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Thread: LC floppy drive constantly thinks there's a floppy in it

  1. #1

    Question LC floppy drive constantly thinks there's a floppy in it

    I have an original LC. When I connect a floppy drive to the computer, it constantly thinks there's a floppy disk in the floppy drive even when there isn't. It'll keep prompting me to Initialize or Eject; Initialize gives me a read/write error, Eject doesn't do anything.

    I tried connected several different Apple floppy drives and using different cables, but it has the same result. I even tried using the other floppy drive port on the left side of the machine, that also resulted in the same behavior.

    Anyone have any ideas what might be causing this?

  2. #2


    Sounds like the IWM chip has gone south.

  3. #3


    I have a second LC motherboard that doesn't boot that I can use for spare parts. Do you know of a reliable way of determining which chip is the IWM chip? I can probably use the chip from the other motherboard, assuming they're the same part. I tried following the leads but I'm just not certain.

  4. #4


    It's been a long time since I've worked on an LC... Look at the silkscreen writing on the board and see if the chips are labeled with their names.

  5. #5


    Well, the large obvious chip next to the floppy port is:

    VLSI 344S0061-A / VC2982-0002 Below the chip, on the motherboard it reads: UJ1 SWIM+

    I did a Google, and according to Apple's developer tech note for the LC II, "Floppy disk: one internal 20-pin floppy disk connector. One 1.4 MB Apple
    SuperDrive with Super Woz Integrated Machine (SWIM) interface is standard." Seems like my best bet, but I wouldn't mind a second opinion (I'm not ugly! :P)

  6. #6


    That's the chip...

  7. #7


    I'm out of my league, here. I can't even stick my soldering iron in there without being forced to remove the VRAM and DRAM holders, plus an unfortunately placed capacitor, and the floppy port plug. If I remove all of those, I can finally get to the chip, but it's one where the pins curls in on itself. I can't even use soldering wick on it. At this point, if I'm lucky, I think I'll just buy a 3rd motherboard and hope there's nothing wrong with it. :/

  8. #8


    If you have another motherboard with a good SWIM chip I can swap 'em around. I offer that kind of repair service.

    It's a PLCC type chip if memory serves me correctly. (pins curl under)

  9. #9


    I appreciate the offer, but the cost of shipping and labor would outweigh the cost of just getting another machine.

    Edit: Come to think of it, maybe I will invest in a decent hot air gun. Do you have a suggestion for a brand and/or ballpark price? I found a this on eBay. Seems OK but I have no frame of reference, I've never bought one before.
    Last edited by olePigeon; January 3rd, 2010 at 08:51 PM.

  10. #10


    I don't use hot air, but rather hot iron to remove and replace. Hot air requires solder paste which has a limited shelf life and is a PITA to use.

    Using a hot iron with a cut conical tip and some liquid rosin flux is MUCH easier to use.

    I have a PACE MBT-250 solder/desoldering station with enough irons to do everything but the real wide TSSOP or chips in BGA packages.

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