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Thread: Bootstrapping a Compaq Portable

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Marietta, GA
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    Quote Originally Posted by zombienerd View Post
    Good to know. I guess I've just been lucky. I have been able to read them in my 360k drives (so far). I guess I should relocate one of my 360k drives to my tweener.
    Indeed you have then. Your mileage can vary quite a bit depending on the specific drives and disks used. Later model higher quality 360k drives will have fewer problems, and higher quality DSDD media seems to help. But plop those disks in a random unknown 360k drive somewhere and you will likely get piles of read errors.

    Recently I have tried using that method, with disk formatted in a 360k, a number of times to save some time getting files from my main machine (with 1.2mb drive) to several of my other machines (with 360k drives). I have regretted it every single time. Some disks/drives will work fine, but others won't read at all. Finally I give up and take it to my 286 that has both 1.4mb 3.5" and 360k to write it properly, and THEN it works.

    Some may point out that degaussing the disk before formatting and writing should result in a readable disks, but that is only practical for disks written all at once, such as with a kryoflux or ImageDisk, that will remain write-protected. Once you delete and write new files a few times, you may run in to the same readability problems. And then there is the problem of making sure the disks are really completely and properly degaussed, or having a degausser in the first place.

    I have no idea how people put up with this when IBM first came out with the AT.

  2. #12

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    I had absolutely no trouble using high destiny disks in a high destiny drive to bootstrap my Kaypro II. I did have to use a bulk demagnetiser before formatting in the high destiny drive. Once read in the Kaypro, I used it to copy the disks to high destiny media in low destiny format. All is well.

  3. #13

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    I crammed the 2nd 360k drive from my Portable into a 486 to be able to make disks for it, then found a blank plate (actually a HD bracket) for the Portable.
    I call her Ghetto 486 IMG_1535.jpg
    My Vintage computer/blog site
    Searching for a keyboard for a WYSEpc WY-1100.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Toronto ON Canada
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    6,807

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC9UDX View Post
    I had absolutely no trouble using high destiny disks in a high destiny drive to bootstrap my Kaypro II. I did have to use a bulk demagnetiser before formatting in the high destiny drive. Once read in the Kaypro, I used it to copy the disks to high destiny media in low destiny format. All is well.
    Two threads now referring to these disks that can control our future.. ? Stone, where are you ?

  5. #15

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    OK, thanks for the suggestions. I have plenty of spare 3.5" drives and media; I'll just try to format them down to 720k and install the drives whenever the mood hits me.

    As for locations wrt media/etc offers: I'm in New Brunswick. (the province in Canada)

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Larose, LA, USA
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    I had the best luck with 3.5" Sony drives. The high/low density switch appears just to change the flux density, regardless of you are writing a 1.44M disk as 720k. That makes for less "General error reading drive A:, abort, retry, fail?" moments.

    Some drives work, some don't. Be prepared to spend an afternoon trying drives out. The Sony ones often have a drive number selection switch that means you can force it to being unit 0, have the twist in the cable and have the 5.25" drive as 1 so it'll boot properly off the 3.5" drive.
    Oh and also, be prepared to get a bit creative when mounting the thing, the screw holes don't line up with modern carriers. What I did was got a half height 5.25 drive and a 3.5" drive in a carrier and mounted them side by side in the right bay. That then meant the left bay got a bunch of space for things like a hard disk. It also makes the machine a lot lighter, the full height floppy drives are heavy old things.

    Phil
    Last edited by PhilipA; October 30th, 2017 at 07:50 PM.

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