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Thread: LS-240 drive (support for FD32MB)

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    Default LS-240 drive (support for FD32MB)

    Anyone own an LS-240 (SuperDisk) drive? It came out in 1999 or 2000 and was only available until 2002. Apparently it had a technology in which to read/write to standard HD floppies (1.44 MB) and store up to 32 MB of data. I'm wondering if anyone has written 32 MB onto a standard 3.5 inch HD floppy disk?

    I'm actually interested in acquiring one.

    Dennis

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    I wrote a couple of disks that way. Proved I could read them back on the same drive and then forgot about it. Only had the one drive so I could not test for interoperability.

    Only works with some LS-240 models. Superwriter32 (the tool that does the special format) came with Matsushita branded drives. The format is frustratingly slow so it is fairly useless except as a curio. It requires Win98, Win2000 or XP* ; earlier OSes can't do it. Mac requires the very scarce USB version to do 32MB disks.

    The LS-240 special read/write heads are very fragile. I have seen a number of LS-240 and LS-120 drives where only the standard floppy (1.44 MB) drive heads work. Those won't read the 32MB format any longer either.

    Basically, unless you luck out and get a drive for free, I would suggest not bothering.

    *WinME is supposed to also be supported but ME was not a very good release for most uses.
    Last edited by krebizfan; December 14th, 2017 at 11:16 AM.

  3. #3

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    That's too bad, it sounds pretty interesting.

    I have an LS-120 that I purchased recently but can't seem to use it because it has the SD-USB-M version connector.
    So I thought maybe I can find another device (LS-240) that would at least allow me to use the disks I purchased.
    I guess I'll have to find a G3.

    Thanks for the response.

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    Yes ls-240 drives could format 1.44mb floppy disk to hold 32mb, but it was very un-user friendly. Basically to write anything to the disk if has to be completely rewritten.
    LS-120 drive and 240 drives can be very buggy and picky. But If you get one in good shape and care for it your be fine.
    I been useing a ls-120 drive in my Vista core2 system for some time now and it works fine, but I got it NOS.
    I had a few used ones in my 9x box and they all failed and now I'm looking for a later NOS one. If you want a LS drive get one new. newer drives tend to be better for ls-120 drive form what I seen. Stay away from the older pre 98 drives with FDD connectors.
    Last edited by Mr. Horse; January 3rd, 2018 at 05:06 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Horse View Post
    Stay away from the older pre 98 drives with FDD connectors.
    I confess to never having seen one of those, although I own a couple that date from Windows 95 days, both SCSI and PATA, but not floppy interface.

    (FWIW: "LS" in "LS-120" stands for "laser servo")

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    There is a pretty good reason for not seeing them. Almost all of them surely failed, ones that did not ether whent unused or tossed out before they failed.
    I can't think of a slower way of transferring files then a fdd interface LS drive.
    Last edited by Mr. Horse; January 3rd, 2018 at 08:57 PM.

  7. #7

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    Regarding LS-240’s and LS-120’s My experience covering about 20 drives. I still have 4 LS-240’s (2X QPS QUE1’s and 2 Ultrabay 2000 models) drives and 6 LS-120’s are that the LS-120’s all fail regardless of how they are stored, or if they are brand new and never used.

    The heads miss-align for the laser on the LS-120’s, so in effect you have a relatively quick floppy drive reader, as this uses a separate head (I believe).

    The LS-240’s are an entirely different experience – they work. Perhaps Imation should have waited and only brought these out, the damage was done with the LS-120’s terrible build quality. So the whole format died a death.

    I still use LS-240’s with floppy, LS-120 and LS-240 disks.

    The SuperWriter32 software is slow to write, but the disks can be read fast by simple insertion. I have probably 1000 albums stored on floppy disk and just printed off nice album covers for floppy’s as I went to put on front of floppy.

    If one uses variable bit rate MP3 recording you can get a whole album in quite high quality on a floppy for your 32mb. It doesn’t need to be rewritten, so writing speed not a problem.

    The software Superwriter32 is very slim doesn’t grab resources and works well. However I have never got it to work on Windows 7 or later. I use it on my XP Workstations and Laptops.

    I came to these drives quite by chance, as an ex girlfriend of mine, was having serious problems because 1000’s of MB of data that had been stored on LS-120’s could no longer be read on the LS-120 drives that were bought at the time to do the job. So far I have not had an LS-240 drive fail on me. The media – the disks themselves I have found to be quality.

    If anyone wants this Superwriter32 software I have stuck it on a download site.

    https://ulozto.net/hledej?q=superwriter32

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    I need a scorecard for the Mac units. SD-USB-M, M2, M3, U2, U3...

    Which are LS120 and which are LS240?

  9. #9

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    Hi Chuck

    Not sure if that question was meant for me. I have no idea what a scorecard for the Mac is. I have never owned a Mac.

    I presume you are referring to the power adaptor when you mention. SD-USB-M, M2, M3, U2, U3..

    You can pull the SuperDisk out of its housing and use an Easy IDE adaptor instead.

    Link below:

    http://www.eksitdata.com/download/Ea...E%20manual.pdf

    However, if you have an LS120 then I will be really impressed if you can get it to read anything.


    The LS240’s that I personally own are 2 of QPS Que! Superdisk 240mb FD32mb

    They use a USB interface, but I have found I can also boot from them through the USB on a SuperMicro X6DAE Motherboard Bios.

    Links to them below:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/QPS-Externa.../dp/B00005QVLJ

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/QUE-Super...gAAOSwuFZchABW

    It is my understanding that these were popular with Mac users too.

    The other type I own are 2 of IBM Thinkpad T23 Ultrabay 2000 type. These have the proprietary Ultrabay 2000 interface.

    Links to them below:

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/240mb-Sup...p2047675.l2557


    Of all the SuperDisk 240 (LS240) drives I would say the Que! Superdisk is the best by far.

    The LS120’s that I own are all the standard IDE/PATA interface. These come up very often on ebay, but I would steer well clear of them. I could not get any to work. I was even sent 8 of these drives by my old girlfriend to see if I could get any to work and those were all brand new sealed units. I could a couple to work intermittently.

    I ended up having to pull data off hundreds of LS120 disks for her, using the LS240 disks – which work fine.

    One word of caution: never use a floppy cleaning disk – you will instantly destroy the SuperDisk drive.

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    If it says “Super Disk Drive” or has just a logo on the front it is an LS-120.

    All LS-240 drives say “Super Disk 240MB”

    You are best typing Super Disk into Google and looking at the pictures to see exactly what you have.

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