive disk images. I took the drive apart again, re-greased everything, cleaned the head etc and am still getting the same error message. Once or twice, it seems to have gotten stuck in a loop where step motor is consistently trying to pull the read/write head back but otherwise I almost always get the check disk or drive door error. I do notice however, that when performing the format, it does seem to go through the motions of pulling the read/write head all the way back and then stepping inwards. Still getting that darned error message though.

So now I'm stuck and am not sure how to approach this. I could consider swapping the belt drive motors to see if drive A has any better luck but that looks like some soldering is required that I'd certainly like to avoid. I suppose there could be another chip issue. I don't know if ULN 2003 could be a suspect.

One thing I'm really wondering is, if there is some track 0 alignment issue going on. I'm trying to find an explanation for why it worked for a bit but is now failing

Any thoughts by chance?

Quote:

Audio is tricky, and getting harder all the time as computers shed their mic inputs. Fortunately for you, the only direction you need to go - PC speakers to ][ - should be fine. Having your PC "hear" the ][ is what is getting harder. I suggest 50% of your PC speaker volume is a good starting point, and you could need to go up to 90%.

Thanks! I'll keep playing around with it. ADTPro seems to be working like a charm thankfully and the ][ is able to see the files on my PC. I'm still super desperate to play some sort of game so I'll keep playing with the audio files. It's now been months since I've had this thing.

Do you know of a way to load games via ADTPro or bootstrapping (or are wav files really the way to go?). And super off topic... does ADTPro work with an old LCII? (no IIe card but it has ethernet)

Quote:

Sure. Something about fixing your own hardware gives you a special attachment... you may be headed down a path all too many of us have traveled. Finishing your attic or basement may be next in order to house your growing collection. Be warned.

I really REALLY appreciate the help. All of my friends seem to be Atari or Commodore fans lol (I also have an 800xl and a C64 and VIC20 so the takeover has already begun hahaha). But yeah, I'd really like to understand this thing inside and out.

Also, I just picked up a super serial card so as soon as the appropriate cables arrive, I hope to move to using a serial port.

Woo hoo!

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Re: Apple II Plus, Disk II problems (aka I have no idea what ...

speedyG wrote:

Just besides it´s probably a good idea as mentioned in dozends of previous threads like this:
using the "search" function in the upper right corner...

there are quite a bunch of threads related to checking hardware and repair of specific items

I really have to apologize. I knew going into this that this was probably a common type of question so I really appreciate you entertaining it. I seem to have had poor luck with searching. I did as much reading as I could in the 3 weeks leading up to my OP (including manuals and several searches on apple fritter) but didn't come up with much. I don't know if it's bad luck or poor search criteria on my part but I try to do my due diligence which is why I haven't replied to this thread in so long (wanted to do as much testing as possible until I hit success or a wall)

Quote:

and also mentioned several times previously too:
http://www.appleii-box.de/appleboxAppleIIDiskService1.htm

Hands down the best site I've looked at in all this. Thank you so much for sharing it. I'm not sure how I missed it before but I'm very grateful as I've been pouring over it the last month. One thing I learned is that it looks like my first controller card is for the 13 track. It's looking like I need to get myself acquainted with an oscilloscope (and that spacer thingy) at some point though to get into some of that advanced testing. Not sure what tool reads that frequency pattern/disc thing lol I'll have to figure that out.

Also, my drive is running whisper quiet now that I've properly greased it. So thank you again.

Quote:

related to the title:"I have no idea what I'm doing"
maybe it´s a good idea instead of just starting a run
first to check out the trail....
in other words sometimes it´s usefull to first search for -
and then read the information
( even if it´s just to remember back previous knowledge )
and then start the tasks
it might help you prevent from damaging hardware...

the other game is called "try and error" and your posting explains why that´s not a good idea...

Sorry, I was just feeling exasperated/trying to be funny. There's days I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing in my chosen career field lol

Thankfully I have some cool original manuals I got ahold of before any drives arrived and saw a good video on youtube which was pretty helpful (showed the proper direction to attach cables and whatnot). Have to turn the thing on sometime though and having a actual human to consult is super invaluable Smile

Quote:

anyhow.... welcome to the community....
sincerely speedyG

I was wondering, do you think a teardown vid of the disk II would be useful to the community? Does one already exist? I just know that I haven't been able to find anything like that and I'm wondering what might be a good way to give back to the community. You guys have helped a ton already! Smile

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Re: Apple II Plus, Disk II problems (aka I have no idea what ...

Anovah wrote:

I was wondering, do you think a teardown vid of the disk II would be useful to the community?

Sure. There's already this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMF3PL17kqg

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Re: Apple II Plus, Disk II problems (aka I have no idea what ...

Anovah wrote:

After I tested the replacement chips, I took the two drives apart and cleaned and greased them best I could. Cleaned the read/write head, the whole bit. I went to test drive A and I'm noticing the problem appears the be the belt motor which was not moving (step motor seems to work though)

Ok, this doesn't quite add up. The drive flywheel doesn't spin? Take all the covers off and set the drive on its side and watch what it does... you should see the flywheel spin and the drive head seek as you do a boot operation. Carefully observe the situation and what happens with both your drives and I would guess you'll have your answer.

Anovah wrote:

So now I'm stuck and am not sure how to approach this.

It smells mechanical to me. Watch it in action and see what that tells you.

Anovah wrote:

Do you know of a way to load games via ADTPro or bootstrapping (or are wav files really the way to go?).

You must have done bootstrapping via audio if you created an ADTPro disk, so I'll assume you mean something else by that question that I don't follow. But you can also load games and disks via audio using these two projects:
http://asciiexpress.net/diskserver/
http://asciiexpress.net/gameserver/

Anovah wrote:

And super off topic... does ADTPro work with an old LCII? (no IIe card but it has ethernet)

Yes. No. Maybe. ADTPro client runs on an LC via the IIe card:
http://adtpro.sourceforge.net/lc.html
ADT (the thing that came before ADTPro) has a server version that runs on Macs called MacADT - MacADT.sit can be found inside the zip file here:
https://sourceforge.net/projects/adtpro/files/dos-adt/ADT%202007_2/
So your LC can play the role of an ADT server, but not ADTPro - which is significant, because you'd also have to go back to a plain old DOS ADT client on the Apple II side since it doesn't speak the ADTPro protocol extensions. Confused yet? You asked!
http://adtpro.sourceforge.net/compatibility.html

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Re: Apple II Plus, Disk II problems (aka I have no idea what ...

david__schmidt wrote:

Sure. There's already this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMF3PL17kqg

A very helpful vid. That and the ToddFun.com vid was pretty much all the visual info I had to go on for a while lol Maybe once I figure out what my issue is (other than hyper tension and an ulcer), I can make a vid that could help someone with the same issue. Maybe show that chip that is a common issue. I dunno, just thinking out loud I suppose.

Part of me wonders if I should take a vid of my current issue. I may not be communicating it well

david__schmidt wrote:

Ok, this doesn't quite add up. The drive flywheel doesn't spin?

Correct unfortunately, but only in regards to the first drive I was dealing with. The step motor is going strong but the disk spinning motor seems dead. No movement on the drive belt or the disk speed label/stroboscope thing. I've basically put that aside for the time being.

My other drive (I've just been calling it drive B) has both the step motor and the disk spinning motor working.

(here's the image I'm referencing for verbiage)
http://www.appleii-box.de/APPLE2/DiskII/04Opening4GeneralBottomView.jpg

Quote:

Take all the covers off and set the drive on its side and watch what it does... you should see the flywheel spin and the drive head seek as you do a boot operation. Carefully observe the situation and what happens with both your drives and I would guess you'll have your answer.

I'm afraid I've already done that with both over the course of the last few days of troubleshooting. I take the top and bottom cover off and set them on their side with the speed adjustment screw facing up. (That's actually how I discovered my first drive wasn't spinning the drive belt.) Visually, I can't see anything obviously wrong with my second drive, but then again, I don't know what a proper drive is supposed to look like in action and on the inside.

That's one reason I'm hitting a wall with the second drive. It looks like everything is functioning as far as I can tell. It's just failing to read/write.

Quote:

It smells mechanical to me. Watch it in action and see what that tells you.

I'm inclined to agree. I'm just not sure where to look at this point.

In regards to my question about aligning to track 0, I was wondering if you could help me with this image...

http://www.appleii-box.de/APPLE2/DiskII/40DetailUncleanedPositionDisk.jpg

Is the are marked "0" where the steelball should be resting? Or does it just hang out in the groove. Upon initial boot, is it normal for the read/write head to pull all the way back for several seconds?

Quote:

You must have done bootstrapping via audio if you created an ADTPro disk,

Correct! My apologies, I'm sure I'm using the wrong verbiage here.

Quote:

so I'll assume you mean something else by that question that I don't follow. But you can also load games and disks via audio using these two projects:
http://asciiexpress.net/diskserver/
http://asciiexpress.net/gameserver/

Thank you VERY much my friend. I shall investigate these this evening!

Quote:

Yes. No. Maybe. ADTPro client runs on an LC via the IIe card:
http://adtpro.sourceforge.net/lc.html
ADT (the thing that came before ADTPro) has a server version that runs on Macs called MacADT - MacADT.sit can be found inside the zip file here:
https://sourceforge.net/projects/adtpro/files/dos-adt/ADT%202007_2/
So your LC can play the role of an ADT server, but not ADTPro - which is significant, because you'd also have to go back to a plain old DOS ADT client on the Apple II side since it doesn't speak the ADTPro protocol extensions. Confused yet? You asked!
http://adtpro.sourceforge.net/compatibility.html

Hahaha, good info though! I will save that project for a later day however Wink

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Re: Apple II Plus, Disk II problems (aka I have no idea what ...

david__schmidt wrote:

But you can also load games and disks via audio using these two projects:
http://asciiexpress.net/diskserver/
http://asciiexpress.net/gameserver/

OMGOMGOMGOMG IT'S WORKING! SOMETHING ACTUALLY WORKED!!!

I'm playing Dig-Dug RIGHT NOW! So stoked!

Urge to kill... fading... faaaaaaading..

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Re: Apple II Plus, Disk II problems (aka I have no idea what ...

Anovah wrote:

In regards to my question about aligning to track 0, I was wondering if you could help me with this image...
http://www.appleii-box.de/APPLE2/DiskII/40DetailUncleanedPositionDisk.jpg
Is the are marked "0" where the steelball should be resting? Or does it just hang out in the groove. Upon initial boot, is it normal for the read/write head to pull all the way back for several seconds?

The steelball remains sliding in the groove and the drillpoints are just marking points visible in front of the sled
and close to the front of the sled when read/write head is positioned at that track.

speedyG

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In early days I had a lot of money but no time - now I have no money but a lot of time....
the second part includes less friends but a lot more joy on life....

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Re: Apple II Plus, Disk II problems (aka I have no idea what ...

speedyG wrote:
Anovah wrote:

In regards to my question about aligning to track 0, I was wondering if you could help me with this image...
http://www.appleii-box.de/APPLE2/DiskII/40DetailUncleanedPositionDisk.jpg
Is the are marked "0" where the steelball should be resting? Or does it just hang out in the groove. Upon initial boot, is it normal for the read/write head to pull all the way back for several seconds?

The steelball remains sliding in the groove and the drillpoints are just marking points visible in front of the sled
and close to the front of the sled when read/write head is positioned at that track.

speedyG

That makes sense.

Thank you very much my friend!

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Re: Apple II Plus, Disk II problems (aka I have no idea what ...

I came across a few more drives (the price was cheap and I'm weak). I do collect other systems (was also working on my TI-99/4a and Atari 800xl drive today) so I kind of just wait for deals to happen and this one even included a Rena Systems EliteOne. I definitely want to get a //e if not a platinum so I hope these will be useful down the line. Maybe even a //c. At any rate, I don't mind having the extra parts and I can always use them for trade but none of the drives seem to work and I have a hard time believing all of these drives have mechanical failures (although certainly not impossible so I haven't fully eliminated that).

Is there any other testing I can do? At this point, I can't even pin down where the issue is coming from. The main logic board, the disk II controller card, or the drives themselves. The drives turn on and seem to initiate but then the read/write head doesn't seem to go anywhere. As a precaution, I reseated all the RAM and then I did a memory test recommended here...

http://www.applefritter.com/content/apple-ii-bad-memoryrom#comment-61119

which did seem to work.

Are there any other ideas you can think of? Oscilloscope time? Any good recommendations on where to start with that. I don't mind replacing chips, I just want my drives to work Sad

As always, your patience is very appreciated. I've been having a ton of fun trying out all the games I can load through the audio ports. I certainly have realized I need a joystick/paddles at some point. I'd love to run through Night Driver. Games like Mario Bros. and Ms. Pac Man still work great with a keyboard though. Was impressed with flight simulator as well. Want to go back to that one. I jumped around a bit but am now going through the list one by one to check them out. So far I'm only into the G's but it's pretty awesome!

Thanks!

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Re: Apple II Plus, Disk II problems (aka I have no idea what ...

Hello Anovah,

well the general attempt for testing a diskdrive will be to boot a good old DOS 3.3 ( 16 sector ) or 3.2 ( 13 sector )
disk dependent from the contoller version. The majority of controllers will demand use of the 16 sector version of 3.3.

Booting such a disk will cause following actions of the drive:

1. Start motor spinning disk
2. recalibrate drive by pulling back read/write headsled to outside boundery and then step few bit inside to find
track 0 and position head there
3. start reading sectors from track 0 and starting booting process.

In general it´s not a good idea to use a gamedisk for booting as test, because a bunch of them have copyprotection
shemes with manipulated DOS.

Another chance will be to boot up from an image of the disk testing disk from Datalife:

http://mirrors.apple2.org.za/ftp.apple.asimov.net/images/disk_utils/

datalife.dsk

though the result of the copycat disk won´t be reliable ( it claims every test to be solved with sucess ?! )

one of the reasons is that the original disk also has testing areas with 0.25 stepping tracks....
therfor real track alignment can only be performed by the original disk !

anyhow that disk has a test that forces the drive to step along the entire 35 tracks that forces the
read/write head sled to move along the entire length of the moving bar and therfor permits to examine if there
is any lockup in that moving and it has a drivespeed testing....
( which will at least make proof of the ability of reading and writing...)

like explained in my pages i prefer then after that, the speedtest from locksmith 6.0 because of higher accuracy
and easier handling....

Because of existing protection systems it´s always a good habit to bear about them in mind while loading
disk images.... a large bunch of images won´t work if that disks havn´t been cracked before and the protection.
systems not removed.... ( some guys still upload images from original disks and wonder that this images won´t work )

But stepping along this row of tests you can at least detect problems like:
not spinning diskspinning motor,
bad drive belts,
missing ability or trouble of ugly alignment due to mistake of the stepping motor
basic mistakes of the read/write head.....

as explained in my pages it´s recommended to have at least one drive with acceptable track calibration
( that is able also to read disks written by other drives )
for private use that´s not so important because in general a drive will always be able to read a disk
written by itself if the hardware is working at least correct....
but if you are also using disks from other sources ( written at other drives ) then you should remember about
possible trouble of track misalignment... !
speedyG

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In early days I had a lot of money but no time - now I have no money but a lot of time....
the second part includes less friends but a lot more joy on life....

MarkO's picture
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Joined: Dec 10 2011
Posts: 666
Re: Apple II Plus, Disk II problems (aka I have no idea what ...

One other thing to check..

I bought a Disk ][ on eBay, and when I tried to Boot a disk, it would partial load, and then fail..

It turns out that there was a couple of Foam Packing "Peanuts" inside the Drive..

MarkO