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Thread: Cleaning heads on a DuoDisk?

  1. #1

    Question Cleaning heads on a DuoDisk?

    Hi, does anyone know how to open up a DuoDisk and clean the heads?

    I watched a video on YouTube about how to clean a Disk II, but I can't find a similar one for DuoDisk. I started removing some of the screws on the DuoDisk to see if I could figure it out myself, but the DuoDisk wouldn't open up (*), and I decided I shouldn't mess with things I didn't understand, so I put the screws back in.

    Any information would be appreciated. Thanks!

    (*) I got the outer plastic shell off just fine, but what I mean is that I couldn't get the metal disk drive units inside to open.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Augusta, Georgia, USA


    While it is better to open it and clean the heads manually, the disk cleaning kits work well. Make sure to get the one that has the top covered so that you don't damage the felt pressure pad inside (Apple drives are single-sided and read from the bottom). If it doesn't, fasten something over the top window of the cleaning disk to cover it, and make sure it's secure enough not to come off inside the drive.

    Put a little alcohol on it and reset the A2 a couple of times, it should be clean.

  3. #3


    Thanks for the info!

    I ended up buying an unopened box of vintage Verbatim cleaning disks on eBay. (A bit pricey.) The kit consists of a reusable "jacket", and ten individually sealed, presaturated cleaning disks. The jacket includes a "window" on the top that can be opened for double sided drives, but since the Apple II is singled sided, I left the window closed.

    I started out following the directions, which say not to apply any fluid because the disks are presaturated. The disk did seem slightly damp and smelled of alcohol, although it was certainly not significantly wet.

    I'd been hoping the disk would come out looking dirty, so that I would know that it worked, but it looked exactly the same when I was done. (This drive has never been cleaned before in its nearly 35 years of existence, so it ought to be plenty dirty.)

    I added some alcohol to the pad and repeated the process, in case the presaturated pad had dried out too much over the years, but it still came out looking unchanged.

    How can I tell that the cleaning worked? Should I be able to read some of the disks that I previously had trouble reading? Or is the cleaning more about not corrupting additional disks in the future?

    Is there any way to tell if I have the right amount of alcohol on the pad?

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