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immerohnegott
August 4th, 2012, 08:59 PM
So, I've got an old IBM XT model 5160 with a 40MB Rodime MFM disk. I haven't really spent much time messing around with it, mostly due to the fact that the hard drive (at least, I'm pretty darn sure it's the hard drive) is making a god-awful grinding sound. When I boot it, it brings up an error about "Error loading operating system from fixed disk. Please insert Compaq DOS diskette in drive A: to continue".

Mostly, I'm concerned that the grinding sound is due to a headcrash and not the old-ass mechanical bits on the disk needing some massaging. Anyone have some advice on how to go forward here?

modem7
August 4th, 2012, 09:14 PM
"God-awful grinding sound" is certainly a classic symptom of a head crash.

What you could do is to run [SpeedStor (http://www.minuszerodegrees.net/software/speedstor.htm)] software, performing the read test (select DIAGNOSTICS then READTEST). If every read from a particular head fails, then putting that together with the "god-awful grinding sound" would be a good indicator of a head crash.

vanderk
August 5th, 2012, 06:51 AM
In addition to modem7’s advice, see if you can secure a copy of SPINRITE or simply conduct a low level format as a last resort. I believe your drive is ST506 based, which are notoriously loud, but a grinding sound is never good!

Stone
August 5th, 2012, 07:10 AM
I've got SpinRite II v2.0 if anybody's in need of it.

krebizfan
August 5th, 2012, 10:16 AM
One action I remember some people trying was mounting the drive on its side. I don't know if it actually had any benefits or was another local superstition but when faced with a unusable drive the risks are minimal.

barythrin
August 7th, 2012, 09:24 AM
A gentleman at our last VCF was telling stories from his early experience and burn-in tests they did, etc. His company ran both floppy and hard drives sideways as a test for several months and never experienced any problems with calibration or other errors. Was just an interesting thing to hear someone officially testing back in the day. That does sorta sound like the head has crashed on the drive and is scratching up the surface though which wouldn't be good. You can take the drive apart and probably check to see if that's the case.

nige the hippy
August 7th, 2012, 02:04 PM
I don't know about that model, but there's often a little brush that sits on the end of the drive spindle to discharge static, sometimes they get worn and make a grinding sound.
The loss of boot from the drive might just be down to lost drive parameters.
If you do decide to take a look under the lid, boil a kettle in the room for a bit to settle any dust, wear a headscarf, and either a hard cotton shirt - or nothing!
If it is a head crash, all is not necessarily lost, I had the bottom head go on a drive, I simply removed it (and it's spring), washed the platters, case & filters with alcohol, re- assembled, ran it for an hour or two to purge any crap still in there, and told the controller it had one less head!

Chuck(G)
August 7th, 2012, 02:08 PM
I don't know about that model, but there's often a little brush that sits on the end of the drive spindle to discharge static, sometimes they get worn and make a grinding sound.

Yup--and I think on the Rodimes, I think there's a spring-loaded solenoid-operated spindle brake that pushes a small pad against the spindle when power is removed. Sometimes the driver or the solenoid fails and the pad is always against the spindle and can make a real racket.