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Thread: Amstrad PC1512 SD help

  1. #1

    Default Amstrad PC1512 SD help

    Hey all,

    Needing some help with my old Amstrad. Was my aunts computer back in the 80’s and it was left outside in the elements for 20+ years but after much... much... scrubbing and rust removal etc it powers on and posts (I flinch every time I push the power button fully expecting something to catastrophically explode but so far so good). I did recap, clean and grease the 5.25” drive when I had it out for cleaning.
    The issue I’m currently having is that it would appear (not a surprise to anyone) that the system disks didn’t survive the ordeal. When prompted to insert the system disk I put the disk in, the drive spins up as the disk goes in, I close it and the drive just sits there and repeatedly seeks making a little thumping noise over and over until I take it out and the system doesn’t recognize the disk. Suppose it could be a problem with the drive and the disks but without the system disks on 5.25” floppy’s the drive is pretty useless anyway since, I believe, the 1512 doesn’t boot from the hardcard but always boots from floppy.
    So that’s the conundrum, how do I go about getting disk images onto a medium that the computer can read. Is there a way to get a USB device to read on something this old? I don’t think the bus on this is made to work with 3.5” floppy drives either as far as I remember they only offered 5.25” on the 1512. Any work around?

  2. #2
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    Can you transfer your images to 3.5" DD disks? You should be able to use a 3.5" drive (or emulator) then.

    For your case, my money's on the floppy drive getting mishandled somehow. 5.25" floppy drives are generally pretty rugged.

  3. #3
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    You should be able to use a GoTek with the FlashCopy software

    https://github.com/keirf/FlashFloppy/wiki

    and there is more info here:-

    https://www.seasip.info/AmstradXT/qanda.html
    Dave
    G4UGM

    Looking for Analog Computers, Drum Plotters, and Graphics Terminals

  4. #4

    Default

    A Gotek with the stock 720k firmware (SFRM72-TU100K) should also work, though I haven't tried this on a PC1512.

  5. #5

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    You should try a DOS boot disk in it, a known good one. You might need a head cleaning disk to get it to read anything, though.
    PM me if you're looking for 3½" or 5¼" floppy disks. EMail “ ” For everything else, Take Another Step

  6. #6
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    3.5" drives can be done on an Amstrad 1512, it was a fairly common mod to do back in the 90's. The biggest problem you have is dealing with the floppy cable as it is hard wired to the motherboard and will only have edge connectors for 5.25" drives. Adapters are available to cope with this though. You'll need a converter for the power connectors too (very commonly available).

    I doubt you even need a DD drive; it's only a standard Shugart-style controller and in most cases an HD drive will function (but only in DD mode). 3.5" HD drives are still commonly available, as are the drive bay adapters to make it fit.

    If you do swap the drives out though though you will probably find the 3.5" drive will only format disks to 360K unless you use DRIVER.SYS or DRIVPARM

    Going forward, maybe add an XT-IDE to future proof it?

  7. #7

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    For a 3.5" drive A:, the PC1512 needs a drive that can respond to DS0 rather than DS1, since unlike an IBM it doesn't use the cable twist to distinguish drives.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnElliott View Post
    For a 3.5" drive A:, the PC1512 needs a drive that can respond to DS0 rather than DS1, since unlike an IBM it doesn't use the cable twist to distinguish drives.
    Most GoTeks have links.
    Dave
    G4UGM

    Looking for Analog Computers, Drum Plotters, and Graphics Terminals

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Craiger1987 View Post
    I believe, the 1512 doesn’t boot from the hardcard but always boots from floppy.
    If the hardcard works, your Amstrad should boot from it. Do you see any messages from the controller during POST/boot?

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