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Thread: 8" disk drive head cleaner

  1. #1

    Default 8" disk drive head cleaner

    Hi

    Is there any known way to make a drive head cleaner for an 8" disk drive? I have a 5.25" cleaner and it is just a sort of fibrous paper disc in a sleeve. I'm thinking I could make something similar and put it in an 8" sleeve? Precision cutting of the hole is the problem though.

    The problem is the drive units are enclosed in a big case which is difficult to open, and as I have many disks to work with, I need a quick cleaning solution that does not entail opening the case.

    Alternatively, if anyone has a spare cleaner or insert?

    Thanks
    JonB

  2. #2

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    I've tried an insert with a piece of normal A4 paper, using a normal disk as a template. Cut it out with scissors and punched an index hole, then slid it into a blank sleeve. Then dropped some methylated spirits (what I think is called wood alcohol in the US) onto the surface of the insert (through the head slot) and put it in the drive. Carefully closing the drive door, I was surprised to see it actually working, that is, turning inside the sleeve, noisily. I did a few DIR B: operations and the could hear the head loading and seeking repeatedly, so I think it is contacting my paper insert. When I took the thing out of the drive, I could see the inner ring was hardly damaged by the clamp.

    So, cautiously, it seems to have worked...

  3. #3

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    There are several bonafide cleaning kits on eBay and the prices are very reasonable.
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

  4. #4

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    I did look - the only 8" kit I found was in Australia and would cost over 40 with shipping.

  5. #5

    Default

    If the drive is single sided, most typical head cleaners will to more damage than good. The pressure pad on the head load assembly will be damaged.
    I suppose one could mount the cleaning surface on the side of a clean piece of plastic. That way the plastic side of the disk will be against the pressure pad.
    But then, the trouble is often that disk gunk has accumulated on the pressure pad. This won't clean the pad. If the pad is uneven, the disk won't make proper contact with the head.
    No, I don't think any disk type cleaner would be useful for a single sided 8 inch drive. You'll just have to do it the old fashioned way.
    Dwight

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by JonB View Post
    I did look - the only 8" kit I found was in Australia and would cost over 40 with shipping.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/8-Inch-Univ...IAAOSw9pNckqnX

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/8-Floppy-He...YAAOSwA3dYh2bB

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Cleaning-Ki...kAAOxyQ45Q9uU5
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

  7. #7

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    @Dwight - Drives are double sided so no issues there.. good point though!

    @Stone - these do not come up when I search. Two of them do not ship to the UK (a shame, because one of them is the right price). Not sure why the other didn't show, but it is too pricey anyway.

    Thanks



    JonB

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Default

    I use a long cotton swab and 91% isopropyl alcohol. If you have a lot of potentially dirty disks to work with, leave the case off, or use a bare drive on the bench. Unless your disks are really gunky, you shouldn't be cleaning the heads all the time.

  9. #9

    Default

    Still, the problem with single sided is often not the head but the pressure pad. I've often cleaned these by scraping them with a dull knife and blowing on them with pressurized air. This does involve some disassembly to access them. If one is in there any way, why not use a swab on the heads and avoid the disk clear junk in the first place. The cleaners only do half the job and do that poorly. If one spot is cleaned enough that the head seems to read and write but you left a gob of disk gunk towards the edge of the head, you may be damaging the disk( I've see this ). These kits are no replacement for a proper cleaning.
    Dwight

  10. #10

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    I think you can tell, I'm with Glitch. There is not easy simple cleaning. If it is worth doing, it is worth doing right.
    Dwight

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