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Vercus
September 14th, 2009, 07:25 AM
Hello All,
I bought a Kaypro 2 at VCF and have a few questions regarding the floppy drives.
As I posted in garage sale, I am wanting a 360K floppy drive to make disks for it. My question is this:
Could I just borrow one of the floppy drives from the Kaypro and hook it up to my Pentium II DOS PC? Or would that damage the drive? It has half-height TEC FB-501 drives.

I don't have any spare edge floppy cables, so I'd have to borrow the cable that came with the Kaypro as well.
The alternative is to try to write them with a Teac FD-55GFR, which I could modify to run at 300 RPM if necessary (found out how online). I have three different versions of it, and one requires just a simple jumper change (Version 7319) to change the RPM.
I found a 360K disk for a PC XT/AT, so I'm planning to erase that and write the Kaypro CP/M boot disk on it, so at least I'll have something to get started.

Which would be better, borrowing the Kaypro drive, or using the Teac?

Thanks,
-Jon

Vercus
September 14th, 2009, 10:52 AM
I opened up the Kaypro, and attempted to remove a floppy drive, but the screws are in so tight, I couldn't get either to budge! The case screws were extremely tight as well, and I had to really watch that I didn't ruin the heads.

So, bottom line, the drives aren't going anywhere. This means I'll definitely have to get a 360K drive. This is okay though, as I've been wanting to make some 5.25" discs for my Apple IIGS, so this will allow me to do both of those.

-Jon

Vercus
September 27th, 2009, 09:42 PM
Well, I got a 360K drive, and tried two different attempts at making a CP/M boot disk (Teledisk and Imagedisk) with 360K media. Both attempts were deemed successful by their respective programs, but the Kaypro wouldn't do anything with either one. It just sits there telling me to put in a disk.

I think the drives must be shot (big surprise), however, I can't remove them as the screws are in so tight that I destroyed the heads trying to remove them! So they're in permanently. The only alternative would be to drill them out which would just destroy the drive and the computer anyway.

What do I do? I'm running out of patience with this frustrating little midget, especially since I have better things to do than try to get a deformed screw out of a cantankerous relic.

-Jon

tezza
September 28th, 2009, 12:27 AM
There are lots of things that can go wrong with drive. If you do a search on these forums you'll find plenty of advice.

It could be dirty heads, sticky rails, incorrect rotation speeds and mis-alignment to name just a few. It could also be drive controller issues.

If you can't remove the drives, options are limited. Swapping them around is a good way to isolate problems. I assume you've cleaned the heads with a cleaning disk?

If you do tire of it, please don't dump it. I'm sure there will be some enthusiast within driving distance who would take it off your hands, and perhaps get the screws drilled out.

Tez

Vercus
September 28th, 2009, 03:48 AM
Hello,
I don't have a cleaning disk, sadly. As far as drive behaviour, what it does is start at the beginning and slowly step one track at a time til it gets to the end, then it goes back and does it again, ad nausem. All the while saying "please insert a disk in drive a". I'll have to see about getting ahold of a cleaning disk.

I also discovered that my crappy Pentium II's FDC can't write to the boot sector in 360K mode- it failed the Imagedisk FDC Test. I have a feeling that's the real root of the problem- one much harder fixed.

-Jon

Dwight Elvey
September 28th, 2009, 06:39 AM
Hi
The boot track is FM ( single density ) on most CPM disk. Without
a compatible controller, you'll not be able to create the boot disk.
Don't give up. Things often work out over time. You'll maybe find
an old PC at a garage sale or find someone else on this list that
lives right down the street that can create the disk.
My first CPM machine waited 3 years before I found a schematic
for the controller and was able to create the specific disk
format that it needed. You need patience.
Dwight

Dwight Elvey
September 28th, 2009, 06:50 AM
Hi
Also, you might try an impact screwdriver. Most any motorcycle
shop will have one. At worst, you'll rip the head cleam off the
screw.
Also, when trying to loosen tight screws, try turning them a little
in the tightening direction as well as the other. If corrosion
is holding them, the head it self can often be stuck as well
as the threads.
You can clean the disk heads better by removing them than
by using a cleaning disk. I prefer removing them to clean.
Do remember, screws can be easily replaced.
Dwight

kyeakel
September 28th, 2009, 07:06 AM
Why not just move the dos machine and kaypro close together, unplug the floppy connectors from the kaypro and route them to the pc? Leave the drive in the kaypro, just connect it to the pc floppy controller.

Kipp

Chuck(G)
September 28th, 2009, 09:02 AM
Try a little penetrating oil on those screwheads (actually under them) before you give up. Let it soak for a day or two, then see if you can ease them out.

Loosening stuck screws is often done with a tangential blow to the head using a punch and a hammer, but I'm not going to recommend that here. For the first-timer, a slip can result in a fair amount of damage.

Lord Moz
October 23rd, 2009, 05:35 PM
The original Kaypro II only had single sided full height drives. When they re-released it as an update (I believe with a "2" this time), it had 1/2 height drives, but I'm not sure if they were upgrade to double sided at the same time.

Sooo... if your Kaypro has single sided drives, but you are trying to boot off what are probably double sided disks, obviously it won't work.

I haven't ever used single sided drives/disks with any dos systems, do I don't know how you would go about telling it to treat a double sided drive as single, or if you can do that.

http://www.computerhope.com/drivparm.htm
Lists the tool you would use to do that, I believe, but not having tried it, I can't say if it works the way it looks like it should.

Anyone else have a late(r) model Kaypro II/2 that knows if they are single or double sided?

I have a IV/83 with full height double sided...

Hope that helps anyway.
__
Trevor

Chuck(G)
October 23rd, 2009, 09:06 PM
The only time you need to tell DOS that it's working with single-sided media in a double-sided drive is with the FORMAT command. There, the easiest thing to do is to use the /1 switch and FORMAT will write a single-sided format. After that (writing and reading), it's all automagic.

Lord Moz
October 24th, 2009, 07:54 AM
After searching google for the TEC FB-501, it does indeed look to be a single sided drive.

What is happening, is he is using 360k disks, in a 360k drive to create his boot disk. The program naturally is saying it is completing successfully, but when this double sided disk is put in the single sided drive, the Kaypro can't boot it since it's missing every other byte.

Is there a way to tell your boot disk making program to use only a single side of the disk?

Otherwise, the previous suggestion of using the Kaypro's single sided drives in the PC would work too... either moving the drive, or using a long cable and leaving it in the Kaypro.

I hope that helps...
__
Trevor

Vercus
October 24th, 2009, 11:33 AM
Hello,
Thanks for the information, that's certainly been helpful. I don't think I'll be able to get the drive out of the Kaypro, as the screws are really in there! Last time I tried, my screwdriver kept slipping and I didn't want to booger up the heads. It looks like the only real chance is to try to connect to the drive while still in the Kaypro. I do have a fairly long cable, perhaps I could get it to reach. I'll have to try sometime this weekend when I have time.

Thanks!
Jon

tezza
October 24th, 2009, 12:54 PM
I'm tending to go with Dwight's theory that your Pentium's disk controller is the problem. If you can get the drives out though, give it a go. Nothing ventured nothing gained.

I have a kaypro II which has single sided drives. I made up a boot disk using Dave Dunfield's tools (imagedisk?) in a 360k drive double sided drive using a 386-DX50 machine.

It worked perfectly!

Tez

geoffm3
October 28th, 2009, 11:41 AM
I'm tending to go with Dwight's theory that your Pentium's disk controller is the problem. If you can get the drives out though, give it a go. Nothing ventured nothing gained.

I have a kaypro II which has single sided drives. I made up a boot disk using Dave Dunfield's tools (imagedisk?) in a 360k drive double sided drive using a 386-DX50 machine.

It worked perfectly!

Tez

Agreed. I have a laptop with a floppy drive in it that will read and write 720kb disks, but it will not format them oddly enough. An Athlon XP machine of mine only has support for 3.5" HD drives in it and that's it. I use an old 486 machine for reading/writing old formats.

Vercus
November 20th, 2009, 06:34 AM
I garbage picked a 486 the other day, so I'm going to give that a try, and see if it can write a Teledisk boot floppy for the Kaypro. I forgot to grab the keyboard for it, so I have to get a DIN to PS2 adapter before I can use the 486. I'll let you know how it turns out.
-Jon

Dougtronics
November 20th, 2009, 10:43 AM
Hello,
Thanks for the information, that's certainly been helpful. I don't think I'll be able to get the drive out of the Kaypro, as the screws are really in there! Last time I tried, my screwdriver kept slipping and I didn't want to booger up the heads. It looks like the only real chance is to try to connect to the drive while still in the Kaypro. I do have a fairly long cable, perhaps I could get it to reach. I'll have to try sometime this weekend when I have time.

Thanks!
Jon

Indeed some of the Kaypro Drive mounting screws are really tight. Kaypro II/2 I experienced use two different type of screws. I believe yours sound like the standard Phillips head screws. Most of my screws come out after I soak them with WD-40. The rest I just used a biger hand holder Phillips screw driver. It is better to check the drive in a known good Kaypro after lubrication. As I found out that many ealier Kaypro problems are the mainboard is not comunicating with the drives.

Dougtronics