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Casey
February 21st, 2017, 05:30 PM
On my short list is picking up a floppy drive cleaner as suggested here a couple months ago.

I'm also wondering if anyone has suggestions for a diagnostics program for test floppies. All I have over here is Norton's Utilities 4.5.

Stone
February 21st, 2017, 06:07 PM
The drive cleaner cleans the drive.

NU 4.5 tests the disks.

When you say you want 'a diagnostics program for test floppies' do you mean for the hardware or for the software?

Casey
February 21st, 2017, 06:36 PM
I mentioned the drive cleaner because there's always that guy who asks why, or adds suggestions. Like "you should get a disk drive cleaner." :)

I'm having some issues with a couple of 360K drives that sometimes work, and sometimes don't work. Have been too lazy to open up a working machine to test 'em, and I no longer have any electronics right now to see if I have a flaky power supply for now.

*work as in "boot." Several times I've used a disk to boot my PC and/or XT and the same disk is sometimes rejected by 1 of these 3 drives, and sometimes the system boots.

Xacalite
February 22nd, 2017, 08:01 PM
Checkit 3.0 performs basic FDD tests: random reading and writing of all tracks.
It also comes with CHECKFD.EXE which allows checking FDD alignment, but it requires special diskette with spiral track.

Chuck(G)
February 22nd, 2017, 09:27 PM
Again, ImageDisk has a number of functions that can determine drive operability; however it's not a do-everything-automatically.

For example, I use it to check spindle RPM. It's nice to have a running reading while tweaking the tach pot.
Similarly, the "analyze" function allows me to manually step, check functionality, etc.
For alignment, there are specific programs and procedures, such as Align-it. All require special disks.

lyonadmiral
February 23rd, 2017, 05:11 AM
Sorry to hijack the thread, but it leads to an slightly off-branched question. For authentic IBM machines, how effective is the Diagnostics or Advanced Diagnostics in testing floppy drives?

3pcedev
February 24th, 2017, 01:28 PM
Again, ImageDisk has a number of functions that can determine drive operability; however it's not a do-everything-automatically.

For example, I use it to check spindle RPM. It's nice to have a running reading while tweaking the tach pot.
Similarly, the "analyze" function allows me to manually step, check functionality, etc.
For alignment, there are specific programs and procedures, such as Align-it. All require special disks.

I also like Imagedisk as is very versatile. Even if you don't have alignment disks you can (albeit somewhat roughly) still align the heads. Very good for diagnostics to make sure the RPM is right, stepping the heads to different tracks to make sure it doesn't get out of sync etc. I've saved two Tandon drives from the bin by using imagedisk (both because the capstans came loose and the stepper would only move the head 'sometimes').

pcdata76
February 25th, 2017, 06:48 AM
I seriously recommend ImageDisk. Its alignment feature requires only a good formatted disk (the best is factory formatted empty disk or at least a disk formatted in a good known drive before) so you don't have to own these special spiral/analog disks to align the drive.

You can align floppy drives using the tool quite precisely (I've already recovered two seriously misaligned PS/2 floppy drives with the help of this program and both are working like new now). It shows you the status of the track 0 sensor, write protect switch, physical track number (actual track of the head), logical track number (track number which is read from the disk) and number of sectors which are read properly. Yo can move the head back and forth one by one or directly go to the desired track. You can alternate between heads 0 and 1 too. So you can adjust the position of the head/stepper on the fly until displayed physical and logical track numbers are equal to eachother and perfect reading of all sectors. It gives you audible feedback from the PC speaker too.