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BG101
November 25th, 2008, 09:55 PM
I've been searching for info on these but have so far drawn a blank. Reason I ask is I can get hold of some of these drives for a very reasonable price, but I need to know if they are backwards compatible with standard 1.2Mb drives (with the BIOS set to 1.2Mb as well), since I don't have a machine with BIOS which supports 2.4Mb 5". (My P1 system does have support for 3" 2.88Mb but AFAIK none of my other machines do). The 1.2Mb drives are not as easy to get hold of and cost 2 or 3 times the amount.

Basically my question is: Are these 80-track drives but with a narrower pole gap on the heads? If so they should work with 1.2Mb HD/720Kb QD disks and hopefully also 360K and other formats using double-stepping.

My existing 1.2Mb in this machine has decided it doesn't want to write 360Kb disks though it worked before and still works 100% with QD/HD. I had this problem when I first installed it but then it seemed to be OK for a while, although marginal. The only other 1.2Mb I have does work fine, in my P1 system running Windows Me, but I'd sooner keep that system as it is now it's working as I want it to.


TIA


Brian

amouse
November 26th, 2008, 04:13 AM
Brian, I have exactly the same sort of question!

I have seen Blackmore IT selling these 2.4MB drives on ebay (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/HITACHI-HFD532EIU-BLACK-5.25%22-HH-2.4MB-FLOPPY-DISK_W0QQitemZ360106931289QQcmdZViewItemQQimsxZ200 81113?IMSfp=TL081113129002r33405) and wondered also if they are 80 tracks per side with a higher recording density on special 2.4MB media.

But I can't find any references to such media so have come to the conclusion that it might me more tracks, on standard 1.2MB media?

Some examples of these drives are

HITACHI HFD532EIU
Y-E Data YD-802

Looks like these were used in IBM 3172 comms controllers but my google research did not uncover any IBM 3172 controller installation or tech reference so I am still in the dark

Chuck(G)
November 26th, 2008, 08:11 AM
I've been searching for info on these but have so far drawn a blank. Reason I ask is I can get hold of some of these drives for a very reasonable price, but I need to know if they are backwards compatible with standard 1.2Mb drives (with the BIOS set to 1.2Mb as well), since I don't have a machine with BIOS which supports 2.4Mb 5". (My P1 system does have support for 3" 2.88Mb but AFAIK none of my other machines do). The 1.2Mb drives are not as easy to get hold of and cost 2 or 3 times the amount.

Are you talking about the old Drivetec/Kodak drives? I've got a couple and can tell you that they take factory-preformatted media with an embedded servo that is very difficult to find nowadays. The Kaypro Robie used them. You can read and write 360K media, but you need a special controller--the media spins at 600 RPM.

I have the OEM manual as well.

I don't know anything about how the Hitachi drives work, but at least one supplier identifies these as being PATA interface.

Terry Yager
November 26th, 2008, 01:29 PM
I've only ever seen a couple of these, and yes, they were installed in IBM cluster controllers. All I can tell ya is that they do use standard off-the-shelf media, nothing special. (I don't recall whether HD or DD, but I'm strongly leaning to HD media).

--T

BG101
November 26th, 2008, 09:16 PM
These are the Hitachi variety (and I believe I've also seen the YE-Data ones offered).

I think the best thing is for me to give them a try and post the results on here. I should have them by Friday if I order them now.

I wanted a couple of black-bezel 1.2Mb drives as these will match my modern PC but these are more expensive than the beige ones, being rarer. You can't always rely on Google search results either, as I've been misled by these. The results emanated from suppliers' adverts and disappeared once they had been sold.



Brian

amouse
November 27th, 2008, 01:06 PM
Brian,

I am happy to live out my 2.4MB floppy experiment vicariously and leave you to it. Please post the results!

If you think that the availability of vintage goods in the UK is poor in comparison to US.of.A you should come to Switzerland. Maybe I can exchange you a drive for a fondue set ...

regards marcus b

BG101
November 28th, 2008, 01:23 AM
I've just fitted one of these drives (I ordered two, and a 1.2Mb just in case - this was offered for 5) and confirm that it works perfectly well with 1.2Mb floppies.

The drives are fitted in plastic caddies with a single multipole connector at the back, so I removed one and disconnected the power and serial cables, then fitted it to my main PC. These look to be very good quality drives.

Still having problems reading/writing 360K disks though, so I guess that's down to XP (or possibly the floppy drivers, so I shall experiment with these). Reading/writing 720K seems to be OK albeit a bit slow and the drive read a 1.2Mb disk with MS DOS 6.22c first time. I also booted from it with no problems.



BG

amouse
January 26th, 2009, 08:06 PM
Brian,

OKay I'm a little slow but based on your reply I want to order a 2.4MB diskette drive (or two). Given the high postage to my home in Switzerland I then have to further wait for a opportune trip back to Blighty to pick this and other UK treasures.

Can you confirm where you got your drives from and do you have a scanned manual that you can post me? After substantial googling I find no decent referfences to HITACHI HFD532EIU

Dwight Elvey
January 27th, 2009, 05:37 AM
Basically my question is: Are these 80-track drives but with a narrower pole gap on the heads? If so they should work with 1.2Mb HD/720Kb QD disks and hopefully also 360K and other formats using double-stepping.

My existing 1.2Mb in this machine has decided it doesn't want to write 360Kb disks though it worked before and still works 100% with QD/HD. I had this problem when I first installed it but then it seemed to be OK for a while, although marginal. The only other 1.2Mb I have does work fine, in my P1 system running Windows Me, but I'd sooner keep that system as it is now it's working as I want it to.

Hi
You should not use a 1.2 to write to 360K disk unless you only
want to read it on a 1.2M drive. If there is any previous matterial
written by a 360K drive, it is likely to cause bad reads when
written by a 1.2M because the 1.2 only writes over half the
track, leaving the other stuff on the disk.
I've had some luck with a fully deguessed disk but a used or preformatted
disk will usually fail.
Dwight

TandyMan100
January 27th, 2009, 05:41 AM
I've been searching for info on these but have so far drawn a blank. Reason I ask is I can get hold of some of these drives for a very reasonable price, but I need to know if they are backwards compatible with standard 1.2Mb drives (with the BIOS set to 1.2Mb as well), since I don't have a machine with BIOS which supports 2.4Mb 5".

Nah. I think the real reason you ask is because they're SO FRIGGIN COOL!

BG101
January 27th, 2009, 05:49 AM
Hi m8 I couldn't find any documentation myself re. these drives, however I can confirm they are the ones being offered by Blackmore IT. Make sure they combine postage m8 because it seems they rely on automated shipping calculations and won't combine postage across auctions even though it states they do on their site. However, for 10 these drives represent excellent value.

I've not managed to get them to read 360k disks successfully (yet). They do read/write/format 720k (Quad Density) but the QD disks I've written in other machines aren't 100% compatible (Disk ID not present or something, it's been a while since I tried and my brain is pickled :D)

Where will you be visiting in England? If it's anywhere near me I could get the drives for you maybe and let you have them when you visit?



BG

BG101
January 27th, 2009, 06:00 AM
Also, the problem I'm having with XP is that when I format and write to a disk at 360k, it then starts its head-seeking mission when I try to read it, even though OmniFlop/WinImage seem to write to them OK. I can't get a 360K drive to work under XP.

360K drives work fine with DOS on this machine, I can boot from them, format and read/copy files on both 360k and 1.2Mb drives with no problems. However, XP reports device I/O errors, so it evidently can't talk to the floppy controller in 360K mode. Telling the BIOS it's a 1.2Mb drive instead does not work either (though this does work on my P1 machine!)

My other alternative is to try Linux, I have just bought myself a posh new HD caddy and can put a drive in for use with Linux.



BG

WhyreByter
October 6th, 2011, 10:16 AM
Sorry to dredge up such an old thread, but it's the perfect place to ask:

I've picked up a Hitachi HFD532EIU drive, and I'm drawing a complete blank on how to make it work in 2.4MB mode. It works fine in 1.2MB mode, but I can't seem to make it kick into 2.4. It doesn't look like there's a switch that gets triggered by some special cutout on the disk, or anything like that.

I'm using it on a custom floppy controller, so can send it whatever signal it needs, but I need to find out what that is! Has anyone actually gotten these drives to work at 2.4MB? Does anyone have a service manual, or other specs/docs on it?

Many thanks,
Robert