5.25 disk problem

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subliminal67's picture
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As of Sunday, June 12, my 5.25 platinum drives for my platinum IIe are no longer reading or writing to disks. I am not sure what happened, Saturday they were working fine. I sent Copy II Plus 7.1 to a 3.5" disk, tried formatting disks and was getting an error saying it couldn't read track 00. I tried adjusting the speed, but C2+ was showing the speed as being extremely erratic, one time it would say 300, the next it would say 147, jumping all over the place. I know that the disks are old, and probably are slowing the drive down. Could it be that they need an alignment adjustment? I tried another drive, got the same results with disks, speed and formatting. Maybe I should buy some good disks, I can't believe that all the disks that I have are all bad.

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cwsmith's picture
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Re: 5.25 disk problem

Sounds an awful lot like bad drive belts to me. In turntables, tape decks and such, a bad drive belt will grab and slip, grab and slip, causing erratic speed to the platter (turntable) or the capstan (tape deck). I suspect something similar is going on with the spindle belt here.

Anyone else with more direct experience with these 5.25 drives is more than welcome to correct me if I'm wrong.

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subliminal67's picture
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Re: 5.25 disk problem

Ahhh belt drive turntables and tape decks those were the days. Anyway, where does one go to locate new belts for these? The belts seem fine to me, but I haven't had much experience with disk drive belts. Is there a way to recondition them or check them? They didn't seem loose to me.

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Re: 5.25 disk problem

Have you tried cleaning the head. A dirty head will give you difficulty reading and writing. That could also give you eratic disk speed results with copy II plus.

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Re: 5.25 disk problem

A speed jump of about 150 RPMs has nothing to due with the belts. The belt pulley is very large. Change in direction of speed up and down and up in less of fraction of a second might even break the belt.

This is measured thur the head. So a dirty head all is the cause of a sudden not reading disk most likely. Even cleaning it and using it again may foul it up. Sometimes you have to read all the tracks on the floppy disk to clean them. This may cleaning the head up several times. Then the floppy disk is good for a long time. All of these disk are old.

If cleaning the head over and over does not work then the read/write chip maybe bad on the drives analog board.

Another failure could be the center metal hub ring on the floppy disk may have fell off. This has to do with clamping and centering the disk in the drive. It happens once in great while.

Take Care

gsmcten's picture
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Re: 5.25 disk problem

If it were a drive problem it would only be one, not both.
If it is happening with both drives I would suspect your disks are bad.
Break open a new batch and try with fresh disks.
Clean your heads before you use the new disks.
Check your connections between the box and the disk drives.
If you still have the same problem, I am not sure what you would do. Smile

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Re: 5.25 disk problem

I will see if I can find a vendor for floppies. Do you all have any suggestions? I see www.floppydisks.com, 20 for a buck a piece. I appreciate the help! I did clean the heads, both with a head cleaner, and cotton swab(made sure no lint was left behind). The drive head looked ok, clean white with a sort of black line through the center. Maybe I didn't get it completely clean.

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Re: 5.25 disk problem

Do a Google search for "5.25 floppy disks" and you'll get all kinds of places you can look. Smile

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Re: 5.25 disk problem

Big smile

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Re: 5.25 disk problem

subliminal67 wrote:

I appreciate the help! I did clean the heads, both with a head cleaner, and cotton swab(made sure no lint was left behind). The drive head looked ok, clean white with a sort of black line through the center. Maybe I didn't get it completely clean.

Nope, you got it nice and clean. There should be a fine black line through the center of the head. See:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMF3PL17kqg
At 1:18 or so.

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Re: 5.25 disk problem

On the disks themselves, they should be the double density. Ones with a metal center hub ring.

The high density 5.25 have no center metal hub ring and can give you problems reading and formatting them.

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Re: 5.25 disk problem

Thanks for all the help! I am going to re-clean the drives, and order new disks this weekend. I'll let you all know what happens.

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Re: 5.25 disk problem

Well, seems brand new disks aren't the answer after all. I re-cleaned both the drives. Plugged them in, one drive activity light is on constantly (dim) and says the disk is write protected. Kind of odd seeing as how this drive was not reading/writing and giving me an error reading track 00 before. The other drive just makes the usual noise, and says error reading track 00. I tried another controller card, to no avail. I have pulled the drive with the constant activity light apart to see if there was anything amiss, everything is plugged in correctly and all looks well. If there are any other suggestions, I am all ears (or eyes). I am picking up a load of IIgs computers this weekend with drives, etc. I'll see how that goes.

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Re: 5.25 disk problem

Not sure of which kind of 5.25 Apple drive/drives you have. It seems they are old disk drive][. On the first disk drive seems like the micro switch is bad or stuck maybe. The second maybe a speed or disk drive track O alignment.

These disk are the double density DD (metal center hub ring) and not the HD (no metal hub ring) right?

Have you tried a disk drive speed test with the new blanks disks? This can be done from copyII+ on the 3.5.

After that the speed checks outs. You should be able format the disk even if it is out of alignment. Just will not read it on drives that are aligned. If the speeds are all over the place their is a good chance that the read/write chip is bad on the analog board of the drive.

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Re: 5.25 disk problem

These drives are the Apple 5.25" drives, not the Disk ][ drives. Yes, I ordered the DS/DD disks with the metal hub ring. I have not tried the drive speed test with the new disks, I will try that tomorrow. I am assuming that the speed will be all over the place. Whats odd is, these drives were working like a day before they started having problems. I have tried 2 different drives, 2 different controllers, and 2 different Platinum IIe's with the same results. One thing I haven't tried, is my IIc, but I pulled the rom chip and did a little motherboard mod to accomodate the rom 4 chip that I intend to order, so that is out.

I'll be bringing home a load of IIgs' and another IIe this weekend, with drives, etc. We'll see how that pans out. From the list I got, one of the IIgs' has a hard drive in it and that would be awesome. Mac

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Re: 5.25 disk problem

Those rarely go out of alignment on Track OO.

But the write protect on those are infared light sensor I believe. Which might be dust or have a film of dirt on it.

The read/write chip on these analog boards are solder in.

Since you have tried different controller cards, I do not think it is the edge connectors on the card. But still can be. With the machine off pull the card and clean the edge connector with a white cotton t-shirt. Rubbing hard across the brass like edge connectors on both sides of the card. T-shirt will be black to gray. If it is clean then the shirt will have nothing on it. Then reinserting and pulling it out a few times to make sure that the slot connection was scrapped clean. Had to do this to a Ramfast card that 2-3 people could not get it to work.

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Re: 5.25 disk problem

I did the ROM 4 switch on my IIc several months ago.
Bit of a Bear to complete. Make sure when you cut the connector called out in the procedure that your cut is wide enough. I had to go back in twice before mine would work right. Have a good magnifying glass handy. Smile

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