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View Full Version : 5.25 Floppy Errors and Should I buy?



ScanDisk
August 16th, 2017, 06:59 PM
Lately, I have been having problems with my 5.25 drive. It still reads at times, and everything, but it now takes many, many tries until it does.

This happens with any disk I use in it.

I am thinking the heads are really dirty, and I need to clean them, would I be correct about that?

I cannot take them out and clean with qtips as I'd need to take the 3.5 inch drive out, before I could do that, but I cannot access the screws on the 3.5 inch drive due to the metallic part of the case being in the way of the screws....

I found this on ebay, so I can get a cleaning kit, along with a holder, good thing to buy, or no?

http://www.ebay.ca/itm/Fellows-Computer-Cleaning-Kit-for-5-1-4-Diskette-with-Storage-for-25-Diskettes/352028307432?_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIM.M BE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20140620091118%26meid%3Dde5914 a7b08a4f249bd84e6e94745c80%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D2 %26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D253057779612&_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851#viTabs_0

krebizfan
August 16th, 2017, 07:57 PM
A cleaning kit might help if the problem is just dirty heads. It is certainly the easiest solution with few drawbacks*. Other problems won't be fixed that way like say a slipping belt. It may be necessary to extract the drive which means figuring out the rest of the case. Get a few pics and even the trickiest of Packard Bell's designs can be deciphered.

That is a fairly expensive cleaning disk though. Check with the other floppy specialty houses and any office/computer mail supplier you trust in case they still have back stock. For comparison, a generally high priced company in the field has http://www.floppydisk.com/floppy-drive-cleaner

* Since it may be a few days before you can get a cleaning disk, what model is the drive? Provides a chance to make sure it isn't a tricky model and think of other common failure points on that drive.

ScanDisk
August 16th, 2017, 08:00 PM
A cleaning kit might help if the problem is just dirty heads. It is certainly the easiest solution with few drawbacks*. Other problems won't be fixed that way like say a slipping belt. It may be necessary to extract the drive which means figuring out the rest of the case. Get a few pics and even the trickiest of Packard Bell's designs can be deciphered.

That is a fairly expensive cleaning disk though. Check with the other floppy specialty houses and any office/computer mail supplier you trust in case they still have back stock. For comparison, a generally high priced company in the field has http://www.floppydisk.com/floppy-drive-cleaner

* Since it may be a few days before you can get a cleaning disk, what model is the drive? Provides a chance to make sure it isn't a tricky model and think of other common failure points on that drive.

I looked at that, in total with the shipping it comes to $52 and it's just the cleaning disk.

The ebay lisiting I have shown includes a floppy cleaner, crt cleaner, as well as a 5 1/4 floppy holder for 25 disks. and it comes to $54 total. More bang for my buck.

krebizfan
August 16th, 2017, 08:17 PM
Floppy holders where I am are practically free. Every month or so, a bunch show up in the various thrift stores, sometimes even with lots of disks still in them.

Which border are the goods crossing? Looking for a Canadian supplier yields https://www.accuprint.ca/product/3-5-and-5-25-disk-drive-cleaning-system-allsop-sku-21001/
Never used them but lots of stock. Claims to be lower shipping costs than Ebay. Take a look; might be better choices closer to you.

I just don't believe it prudent to spend so much on a cleaning product that I could get an extra working clean drive.
For the very brave, there are instructions to build a do it yourself cleaner http://www.verrua.org/cleaning_kit_floppy/cleaning_kit_floppy.htm

ScanDisk
August 16th, 2017, 08:26 PM
Floppy holders where I am are practically free. Every month or so, a bunch show up in the various thrift stores, sometimes even with lots of disks still in them.

Which border are the goods crossing? Looking for a Canadian supplier yields https://www.accuprint.ca/product/3-5-and-5-25-disk-drive-cleaning-system-allsop-sku-21001/
Never used them but lots of stock. Claims to be lower shipping costs than Ebay. Take a look; might be better choices closer to you.

I just don't believe it prudent to spend so much on a cleaning product that I could get an extra working clean drive.
For the very brave, there are instructions to build a do it yourself cleaner http://www.verrua.org/cleaning_kit_floppy/cleaning_kit_floppy.htm

I checked, even with the lowest shipping, it is gonna be $41, and I did fine some holders on a local classifieds website, but from places an hour away and I cannot drive, so I'd have to pay for the holder plus the shipping for t.

So it seems in my case, to buy the one off of ebay which includes a holder, for $54 makes far more sense then paying $41 and then having to pay for a holder and shipping as well afterwords.

P.S: Yeah, I saw the DIY cleaner, unfortunately I only have a dozen discs 10 1.2mb and 2 360k, I don't have any that I can sacrifice.

Stone
August 17th, 2017, 03:36 AM
Try this one:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Cleaning-Kit-for-5-1-4-or-5-25-Floppy-Disk-Drives/252109570783?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649


It's got 20 cleaning disks for ~ $20 shipped.

GeoffB17
August 17th, 2017, 05:12 AM
To be honest, in all my time, I've never had any particular problem with dirty heads.

Do you have any specific reason to suspect dirty heads?

Far more likely - the worm thread on the stepper motor isn't moving so happily. A bit of dust, or something, or the old grease got too goo-ey?

What happens if you take a fresh disk, try to format it, then copy something to the disk, then verify the disk/file(s). If this does have a problem, at what point? Full details please.

Oh, the traditional q-tips are too short, but there are longer ones available, 6 inches or so. Or, just cut a short one in half, and fasten (securely !!) a bud end to a longer stick, use a bright light to shine inside, and at least try to apply a bit of IPA to the right area.

Geoff

ScanDisk
August 17th, 2017, 05:46 AM
Try this one:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Cleaning-Kit-for-5-1-4-or-5-25-Floppy-Disk-Drives/252109570783?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649


It's got 20 cleaning disks for ~ $20 shipped.

Unfortunately, "may not ship to canada", and i wants me to sign in, but I already am signed in.

ScanDisk
August 17th, 2017, 06:03 AM
To be honest, in all my time, I've never had any particular problem with dirty heads.

Do you have any specific reason to suspect dirty heads?

Far more likely - the worm thread on the stepper motor isn't moving so happily. A bit of dust, or something, or the old grease got too goo-ey?

What happens if you take a fresh disk, try to format it, then copy something to the disk, then verify the disk/file(s). If this does have a problem, at what point? Full details please.

Oh, the traditional q-tips are too short, but there are longer ones available, 6 inches or so. Or, just cut a short one in half, and fasten (securely !!) a bud end to a longer stick, use a bright light to shine inside, and at least try to apply a bit of IPA to the right area.

Geoff

- Put in a fresh unused disc
- format b:
- pressed enter because I was ready
- it returned "Not ready"

- tried a second time, same result

-on the third attempt, it formatted successfully as 1.2mb.

- on the first and multiple following attempts to "copy c:\autoexec.bat b:" it retunred "Not Ready Reading Drive B: A,R,F".

- Second and following multiple attempts - same thing.

After I removed the disc and put it back in, I kept getting "not ready reading drive b", and then later a "general failure reading drive b"

When I failed the operation and did it again, I got "not ready reading drive b" - again.


EDIT: Just did it again, it reads, and copied a file fine this time, on the first try.

Seems to just work when it wants.

ScanDisk
August 17th, 2017, 06:38 AM
These are the photos I could get, as I said, because of the metallic part of the case, I cannot properly get a screw driver to the bottom of the 3.5 inch drive's screws.

https://scontent-ort2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/20841150_10210332082282600_9108162033275524598_n.j pg?oh=576afc4167025f2b14689c820b34bed6&oe=59EAD75F

https://scontent-ort2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/20953213_10210332082202598_9069962297742565257_n.j pg?oh=1cef3dbe91bdb15d2885b45bc6f78420&oe=59EC19C4

https://scontent-ort2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/20842144_10210332082442604_4893282837709745280_n.j pg?oh=baef0e9fc2f647c8cd97512ad3dace80&oe=5A2450E9

As you can see, it's smack dab in the middle of the hard drive and the 3.5 inch drive. The hard drive is easy to move out of the way as it isn't screwed in, as it's smaller and is just held in a general spot by the cage. The 3.5 inch drive, is a totally different story.

GeoffB17
August 17th, 2017, 07:35 AM
Thanks for the 'blow-by-blow' description.

I'd say it's NOT the heads, otherwise it would not 'work when it want's to'.

Would have been nice if, right after it DID work, you tried again with a previous disk that was prev written to, would it read that then?

I'd be still inclined to say there's something wrong with the stepper motor, or rather, the worm thread that moves the head from track to track. Maybe a bit of gunge (solidified grease, or grit stuck in the grease), and this is stopping the head moving correctly.

If the drive tries to read the disk, and fails to find a track, then you would get the sort of message you describe. Similar to trying to read a blank disk.

If you can get the drive out, and look inside the drive, the problem may be clear, and easy to fix. BUT, as you indicate (and illustrate), this could be a problem. The drives seem to be too well packed together.

I'm not sure of the model, but I'd suspect that some part of the front panel would detach. There SHOULD be a 'trick' to getting inside, most machines anticipate the need to get at drives to upgrade, repair, etc. Maybe try to find a service manual for that machine.

Geoff

ScanDisk
August 17th, 2017, 09:37 AM
I found out how to get it out, I opened it up and there's a shit load of dust.

I am going to give it a good dusting out when my air compressor is finished compressing air, then clean the heads anyways, as it seems it needs a good overall cleaning.

Hopefully, this'll work.

krebizfan
August 17th, 2017, 09:38 AM
You will need an offset screwdriver to remove the 3.5" floppy drive. It will cost a few dollars at a home center. Check in the other toolboxes you have; you may already have one.

I can't see enough to figure out how the 5.25" drive is installed. It either is screwed in on the sides which requires a long screwdriver or it is on rails and the screws are mounted in the front. If the front panel has not come off, try pulling on the corners to make it pop off.

Edit: Well, noticed you got it out so never mind. Clean it manually; don't use compressed air. Many air compressors imbue the air stream with oil which would completely wreck the floppy drive.

ScanDisk
August 17th, 2017, 09:54 AM
Manually cleaned, giving some time for alcohol to dry.

Hopefully this works. If not, time to get a new 5.25 drive. Luckily, there's one for $30 locally, the shipping shouldn't be that bad.

EDIT:

No, even after dusting and cleaning same thing, however it seems that the heads aren't moving as far foward as they should. This'd probably be a motor issue?

I don't know how to fix this, guess I'd need a new one?

EDIT 2: Replaced it with the drive from my windows 98 machine, and it works. So the drive replacement went smoothly.

Now, I just need another drive to put back into the 98 machine.



Yup, still working fine and dandy!

I am still surprised at this packard bell, lasting through all the things I did on it, like installing a hard drive, sound card, ram, and now replacing a drive.

The computer itself is pretty good, I guess all drives must at some point, die.

The one I replaced it with is pretty damn clean, just a little surface dust on the circuits but other than that, squeaky.

Trixter
August 17th, 2017, 11:26 AM
No, even after dusting and cleaning same thing, however it seems that the heads aren't moving as far foward as they should. This'd probably be a motor issue?

The drive rails are probably dirty. You can clean and re-lube them and the heads will slide smoothly across them and the drive will work again.

ScanDisk
August 17th, 2017, 11:42 AM
The drive rails are probably dirty. You can clean and re-lube them and the heads will slide smoothly across them and the drive will work again.

I'll try that, and if it works, I'll put it in the Windows 98 machine, as I already took that drive out as a replacement.

GeoffB17
August 17th, 2017, 12:21 PM
Apologies, forgot about those rails. Yes, if the inside is THAT dusty, then those rails would be suspect, as per the worm thread (if there is one). If fact, the rails prob more suspect, as it would not take much to stop them running smooth.

Geoff

ScanDisk
August 17th, 2017, 02:04 PM
I've never cleaned drive rails before, how would I go about doing it?

ScanDisk
August 17th, 2017, 02:21 PM
even if I get this one fixed it is still corrroded and dirt past dusting or alcohol and as such, not something I want to use as a mainstay, it'll simply be a spare drive, in case I ever need myself a spare.

I am still going to buy that $30 because it appears nice and clean and in very good shape.

https://www.kijiji.ca/v-computer-components/guelph/panasonic-1-2-mb-5-25-internal-floppy-drive/1288825410

Stone
August 17th, 2017, 02:38 PM
I am still going to buy that $30 because it appears nice and clean and in very good shape.

https://www.kijiji.ca/v-computer-components/guelph/panasonic-1-2-mb-5-25-internal-floppy-drive/1288825410BTW, you never mentioned what computer this drive of yours is from or what size this drive is. Think that's relevant? :-)

FWIW, the drive you are going to buy is advertised as a 1.2 MB drive but it's actually a 360 K drive. I know that's relevant! :-)

ScanDisk
August 17th, 2017, 02:49 PM
BTW, you never mentioned what computer this drive of yours is from or what size this drive is. Think that's relevant? :-)

FWIW, the drive you are going to buy is advertised as a 1.2 MB drive but it's actually a 360 K drive. I know that's relevant! :-)

i only have HD drives so 1.2mb.

How do you tell whether a drive is 360k or 1.2mb?

Both my drives are from PC's one older and one a little bit newer, but still PC not Amiga, or Commodore, or anything like that.

Stone
August 17th, 2017, 03:42 PM
How do you tell whether a drive is 360k or 1.2mb?You read the specs.


Both my drives are from PC's one older and one a little bit newer, but still PC not Amiga, or Commodore, or anything like that.Well, that's really helpful. That defines it perfectly. :-) :-) :-)

ScanDisk
August 17th, 2017, 04:07 PM
You read the specs.

Well, that's really helpful. That defines it perfectly. :-) :-) :-)

I thought you just looked at the pictures and somehow knew.

My google search of the JU-455-5 does also turn up a lot of results stating 360k as well.

the drive that is dirty is from my Packard Bell Pack-Mate III, and the one I replaced it with is form a custom built system with a celeron running Windows 98, and it works perfectly.

As long as they are PC drives and the right size, connect the same, what's it matter?

I'm gonna have to hunt down a 5.25 1.2mb HD drive then. Unless someone wants to shoot me a PM to possibly sell me one.

Stone
August 17th, 2017, 04:51 PM
I thought you just looked at the pictures and somehow knew.I'm sure that there is someone like that but I'm also sure that you and I are not that somebody. :-)

krebizfan
August 17th, 2017, 04:59 PM
Model numbers help but often it requires close examination of the jumper area to figure out what type of disk format the drive is actually configured for. Even IBM's easy visual cue of an Asterisk on a double density drive can be fooled by someone moving the front plate between drives.

ScanDisk
August 17th, 2017, 05:04 PM
I've installed Windows 3.1 now, and I have Win Image for Windows 3.1, as well as Laplink for Windows 3.1, so at the moment I do not urgently need a second drive right now.

EDIT: Also, Ironically, Windows 3.1 seems to run a little faster than 3.0 for some reason.

Trixter
August 18th, 2017, 08:27 AM
I've never cleaned drive rails before, how would I go about doing it?

Here's a thread with info: http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthread.php?33615-Floppy-Drive-Cleaning

Chuck(G)
August 18th, 2017, 09:24 AM
EDIT: Also, Ironically, Windows 3.1 seems to run a little faster than 3.0 for some reason.

Why does that surprise you? Win 3.1 makes much more extensive use of 32-bit code than does 3.0.

yuhong
August 18th, 2017, 09:27 AM
Why does that surprise you? Win 3.1 makes much more extensive use of 32-bit code than does 3.0.

Not that much more.

ScanDisk
August 18th, 2017, 09:27 AM
Why does that surprise you? Win 3.1 makes much more extensive use of 32-bit code than does 3.0.

Im using a 286, so only got a 16-bit data path.

krebizfan
August 18th, 2017, 09:40 AM
Im using a 286, so only got a 16-bit data path.

The big improvements on a 286 were to SmartDrive and the VGA drivers. The downside to running 3.1 on a 286 is a lot of programs and drivers were not tested on an actual 286 but instead on a 386 running in standard mode. The subtle differences mean the 286 will crash more frequently than a similarly equipped 386.