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MCP's picture
MCP
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Joined: 2010 Mar 12
Demonic floppies from the underworld...

While trying to make disk images of a couple of recent eBay acquisitions, some floppies were so messed up that they froze my floppy drives, one PowerBook 540c internal floppy, and one external 800k drive with my Classic II. Now they won't recognize any disk, just making some barely audible rubbing noise.

Any ideas on how to fix the drives or how to prevent this in the future?

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Arthegall's picture
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Joined: 2011 Dec 31

Ouch!
Try 68kmla.org. If they don't know probably no one does.

MikeTomTom's picture
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Joined: 2009 Dec 7

Not a good thing to happen. I hope you still have a spare working floppy drive to fall back on? Had a previous owner spilled some sticky substance onto those disks? It sounds very suspicious that they would cause such grief.
I suggest that you dismantle the drives covers to get to the internal workings, use a vacuum on low power and a dry artists paint brush to gently sweep with & suck up any dust (never use a blower on a floppy drive). Then clean all moving parts carefully with cotton buds and Isopropyl alcohol. Do not force the read/write heads apart tho' as they are very fragile. Be very careful with coming into contact with the read/write heads, arm.
In the future inspect the surface of the floppy disk as best you can before inserting for the 1st time - you can use a matchstick to turn the drive-engage-hub while pulling back the spring loaded dust plate and observe the surface through the read/write window of the disk. Not a perfect solution I know but it might help you determine an unknown disks condition beforehand.

MCP's picture
MCP
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Joined: 2010 Mar 12

They're not dirty, it's something else. The disks don't move around well, so something inside has changed with age and their refusal to budge did something to my drives. I've encountered other floppies that tried to do this to my drives but not to this extreme. In one case I know the disks were stored in an attic for decades and exposed to extreme temperatures they were not meant for. There must be something in the floppy that breaks down and doesn't move like it was meant to. I just don't know how to fix the drives.