Last time you helped me out with my Apple II (see https://www.applefritter.com/content/apple-ii-europlus-help-diagnosing-no-prompt). It still runs!
I got the Drive II's running as well, it boots DOS 3.3 and also some games and software I have.
Now it seems that a few disks will not boot. The drive starts reading, makes some noise and then the red led stays on forever without any movement. This is also the case for an original Mystery House disk from Sierra On-Line, that I like to try. As I am quite new to the Apple II field I need some pointers with this. I already cleaned the drive head and lubricated the shafts.
I've read a little about the 13 vs. 16 sector disks? Could it be that my Drive II interface card needs older ROMS in order to read 13 sector? Do I need to convert the original Mystery House disk (I do not want that actually), with the BASICS disk? Or is the rpm of the disk not good? Of course the disk could be damaged in all those years... but not giving up yet!
Another question; a lot of games require a joystick or paddle to play, do regular IBM XT joysticks work for the Apple II with a convertor?
Regards from Holland,
Unfortunately some 35+ year old floppies may just not work anymore even if your hardware is functioning perfectly. Will that disk boot on another Apple II?
Do you know for sure is Mystery House 13-sector? If it is, there is a utility to boot it on the DOS 3.3 disk (BOOT13).
There is also this: https://llx.com/Neil/a2/better.boot13.html
The suggestion for BOOT13 is a good one to try just in case that floppy is old enough to be 13 sector.
As for joysticks, an IBM PC style joystick can be modified to work with an Apple II or there are converters which can do it. Some, especially Kraft models have both DB15 and DE9 connectors and can be used with either (usually a switch on the bottom), although for models older than a //e you need a DIP16 to DE9 adapter for them.
As for disk drive RPMs... Copy protected disks can be more sensitive to that than regular floppies. But Mystery House is an old enough game that it probably does not have a very sophisticated copy protection scheme so I doubt that is it. Chances are if your Apple boots other floppies the disk speed is close enough. However, if you want to test/set it, you need software like Locksmith or the Apple Dealer Diagnostics (or several others, AppleCillin, XPS I think can also do it, some other bit copiers too) which you can get from Asimov. Then you have to take the cover off the drive and locate the little trim pot that adjusts the speed. Looking at the front of the drive (most Apple shipped Shugart or Alps mechanisms and a lot of clones) the pot is usually on a small PCB mounted at the lower rear right side and is often blue in color with a small brass slotted head you turn. It usually doesn't take much, so turn carefully.
Vintage floppies should ALL be treated as suspect.
They are all old enough now to have mould growth on their media surfaces.
This is the number one reason why diskettes don't read properly. (the mould accumulates on the drive's read/write head and then that accumulation creates a scratch in the diskette media, usually at track zero, thus rendering the diskette completely useless)
Number two being that they have beed demagnetized due to improper storage or proximity to stray magnetic fields.
I never stick a diskette in a drive without first inspecting it for mould (appears as a faint blotchy sheen on the media).
If I suspect mould, I slit the jacket, remove the "cookie", wash it carefully with warm soapy water, blot it dry, reinsert it and then I make an image of it immediately, either with ADTPro or with AppleSauce.
Chances are you'll only get a few good reads out of them before the mould transfers back onto the media from the jacket. Then I either discard the disk or put it away for posterity.