Restoring individual 5.25" floppies

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Restoring individual 5.25" floppies

Postby Clym5 on Tue Jan 31, 2017 5:43 pm

In my quest to restore my IBM 5155 to it's former glory, I've now run into the need for it to have some sort of storage media. It has two 360kb 5.25" floppy drives of which only one works at the moment.

Unfortunately I don't have many suitable floppies for it, as most of my 5.25" floppies are DS-HD not DS-DD. All up I have 3 floppies without rings scratched into them or white mold all over them. However when I go to format them in a 360kb floppy drive, I nearly always get "Track 0 bad" or another error. I've tried cleaning the disks and heads with IPA. How do you all write 360kb floppies? Any "tricks of the trade" would be appreciated.

For reference, I have the ability to transfer files from windows to a PC with a 360kb drive.
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Re: Restoring individual 5.25" floppies

Postby SpidersWeb on Wed Feb 01, 2017 1:33 am

Generally I install hard drives and transfer files with a cheap null modem cable. On a 5155 this can be a pain because the faceplate size is non-standard - the previous owner of mine took a normal blanking plate and cut it - then hot glued it in place :lol: and installed a hard drive behind it.

I have noticed some drives do a better job of writing diskettes than others. So I have machines/drives that I trust more for formatting than others. For me that's an IBM 5160 with an original full height Tandon drive. If you're using a 1.2MB drive in your "tweener" machine - you may find using a genuine 360KB drive to be more tolerable as it'll be able to write and read from a larger track width.

I keep a set of good MS DOS boot disks that I only use in machines with cleaned drives, and then do everything else with the cable. I've also purchased the DD version of one of those GoTek floppy kits, and in a pinch you can get away with using a 1.44 drive (as long as the data on the disk is recorded at the lower data rate of DD).

So yeah, unfortunately no great advice from me, I've just had similar frustrations with DSDD media - even sealed media, my last order of 100 disks contained 90 disks that when unsealed.... had visible white growths on the surface.
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