Intermittent failure to boot, sometimes good, sometimes not

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Ratso222's picture
Last seen: 1 month 2 weeks ago
Joined: Dec 7 2019 - 22:32
Posts: 23
Intermittent failure to boot, sometimes good, sometimes not

I am attempting to resurrect an Apple ][e that has been stoted in a box. It looks fine, no mold, no dampness. It has 2 Apple 5.25 floppies. When I put it away in 1992, it woeked perfectly.  The check of motherboard (open apple/closed apple boot gave "system ok").  Sometimes the computer boots with one of either of the drives.  It will boot from either PR#6 or 7.  The drive spins up and sometimes it "clicks" and reads and sometimes not.  It works or not works with either a DOS 3.3 system, ProDos (both original Apple disks) or copies.  I can sometimes boot Locksmith, Apple Writer from original or copies.  They work and next time they do not.  I ran speed test,  alignment tests read/write test, and both drives pass.  I cleaned heads with alcohol and blew out drives with canned air.  I reseated all the memory, reseated the discontroller card, cleaned the contacts.  Same results. I stripped the computer down to slot zero Ramworks, 1 drive controller, nothing else.  Same results; intermittant boot.  Any suggestions?

 I am looking for a 5.25 cleaning disk hoping I will not have to make one.  I wonder if the read/write head has some iron oxide floating around in that area interferring. Currently in Philadelphia. 

I have a large amount of software which I would be happy to share 


CheshireNoir's picture
Last seen: 23 hours 13 min ago
Joined: Dec 28 2019 - 05:20
Posts: 181
Before you go too much

Before you go too much further, get out your multimeter and check the voltages coming out of the Power Supply.


After a long period of storage, the caps in the PSU can dry out and give suboptimal voltages. This would give you intermittent faults.


You can also manually clean the drive heads. It's not too hard, thankfully.

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