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LS-240 drive (support for FD32MB)

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    LS-240 drive (support for FD32MB)

    Anyone own an LS-240 (SuperDisk) drive? It came out in 1999 or 2000 and was only available until 2002. Apparently it had a technology in which to read/write to standard HD floppies (1.44 MB) and store up to 32 MB of data. I'm wondering if anyone has written 32 MB onto a standard 3.5 inch HD floppy disk?

    I'm actually interested in acquiring one.

    Dennis

    #2
    I wrote a couple of disks that way. Proved I could read them back on the same drive and then forgot about it. Only had the one drive so I could not test for interoperability.

    Only works with some LS-240 models. Superwriter32 (the tool that does the special format) came with Matsushita branded drives. The format is frustratingly slow so it is fairly useless except as a curio. It requires Win98, Win2000 or XP* ; earlier OSes can't do it. Mac requires the very scarce USB version to do 32MB disks.

    The LS-240 special read/write heads are very fragile. I have seen a number of LS-240 and LS-120 drives where only the standard floppy (1.44 MB) drive heads work. Those won't read the 32MB format any longer either.

    Basically, unless you luck out and get a drive for free, I would suggest not bothering.

    *WinME is supposed to also be supported but ME was not a very good release for most uses.
    Last edited by krebizfan; December 14, 2017, 12:16 PM.

    Comment


      #3
      That's too bad, it sounds pretty interesting.

      I have an LS-120 that I purchased recently but can't seem to use it because it has the SD-USB-M version connector.
      So I thought maybe I can find another device (LS-240) that would at least allow me to use the disks I purchased.
      I guess I'll have to find a G3.

      Thanks for the response.

      Comment


        #4
        Yes ls-240 drives could format 1.44mb floppy disk to hold 32mb, but it was very un-user friendly. Basically to write anything to the disk if has to be completely rewritten.
        LS-120 drive and 240 drives can be very buggy and picky. But If you get one in good shape and care for it your be fine.
        I been useing a ls-120 drive in my Vista core2 system for some time now and it works fine, but I got it NOS.
        I had a few used ones in my 9x box and they all failed and now I'm looking for a later NOS one. If you want a LS drive get one new. newer drives tend to be better for ls-120 drive form what I seen. Stay away from the older pre 98 drives with FDD connectors.
        Last edited by Mr. Horse; January 3, 2018, 06:06 PM.
        I have dyslexia, I have alot of trouble putting my thoughts into words and spelling/grammar is something I struggle with.
        You may need to read my posts twice to understand what I said.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Mr. Horse View Post
          Stay away from the older pre 98 drives with FDD connectors.
          I confess to never having seen one of those, although I own a couple that date from Windows 95 days, both SCSI and PATA, but not floppy interface.

          (FWIW: "LS" in "LS-120" stands for "laser servo")
          Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.

          Comment


            #6
            There is a pretty good reason for not seeing them. Almost all of them surely failed, ones that did not ether whent unused or tossed out before they failed.
            I can't think of a slower way of transferring files then a fdd interface LS drive.
            Last edited by Mr. Horse; January 3, 2018, 09:57 PM.
            I have dyslexia, I have alot of trouble putting my thoughts into words and spelling/grammar is something I struggle with.
            You may need to read my posts twice to understand what I said.

            Comment


              #7
              Regarding LS-240’s and LS-120’s My experience covering about 20 drives. I still have 4 LS-240’s (2X QPS QUE1’s and 2 Ultrabay 2000 models) drives and 6 LS-120’s are that the LS-120’s all fail regardless of how they are stored, or if they are brand new and never used.

              The heads miss-align for the laser on the LS-120’s, so in effect you have a relatively quick floppy drive reader, as this uses a separate head (I believe).

              The LS-240’s are an entirely different experience – they work. Perhaps Imation should have waited and only brought these out, the damage was done with the LS-120’s terrible build quality. So the whole format died a death.

              I still use LS-240’s with floppy, LS-120 and LS-240 disks.

              The SuperWriter32 software is slow to write, but the disks can be read fast by simple insertion. I have probably 1000 albums stored on floppy disk and just printed off nice album covers for floppy’s as I went to put on front of floppy.

              If one uses variable bit rate MP3 recording you can get a whole album in quite high quality on a floppy for your 32mb. It doesn’t need to be rewritten, so writing speed not a problem.

              The software Superwriter32 is very slim doesn’t grab resources and works well. However I have never got it to work on Windows 7 or later. I use it on my XP Workstations and Laptops.

              I came to these drives quite by chance, as an ex girlfriend of mine, was having serious problems because 1000’s of MB of data that had been stored on LS-120’s could no longer be read on the LS-120 drives that were bought at the time to do the job. So far I have not had an LS-240 drive fail on me. The media – the disks themselves I have found to be quality.

              If anyone wants this Superwriter32 software I have stuck it on a download site.

              https://ulozto.net/hledej?q=superwriter32

              Comment


                #8
                I need a scorecard for the Mac units. SD-USB-M, M2, M3, U2, U3...

                Which are LS120 and which are LS240?
                Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Hi Chuck

                  Not sure if that question was meant for me. I have no idea what a scorecard for the Mac is. I have never owned a Mac.

                  I presume you are referring to the power adaptor when you mention. SD-USB-M, M2, M3, U2, U3..

                  You can pull the SuperDisk out of its housing and use an Easy IDE adaptor instead.

                  Link below:

                  http://www.eksitdata.com/download/Ea...E%20manual.pdf

                  However, if you have an LS120 then I will be really impressed if you can get it to read anything.


                  The LS240’s that I personally own are 2 of QPS Que! Superdisk 240mb FD32mb

                  They use a USB interface, but I have found I can also boot from them through the USB on a SuperMicro X6DAE Motherboard Bios.

                  Links to them below:

                  https://www.amazon.co.uk/QPS-Externa.../dp/B00005QVLJ

                  https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/QUE-Super...gAAOSwuFZchABW

                  It is my understanding that these were popular with Mac users too.

                  The other type I own are 2 of IBM Thinkpad T23 Ultrabay 2000 type. These have the proprietary Ultrabay 2000 interface.

                  Links to them below:

                  https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/240mb-Sup...p2047675.l2557


                  Of all the SuperDisk 240 (LS240) drives I would say the Que! Superdisk is the best by far.

                  The LS120’s that I own are all the standard IDE/PATA interface. These come up very often on ebay, but I would steer well clear of them. I could not get any to work. I was even sent 8 of these drives by my old girlfriend to see if I could get any to work and those were all brand new sealed units. I could a couple to work intermittently.

                  I ended up having to pull data off hundreds of LS120 disks for her, using the LS240 disks – which work fine.

                  One word of caution: never use a floppy cleaning disk – you will instantly destroy the SuperDisk drive.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    If it says “Super Disk Drive” or has just a logo on the front it is an LS-120.

                    All LS-240 drives say “Super Disk 240MB”

                    You are best typing Super Disk into Google and looking at the pictures to see exactly what you have.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Mr Siamese Cat View Post
                      Hi Chuck

                      Not sure if that question was meant for me. I have no idea what a scorecard for the Mac is. I have never owned a Mac.

                      I presume you are referring to the power adaptor when you mention. SD-USB-M, M2, M3, U2, U3..

                      You can pull the SuperDisk out of its housing and use an Easy IDE adaptor instead.

                      Link below:

                      http://www.eksitdata.com/download/Ea...E%20manual.pdf

                      However, if you have an LS120 then I will be really impressed if you can get it to read anything.


                      The LS240’s that I personally own are 2 of QPS Que! Superdisk 240mb FD32mb

                      They use a USB interface, but I have found I can also boot from them through the USB on a SuperMicro X6DAE Motherboard Bios.

                      Links to them below:

                      https://www.amazon.co.uk/QPS-Externa.../dp/B00005QVLJ

                      https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/QUE-Super...gAAOSwuFZchABW

                      It is my understanding that these were popular with Mac users too.

                      The other type I own are 2 of IBM Thinkpad T23 Ultrabay 2000 type. These have the proprietary Ultrabay 2000 interface.

                      Links to them below:

                      https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/240mb-Sup...p2047675.l2557


                      Of all the SuperDisk 240 (LS240) drives I would say the Que! Superdisk is the best by far.

                      The LS120’s that I own are all the standard IDE/PATA interface. These come up very often on ebay, but I would steer well clear of them. I could not get any to work. I was even sent 8 of these drives by my old girlfriend to see if I could get any to work and those were all brand new sealed units. I could a couple to work intermittently.

                      I ended up having to pull data off hundreds of LS120 disks for her, using the LS240 disks – which work fine.

                      One word of caution: never use a floppy cleaning disk – you will instantly destroy the SuperDisk drive.

                      I have an LS-240 USB drive that does not want to read disks. Anyone know of places that might fix these. It did work sometimes, but I think it is a motor or something sticking.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Hello. Can anyone tell me where an i buy one of those LS240 devices with USB? I'm trying to find one to buy for year now. The reason is sometimes i fix computers, and help people with them, and i do not have any FDD, and that would help me. I was using LS120 loong time ago, and i really liked them

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Hello.
                          Can anyone tell me where can i buy one of those LS240 devices with USB? Sometimes i'm fixing computers for friends and family, but currently i do not have nay FDD device. It would help me with that. Also i was using long time ago LS120 device, and i loved it. I was searching for a year now to buy one, but i can't find. Can anyone help me?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I own LS-240 drives that store 32mb

                            Originally posted by Nicram View Post
                            Hello.
                            Can anyone tell me where can i buy one of those LS240 devices with USB? Sometimes i'm fixing computers for friends and family, but currently i do not have nay FDD device. It would help me with that. Also i was using long time ago LS120 device, and i loved it. I was searching for a year now to buy one, but i can't find. Can anyone help me?
                            I created a VCF account just to be able to reply here. You can buy these LS-240 floppy drives from the Japanese Yahoo Auctions webstore. It is very similar to ebay. Normally there are between 2 to 6 of these drives, sometimes more. They are the USB buspowered Panasonic (white), and USB buspowered Imation blue or green housings.

                            Most sellers refuse to ship to the U.S.A no matter how much money you offer, bummer. An easy way around this is to use the Buyee service that receives your item in Europe and mails it to the U.S.A. The shipping options are DHL and FedEx which are not cheap.

                            I have a YouTube video (Android smartphone reads 32Mb of data on standard floppy disks) where i show my collection of three LS-240 floppy drives. I even show how to use the SuperWriter32 software which stores 32mb of data onto a 1.44 floppy disk. I would love to post a link but i would hate to break any rules. The software can still be downloaded from old online forums. There are two versions, a Panasonic and an Imation. The softwate works on my Windows 8.1 notebook computer by using the Windiws XP SP3 compatibility option.

                            I hope this helps you.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Nicram View Post
                              Hello.
                              Can anyone tell me where can i buy one of those LS240 devices with USB? Sometimes i'm fixing computers for friends and family, but currently i do not have nay FDD device. It would help me with that. Also i was using long time ago LS120 device, and i loved it. I was searching for a year now to buy one, but i can't find. Can anyone help me?
                              I created a VCF account just to be able to reply here. You can buy these LS-240 floppy drives from the Japanese Yahoo Auctions webstore. It is very similar to ebay. Normally there are between 2 to 6 of these drives, sometimes more. They are the USB buspowered Panasonic (white), and USB buspowered Imation blue or green housings.

                              Most sellers refuse to ship to the U.S.A no matter how much money you offer, bummer. An easy way around this is to use the Buyee service that receives your item in Europe and mails it to the U.S.A. The shipping options are DHL and FedEx which are not cheap.

                              I have a YouTube video (Android smartphone reads 32Mb of data on standard floppy disks) where i show my collection of three LS-240 floppy drives. I even show how to use the SuperWriter32 software which stores 32mb of data onto a 1.44 floppy disk. I would love to post a link but i would hate to break any rules. The software can still be downloaded from old online forums. There are two versions, a Panasonic and an Imation. The softwate works on my Windows 8.1 notebook computer by using the Windiws XP SP3 compatibility option.

                              I hope this helps you.

                              Comment

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