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Thread: Kaypro 2 Floppy Drive Questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Question Kaypro 2 Floppy Drive Questions

    Hello All,
    I bought a Kaypro 2 at VCF and have a few questions regarding the floppy drives.
    As I posted in garage sale, I am wanting a 360K floppy drive to make disks for it. My question is this:
    Could I just borrow one of the floppy drives from the Kaypro and hook it up to my Pentium II DOS PC? Or would that damage the drive? It has half-height TEC FB-501 drives.

    I don't have any spare edge floppy cables, so I'd have to borrow the cable that came with the Kaypro as well.
    The alternative is to try to write them with a Teac FD-55GFR, which I could modify to run at 300 RPM if necessary (found out how online). I have three different versions of it, and one requires just a simple jumper change (Version 7319) to change the RPM.
    I found a 360K disk for a PC XT/AT, so I'm planning to erase that and write the Kaypro CP/M boot disk on it, so at least I'll have something to get started.

    Which would be better, borrowing the Kaypro drive, or using the Teac?

    Thanks,
    -Jon

  2. #2
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    I opened up the Kaypro, and attempted to remove a floppy drive, but the screws are in so tight, I couldn't get either to budge! The case screws were extremely tight as well, and I had to really watch that I didn't ruin the heads.

    So, bottom line, the drives aren't going anywhere. This means I'll definitely have to get a 360K drive. This is okay though, as I've been wanting to make some 5.25" discs for my Apple IIGS, so this will allow me to do both of those.

    -Jon

  3. #3
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    Well, I got a 360K drive, and tried two different attempts at making a CP/M boot disk (Teledisk and Imagedisk) with 360K media. Both attempts were deemed successful by their respective programs, but the Kaypro wouldn't do anything with either one. It just sits there telling me to put in a disk.

    I think the drives must be shot (big surprise), however, I can't remove them as the screws are in so tight that I destroyed the heads trying to remove them! So they're in permanently. The only alternative would be to drill them out which would just destroy the drive and the computer anyway.

    What do I do? I'm running out of patience with this frustrating little midget, especially since I have better things to do than try to get a deformed screw out of a cantankerous relic.

    -Jon

  4. #4

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    There are lots of things that can go wrong with drive. If you do a search on these forums you'll find plenty of advice.

    It could be dirty heads, sticky rails, incorrect rotation speeds and mis-alignment to name just a few. It could also be drive controller issues.

    If you can't remove the drives, options are limited. Swapping them around is a good way to isolate problems. I assume you've cleaned the heads with a cleaning disk?

    If you do tire of it, please don't dump it. I'm sure there will be some enthusiast within driving distance who would take it off your hands, and perhaps get the screws drilled out.

    Tez
    ------------------------------------------------
    My vintage collection: https://classic-computers.org.nz/collection/
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  5. #5
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    Hello,
    I don't have a cleaning disk, sadly. As far as drive behaviour, what it does is start at the beginning and slowly step one track at a time til it gets to the end, then it goes back and does it again, ad nausem. All the while saying "please insert a disk in drive a". I'll have to see about getting ahold of a cleaning disk.

    I also discovered that my crappy Pentium II's FDC can't write to the boot sector in 360K mode- it failed the Imagedisk FDC Test. I have a feeling that's the real root of the problem- one much harder fixed.

    -Jon

  6. #6

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    Hi
    The boot track is FM ( single density ) on most CPM disk. Without
    a compatible controller, you'll not be able to create the boot disk.
    Don't give up. Things often work out over time. You'll maybe find
    an old PC at a garage sale or find someone else on this list that
    lives right down the street that can create the disk.
    My first CPM machine waited 3 years before I found a schematic
    for the controller and was able to create the specific disk
    format that it needed. You need patience.
    Dwight

  7. #7

    Default

    Hi
    Also, you might try an impact screwdriver. Most any motorcycle
    shop will have one. At worst, you'll rip the head cleam off the
    screw.
    Also, when trying to loosen tight screws, try turning them a little
    in the tightening direction as well as the other. If corrosion
    is holding them, the head it self can often be stuck as well
    as the threads.
    You can clean the disk heads better by removing them than
    by using a cleaning disk. I prefer removing them to clean.
    Do remember, screws can be easily replaced.
    Dwight

  8. #8
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    Why not just move the dos machine and kaypro close together, unplug the floppy connectors from the kaypro and route them to the pc? Leave the drive in the kaypro, just connect it to the pc floppy controller.

    Kipp

  9. #9
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    Try a little penetrating oil on those screwheads (actually under them) before you give up. Let it soak for a day or two, then see if you can ease them out.

    Loosening stuck screws is often done with a tangential blow to the head using a punch and a hammer, but I'm not going to recommend that here. For the first-timer, a slip can result in a fair amount of damage.

  10. #10

    Question

    The original Kaypro II only had single sided full height drives. When they re-released it as an update (I believe with a "2" this time), it had 1/2 height drives, but I'm not sure if they were upgrade to double sided at the same time.

    Sooo... if your Kaypro has single sided drives, but you are trying to boot off what are probably double sided disks, obviously it won't work.

    I haven't ever used single sided drives/disks with any dos systems, do I don't know how you would go about telling it to treat a double sided drive as single, or if you can do that.

    http://www.computerhope.com/drivparm.htm
    Lists the tool you would use to do that, I believe, but not having tried it, I can't say if it works the way it looks like it should.

    Anyone else have a late(r) model Kaypro II/2 that knows if they are single or double sided?

    I have a IV/83 with full height double sided...

    Hope that helps anyway.
    __
    Trevor

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