Forum etiquette

Our mission ...

This forum is part of our mission to promote the preservation of vintage computers through education and outreach. (In real life we also run events and have a museum.) We encourage you to join us, participate, share your knowledge, and enjoy.

This forum has been around in this format for over 15 years. These rules and guidelines help us maintain a healthy and active community, and we moderate the forum to keep things on track. Please familiarize yourself with these rules and guidelines.

Remain civil and respectful

There are several hundred people who actively participate here. People come from all different backgrounds and will have different ways of seeing things. You will not agree with everything you read here. Back-and-forth discussions are fine but do not cross the line into rude or disrespectful behavior.

Conduct yourself as you would at any other place where people come together in person to discuss their hobby. If you wouldn't say something to somebody in person, then you probably should not be writing it here.

This should be obvious but, just in case: profanity, threats, slurs against any group (sexual, racial, gender, etc.) will not be tolerated.

Stay close to the original topic being discussed
  • If you are starting a new thread choose a reasonable sub-forum to start your thread. (If you choose incorrectly don't worry, we can fix that.)
  • If you are responding to a thread, stay on topic - the original poster was trying to achieve something. You can always start a new thread instead of potentially "hijacking" an existing thread.

Contribute something meaningful

To put things in engineering terms, we value a high signal to noise ratio. Coming here should not be a waste of time.
  • This is not a chat room. If you are taking less than 30 seconds to make a post then you are probably doing something wrong. A post should be on topic, clear, and contribute something meaningful to the discussion. If people read your posts and feel that their time as been wasted, they will stop reading your posts. Worse yet, they will stop visiting and we'll lose their experience and contributions.
  • Do not bump threads.
  • Do not "necro-post" unless you are following up to a specific person on a specific thread. And even then, that person may have moved on. Just start a new thread for your related topic.
  • Use the Private Message system for posts that are targeted at a specific person.

"PM Sent!" messages (or, how to use the Private Message system)

This forum has a private message feature that we want people to use for messages that are not of general interest to other members.

In short, if you are going to reply to a thread and that reply is targeted to a specific individual and not of interest to anybody else (either now or in the future) then send a private message instead.

Here are some obvious examples of when you should not reply to a thread and use the PM system instead:
  • "PM Sent!": Do not tell the rest of us that you sent a PM ... the forum software will tell the other person that they have a PM waiting.
  • "How much is shipping to ....": This is a very specific and directed question that is not of interest to anybody else.

Why do we have this policy? Sending a "PM Sent!" type message basically wastes everybody else's time by making them having to scroll past a post in a thread that looks to be updated, when the update is not meaningful. And the person you are sending the PM to will be notified by the forum software that they have a message waiting for them. Look up at the top near the right edge where it says 'Notifications' ... if you have a PM waiting, it will tell you there.

Copyright and other legal issues

We are here to discuss vintage computing, so discussing software, books, and other intellectual property that is on-topic is fine. We don't want people using these forums to discuss or enable copyright violations or other things that are against the law; whether you agree with the law or not is irrelevant. Do not use our resources for something that is legally or morally questionable.

Our discussions here generally fall under "fair use." Telling people how to pirate a software title is an example of something that is not allowable here.

Reporting problematic posts

If you see spam, a wildly off-topic post, or something abusive or illegal please report the thread by clicking on the "Report Post" icon. (It looks like an exclamation point in a triangle and it is available under every post.) This send a notification to all of the moderators, so somebody will see it and deal with it.

If you are unsure you may consider sending a private message to a moderator instead.

New user moderation

New users are directly moderated so that we can weed spammers out early. This means that for your first 10 posts you will have some delay before they are seen. We understand this can be disruptive to the flow of conversation and we try to keep up with our new user moderation duties to avoid undue inconvenience. Please do not make duplicate posts, extra posts to bump your post count, or ask the moderators to expedite this process; 10 moderated posts will go by quickly.

New users also have a smaller personal message inbox limit and are rate limited when sending PMs to other users.

Other suggestions
  • Use Google, books, or other definitive sources. There is a lot of information out there.
  • Don't make people guess at what you are trying to say; we are not mind readers. Be clear and concise.
  • Spelling and grammar are not rated, but they do make a post easier to read.
See more
See less

Format with write protect on...

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Format with write protect on...

    I wonder if anyone has seen this before. I fixed the optical sensors (write protect and index) on my Tandy 1000 teac drive, and it will give a write protect error if I try to delete a file, but format does not fail immediately. It goes through the motions like it is formatting, but at the end when it tries to write the fat/directory, THEN it fails with a write protect error. Does the same thing with 3.20 or 6.22. I tried a similar action on another PC and it fails immediately. It makes me wonder if it is a floppy controller IC level difference where the one used in the Tandy allows a format command without returning an error or something. The disk is NOT formatted though. It goes through the motions, but in the end, all the file data is still present.

    I tried to duplicate this on a Tandy 1000 w/ 360k drives, but the format is rejected at the start on my system. In my case, the format tool is presenting as "TANDY 1000 FLOPPY FORMAT VERSION 02.11.01". I also tried with MS DOS format and it rejected at the beginning as well.

    I'm curious what model Tandy 1000 is giving you this behavior?


      It is a Tandy 1000A.

      The drive itself if a teac fd-54b-02-u.

      I did have to fix the drive - both of its optical sensors were bad. The result was it always thought the light was shining on it when it wasn't. For the write protect this meant it always thought it was non write protected, and for the index sensor this meant it always thought the light was shining through the hole in the disk. I replaced both sensors with an OPL-530 and it can now format and it also respects the write protect if I try to write to a disk, it is just this format oddity that is still strange.

      I've also got a GoTek hooked up so I am going to write protect one of the images on it and try to format it and see what happens.


        It does the same thing with the GoTek. Goes through the motions of formatting, but the little LED segment that lights up for writing never lights up at all. At the end it goes to write and complains about write protect. Get out of the format and all the data is still there, you can execute programs off of it so no format is occurring. Not a drive issue then.


          Nope, sounds like an FDC quirk to me. Apparently the FDC doesn't error out on format if the write protect is active.


            Technical manual says it is an Intel 8272A.


              Same as a NEC D765, then.


                Well, the floppy stopped spinning. It seems the motor signal is no longer outputting for some reason. It was working fine with the GoTek and the not. I think I have another floppy IC around here from building a zeta2, I'll have to see what it is and see if it is a drop in replacement to try.


                  The question is, does it actually do a format with the write protect on or just the steps. Usually the write protect usually does two things. The drive sets a bit on the interface and physically block the disk from writing.
                  The firmware may not be looking at the interface or even looking to ensure the disk has been changed until that point in the code. I would not be surprised with this action.


                    If WRITE GATE\ on the drive isn't enabled (i.e. pulled low), the drive will not write anything, no matter how the other signal lines twitch. It's an easy way to make a drive read-only--just break the WRITE GATE/ line (pin 24) and pull it high on the drive. You can easily do this with a SPDT switch and a resistor.

                    Write-protect status is available only upon completion of a command in status word 3. A "SENSE DRIVE STATUS" (04) command will suffice to get it without actually attempting to do anything.
                    Last edited by Chuck(G); April 3, 2021, 09:07 AM.


                      It doesn't not actually format the tracks, it just goes through the motion like it is. All the file data is still there and I was doing a /U option type format.


                        Sounds as if your controller/driver combo isn't pulling WRITE GATE/ low.


                          It formats/writes fine if there is no write protect.


                            So the FDC isn't getting the message, obviously.


                              That is what I think; other FDC's inform DOS that a disk is write protected when they try to format, but I don't think this particular FDC does.