View Full Version : Dammit! Crashed pack.

January 11th, 2016, 08:21 PM
You just gotta love the maintenance with these things. I've been trying to get some form of use of my 7925 drive since I picked it up in September and after several months waiting on a guy who said he he could get me some packs and an interface adapter I decided to bite the bullet and see if something off ebay would tide me over.

(and that was the cheap one....)

You don't just buy a pack off ebay and assume instantly it's good unless the seller assures you it's defect free. Nothing is more annoying then buying old packs only to have it wreck your s***. There's many a story from the olden days of crashed packs moving from machine to machine, leaving dead heads in their wake. This one was unfortunately another one of those packs.


Probably crashed 25 years ago, went on a shelf with no identifying marks (!!!) eventually made its way to ebay decades later looking like it was okay when it wasn't. Seller was great at least and refunded me but damn, what a disappointment.

January 11th, 2016, 09:30 PM
At least you didn't try to mount the thing...

January 12th, 2016, 04:36 AM
And that's why RetroHacker_ and I took the time to disassemble, inspect, and clean all of the RL01/02 packs we've put through our drives. There was one that looked pristine on the outside, but the platter was as badly gouged as yours.

January 12th, 2016, 06:57 AM
At least you didn't try to mount the thing...

It did take a few test fits in the drive but yeah, I never flipped the drive to START because I knew better.

January 12th, 2016, 10:36 AM
The stories of one bad pack and a bank of drives and a bunch of good packs (well, they used to be good packs!) are legend--and, unfortunately, true.

January 18th, 2016, 04:44 AM
Just out of curiosity, what defines a "crashed" drive pack and how much storage capacity on this thing? It's before my time. :)

January 18th, 2016, 05:13 AM
Head crash on a pack is just like hard drive head crash except if the heads get bent, they will crash on the next pack installed.

The pack mentioned here is 120 MB but lots of other packs and cartridges were available in differing capacities from a few megabytes up to about a gigabyte, http://www.hpmuseum.net/display_item.php?hw=417

January 18th, 2016, 06:52 AM
The Living Computer Museum has a fun story about coming into the machine room one morning and I believe one of their RP drives was sitting idle with the fault lamp on. Upon opening the lid they found fragments of multiple heads scattered about the chamber as the sheer speed of the rotating platters when they crashed ripped the assemblies apart and everything had a thin layer of brown dust on it.


they will crash on the next pack installed.
Also to repeat what I've said before, a crashed pack should be permanently taken out of any sort of rotation as it too will crash any drive you put it in.

January 18th, 2016, 07:41 AM
I wouldn't mind getting my hands on a crashed pack just to put on display.

March 9th, 2016, 04:01 AM
Hi All;

I had many of a crashed Head Pack, on my CDC Hawk 10mb Drive But, most of the time, it was replacing the Offensive Pack sometimes the Heads as well, But most of the Time, Because I caught it soon enough and Retracted the Heads, I was able to save the Heads, but, not the Pack..
Usually it was the fixed Platter, So I would take one from a Removable Platter and just replace it.. I had No Head Alignment Pack, So I did the best I could with my scope, formatted the Pack and copied the Software back to it, and we would be back to Testing our Boards..
I don't Remember any more for sure, I think it was Air Flow as being the main cause of the problem.. Sometimes replace the Filter sometimes blow everything out..
It was alot cheaper for the Company to have me do it than have a CDC Technician come and do it..


March 9th, 2016, 04:47 AM
Why the hell do we save trashed packs in the first place? I have a RL-01 pack that would be lethal to any drive if I ever went as far as mounting the heads, but for some reason I am compelled not to trash it. Something in the back of my mind just won’t let me throw it away. Also have a stack of bad eight inch floppies that I know are no good but still hold on to this stuff, some crazy idea that when working on drives they can be used without the danger of damaging good media? The reality is that a bad drive would only be good for seeing if the servo spins up and in most removable pack systems you can fool them or just mount a good pack being if you had not loaded the heads what damage can you do? At least at work when we come across week or flakey hard drives will take and remove the covers and give them to people to play with on their desks or use as paperweights so that precludes them from ever being used again.