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Thread: 5.25" 360K Floppy Drive Read/Write Head Not Moving

  1. Default 5.25" 360K Floppy Drive Read/Write Head Not Moving

    I have a Compaq Portable 1 that has two 5.25" 360KB floppy drives. I was restoring the Compaq and I ran into a problem. I kept getting an error 601 (Floppy Drive Error). At first I thought it was a drive controller issue, but that isn't the case. I plugged the floppy drives into my other computer that runs Windows 98 SE and set up the drives in the BIOS. For some reason, when I plug in the floppy drives with a cable that wasn't from the Compaq portable, the drive lights stay on continuously. When I use the original cable from the Compaq Portable, The drive lights flicker at startup and then function how they are supposed to. My issue is that both floppy drive heads aren't moving. The heads move about a millimeter at startup and then don't move at all any other time. Although it can't be an issue with the drive rails not having enough lube/it dried up because the read and write head moves great and with little force. When I put in a disk, the motor that spins the disk slows down to a stop. When I try accessing the disk, no activity light shows up and the computer freezes for about 30 seconds and then says that the drive is not ready. The drive spins the disk fine when I try accessing it though. I would think that the stepper motor bearings are bad or the motor itself is bad, but I think that would be weird to have both drives with a dead stepper motor. Trying to unstick the motor or moving it by hand does nothing. It isn't really making any sounds other than the disk spinning in the sleeve when I put a disk in and a click when the head moves a tiny bit. I really don't understand the issue here. If it helps, I have the last revision of the Compaq Portable 1 that was made in 1986. The floppy drives are half height themselves, but the front that has the lever on it is full height. Here is a picture of it IMG_E1606.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    The drive light staying on constantly is usually a cabling issue and often happens if a plug on the cable is attached upside down.

    The drives not coming on at all with the other cable also suggests a cabling problem, but could also be a jumper setting problem.

    Check, and double check the cables. Then check them again. If this system has never worked since you obtained it, don't assume that anything inside is set up right, a previous user may have botched things up.

    The cables you are using, do they have the "twist" in them? Post a picture if you are not sure. What are the drive's drive select jumpers set to?

    Make sure "pin 1" on the cable is towards "pin 1" on the FDC and the drives. And it wouldn't hurt to check that "pin 1" is really "pin 1" - ocasionally cable labels are wrong.

  3. #3
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    When you plug a cable in and the LED stays on, you don't perhaps, happen to have the cable in upside-down, do you?

    When was the last time that the drive worked?

    If you manually move the head carriage all the way to the hub with the power off and then power the system up, do the drive heads move to the outer cylinders?

    Do you have the termination resistors installed on the drive or the other drive on the cable (at least one has to be terminated)?

    And finally, what is the make and model of the drive?

  4. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    When you plug a cable in and the LED stays on, you don't perhaps, happen to have the cable in upside-down, do you?

    When was the last time that the drive worked?

    If you manually move the head carriage all the way to the hub with the power off and then power the system up, do the drive heads move to the outer cylinders?

    Do you have the termination resistors installed on the drive or the other drive on the cable (at least one has to be terminated)?

    And finally, what is the make and model of the drive?
    I don't know when the drive last worked since I got the computer off of Facebook marketplace. The head doesn't move at all other than the small bit at startup no matter where I put it. I have the termination resistors installed. The only thing the drive says on it is "Compaq 16113"

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