Backing up an old Vulcan 40 MB drive

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Last seen: 1 month 9 hours ago
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Backing up an old Vulcan 40 MB drive

I am very fortunate to have both my personal Apple //e and my brother's Apple //gs.   Back in the day we really loved these machines and tended to go overboard maxing them out with Applied Engineering tech.

Well recently my dad reminded me that he still had both in storage at this place, and I've been trying to carefully bring them both back to life.

Both have Vulcan power supply/drive units - 40MB each.  The Vulcan card in the //e has the Rev 1.4 40M Rom (1989) and the //gs has the Rev 1.2 VUL GS/40 Rom (1989).

I have pulled the hard drives out of the units... both failed to spin up initially.   I took the Vulcan card out of the //e, replaced the Rom with a "newly minted" Gold 2.0 Rom, and put both cards into the //gs.  I purchased an IDE->CF adapter, and added a "floppy" power connector to the original GS power supply, which I had retrofitted with a Reactive Micro replacement universal power supply (setting aside completely the original Vulcan power supply/drive case to preserve it).

 I added the adapter to the Vulcan card with the 1.2 VUL GS/40 Rom, and used the Part.Manager 1.17 software to format it into two partions - 20MB and 12 MB.

I connected the Vulcan drive (Western Digital) to the other Vulcan card with the Gold 2.0 Rom, and connected an external power supply 5v to it, so as to not tax the //gs power supply, even though it is "new".   The Vulcan WD did not come up initially.  I had seen a YouTube video by Adrian Black (Adrian's Digital Basement) where he serviced a WD drive exactly like this one using nothing more than Tri-Flow Superior Lubricant.   Well, after applying several drops to the stepper moter shaft AND setting the drive on its side (not intuitive to me) it finally started up!   This is really amazing because honestly neither my brother or I had the intelligence to PARK the HEADS all those years ago.   Yeah, that was a thing.  And we were clueless when we finally got so busy that these machines got packed up and put away.   Lucky is all I can say.

 My brother had partitioned his 40MB drive into 32MB and 8 MB partitions.  Inexplicably, the 32 MB partition was secondary and empty?!

I booted from the Vulcan WD drive, and Initialized the 12MB partition of the Compact Flash card.  I then selected ALL of the files in the Vulcan WD 8 MB partition, and copied them to the 12 MB partition on the Compact Flash card.

SUCCESS!  The 30 year old hard drive is now backed up!

I turned everything off, removed the Vulcan card with Gold 2.0 Rom, and removed the Vulcan WD drive with it.

I used the Part.Manager program one more time to set the CF 12 MB partition to be bootable, and power-cycled once more.

Yay!  The contents are preserved, and it boots super quick.

Next ... do the same for my old //e Vulcan drive.  That will be complicated by the fact that I had multiple partitions and a AE PC Transporter!    More to come.

SPECIAL shout out to macnoyd and Wayne and everyone else who chimed in on my previous posts in my quest to get this far! Thank you!


macnoyd's picture
Last seen: 16 hours 11 min ago
Joined: Oct 15 2012 - 08:59
Posts: 687
Glad to hear you got it working ....

Glad to hear you got it working.  Thanks for sharing the history of that as well.

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