Are Disketter cleaning kits useful? (particularly for an old working Disk ][)

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Are Disketter cleaning kits useful? (particularly for an old working Disk ][)

Debating whether to invest in one of these (they aren't that expensive). My late 1970s Disk ][ drive is functioning well at the moment without cleaning.

If it ain't broke...

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I haven't used one in years,

I haven't used one in years, but it seemed to work fine. A can of compressed air got out the big stuff just fine, but the cleaner never hurt anything.

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I Found a diskette Cleaner...

I Found a diskette Cleaner on clearance for a buck or something and bought it because they are hard to find these days. If your floppy drive goes unused for weeks or months at a time (like mine do) a cleaner sure comes in useful.

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Cleaning diskette ordered. Be

Cleaning diskette ordered. Sounds like cheap insurance.

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Cleaning disks become most us

Cleaning disks become most useful when you copying a bunch of old floppy disks that are dirty or have loose surface oxide. If all of your disks are new, and the disk head is clean, you won't need the cleaning disk very often.

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I have manually "spit shined"

I have manually "spit shined" the disk head and performance has improved. It's able to read a new old stock Pacman game that would not boot up earlier.

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Used a cleaning diskette and

Used a cleaning diskette and now my Zork which was not booting up, boots fine!
This is just after one applicable and AFTER i thought I had spit shined it after dismantling.

I am sold on diskette cleaning kits for Disk ][ drives. No snake oil here.

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I usually clean the Disk II

I use to clean the Disk II heads by opening the case and using a cotton swab with alcohol. It is not difficult, believe me, just four screws.

 

 

 

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papalapa wrote:I use to clean
papalapa wrote:

I use to clean the Disk II heads by opening the case and using a cotton swab with alcohol. It is not difficult, believe me, just four screws.

 

How delicate exactly is the disk head when doing this? Do you gently rub it (with 100% pure isopropyl alcohol I assume?) or barely cause any more contact than highly necessary, just sliding it over to cause the least possible friction?

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How delicate exactly is the

How delicate exactly is the disk head when doing this? Do you gently rub it (with 100% pure isopropyl alcohol I assume?) or barely cause any more contact than highly necessary, just sliding it over to cause the least possible friction?

 

Well don't clean it with a hammer, but IME they're reasonably robust.  In the past I've used Methylated Spirits (denatured alcohol if you prefer) to clean them with much success.  I do have some iso kicking around these days so use that when I have it.   Don't scrub it doesn't take a lot of force to get it clean.

 

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Glad to hear they're not

Glad to hear they're not extremely delicate. I'll keep in mind not to use a hammer ;-)

I assume the important thing is to use some sort of pure alcohol which doesn't leave behind residue but evaporates, right?

cjs
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Fuji wrote:Glad to hear they
Fuji wrote:

Glad to hear they're not extremely delicate. I'll keep in mind not to use a hammer ;-)

I assume the important thing is to use some sort of pure alcohol which doesn't leave behind residue but evaporates, right?

Right. Ideally, use 99%+ isopropyl alcohol. I'd definitely try to avoid methylated spirits (denatured alcohol) or similar products becuase they have various additives that, at best, will not help with the cleaning.

The drive head is not really any more fragile than the head on a cassette tape player, and I use a Q-tip to clean them in the exact same way.

Remember that for single-sided drives the head is on the bottom; on the Apple drives you simply lift up the hinged arm with the top pad to get access to it. (Well, at lesat on the drive in my IIc.)

I'm not a fan of cleaning diskettes, but now that I own some 5.25" drives (for my Fujitsu FM-77) that will require extensive disassembly to get to the heads, I'd be willing to give one a try. But where does one even get these any more? (They certainly don't seem to be available here in Japan.)

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