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Floppy drive prices on eBay...

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    I remember what 2 Shugart 801 drives cost back in the 70's and also what the external case with pwr supply added to that cost. Today's prices for 5.25" or 3.5" are nothing compared to that.

    I bought a few dozen 5.25" drives a couple of years ago just to have spares and I think I paid about $200 for the whole pile of them. A couple were missing parts and almost all needed cleaning and lube. I also bought new 100 diskettes. That might have been a smart move on my part.
    Crazy old guy with a basement full of Pentium 1 laptops and parts


      I've still got a couple of boxes (100 count). of DSDD duplicator floppies. One of these days I'll get rid of them. They're pretty handy when you get, say, old Elephant-brand floppies that are stuck in their jackets. Just grab a new floppy, open the top seam and stick the cookie from the Elephant inside after discarding the new cookie.


        I have some 8" Elephant diskettes. Don't have any of their 5.25's. Plus a bunch of Rockwell 8 inchers. I have had problems with some other brands of old 5.25" sticking to the jacket or just losing too much of the magnetic coating. Got sick of having to clean a drive's heads after reading a diskette and tossed most of them after making new backups. I guess that's going to happen to all of them one day soon.
        Crazy old guy with a basement full of Pentium 1 laptops and parts


          Originally posted by TH2002 View Post
          So BOTH of my external Toshiba floppy drives died recently and my Tecra 500CDT also has a dead CD-ROM drive. So I essentially have no way to get data onto the computer except serial (which unfortunately my Tecra doesn't have a copy of LapLink installed) and I don't feel like removing the HDD just to install a copy. The floppy drives just make a buzzing noise and refuse to read any disks.

          So I figured it was time to get a new FDD. Looked on eBay and the prices are insane! The cheapest drive I can find is over 30 bucks and it's not even tested! There are cheaper listings but those don't include the FDD, only the external case. Searching for listings for the FDD alone have been futile as well as the drive itself has no markings of any kind.

          A few years back I picked up one of these external drives (on eBay) for under 20 bucks. What happened between then and now to make floppy drives on eBay so friggin expensive? That being said, maybe all of this is my fault and I'm just cheap but I don't see paying 30+ bucks for an external floppy drive as reasonable.

          I can pick up a CD-ROM drive for much cheaper than a floppy drive. Is it something about floppy drives that just makes eBay sellers think they're worth a lot more than they are?

          Mods: NO THIS IS NOT A RANT. I am not trying to smear eBay, you guys or any other entity here. I'm merely asking a question.
          I have many NOS 3.5" laptop floppy drives left over from my laptop support days. If that's what you need or even a NOS laptop CD-ROM drive I might have something that will work. I don't give them away, but I'm no longer in business and don't mind selling them at a reasonable price plus shipping.
          Crazy old guy with a basement full of Pentium 1 laptops and parts


            Originally posted by DeltaDon View Post
            I have some 8" Elephant diskettes. Don't have any of their 5.25's. Plus a bunch of Rockwell 8 inchers. I have had problems with some other brands of old 5.25" sticking to the jacket or just losing too much of the magnetic coating. Got sick of having to clean a drive's heads after reading a diskette and tossed most of them after making new backups. I guess that's going to happen to all of them one day soon.
            Since I'm in the business of rescuing data, I have to sometimes take extraordinary measures. I used to bake floppies that came in only if I suspected that they would need it--now I bake everything that comes in. Jacket replacement, lubrication, etc. all add to the process. 5.25" Wabash diskettes were execrable even back in the day and have not gotten better with time. But I can still handle them.

            It's like QIC tapes. Used to be that you occasionally saw a bad tension belt on DC300-size cartridges. Nowadays, it's almost all of them that come in.

            Not surprisingly, the best-preserved read/write medium in terms of longevity seems to be half-inch open-reel magnetic tape. I've handled tapes from the early 1960s successfully.


              Originally posted by Mad-Mike View Post
              And that's been pretty much true for all vintage computer stuff. At this point, I'm doing board level repairs instead of chucking motherboards and replacing them with something similar. I'm already finding ways to adapt modern storage to older hardware and figuring out what works and what does not. I've been looking at ways of hacking-in upgrades that the manufacturer would never allow or figure out.
              Yep, what with dwindling supply combined with increasing demand and the natural aging of components, being able to service and repair this gear is in my view absolutely essential.

              So far all of my 5.25" drives have been working well, but quite a few of them required cleaning and lubricating before they'd work. So now I will immediately clean and lubricate any 5.25" drive before ever powering it up. I don't have an alignment diskette and thankfully none of my drives are in need of a realignment.

              It's become very difficult to find 5.25" drives in my area. About the only way to get one is on those rare occasions when a very old PC is getting e-wasted. As a result I have a perpetual drive shortage, and so I have no choice but to ensure every single drive is in good working order.


                Uh, this is how it starts. Until recently I hardly ever saw SyncMaster 753DF SyncMaster 755DFs on eBay. Then a number of months ago someone posted a beat up unit asking for $300 plus insane shipping. It is still out there but all of a sudden today, a bunch more popped up out there priced in the ballpark of $300.


                Eventually, someone with more money than brains will probably buy one at that price, cementing that value.