Wanted: 5.25 Floppy Drive

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Wanted: 5.25 Floppy Drive

Postby Jakes on Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:17 am

Hi Guys

I am after an old school 5.25 floppy drive to recover some ancient one-off mechanical engineering programs meant for DOS 6 (Although I'm not even sure the disks will have survived..they always had pretty strict storing condition pictures on the back..). Should be interesting though.

So if anybody has some leads on finding an old drive that would be great. I would also buy whole computers if it still has the floppy drive.

(I've been trawling trademe but no luck there yet, I suspect there aren't that many left gathering dust somewhere :( )

cheers
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Re: Wanted: 5.25 Floppy Drive

Postby tezza on Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:38 am

Hi Jakes,

I don't have any spare drives, but I do offer a service to help people get these files off old floppies.
https://www.classic-computers.org.nz/fl ... ervice.htm

If it's just 1-2 disks or so though, it might be cheaper than sourcing a drive.

Not as much fun as doing it yourself of course :) .
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Re: Wanted: 5.25 Floppy Drive

Postby acsi on Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:08 pm

I gather these are 1.2M floppies rather than 360K?
'acsi' on trademe
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Re: Wanted: 5.25 Floppy Drive

Postby Jakes on Tue Jun 18, 2019 2:40 pm

Tezza - thank you for the offer, I will have a look at the amount that needs to be done. (At the moment I would love to secure my own one so I can access floppy's going forward as well.)

Yes, 1.2MB :)
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Re: Wanted: 5.25 Floppy Drive

Postby acsi on Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:43 pm

I'll try and see what the 2 5.25" drives I have are however I have no way to test them if they are 1.2M as I only have an XT at the moment.

If I can find them I'll let you know.

Edit: I've found 1 which is a Chinon FZ-502 360K drive unfortunately.
'acsi' on trademe
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Re: Wanted: 5.25 Floppy Drive

Postby Jakes on Thu Jun 20, 2019 1:14 pm

Thank you for checking, I appreciate it. I assume the there is zero compatibility between 1.2mb disks and a 360k drive?
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Re: Wanted: 5.25 Floppy Drive

Postby tezza on Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:01 pm

Jakes wrote:Thank you for checking, I appreciate it. I assume the there is zero compatibility between 1.2mb disks and a 360k drive?


Generally yes. I think the only way a 1.2MB disk would be compatible with a 360k drive would be if the disk had first been bulk-erased to get rid of any existing tracks, then formatted and written like this (http://www.oldskool.org/guides/hardware ... _360k.html).
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Re: Wanted: 5.25 Floppy Drive

Postby acsi on Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:05 am

I’ve found the second one. It’s a Panasonic JU-475-5 which is an HD 1.2M drive.

As I said I cannot test it but your welcome to it.
As it came from Rotorua it’ll need the heads and connectors cleaned most likely.
'acsi' on trademe
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Re: Wanted: 5.25 Floppy Drive

Postby Jakes on Fri Jun 21, 2019 10:03 am

Awesome! How much would you like for it? May I also ask what is the best way to clean the heads? I vaguely remember back in the day there were special floppy's for cleaning? Are there alternatives nowadays..

I might grab the TM one as well, greater chance of success, it looks like a 1.2mb drive.
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Re: Wanted: 5.25 Floppy Drive

Postby tezza on Fri Jun 21, 2019 11:02 am

Jakes wrote:May I also ask what is the best way to clean the heads? I vaguely remember back in the day there were special floppy's for cleaning? Are there alternatives nowadays..


Just a cotton bud dipped in isopropyl alcohol to clean the heads will do it.
Tez (Terry Stewart) (Administrator)
Collection: https://www.classic-computers.org.nz/co ... /index.htm
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Re: Wanted: 5.25 Floppy Drive

Postby acsi on Fri Jun 21, 2019 11:05 am

Hi Jakes,

Just PM me your address and I'll send it to you. Not after anything for it :D

Mike
'acsi' on trademe
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Re: Wanted: 5.25 Floppy Drive

Postby artig on Sun Jun 23, 2019 8:35 pm

I have two that have just been removed from old computers. I couldn't get them to work on an old Pentium Pro computer, so they were heading for the dump. One has combined 5.25 and 3.5" drives in the same unit. You're welcome to them if you want some more. :-)
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Re: Wanted: 5.25 Floppy Drive

Postby Jakes on Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:30 pm

Some feedback on the results! So I had 2 floppy drives to test, one from trademe and one from acsi. Cleaned both with compressed air and some medical alcohol on the heads. Trademe one ended up being a bust, Abort, retry, fail time after time. A shame because it was pricey! Then went on to the other drive and it read every disk flawless.

I was quite surprised, only had one disk with some bad sectors/unreadable files. The rest were all fine. Quite a testament to the longevity of floppy disks. Most of these dated from the 1980's. Copied everything to 3.5" floppy's then on to a modern PC. Managed to recover all the specialised programs.

Tried running the program on the old PC - "not enough memory". Jumped into the autoexec.bat and config.sys, took one look at the stacks, buffers and files then shut the thing off. Not diving into that again! Last time I had to deal with that I was trying to get my games working in DOS, salvaging every single KB to get enough free memory. So went the DOSbox route, 10min later everything is running fine. So all in all a good result.

Just want to say thank you to all you gentleman for the assistance and advice. Cheers!
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Re: Wanted: 5.25 Floppy Drive

Postby acsi on Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:40 pm

Excellent. Glad it worked and one more piece of history saved :D
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