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  1. #1

    Default HELP - Accidentally booted Amstrad PC1512 WITH CARDBOARD INSERTS INSIDE FLOPPY DRIVES

    I've recently come accross an Amstrad PC1512, with dual 5 1/4 floppy drives, which according to its previous owner was in perfect working condition. The computer has booted up just fine the times I've turned it on, but at this time I can only unfortunately get up to the "Please insert a disk in drive A:" message because the computer's original floppies are missing. Being so unexperienced with vintage hardware, the last time I booted the computer I accidentally forgot to take out of the drives two pieces of cardboard that were there to protect them (I had put them on the drive to avoid misplacing them every time I turned the computer off). The moment I realized this stupidity I did something even more stupid: I took them out of the drives with the computer ON. I could have sworn the status lights of the drives were not blinking, but it was still a pretty idiotic thing on my side.
    The computer itself seems to have not taken any damage, but I'm concerned that the cardboard might have caused something wrong to the floppy drives. I have no way of testing this since I don't have a bootable DOS disk in 5 1/4 format. Does anybody know if this could have permanently damaged the drives?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Chicagoland, Illinois, USA
    Blog Entries


    It is highly unlikely you damaged the drives. Unless the shipping inserts were made of extremely rough cardboard or had stray fibers for the heads to catch on, the heads likely skimmed across the surface without any damage.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    New Jersey, USA


    Taking cardboard inserts out of the drives while the power is on is no problem, you only need to worry about opening the drive door when you have a real floppy in there, and it is being written to at that exact moment. On some drives you also need to ensure the doors are open when turning power on or off to avoid corrupting diskettes that might be inserted at the time, but that was mostly with 8" drives.

    It's possible the cardboard inserts might have also prevented the heads from seeking during bootup (it depends on the shape of the insert) but I wouldn't worry about it too much -- the heads are kind of designed to do that anyway.

    If you are having any trouble with the floppy drives right now, it's probably just a coincidence. I doubt the cardboard insert episode is related.


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