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Thread: IBM PS/2 Model 70-161 Problem

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Novi Sad, Serbia
    Posts
    19

    Default IBM PS/2 Model 70-161 Problem

    Hi everyone,

    I have a problem with the floppy disk drive in the Model 70 at work. Basically, 2 days ago it was reading and writing without any problems, and now as of yesterday, it has become a floppy killer:

    Step 1: Insert floppy, try to read or write to disk. I get the classic Abort, Retry, Fail message, and after a few desperate stabs of the 'r' key, 'a'bort and return to the U: drive.

    Step 2: Insert floppy into any other computer, try to read or write to or format disk. Everything fails. Floppy now useless.

    This is upsetting. The drive is a standard YD-701-6062 IBM 1.44 3.5 Floppy Drive (and the computer runs XENIX 386 OS 2.3.4, with some strange VP/ix 1.2 DOS emulator which runs DOS 3.3).

    Does anyone know if there is any basic maintenance I can do to my floppy drive to bring it back to life? Some well known issue with these drives which is easily fixed (why yes, I am grasping at straws).

    As I am new to these forums, a bit of background:
    The Model 70 is in my lab at university, and is the main interface and controller of an old PerkinElmer ELAN 5000 ICP/MS (Inductively Coupled Plasma - Mass Spectrometer). I use the Elan to analyse heavy metals drinking water, surface water, waste water etc.

    After analysis, I transfer the raw data from the Model 70 via floppy to a modern (Windows XP) computer to crunch the numbers and generate usable data summaries. The software on the Model 70 can generate its own summary, but its not as useful as all the raw data and the summary I bully Excel to create with VBA. Its a lot of numbers (sometimes 10s of thousands of rows once in Excel), so I really need to transfer the data directly.

    Basically, if I can't fix the old floppy drive, I will need to find a new one (it has some sort of tray around it with a weird flat connector, or start exploring parallel / serial connections from the Model 80 to my modern machine (I struggle to get a windows machine networked to another windows machine, so not sure how I am meant to network a XENIX machine - although I don't mind creating a Linux partition on my work windows machine if it will make the data transfer easier :-/ ).

    Does anyone have any suggestions?
    Thanks for your help,

    Malcolm

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Stevens Point, Wisconsin
    Posts
    2,315

    Default floppy cleaner

    Have you tried a 3.5" floppy cleaner ?
    patscc

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Stevens Point, Wisconsin
    Posts
    2,315

    Default data transfer

    If you can get IP/TCP running on both machines, you can just FTP data back and forth.
    patscc

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Novi Sad, Serbia
    Posts
    19

    Default

    Doh, forgot about existence of drive cleaners... will definitely try that first.

    As for ICP/IP, hmm, shall investigate (I hate floppy disks *sigh*).

    Thanks for input,
    M

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    3,754

    Default

    Slide the metal cover back on one of the no-longer-working diskettes and see if there has been something scratching the oxide off the diskette. If there isn't, you may be able to fix it with a good long cleaning, if there is, you may need a new drive.
    Legacy Computers and Parts

    Sales of, parts for, and repairs to, Vintage and Legacy computers.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,141

    Default

    If it does turn out that you need a replacement drive, the part number is 6450353, which is also shown as the diskette drive part number for the PS/2 models 50, 60 and 80.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Novi Sad, Serbia
    Posts
    19

    Default

    Well, somewhat predictably, it looks like I timed my run to the shops for a floppy drive cleaner about a decade too late... still, it was vaguely entertaining watching peoples faces.

    To be honest, I would rather avoid using the floppy drive anyway - (argh, perhaps I should have made this thread in the Unix/Xeninx part of the site), and was wondering if I can use a null modem cable and perhaps uucp to transfer my files...

    Unfortunately I am almost a complete unix n00b, so really have no idea how to do that - its all made a bit complicated by the fact that the ICP/MS was a gift from a German university which no longer needed such an ancient instrument, and I don't have any installation disks (for plan c/ install OS and software on newer computer after purchase of new CPIB card) or XENIX documentation (for plan b/ learn how to set up network and transfer my files direct).

    Is it possible to source a replacement drive? I searched a bit online and drew a blank.

  8. #8

    Default Data transfer, diskette drive options

    If the hard disk on your IBM PS/2 Model 70 is booting with no problems and it has a version of DOS that includes INTERLNK.EXE AND INTERSVR.EXE programs, use these to transfer the data from the PS/2 to another PC. If this isn't possible, install the hard disk in another compatible IBM PS/2 with a working diskette drive. If this isn't possible, and you decide you need another diskette drive, search the internet for these IBM part numbers:

    Code:
    FRU part number 64F0207 (ASM part numbers include 15F7503)
    Description: 40-pin, 1/3 height, small/thin button, LED located below slot
    Applicable IBM PS/2 models: 50, 70
    
    FRU part number 72X8523 (ASM part numbers include 90X6766)
    Description: 40-pin, 1/2 height, big/thick button, LED located above slot
    Applicable IBM PS/2 models: 30, 60, 65, 80
    It sounds like you have the 1/3 height drive with a small/thin button and the LED located below slot; the other drive I mention will work in a model 70, but a proper drive slide and bezel cover would be ideal although not really necessary.

    I have refurbished and sold a number of IBM PS/2 diskette drives, but I don't have any working ones for the Model 70 right now, but I may in the future. Keep checking http://marketplace.vintage-computer....id,other_items.

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen View Post
    If the hard disk on your IBM PS/2 Model 70 is booting with no problems and it has a version of DOS that includes INTERLNK.EXE AND INTERSVR.EXE programs, use these to transfer the data from the PS/2 to another PC...
    IBM had a device called the "Data Migration Facility" to get data *on* to the PS/2s from another system, but you can reverse the roles: http://www.ibmmuseum.com/OhlandL/flo..._Facility.html

  10. #10

    Default Transfer data to or from an IBM PS/2

    I'm confused; is it not possible to transfer data to or from an IBM PS/2 using a simple parallel or serial cable and INTERLNK.EXE and INTERSVR.EXE? I admit I've never tried this before using any PC.

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