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Old 05 June 2019, 14:51   #1
Angus
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Floppy disk ate my Floppy Drive!

Hi all, Yesterday I was patting myself lightly on the back for swapping a working floppy drive and some 3.1 rom chips into my preferred A1200, then this morning an original of Space Hulk I bought on Ebay (untested) arrived. I eagerly slotted disk 1 and..... there was an awful scraping noise. I then tried other, unrelated disks and they wouldn't load either, although they did before trying the Space Hulk disk. In another 1200 the other disks work okay, but all 3 Space Hulk disks sound terrible, so I got them out quick! My assumption is that the disk has messed up the floppy drive, but is that permanent, or is there anything I can do to recover it? Thanks for any advice. :-)
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Old 05 June 2019, 15:13   #2
project23
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Freddie Star ate my hamster!!
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Old 05 June 2019, 15:35   #3
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You should clean the heads after a noisy disk. If anything was scraped off the disk and got stuck to the head, you will ruin other disks with that drive.
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Old 05 June 2019, 15:35   #4
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The horrible sound is is usually caused by a build-up of mould on the disk's surface which increases the drag on the floppy drive heads. The mould tends to transfer onto the heads, preventing the drive from working thereafer.
If you're lucky and the increased drag hasn't caused any other damage you might be able to clean the gunk off the heads with isoproponol and a cotton bud - or a traditional floppy drive cleaning kit.

Edit: Jope beat me to it, and he's right - contaminated heads will damage other disks. If you look behind the shutter on the bad disks you'll probably be able to see rings where the disk's been scraped.
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Old 05 June 2019, 23:39   #5
Angus
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Thanks guys. I don't have anything specific to clean it with. Probably find some cotton buds and white spirit? Does this involve dismantling the drive?
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Old 06 June 2019, 10:30   #6
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Cotton buds yes. Please don't use white spirit, instead go to the pharmacy for some pure isopropyl alcohol.
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Old 06 June 2019, 11:58   #7
cmorley
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The foam pads are better for some old drives which have slits cut in the heads - cotton bud fibres can get stuck in the slit. I don't think that is a problem for any Amiga floppy drives though but useful to remember when cleaning other retro computers.
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Old 07 June 2019, 00:14   #8
Angus
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Thanks guys, I used surgical spirit and cotton buds. I'm pleased to say it is working again. :-)

Beware of untested disks and maybe check they rotate as you would expect, these ones were really stiff, which I think was the problem. I couldn't see or mould or gunk on them.

Thanks again.
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Old 08 June 2019, 03:50   #9
lesta_smsc
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I sometimes just give the disk a whirl using a pen and trying to spin from the metal centre. If it is hard to move, the disk drive is likely to suffer. The other thing to check is just checking the magnetic tape inside by opening disk shutter... you'd be surprised how much mould has built up.

I've used alcohol to clean magnetic strips before and it has worked but not sure of the safety of this method!
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Old 09 June 2019, 22:19   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by project23 View Post
Freddie Star ate my hamster!!
R.I.P. Freddie Star!
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