Need help with IIE re-incarnation

8 replies [Last post]
Offline
Joined: Mar 5 2016
Posts: 3

Hi 2E enthusiasts:

Just dug my old 2E out of the attic after 20 years of rest and out of 300 disks, only 1 will boot.

Basic 2E, duo-disk drive and color monitor. I swapped drives in the duo-disk drive (right to left)and still unable to boot any disks (except 1). The control-solid apple-reset comes up with a system "OK" and I can write basic programs in RAM (10 PRINT "HELLO").

If anyone is within 100 miles of York, PA, I would love to swap hardware to see if I could narrow down the problem.

IMO, It would be either be the interface card or the disk drive or I suppose all 300 programs could be bad? This includes a few commercial programs and all of my college work.

If no one with a working system is close to me; my second option would be to mail someone with a working system 10 programs and 2 blank disks and see if the programs will run on your system and if you can write/init the blanks. If the disks won't run/init for you; then maybe I do have 300 bad disks?

A report back is all I would need; you can keep the disks for your assistance.

Unless someone else knows of other tests that I can perform to check the hardware? The fact that 1 disk does work is what baffles me.

Oh, the color monitor did go "Pffffft" initially; but, I replaced 2 capacitors and now it is working fine.

If interested, please email me at

Thanks for reading

Hatteras Jim

__________________

Jim

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Offline
Joined: Dec 20 2008
Posts: 211
Re: Need help with IIE re-incarnation

You must have a lot of patience to try 300 disks after only one success!

If the one disk boots reliably and works, then it's not likely the drive.
Although, the chances of the other 299 disks being damaged is also statistically very low...

__________________

-
Peter Rittwage
Apple II/II+ Registry - Register yours today!
http://diskpreservation.com/dp.php?pg=apple_registry

Offline
Joined: Feb 28 2015
Posts: 34
Re: Need help with IIE re-incarnation

I had something very similar happen, only with old IBM stuff.... both 3 1/2 and 5 1/2.... the disks were in boxes, some original cardboard packaging (as games ect), and others in those generic plastic box tubs.... I'd say out of 75 I was only successfully able to read 3 disks fully... a few others I could partially read but the rest were trash... ironically a 5 1/4 that was exposed to the elements and very crusty actually worked... and others that looked pristine in the boxes... nada. Go figure? I'm sure if they were formatted, most of them would be workable again... but the data just got corrupted. For my Apple II programming, I only use/allow brand new disks into my machines... don't want to wreck those 'out of production' drives!

__________________

Tom Porter

Offline
Joined: Mar 17 2016
Posts: 19
Re: Need help with IIE re-incarnation

Was the single working disk by any chance one of the first you tried? If so, have you tried it again since after testing the others? Do the non-working ones just spin endlessly on boot (like a blank disk) or does it try to boot with i/o errors?

I recently brought one my IIe's out of storage, along with a collection of disks ranging from the late 70's to the early 90's.

While most of my disks still work, some of them have a coating on recording surface that has deteriorated over time. If I try to boot one of these disks it will immediately gum up the drive head, and no disk inserted afterwards will work in that drive until the head is cleaned again. When I first ran into this issue I assumed my drive had died, as I had just cleaned the head and successfully booted several disks earlier.

The disks that do this are Memorex branded, with red and silver labels and sleaves. In some cases there appears to be a barely visible splotchy film on the recording surface, in other cases there is nothing visibly wrong with the disk, but every single one of these disks will "kill" a drive on the first attempt. 20 seconds with a head cleaner diskette afterwards is usually sufficient to recover.

You may have had something similar happen, or possibly just a dirty/marginal head to begin with. A q-tip with 90% isopropyl alcohol can be used to clean drive heads. You might also want to make sure the felt head load pad is still in place as well.

Offline
Joined: Mar 5 2016
Posts: 3
Re: Need help with IIE re-incarnation

Thanks. I did dismantle the drives and cleaned them thoroughly. The one disk that worked was in the middle of the pile. Yes, they do the endless spin of death. I'll try recleaning and trying the good disk again.

The disks were not stored in a climate controlled atmosphere; in fact, I put a transmitting antenna in the attic for emergency communications and it was within 5 feet of the disks. Not sure if RF energy could affect the disks; but, I think its possible. Its all magnetic. I also read where disks have a 20-30 year lifespan under good conditions.

Appreciate it.

jim

__________________

Jim

Offline
Joined: May 27 2009
Posts: 942
Re: Need help with IIE re-incarnation

Why not someone send you a good and tested-to-be-working disk and go from there?

__________________

On a clear disk you can seek forever..

speedyG's picture
Offline
Joined: Nov 16 2011
Posts: 2413
Re: Need help with IIE re-incarnation

Another alternate way to go would be using ADT.
Do you have a super serial card in your place ?
then following the instructions with ADT you could use ADT to make bootable disks
or disks for testing.
but only if you are sure that drives are cleaned and working.

speedyG

__________________

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....

Offline
Joined: Mar 5 2016
Posts: 3
Re: Need help with IIE re-incarnation: Promlem Solved-Thanks

Thanks for all the hints and suggestions. I re-cleaned the heads and then took a very close look at the disks under magnification. They were all covered (some worse than others) with mold and crud. I cleaned 2 disks with alcohol wipes and they both booted and ran. One stopped mid-way through the program and I recleaned the head (it was dirty again) and the disk. Both disks now run. Only 298 more! Hopefully, I can get Castle Smurfenstein working.

At least I know the hardware is good.

Thanks again

jim

__________________

Jim

MarkO's picture
Offline
Joined: Dec 10 2011
Posts: 667
Re: Need help with IIE re-incarnation: Promlem Solved-Thanks

Hatteras Jim wrote:

Thanks for all the hints and suggestions. I re-cleaned the heads and then took a very close look at the disks under magnification. They were all covered (some worse than others) with mold and crud. I cleaned 2 disks with alcohol wipes and they both booted and ran. One stopped mid-way through the program and I recleaned the head (it was dirty again) and the disk. Both disks now run. Only 298 more! Hopefully, I can get Castle Smurfenstein working.

At least I know the hardware is good.

Thanks again

jim

Actually, you can Download "Castle Smurfenstein" and "Dino Smurf" from the Official Web Site, in the "Links" section...

The first 'Official' Castle Smurfenstein Home Page

MarkO