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Old 02 August 2009, 18:01   #1
fc.studio
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External Disk Drive working and not working

I have an external disk drive that:

- if, at boot, a floppy drive is inserted the drive can load it without problems (for games) and I can operate with the disk (format, copy) using WB.
- if, at boot, a floppy drive is NOT inserted the WB shows always DF1:????. Subsequently I can't operate on inserting a disk in the drive.

Is possible, in your opinion, to fix it?
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Old 02 August 2009, 18:14   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fc.studio View Post
I have an external disk drive that:

- if, at boot, a floppy drive is inserted the drive can load it without problems (for games) and I can operate with the disk (format, copy) using WB.
- if, at boot, a floppy drive is NOT inserted the WB shows always DF1:????. Subsequently I can't operate on inserting a disk in the drive.

Is possible, in your opinion, to fix it?
What amiga?
Has it worked before?

Need more details.
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Old 02 August 2009, 18:29   #3
fc.studio
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Tested on A600 and A1200: same result.
I got from a friend before he put to its thrash...
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Old 02 August 2009, 19:12   #4
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Boot with no floppy in the external drive and get into WB, your drive should display "DF1: ????"

Put a DOS disk into the external drive

Open a CLI

type "diskchange df1:"

Does this help?
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Old 02 August 2009, 20:09   #5
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GREAT!!! The disk is now detected.

However if I remove and re-insert or change to another disk I have to input again this command.
It seems the sensor of the drive detecting the disk doesn't work.
Is it possible to fix it? Where is this located?
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Old 02 August 2009, 20:14   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fc.studio View Post
GREAT!!! The disk is now detected.

However if I remove and re-insert or change to another disk I have to input again this command.
It seems the sensor of the drive detecting the disk doesn't work.
Is it possible to fix it? Where is this located?
Yep, it sure sounds like the diskchange sensor is out or it's a modded drive that didn't get modded properly.

I think most drives have an extra switch/sensor next to the HD sensor or the Write Protect sensor, i.e., a pair of little plastic pins sticking up for when a disk is inserted or ejected from the drive.

Since Amiga drives were mostly the low density kind, I think that the HD sensor wasn't used and it was connected for a diskchange instead.

I would say use the diskchange command under WB or if you are game to look inside the drive, check out the switch with a VOM/Multimete and see if the switch works or not.
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Old 02 August 2009, 21:00   #7
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Thanks for your info.
I'll try to check how you suggested. However, what I don't understand, it's how the disk is detected at boot. Is not that sensor used during the boot?
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Old 02 August 2009, 21:13   #8
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Quote:
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Thanks for your info.
I'll try to check how you suggested. However, what I don't understand, it's how the disk is detected at boot. Is not that sensor used during the boot?
I'm thinking not since at the initial boot you have the mainboard BIOS/Firmware type boot, it may not be using this hardware feature for some reason until the OS loads.

Since I'm not familiar enough with how the low level boot procedure works on the Amiga, I will leave this for others to better explain
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Old 03 August 2009, 01:32   #9
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Since the sensor is stuck "on", floppy boot is always performed.

On all drives I saw, the disk change switch is on the same side of the read/write switch. Just pour some iso alcohol on it and make it "click" a few times. That will cure the problem.
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Old 03 August 2009, 10:02   #10
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GREAT!!! The disk is now detected.
Looks like my hunch was right Follow rkauer's advice and give the switch some cleaning with alcohol and all should be well again
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Old 05 August 2009, 10:13   #11
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I bet this is due to fat/grease getting old and making the contact stick. You could, after using a qtip with alcohol, use a qtip that has been soaked with WD40. Gently wipe over the detection pin only. This will apply a very thin film - DO NOT SOAK the stick itself! Works very well on the machines I have...
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Old 10 August 2009, 00:35   #12
fc.studio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmmijo View Post
Yep, it sure sounds like the diskchange sensor is out or it's a modded drive that didn't get modded properly.

I think most drives have an extra switch/sensor next to the HD sensor or the Write Protect sensor, i.e., a pair of little plastic pins sticking up for when a disk is inserted or ejected from the drive.

Since Amiga drives were mostly the low density kind, I think that the HD sensor wasn't used and it was connected for a diskchange instead.

I would say use the diskchange command under WB or if you are game to look inside the drive, check out the switch with a VOM/Multimete and see if the switch works or not.
I found the pair of little plastic pins. I cleaned them and both go up and down fine. The pin for write protect sensor surely works. Unfortunately the other, if it is for a diskchange, doesn't work yet.
I haven't a VOM/Multimete and I would not be able to use it.
Probably is really out or badly modded.
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Old 10 August 2009, 04:04   #13
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Hardly the modification of a floppy unit will knack the micro switch. Retry to fix it using a lubricant spray (WD40 or similar) using a tooth stick (spray on the stick and use it in the switch).

Then test the unit again. If no go, it's time to replace the switch. IF you are not able to do, look for someone near who can make it for you.
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