I can't get my floppy drives to work

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I have an Apple //e that seems to work fine except for its disk drives. When I turn it on their lights flash once, then shut off. They don't make any noise or respond to any commands that I type in. I've already replaced the disk interface card, and I've bought a new drive, and nothing is working. Can anyone else think of something that may be wrong?

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littlejohn's picture
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Joined: May 18 2005
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Power supply

I would take a guess and say the power supply is failing.

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I can't get my floppy drives to work....

jimmie,

Are there any other indications from your IIe? Does the power light flicker when you turn it on and the drives are trying to boot?

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Steven (gsmcten)

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No the power light on the com

No the power light on the computer is as steady as ever. The drives remain completely silent, even after I run PR#6. The only time their light even blinks is when I turn off the apple.

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What kind of drive/interface

What kind of drive/interface card do you have? There is the one with the DB-19 shell, and the one with two 20-pin header connectors. It's possible to plug the one with the 20-pin header in "off by one" pin, and fry the electronics in the drive. The newer DB-19 shell connector took care of that problem.

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What kinds of commands do you

What kinds of commands do you type in? Have you tried designating the commands by typing "CATALOG D1"? Or something else with D1 or D2 at the end. Seems like everything is fine but it just isn't finding them for some reason. Something got flashed over to a new location maybe then?

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I just tried the catalog d1 c

I just tried the catalog d1 command and it got me a syntax error. I had already fixed the drives from putting one on one pin over. I had already fixed that with some new parts, and they worked when I tested them with the case open, but when I moved them so i could close the top, they didn't work when I turned on the apple. I double checked to make sure they where all the way on.

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Re: I just tried the catalog d1 c

jimmiesunfire wrote:

I had already fixed the drives from putting one on one pin over. I had already fixed that with some new parts, and they worked when I tested them with the case open, but when I moved them so i could close the top, they didn't work when I turned on the apple. I double checked to make sure they where all the way on.

It sounds like it's still fried (or re-fried), to me. The light flash on power on/off means it's probably hooked up correctly, as normal drives will have that same flash on power change. But if it won't run, or PR#6 just hangs or breaks into the monitor (assuming your card is plugged into slot 6), something is still fried.

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I'm going to assume...

jimmie,

I am going to assume that you are using an original Disk II card in slot 6 and two Disk II's. Have you attempted using a different card and drive setup? Say a 5.25 Controller card and regular 5.25 Disk Drive or DuoDisk Drive?
Have you tried shifting the Controller Card down to Slot 5?

Do you have these items to attempt it?

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Steven (gsmcten)

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Yeah I have an original Disk

Yeah I have an original Disk II card, and two disk twos. I tried moving it, but got the same response as before. I don't have a duo disk or another type of controller card. I have replaced the card with one that was guaranteed to work, and before I bought it, I made sure all the numbers matched up, but it didn't change anything.

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Do the Monitor Thing......

Disconnect everything.
Follow the manual on going into the monitor and see what kind of respnse you get.

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Steven (gsmcten)

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ofcourse , if you have acces

ofcourse , if you have access to an additional II+ or //e , you can always plug the Disk ][ Card and drives in that and see if they work , this way you know exactly that problem lies somewhere in the original II+ computer. I would also re-seat all the chips on the motherboard. The bummer thing about it is , if you had access to the Disk ]['s working , you could try running an Apple II Utility Disk to check all the banks of Ram and Roms , but that's pretty much a negative at this point..

Good luck.

Patrick.
A2forever

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First I'd remove any cards in

First I'd remove any cards in the IIe, even the 80 column card.
If you're using Disk IIs, then I'd try it with just one drive connected and that of course on the Drive 1 connector.
If that didn't work, I'd swap in the other drives one at a time, always using the Drive 1 connector.
If no luck, then i'd try the other Disk II card
If that proved fruitless, then i'd try doing it in slot 4 or 5

Wayne

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I reopened one of the drives

I reopened one of the drives and looked at everything. It all looked good, so I just pushed down the part I had replaced a while ago. Now the drive with the grey cord will light up and whir when I turn it on. The problem is that it don't stop whirring. Sad My other disk drive has a rainbow cord, and it doesn't do anything.

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Re: I reopened one of the drives

jimmiesunfire wrote:

I reopened one of the drives and looked at everything. It all looked good, so I just pushed down the part I had replaced a while ago. Now the drive with the grey cord will light up and whir when I turn it on. The problem is that it don't stop whirring. Sad My other disk drive has a rainbow cord, and it doesn't do anything.

What do you mean by "whir" when you turn it on? Do you mean it runs continually when you turn the computer on? Is there a disk in it? Is it drive 1? I know I'm probably over simplifying the problem but if the grey cord drive is disk 1 then this is what it should do. The rainbow cord is disk 2 and it shouldn't run when the computer starts. Put a formatted floppy disk in the drive that is whirring and close the drive door and see if the hello program runs. What's happening seems normal unless I'm misinterpreting a continuous whirring.

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It is disk one, and I put sev

It is disk one, and I put several floppies that I know work in it, and it doesn't read any of them. I tried the pr#6 command again, and it still didn't change anything.

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Okay, here is my latest theory

This is just my theory and may be totally wrong... The Drive is fine now, the floppy disks are the problem.
Do you have the official Apple DOS 3.3 System Master disk to try while the drive is running? I think it is likely the work you have done under the hood no longer allows the previously formatted "slave" disks you tried to be compatible with your computer. I'm guessing those disks were all formatted before you modified your system? Or maybe on a completely different Apple computer? Only a true "Master" disk will solve this problem and load DOS into your computer. Once you have started with the Master disk in the drive, the other disks should work along with basic commands like CATALOG and LIST filename and RUN filename, etc.

Here is some background from apple2history.org: "The INIT command properly formatted a new disk, but created what Apple called a "slave" disk; that is, the DOS loaded from a slave disk was fixed in memory to the same size as the computer on which DOS had been booted. In most cases this would not be a problem. However, the problem would surface if someone whose Apple II had only 16K of RAM shared a disk with a friend whose computer had, say, 32K of memory. Booting that borrowed disk would make the 32K computer appear to have only 16K of RAM (since it forced DOS to load at the highest location available to a 16K machine). A "master" disk was more versatile, being "intelligent" enough to adapt itself to differing memory size" http://apple2history.org/history/ah14.html

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I don't have a master disk, b

I don't have a master disk, but I used the ADT pro, to get some software running on my apple. It wouldn't read any of my floppies, and it wouldn't format a new one.

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I'm guessing you must be runn

I'm guessing you must be running disk images using ADT Pro then? Use ADT to load up whichever of these DOS 3.3 System Master images will work:
http://mirrors.apple2.org.za/ftp.apple.asimov.net/images/masters/dos33.po.gz
[URL]http://mirrors.apple2.org.za/ftp.apple.asimov.net/images/masters/dos33_with_adt.dsk [/URL]

Once you have booted with the Master disk image, basic commands might start working and you will be able to INIT blank floppy disks and RUN or CATALOG previously formatted disks. Maybe???

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I am no expert, but perhaps,

I am no expert, but perhaps, try "reseating" all the chips on the motherboard? (i.e. gently pushing down with your thumb, noticing a small motion as the legs of the part reseat into the holes). That has solved many issues for me.

What about using contact cleaner to clean the ends of the Disk controller card and the expansion slot it sits into?