Refurb Apple II, how to get the disk II working

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Have a pet project I go back to every few months - rebuild of an early Apple II. To date, PSU caps fixed, keyboard encoder chip issue fixed, and all good now, as far as starting up with no disk.

I have a couple of Disk IIs,but I don't know if they are any good. So, any suggestions on how to proceed? I could order a DOS 3.3 master from ebay, I guess, but I am pretty sure most of them would be worthless. I have a super serial card, so I believe if I had a known working disk II drive, I could burn my own.

So, I'm kind of in a chicken and egg situation. Has anyone else been through this, and if so, how did you proceed?

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Joined: Dec 20 2008
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Re: Refurb Apple II, how to get the disk II working

If you have Super serial card, you can get ADT running through bootstrap. Try formatting a disk once it's up and you'll know what you have.

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Peter Rittwage
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Re: Refurb Apple II, how to get the disk II working

Where are you located?

Maybe someone can make you a Dos 3.3 disk

Eudimorphodon's picture
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Re: Refurb Apple II, how to get the disk II working

Do you have Applesoft in ROM? If you're confident the rest of the machine is working (in particular the cassette port) your lowest effort option is probably to try writing a disk using the audio files at the Apple ][ disk server website. It's a lot less fiddly than ADTpro if you don't care about 2 way handshake. Try both your drives on the Disk 0 port and you'll know within about 20 minutes if at least one of them works.

(Note that the site has both "HiFi" and "8k" versions of each disk, try both. My IIplus doesn't care for the HiFi version and usually errors out during the transfer.)

If you have Integer Basic only then life might be more complicated. (Does ADTpro work on Integer-only machines?)

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Re: Refurb Apple II, how to get the disk II working

greycon wrote:

Have a pet project I go back to every few months - rebuild of an early Apple II. To date, PSU caps fixed, keyboard encoder chip issue fixed, and all good now, as far as starting up with no disk.

I have a couple of Disk IIs,but I don't know if they are any good. So, any suggestions on how to proceed? I could order a DOS 3.3 master from ebay, I guess, but I am pretty sure most of them would be worthless. I have a super serial card, so I believe if I had a known working disk II drive, I could burn my own.

So, I'm kind of in a chicken and egg situation. Has anyone else been through this, and if so, how did you proceed?

At the end of the ADT-process you will anyhow need some kind of disk to transfer the content to....( as well as a target for the testdisks..)
For basic start off the Disk II task i'd recommend to read:
http://www.appleii-box.de/H084_1_AppleIIDiskService1.htm
and the followup pages....

Maybe you find a working disk with one of the mentioned copyprograms that will bootup
Copy II plus or Locksmith 6.0...

sincerely
speedyG

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Joined: May 13 2015
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Re: Refurb Apple II, how to get the disk II working

Hi all, and thanks for all the replies. It's such a change to be part of a forum where people just want to help their fellow enthusiasts.

Update: I opened the drive, and there was a partially disconnected ribbon cable on the logic board. And... out of a box of 20 diskettes (30+ years old) I managed to find one that booted. Happy days. So, ADT next, and download some proper DOS images, and a diagnostic disk.

Next up is an interesting one. I bought a very early Apple RAM card, which apparently belonged to Bob Bishop. (The guy in new york selling it seemed genuine, he was piecing up and selling Bob's technical estate.)

I put the card into slot 0 last night and the machine failed to start. No beep. So, interesting challenge ahead. My ultimate goal is to get a twin disk system up and running UCSD Pascal, my first real IDE Smile

I am toying with the idea of getting a prototyping card, running the 16 address lines, 8 data lines, and Phase 1 clock off into a Raspberry Pi, and using the Pi as a logic analyser. A completely useless technical challenge, but that's what hobbies are for I guess.

Cheers

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Re: Refurb Apple II, how to get the disk II working

I'd still first read the mentioned pages and hunt for the mentioed programs.
that will help you to keep that drives in good reliable shape.

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Re: Refurb Apple II, how to get the disk II working

I certainly will - they look to be very helpful. Can I ask you a question?
Let's say the drive is slightly off, speed-wise. But good enough to boot a DOS master.

Now, if I use ADT and cut a diagnostic disk, then run it, will the diagnostic code think the drive is OK, since it was written on the slightly-off disk drive?

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Re: Refurb Apple II, how to get the disk II working

In fact it will not display wrong result....
Technical explenation:
while performing speedtest the time ( for measurement) is not
given by the speed of the drive - but by a timimng loop
(average 200 milliseconds ) of the CPU and solving the loop code ...
then the cpu starts writing bytes to the disk in a specified track
while this timing loop is running and starts counting the bytes
from the written track from disk.... this is then displayed as
"Drive speed" besides in that pages i also explained another method with
stroboscope effect (similar to drivespeed of old venyl record turntables... )
speedyG

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Re: Refurb Apple II, how to get the disk II working

as far as the ram card, did it have the ribbon to put into ram socket E3 ? maybe attach a photo

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Re: Refurb Apple II, how to get the disk II working

I actually can't remember whether or not I cabled the RAM chip - I will get back to it as soon as I get the ADTPro thing working. Thanks for the reply.

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Re: Refurb Apple II, how to get the disk II working

OK, I've been trying to get ADTPro working with little success. I manager to get EsDOS Part 1 to transfer over, but beyond that, I get lots of errors, even at very low speeds. I am using a USB to Serial cable, which I gather (From specs) only produces 5v levels. Does anyone know if the Super Serial card will work reliably with this?

I plan to get a USB to RS232 cable on Monday, but just wondering whether anyone has had similar issues.

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Re: Refurb Apple II, how to get the disk II working

I've never tried it with USB serial adapters. I suspect you'd run into problems doing it that way. Best to find an older PC with real serial ports, or at least a PCI Multi-IO card.

However, the ADTPro site says they work with at least the ones they sell...

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Peter Rittwage
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Re: Refurb Apple II, how to get the disk II working

@retrogear - I installed it, along with the ribbon cable (D'oh) and it all worked perfectly. Another step towards my goal of a running UCSD Pascal system. The young engineers i work with will never believe there was a P-Machine that ran Pascal in 64K. Smile

Thanks again.

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Re: Refurb Apple II, how to get the disk II working

rittwage wrote:

I've never tried it with USB serial adapters. I suspect you'd run into problems doing it that way. Best to find an older PC with real serial ports, or at least a PCI Multi-IO card.

However, the ADTPro site says they work with at least the ones they sell...

OK, I might have to hunt around for an old system unit with a real serial port. I have one of the recommended FTDI USB-RS232 cables coming on Monday, so I will try that first, and report back.

This is a hoot, but the hours just disappear Sad