View Full Version : BBC B - Disk drives

June 21st, 2006, 12:35 PM
My BBC B encountered a problem with disk drive a while back (an original, full-height BBC one) - it wasn't reading disks properly.

I've bought a new drive (well, secondhand) and some unused 360k floppy disks with the intention to salvage anything I could, before everything was doomed :)

Unfortunately, it appears that most of the software I wrote years ago has gone bad on the disks :(

But there's also a strange problem with the new drive.

I can load the utility / welcome disk, and this can format the new disks no problems. I managed to load some of my own programs from the damaged disks, and save them to new ones. However, one program loaded fine, but when I saved to a new disk, it seems to have broken the new disk!

Now the new disk I cannot read it, neither format it (bad track 00).

Any ideas why? Dust in the drive?

It's the early BBC with the format programs on disk: *FORM40 (etc)

It seems, any original software will work fine, but the others - programs I wrote myself - no longer can be read..?

June 21st, 2006, 01:32 PM
I think I've worked out the problem!

Actually, the "new" disk drive is faulty, it doesn't read and write properly. It did for a while though, which is strange.

Good news is that the original drive is working! Now I've used the new disks in the old drive, I am not having any problems.

Still annoying all my old software is lost though, but I am sure I've got the listing printouts somewhere! :D

June 21st, 2006, 02:42 PM
Congrats on working out the problem.

One thing I do to almost every drive I get is to run a disk cleaner through it.

I bought up a whole pile of 3.5, 5.25 and 8" cleaning disks and fluid over the years and can usually scrounge up something for whatever new machine I'm playing with.

It does help!

The other common failures for 5.25s are alignment (relatively easy to fix with an alignment disk and a 'scope) and spindle speed. The latter is usually a result of bad belts or dirty pullies but it can also be other things and usually goes beyond my willingness to deal with. :)

Good luck!

June 23rd, 2006, 01:42 AM
Yep! Whether it be old VCR's, old tape decks, old printers, etc., you are bound to find deteriated rubber, deteriated foam, and grease/oil that has become more viscous.