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cruising
July 10th, 2014, 06:32 AM
Hello!

I got my new fresh non "new old stock" floppys today. I cleaned the drive with a cleaning disk before inserting any floppy, formated the disk and after that i copied files from my 1.44 ext drive. Got no reading errors, only that the floppy was filled up and some files didnt get copied. So i thought the floppy was OK, but it wasnt.. it could then not read the floppy after i had copied all files to it, formated it again and copied over DOS 3.3, and then it started to give me errors "Sector not found error writing A" while copying files.

Tried to format 8 sectors per track command and copied files again, same error again. As you might understand, the formating works good and do not make any strange sounds while formating, its pretty quiet with these new floppys.

Since i have no knowledge or experience of repairing floppy drives, i asking here for help. Maybe someone that knows what hes doing maybe could fix mine or just trade for a working one? ofc i also pay a amount of money since a working one is worth more. Thats just a thought i got.

Just so you know, i have also used cleaning solution (CS-85) with a cotton top/tip on the reading heads, could not see any dirt at all on the cotton.

I hope someone has a good solution for this.

Thanks for reading :)

ldkraemer
July 10th, 2014, 07:21 AM
cruising,
You didn't specify what OS you are trying to format with. I've always had the best luck with some format software by New-Ware
named FormatMaster Version 2.19. There are newer versions, but I know that Ver 2.19 does a good job on Floppy's, and
if FormatMaster doesn't format it, I toss 'em.

One URL google found with FM219.ZIP is: http://sdorm.org/files/index_f.html

Larry

cruising
July 10th, 2014, 07:24 AM
cruising,
You didn't specify what OS you are trying to format with. I've always had the best luck with some format software by New-Ware
named FormatMaster Version 2.19. There are newer versions, but I know that Ver 2.19 does a good job on Floppy's, and
if FormatMaster doesn't format it, I toss 'em.

One URL google found with FM219.ZIP is: http://sdorm.org/files/index_f.html

Larry

I formating with my XT with DOS 3.20, ill check that FormatMaster, but the floppys i use are brand new.
And i dont have problem with the formating, just to read them.

EDIT: i tried formating with FormatMaster, and after that copied that program to A:, still getting reading errors.

krebizfan
July 10th, 2014, 09:58 AM
Can you read from the disk immediately after formatting? What happens if you run CHKDSK right after formatting?

My guess is that somehow the format is failing but falsely reporting success.

cruising
July 10th, 2014, 10:54 AM
Can you read from the disk immediately after formatting? What happens if you run CHKDSK right after formatting?

My guess is that somehow the format is failing but falsely reporting success.

Tried again with a fresh unformated one. Formating complete it says, "362 496 bytes total disk space" and same in "available on disk".
And yes i can read the disk right after formating by doing "A:" and then "DIR", however, it is at this stage when i copying files to the disk that i get reading errors.
And when use "chkdsk a:" command, i see no errors or so, just showing total and free disk space and memory.

geoffm3
July 10th, 2014, 11:00 AM
What model Tandon drive are you using?

cruising
July 10th, 2014, 11:01 AM
What model Tandon drive are you using?
Its a 360kb TM-100-2 if im not total wrong

Chuck(G)
July 10th, 2014, 11:53 AM
Well, if I were to guess, I'd suspect that your drive is not seeking properly. One of the things that might help is if you cleaned off the drive rails that the head assembly slides on--use a soft cotton cloth moistened with alcohol (medicinal or rubbing is fine). See if that makes a difference. The problem is that they can get dirty and/or greasy and not allow the head carriage to move smoothly.

The reason that your format operation seems to work is that the program first writes a format pattern on to the track, then reads it back immediately. So if the format isn't landing in the correct spot, the disk will look fine--until there's a need to move the drive heads.

By the way, what are you using for a floppy drive?

cruising
July 10th, 2014, 11:59 AM
Well, if I were to guess, I'd suspect that your drive is not seeking properly. One of the things that might help is if you cleaned off the drive rails that the head assembly slides on--use a soft cotton cloth moistened with alcohol (medicinal or rubbing is fine). See if that makes a difference. The problem is that they can get dirty and/or greasy and not allow the head carriage to move smoothly.

The reason that your format operation seems to work is that the program first writes a format pattern on to the track, then reads it back immediately. So if the format isn't landing in the correct spot, the disk will look fine--until there's a need to move the drive heads.

By the way, what are you using for a floppy drive?


I have cleaned it as much as i can, and also lubricated the rails with sewing machine oil (was what i had at the time) and and as you said, i have cleaned the heads with alcohol, same alcohol that came with my cleaning disks. Its a Tandon TM-100-2 i think

Chuck(G)
July 10th, 2014, 12:43 PM
The DOS utility ImageDisk (get it here) (http://www.classiccmp.org/dunfield/img/index.htm) has some useful drive testing utilities in it, include read/write and seek testing. You may want to investigate it.

cruising
July 10th, 2014, 12:49 PM
The DOS utility ImageDisk (get it here) (http://www.classiccmp.org/dunfield/img/index.htm) has some useful drive testing utilities in it, include read/write and seek testing. You may want to investigate it.

Can i start the program my from D: floppy drive and do the test on drive A:? and i guess i need a floppy in my 5.25". ill try it out right away

EDIT:
Ok here comes the test results, maybe you can understand the data better then i do.
19398

SpidersWeb
July 10th, 2014, 01:22 PM
250kbit double density is the only one that matters, and it passed.
I'd recommend using the "Alignment" function inside ImageDisk as recommended. You can format individual tracks, make the drive seek, and see what it reads / writes back.

Chuck(G)
July 10th, 2014, 01:23 PM
Yup, old 5150 floppy controllers don't do single-density, so not to worry.

Now try the tests in IMD.

cruising
July 10th, 2014, 01:31 PM
250kbit is the only one that matters, and it passed.

Then at least that works fine, i tried doing a alignment test, but i didnt understand what i saw on the screen. some numbers rolling down between some number, think it was between 3-5 or something.

SpidersWeb
July 10th, 2014, 01:37 PM
Yes, that bit that updates is showing you the current track and sector it is reading.

Use + and - to step the head across the disk, or 0,1,2,3 to make it jump in large sections.
If at the top of the screen you see the T (Track) number does not match what is written on the disk - then you have a seek problem because it's put the wrong stuff in the wrong place.

As you keep pressing + - those two numbers should match the entire way to track 39.
Then press H to switch heads, hit 0 to restart the drive at track 0, and repeat.

cruising
July 10th, 2014, 01:51 PM
Yes, that bit that updates is showing you the current track and sector it is reading.

Use + and - to step the head across the disk, or 0,1,2,3 to make it jump in large sections.
If at the top of the screen you see the T (Track) number does not match what is written on the disk - then you have a seek problem because it's put the wrong stuff in the wrong place.

As you keep pressing + - those two numbers should match the entire way to track 39.
Then press H to switch heads, hit 0 to restart the drive at track 0, and repeat.

Ah i see! since i didnt understand what to do i canceled the test, and now i cant remember how i did start the test, i enter IMD to start the program, then "Main menu commands". There i see "A)ligment/test" and after that "align/test Commands", There i see a lot of letters with options, but i cant chose one, just press enter for "Align/Test" and "Index". If i press "Align/Test" i getting back to "Align/Test Commands". Im i going in the wrong directions at the menus?

EDIT: now i got to the right menu to test again lol, but all i see is a lot of "?"

EDIT2: now it seams to work, i se some random number and then a 0 and efter that 18, and it responds when i change track.

EDIT3: on track 0 i have ?, and if i step up 0.1 track i still see ?, it doesnt show 0 untill im on track 0.2, with 0.1 and 0.2 i mean there is 10 dots between 0 and 1 and up

if i press 1, i see a 8, if pressing 2 i see 18. does that means that my floppy aint aligned? i mean 3 should mean track 30 or something?

SpidersWeb
July 10th, 2014, 02:54 PM
You're doing it right, but your drive clearly has some kind of seek issue (e.g. head getting a little stuck when moving etc).
A drive that has good seek will format each track correctly e.g. track 0 is formatted as track 0, track 10 is formatted as track 10 (not 8 ) etc, and will give reliable results when reading back.

I'll let someone with more TM100-2 experience assist you with any next steps (more testing or drive rails or track 0 setting or alignment etc). I never finished fixing my spares.

ibmapc
July 10th, 2014, 03:13 PM
I have cleaned it as much as i can,...
Sounds like you might need to clean a bit more aggressively the rails and head carriage assembly. With power off, you should be able to move the carriage all the way from one end to the other fairly easily without any sticky spots. Be careful not to push the heads out of alignment when you do this. Push on the rigid portion of the carriage and keep cleaning the rails with alcohol until all stickiness is gone. Then lube the rails sparingly with a silicone based lube.

cruising
July 10th, 2014, 03:36 PM
Spider: you might be right, if i press Z when at tack 0, every tracks shows up right, even on head 1. but after some track changes it loose some tracks and getting misalign , like on track 20 it shows 18 or 19 and track 10 maybe shows track 8. I gonna clean the rails from lubricate completely and add some new, i should not i use that oil and more like bearing lubricate?

ibmapc: thanks for that tip! i will be as careful as i can while pushing the carriage and cleaning the rails.

So, if this wont work, i guess i need these alignment scope tools or what it was and the alignment disk to properly align the floppy? and to get these tools cant be easy?

Chuck(G)
July 10th, 2014, 06:48 PM
If you're testing with a blank floppy, there's really no such thing as an alighment issue, since you're writing new tracks when you format.

What's at issue here is the repeatablilty of seeking to a track. The head carriage is attached to a stepper motor assembly--and there is an optical sensor for track 0 (called "home"). From home, you step a certain number of steps forwward--if you step the same number backward, you should be home again.

The test is telling you that it isn't happening. So what can go wrong?

Well, dirt or some contamination on the carriage guide rods or even in the carriage itself can cause the carriage to stick. The carriage is attached to a split (taut) steel band wrapped around a capstan, which is then attached to the shaft of the stepper. It works the same way as a capstan on a ship--you turn the capstan and it moves the rope wrapped around it.

Finally, the stepper itself may be loose; not secured firmly to the body of the drive. Check the mounting screws for snugness.

If everything is fine mechanically, then there's an electrical problem on the drive electronics board, most probably.

cruising
July 11th, 2014, 03:37 AM
If you're testing with a blank floppy, there's really no such thing as an alighment issue, since you're writing new tracks when you format.

What's at issue here is the repeatablilty of seeking to a track. The head carriage is attached to a stepper motor assembly--and there is an optical sensor for track 0 (called "home"). From home, you step a certain number of steps forwward--if you step the same number backward, you should be home again.

The test is telling you that it isn't happening. So what can go wrong?

Well, dirt or some contamination on the carriage guide rods or even in the carriage itself can cause the carriage to stick. The carriage is attached to a split (taut) steel band wrapped around a capstan, which is then attached to the shaft of the stepper. It works the same way as a capstan on a ship--you turn the capstan and it moves the rope wrapped around it.

Finally, the stepper itself may be loose; not secured firmly to the body of the drive. Check the mounting screws for snugness.

If everything is fine mechanically, then there's an electrical problem on the drive electronics board, most probably.

I have to use a formated disk since i cant put files on it properly, but i could use a unformatted one if that would be a better choice?
I will try your tips here and heck for loosen screws and dirt once again, ill be back with the results when im done, hope this will solve it. And if it is a electrical problem, then i need a other working board?

EDIT: Of some reason i can feel when i push the reader carriage forward to the spinning "wheel" some sort of resistance like it would get stuck, its like a "bump" it must go over before it goes easy again on the rail, its on the same place everytime, ofc i feel a resist from the electrical motor constantly, but thats normal right?

EDIT2: now i have cleaned and lubricated the rails and did not find any loose screws or what ever, and it is still the same. I guess im done with this, my floppy drive just need some technical guys hands on it. If i keep trying im sure i will make things worse.
Any further tips is welcome, but im just not the guy who can fix this problem. Cant it be the floppy controller card thats making the trouble?

Chuck(G)
July 11th, 2014, 08:36 AM
With power removed from the drive, the head carriage should move freely--you may feel a small bit of regular "cogging" from the magnets in the stepper motor, but that's normal. On the other hand, if there is resistance in the same spot every time, this points to some sort of damage in the positioner mechanism or motor.

Floppy drives are mechanically very simple--I've fabricated parts for them. The critical items are the heads themselves, but otherwise, it's all mechanical.

As a personal preference, I hate Tandon drives. They were sold because they were cheap and easy to obtain. Later half-height drives are generally constructed much better. It was not uncommon for a 5150 owner to replace one full-height floppy with two half-height ones and install a full-height hard drive in the second opening--often with also replacing the power supply to handle the larger load.

cruising
July 11th, 2014, 09:41 AM
With power removed from the drive, the head carriage should move freely--you may feel a small bit of regular "cogging" from the magnets in the stepper motor, but that's normal. On the other hand, if there is resistance in the same spot every time, this points to some sort of damage in the positioner mechanism or motor.

Floppy drives are mechanically very simple--I've fabricated parts for them. The critical items are the heads themselves, but otherwise, it's all mechanical.

As a personal preference, I hate Tandon drives. They were sold because they were cheap and easy to obtain. Later half-height drives are generally constructed much better. It was not uncommon for a 5150 owner to replace one full-height floppy with two half-height ones and install a full-height hard drive in the second opening--often with also replacing the power supply to handle the larger load.

If they where cheap as you say, then thats also tells the quality of the Tandon. I would love to have 2 half-height floppys, one 360kb and one for HD floppys.


So that was the end of This tandon...if i cant get a another carrier, i was about to tightening the screw under the plastic glass, i slipped of the screw head and broke the two plastic holders under the carrier...good job right!

Chuck(G)
July 11th, 2014, 10:09 AM
Hmmm, I've been thinking a bit. If there's much of a "vintage computer" community in Sweden, it might not be a bad idea to arrange a group buy of 5.25" floppy drives. Cindy over at Electronics Plus tells me that she's got gaylords (http://quincyrecycle.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/gaylord.jpg) full of them. Get a couple, ship them as bulk freight to Sweden--the shortage of 5.25" floppies (she also has media) is over for the foreseeable future. Since they're classified as scrap, the duties should be very low.

cruising
July 11th, 2014, 10:29 AM
Hmmm, I've been thinking a bit. If there's much of a "vintage computer" community in Sweden, it might not be a bad idea to arrange a group buy of 5.25" floppy drives. Cindy over at Electronics Plus tells me that she's got gaylords (http://quincyrecycle.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/gaylord.jpg) full of them. Get a couple, ship them as bulk freight to Sweden--the shortage of 5.25" floppies (she also has media) is over for the foreseeable future. Since they're classified as scrap, the duties should be very low.


Sounds like a good idea, but i hvent been able to find any community like that here in sweden, i even dont know how big vintage computing is in sweden.
ATM im trying to fix these support pins, i have no idea if it going to work, i drilled 2 holes and made some plugs that will do the same as the plastic pins i broke, so i hope that will work as a temporary fix until i get a "new" drive

fatwizard
July 11th, 2014, 10:52 AM
I have had good luck curing seek problems with Tabdon 100-2's by sqiurting a dab of WD-40 on either end of the stepper motor shaft. Turn the drive on it's side so that the stepper motor shaft is vertical, shoot a little WD-40 around the base of the shaft. Let it set for a while like that to let the WD-40 soak in. Turn the drive on it's other side and repeat the process.

The lube in the stepper seems to sometimes dry out over the years and gum the stepper up. Then the seeking isn't reliable. I have rescued three Tandon 100-2's with this method when the cleaning and lubricating of the drive heads and rails didn't solve the problem.

cruising
July 11th, 2014, 12:38 PM
I have had good luck curing seek problems with Tabdon 100-2's by sqiurting a dab of WD-40 on either end of the stepper motor shaft. Turn the drive on it's side so that the stepper motor shaft is vertical, shoot a little WD-40 around the base of the shaft. Let it set for a while like that to let the WD-40 soak in. Turn the drive on it's other side and repeat the process.

The lube in the stepper seems to sometimes dry out over the years and gum the stepper up. Then the seeking isn't reliable. I have rescued three Tandon 100-2's with this method when the cleaning and lubricating of the drive heads and rails didn't solve the problem.


Yeah i have tried to lubricate where i should lubricate, and the good news is that i manage to fix the broken carrier, and it does now read and write as it should to, except for one thing...head 1 has stop to read of some reason..cleaned the head 1 and made sure that the cables was connected properly, what could be wrong with the head?

Chuck(G)
July 11th, 2014, 12:43 PM
I assume that you mean the second head; i.e. you're saying that there's head 0 and head 1)

Look carefully when you have a disk inserted that the top head (that's the second head) is actually contacting the disk surface. If, perchance, you meant the first head (i.e. head 1 and head 2), then you need to look at the head under the disk. If you were a bit too enthusiastic when cleaning, you might have disturbed the head support.

Power need not be present at the drive to do this visual inspection.

cruising
July 11th, 2014, 01:02 PM
I assume that you mean the second head; i.e. you're saying that there's head 0 and head 1)

Look carefully when you have a disk inserted that the top head (that's the second head) is actually contacting the disk surface. If, perchance, you meant the first head (i.e. head 1 and head 2), then you need to look at the head under the disk. If you were a bit too enthusiastic when cleaning, you might have disturbed the head support.

Power need not be present at the drive to do this visual inspection.
I said head 1 because the IMD says H1 or H0, but yes i mean the top head with the spring. I lifted the head and let it go back again carefully, i saw the head "landing" in the disks surface. What exactly is this "head support"? is it the 2 plastic "pins" on the left rail (if you have the floppy fronting your face) that the rail sliding against underneath?

Chuck(G)
July 11th, 2014, 01:34 PM
The "head support" is the assembly of small spring metal that holds the head in contact with the media and also assures the correct azimuth (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azimuth) with respect to the track. These can be bent by careless handling. Of course, you must ensure that the black lead coming from the head is plugged into the electronics board on the drive! :)

Also, here's a service manual for the TM-100 (http://bitsavers.informatik.uni-stuttgart.de/pdf/tandon/TM100-1_TM100-2_48TPI_Operating_and_Service_Manuals_1983.pdf). There's also a Sam's Photofact wandering around the web that's a bit more informative, but I don't have a URL for it at the moment.

cruising
July 11th, 2014, 01:48 PM
The "head support" is the assembly of small spring metal that holds the head in contact with the media and also assures the correct azimuth (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azimuth) with respect to the track. These can be bent by careless handling. Of course, you must ensure that the black lead coming from the head is plugged into the electronics board on the drive! :)

Also, here's a service manual for the TM-100 (http://bitsavers.informatik.uni-stuttgart.de/pdf/tandon/TM100-1_TM100-2_48TPI_Operating_and_Service_Manuals_1983.pdf). There's also a Sam's Photofact wandering around the web that's a bit more informative, but I don't have a URL for it at the moment.


Im not 100 what you mean, but is it this you mean? thats the only spring im aware of, and ofc...all cables is connected where they should be :P Did you read that i broke the supporters underneath the rail? i manage to fix new supporters and they seams to do the work.

Heres a picture for what i think you were talking about?

H-A-L-9000
July 12th, 2014, 10:35 AM
Mind the red wire!!

cruising
July 12th, 2014, 12:00 PM
Mind the red wire!!

If you havent sen that, i would never figure out that a cable was loose lol. i tried to solder it back, but THAT was hard when it is so tiny small! but that didnt help, i guess the solder iron was to hot and damaged the flex circuit or something. I think ill just convert it to a CD rom instead :P

ibmapc
July 12th, 2014, 02:37 PM
.... i tried to solder it back, but THAT was hard when it is so tiny small! but that didnt help, i guess the solder iron was to hot and damaged the flex circuit or something. I think ill just convert it to a CD rom instead :P
Yup, Those tiny solder jobs can be difficult. Especially when you are old and drink to much coffee like me!!

fatwizard
July 13th, 2014, 09:43 AM
Yup, Those tiny solder jobs can be difficult. Especially when you are old and drink to much coffee like me!!

I heard THAT!