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Thread: Kaypro 2 Doesnt Ready any Floppies

  1. #1

    Default Kaypro 2 Doesnt Ready any Floppies

    I just got myself a Kaypro "new" 2, with a bunch of software. I spent about 2 hours checking the software out, the usual wordstar and calcstar and even a microsoft floppy with games, i must've been half an hour playing ladder. Anyway, i turned the kaypro off and went to sleep, and now i put in a floppy and it just keeps reading it forever and doesn't do anything. All i see is the start screen "Kaypro Corporation v. 2.2" and that's it. It does it with all of the floppies, even the ones that i already checked.
    SOMETIMES very rarely reads them and then i get a bad sector error. What could it be? The drive? It went bust in just 2 hours? Or am i missing something and it's a software thing? (This is my first CP/M machine so i'm reading the manuals but i don't see an answer to my problem, already reset the unit and tried loading a floppy with CP/M but nothing)

  2. #2


    It sounds like the disk drive heads need cleaning. Depending on how the floppies were stored, the drive head could have picked up the deteriorating coating from one of the old floppies, resulting in both a dirty R/W head and unusable floppies. The first thing I would do is remove the drives and clean the heads with engineering isopropyl alcohol and a q-tip. Then try reading the disks again. If everything works, your done. If things work for bit, and then the problem repeats itself, re-clean the heads and try to isolate which disk is causing the problem.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Chaffee, MO


    I'd suggest opening the Kaypro's Case and removing both floppy drives. Then cleaning the heads with a Cotton Swab dipped in Alcohol. Also, for the Tandon style
    floppy drives, clean the drive rails with another Cotton Swab dipped in Alcohol. I use Dri-Slide (Motorcycle Cable Lube) to lube the guide rails, as it doesn't
    attract dirt. Then, carefully move the head assemble up and down the drive rails. It should slide easily.

    At least it's booting properly if you are seeing the Kaypro message. When it does boot with a fresh Boot disk (A:) and a blank disk in (B: or C:)
    Format B: (or C:), then sysgen B: (or C:), then copy all the files with pip B:=A:[ov] (pip dest:=source:[verify])

    You might need to get a fresh boot disk and get some copies of your current software, before you lose what is currently on them.

    Last edited by ldkraemer; June 28th, 2015 at 03:01 AM.

  4. #4


    A disk drive head cleaning diskette is much easier to use, far more effective and doesn't lend itself to the possibility of damaging the heads. IMO, anybody who deals with floppies should have this kit. I've been using them for 25 years and have never looked back. Floppies will inevetiably foul your drives.
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

  5. #5


    Yes, if the disks were old (and starting to degrade) they may have left deposits on the drive heads. Once deposits start to accumulate, disk errors start to cascade. My advice would be to try cleaning diskettes first as mentioned by Stone and if that doesn't work, open it up, clean the heads and check the guide rails.

    If cleaning seems to fix the problem, it's highly likely continued use of the disks will foul the heads again. Try to copy what you can onto fresh disks. If errors start to creep back quickly, you might need to wash them.

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  6. Default

    On the older design drives, it's very important to open the drive doors, and remove the disks, or at least pull them partway out of the drives before shutting off the power. Otherwise, the drives have the tendency to glitch the disks as the drives lose power, ruining the data stored on the disks.

    You didn't say whether you have the operating system on all of the disks, usually that's not the case, on early computers, because the OS takes up too much of the space on the disk. Most people work with the OS on a boot disk, and swap disks after the computer is booted up.

    If this is the way that your computer was organized, glitching the boot disk will keep the computer from starting up, and since the other disks don;t have the OS on them, the computer cannot come all the way up after the power was shut-off.

    What you want to do is try to separate your disks into piles with ones that hold copies of the OS in one pile, and disks that only contain programs or data
    files in other piles. Make sure that you put write protect tabs on the disks that you are checking to see if they are boot disks. Write protect tabs will not protect the disk against glitch writing when shutting off the computer, so make sure you remove the disks before shutting down. Then try the suspected boot disks one by one in the boot drive (powering off the computer between attempts to force the computer to restart trying to load the OS each time you change boot disks).

    Be careful if you decide to try to clean the R/W heads with alcohol, on Tandon double-sided drives the upper head is delicately suspended (on other heads both the upper and lower heads are suspended), and it's possible to damage the alignment and/or mounting (of the head) if you are too rough cleaning the heads (ruining the head assembly).

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