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Half-Saint
May 18th, 2017, 08:11 AM
Hi,

I recently pulled the drive from storage only to find out that it doesn't work. When I try to access the drive I get "General failure reading drive B:".

I cleaned both, the rails and the heads. During boot, the LED does light up and I can see the head move correctly back and forth all the way.

Anything else I can look at?

Cheers

Chuck(G)
May 18th, 2017, 08:17 AM
I can think of one or two things, but without any specific diagnosis ("General failure" is a diagnostic message that's a catchall for everything from a bad controller to unrecognized media).

For example, are the heads securely in contact with the media? Have you configured the drive correctly? Have you told the BIOS that this is a 1.2M drive?

Boot DOS and bring up ImageDisk and see if you can't nail things down. IMD has both RPM and alignment tests--and doesn't pay attention to what the BIOS says the drive is.

GeoffB17
May 18th, 2017, 08:28 AM
Could be dust. Drive needs a blow-job. There are a couple of sensors that indicate that the disk is in and spinning, and if they're dusted up, then the drive will think there's no disk, or it's not spinning. A few sharp puffs (as dry as possible) into the front usually helps. If you do a couple, and try again, and the read process seems to get a bit further, then keep at it.

Geoff

Half-Saint
May 18th, 2017, 08:35 AM
I can think of one or two things, but without any specific diagnosis ("General failure" is a diagnostic message that's a catchall for everything from a bad controller to unrecognized media).

For example, are the heads securely in contact with the media? Have you configured the drive correctly? Have you told the BIOS that this is a 1.2M drive?

Boot DOS and bring up ImageDisk and see if you can't nail things down. IMD has both RPM and alignment tests--and doesn't pay attention to what the BIOS says the drive is.

The only thing I've done is configure the drive in BIOS as 1.2M. Haven't touched any of the jumpers - currently DS1=closed.

I'll see, if I can do anything with ImageDisk and report back...

Stone
May 18th, 2017, 08:47 AM
I recently pulled the drive from storage only to find out that it doesn't work. When I try to access the drive I get "General failure reading drive B:".I would configure the drive as drive A just to remove one more variable from the equation. Put a known good drive in as A: and after you're sure that works OK put in the questionable drive and see how it responds. It's always better, easier and simpler to remove all variable possible when testing something.

Stone
May 18th, 2017, 08:53 AM
Haven't touched any of the jumpers - currently DS1=closed....Is that DS1 as in 0 - 3 or 1 - 4? In any event it needs to be in the second position. Whether the second position is 1 or 2 depends on the numbering scheme used on the drive..

Half-Saint
May 18th, 2017, 08:53 AM
I would configure the drive as drive A just to remove one more variable from the equation. Put a known good drive in as A: and after you're sure that works OK put in the questionable drive and see how it responds. It's always better, easier and simpler to remove all variable possible when testing something.

I already tried it as A: and it didn't work. I then used a known good 3.5" as A: and the problematic 5.25" as B: so that I could boot from A: into DOS. I'm not going to boot from CF and see what Imagedisk comes up with.

Ah, I tried cleaning the sensors as suggested and it didn't help either.

Xacalite
May 18th, 2017, 09:05 AM
FD-55GFR needs three jumpers installed:
* D1
* FG
* DC short with RY

Edit: there seem to exist various variants of FD-55GFR, with different jumpers, I'm not sure if my settings are applicable for you, in case of doubt post a photo of your jumpers...

Stone
May 18th, 2017, 09:25 AM
I cleaned both, the rails and the heads.What did you clean the heads with? Nothing is as effective, safe and reliable as a cleaning disk and solvent.

kgober
May 18th, 2017, 11:04 AM
Unless you are absolutely certain that this computer will work with two floppy drives, test the drive as the A: drive. Having a BIOS option to set the floppy type for B: is not a guarantee that your floppy controller chip is actually wired up to run two floppy drives -- later clones tended to leave the wiring for the B: drive disconnected.

And once you have it working as the A: drive, you should be able to move it to the other connector on the floppy cable and it will work as the B: drive (assuming your floppy cable has the expected twist).

-ken

Chuck(G)
May 18th, 2017, 11:11 AM
If the drive seeks/selects during the POST floppy test, it's connected.

Is your GFR one that requires a terminator if it's the only drive? As has been mentioned, there are several varieties of the PCB. Earlier ones tend to have more options.

Half-Saint
May 18th, 2017, 08:42 PM
Two drives are supported by the BIOS so I don't see why it wouldn't work.

Right now, the 3.5" drive is at the end of the cable (A: ) and TEAC is second (B: ).

I used q-tips and alcohol to clean the heads as well as the sensors.

I'll make a decent pic of the jumpers later today.

Cheers

modem7
May 19th, 2017, 02:48 AM
Spindle turning (I see nothing mentioned) ?

Stone
May 19th, 2017, 03:12 AM
I used q-tips and alcohol to clean the heads...That's not nearly as effective or safe as the disk method. The head(s) can be damaged or mis-aligned by applying lateral pressure accidently. Also, with the disk inserted, the clamping pressure provides thorough cleaning and I've seen drives that required several attempts, even with the disk method, to achieve a useable drive. There is just no substitute for the correct tool.

modem7
May 19th, 2017, 03:42 AM
That's not nearly as effective or safe as the disk method. The head(s) can be damaged or mis-aligned by applying lateral pressure accidently. Also, with the disk inserted, the clamping pressure provides thorough cleaning and I've seen drives that required several attempts, even with the disk method, to achieve a useable drive. There is just no substitute for the correct tool.
In my experience, q-tips and alcohol are more effective than cleaning diskettes. That said though, for me, there is a time and place. If I suspect that the heads are lightly dirty, I certainly do not want to waste time opening up the computer and then removing the floppy drive then possibly (depending on make/model) opening up the drive. I am going to use a cleaning diskette, which as you pointed out, also reduces the risk of damage. I like doing things the easy way.

But if I am confident that very dirty heads are the problem cause (i.e. drive was working minutes ago, and failed as soon as a floppy from a newly opened box was used), and one or more uses of a cleaning diskette does not appear to be achieving anything, then I am 'going in' with the q-tips and alcohol.

Stone
May 19th, 2017, 04:06 AM
But if I am confident that very dirty heads are the problem cause (i.e. drive was working minutes ago, and failed as soon as a floppy from a newly opened box was used),...This is a scenario that I have encountered over and over, hundreds of times.


...and one or more uses of a cleaning diskette does not appear to be achieving anything,...But this is something I haven't experienced. I have always had 100% success with the disk method, even if it took repeated attempts in some cases. But normally, one brief pass with the cleaning disk results in a fully functioning drive once again, in less than one minute, with no work or sweat. IOW, I have never had to remove or open a floppy and manually use a Q-tip on it. :-)

Half-Saint
May 19th, 2017, 04:47 AM
Spindle turning (I see nothing mentioned) ?

Yes, the spindle is turning.

38669

Chuck(G)
May 19th, 2017, 06:49 AM
Okay, I see nothing wrong with your jumper settings. Again, let's see what IMD says about the drive. I assume that you have a formatted disk to test with (density doesn't matter)? And you have a spare blank floppy to check writing functions with?

Half-Saint
May 19th, 2017, 07:37 AM
Okay, I see nothing wrong with your jumper settings. Again, let's see what IMD says about the drive. I assume that you have a formatted disk to test with (density doesn't matter)? And you have a spare blank floppy to check writing functions with?

I mostly have DS/DD floppies but I also have a few HD floppies. I can format them on a 486 that has both, 5.25" and 3.5" disk drives.

Can you give me some concrete instructions regarding the use of ImageDisk. I installed it and messed about but couldn't figure out much.

Thanks.

Chuck(G)
May 19th, 2017, 09:02 AM
The instructions for IMD are actually pretty good if you read through them.

The important thing to remember is that IMD works through the hardware directly and doesn't care what your BIOS or operating system says.

I'd start with formatting up a disk on your 486 (data doesn't really matter) and using IMD to see if you get anything using the alignment test. It could be that the alignment of the Teac is simply borked and the heads aren't where they think they are. Also, using the same disk, try a "Test RPM" operation. Either will let us know if *anything* is being read.

If you strike out on that one, try a format operation; since you have DSDD disks, you'll want to format two sides, MFM, 300Kbps, 9 sectors of 512 bytes for 80 cylinders, interleave 1. See if anything gets written to the floppy.