View Full Version : Pets and Floppies

April 27th, 2008, 04:29 PM
I have a Pet 8032 in perfect working order and a couple of options for floppy drives for the beast. One is an 8050 dual disk setup and the other a 2031 single drive.

Neither one appears to work, although the most likely culprit is me. I've never had them set up before.

How does one format, save and load with floppy?

I saw the info at PortCommodore (http://www.portcommodore.com/cbmdisk.php)but it didn't help. :(

I'm hoping to bring the Pet along with an Apple ][ Plus and maybe an Atari 400 to the Maker Faire (http://makerfaire.com/)next weekend but I need to have it ready to go by mid-week at the latest.

Thanks in advance!

April 27th, 2008, 04:39 PM

In general, the B Series and the 8032 are identical as far as disk access goes.

I have a thread on my web site that explains all you need to know, but here are the important parts from

12. Can’t read or write to diskettes?
a. Clean the single-sided drive head with a high-percentage isopropyl alcohol (90%+).
b. The spin of U.S. 8050 IEEE drives must be 300 RPM.
c. Before you use a disk you must format it. The command is:

header “disknamehere”, d0, i01

(assuming you have a disk in drive 0 of an 8050 drive). NOTE: i01 assigns the identification name/number; “01” can be substituted for any two alpha characters.
d. The command: ?ds$ will tell you if the processor board of the disk drive is OK or not. The response you want will be something like: “73, cbm dos v. 2.x…”
e. If your drive lights are blinking, use the user’s guide to diagnose the blink pattern for hardware problems.
f. Carefully press tight and/or re-seat chips to strengthen IC connections to board.


a. On a 8050 drive assuming the source is in drive 0, destination is in drive 1:
COPY D0 “sourcefile” TO D1 “destfile” (copy only, don’t format)
BACKUP D0 TO D1 (formats dest. disk in drive 1 first and copies all)

there are utility programs to make file mgt easier as well.

I have a lot of software for the 8032, and 8050 parts if you wish to trade or purchase (link from the home page of my web site).

April 27th, 2008, 05:03 PM
It comes back with a: "?Device not present error"

The green light on the drive is on without flashing. It appears to start up properly. Maybe it's the cable or connector?

April 27th, 2008, 06:26 PM
Filed under the heading of "you learn something new every day."

I got fed up playing with the Pet and 8050 so I decided to clean up and put stuff away. I unplugged everything and lifted the drive only to feel some little switches that I didn't notice when I first got the box.

As it turns out someone added some stuff (I'm guessing) to this device including a write protect switch, a reset switch and one other I haven't figured out yet.

I played around with them and got the drive to format a disk.

Maybe it's all okay? :)

EDIT: Guess not. It comes back from the format, after actually working the disk, with "? Bad Disk"


Terry Yager
April 27th, 2008, 06:42 PM
Floppy pets? Had a cat once...


April 27th, 2008, 10:23 PM
Maybe it's all okay? :)

EDIT: Guess not. It comes back from the format, after actually working the disk, with "? Bad Disk"
Could it possibly be a err, umm, bad disk? Recommend bulk erasing first; you *are* using decent DD or QD disks (not HD)? 8050s are SS/QD drives (500K/side)...


April 28th, 2008, 12:25 AM
Could it possibly be a err, umm, bad disk? Recommend bulk erasing first; you *are* using decent DD or QD disks (not HD)? 8050s are SS/QD drives (500K/side)...

I think so.

I've used a variety of NOS and new media.

April 28th, 2008, 03:13 AM
It could be the floppy drive that is out of order too. Since the 8050 has two drives, you could try to format a floppy disk in either drive. Just replace D0 by D1 in Bill's example above. It sounds vaguely familiar; I tested some 4040 floppy drive a couple of months ago and also got ?BAD DISK when I tried to test format a floppy. Upon second attempt or so, after pulling with the cable, I somehow got it to work.

By the way: if you lack software but are willing to download some, I recommend you stick to the 2031 if you get it to work. That is based on that you or someone else has access to an X*1541 cable. You see, the 1541 and 2031 are relatively compatible, so disks written on a 1541 can be read on the other as long as you don't begin to write files back to the floppy disk. (Sync marks differ slightly or so) To transfer data from/to a 8050 compatible floppy disk is a much harder task which would require very special hardware or additional means of data transfer.

April 28th, 2008, 04:13 AM
Have you cleaned the drive heads and lubricated the drive rails? I've found that to be the biggest cause of faulty drives.

April 28th, 2008, 06:15 AM

If you get a bad disk error probably it's the drive, not the disk. "bad disk" means that the format was started (your disk controller is ok) but something went wrong in the format process. These are the things that can go wrong
1) RPM of the drive needs to be 300
2) write protect head failure
3) dirty read/write head

#3 is the easiest to fix, then #1, then #2.

I would repeat the header process with two or three new disks (or even old ones) to verify that you don't simply have a drive that needs a little exercising to wake it up. It may simply take a few tries. This is very common.

You can try to format a disk in the other drive with this command:
header "8050-1",d1,i01 [enter]

WHen the header process is happening, you should hear a faint click - click - click - as the stepper motor guides the head along during the format process. If you hear spinning and no clicks (you have to put your head near the drive) you have a mechanical problem.

When you enter at the prompt (after turning on the machine and the drive):
?ds$ [enter]

- what is the return code?

one last thing. A drive can often read a disk just fine even if it can't format it. If you can format a disk in drive 1, and can read a disk in both 0 and 1, that's pretty good. Just format new disks on drive 1 for now. Remember that the left drive is drive 0, but I assume you know that!


April 28th, 2008, 06:20 AM
If you get a bad disk error probably it's the drive, not the disk.

I did try both drives with several disks each after cleaning the heads (I traditionally do that to every drive I pull off the shelf anyway.)

Both clicked through the sectors before reporting a bad disk.

Maybe I need to futz with that other switch. . .

I probably can't tonight, but maybe tomorrow evening.

Bungo Pony
April 28th, 2008, 07:14 AM
you *are* using decent DD or QD disks (not HD)?

I would also recommend double-checking that you're using the right floppies. High Density floppies will not work in those old drives (I've tried). You need to have Double Density floppies. They can (usually) be indentified by a little plastic ring glued around the center of the disk - although a few Double Density floppies didn't have this, and sometimes they fall off. High Density floppies don't have this ring around the center hole.

April 28th, 2008, 07:37 AM
Ayup. I checked the disks. Some were bulk and weren't tagged on the label but I also had boxes of 3M and Verbatim NOS media that I used - DSDD.