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Old 14 December 2016, 23:31   #1
Catal49
 
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A500 plus problem.

This is my first post - I hope it's in the correct section.

I purchased an Amiga 500 plus many years ago.When I tested it recently all was well and I was working my way through several games until one of them caused the drive to make a screeching noise. I immediately switched the computer off although the drive light was still on.

Now when a disk is inserted into the drive from the prompt screen,the screen animation disappears and the drive light comes on.After a short time (and after a bit of normal drive noise) the prompt screen reappears.Nothing else happens.

I have virtually no knowledge of the workings of the computer,so would be very grateful for any advice or comments.
 
Old 15 December 2016, 00:25   #2
emufan
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hi & welcome,

you tested different disks? not all disks have bootblocks, but the system will read any disk, and looks for a bootblock,
if not bootable, it will switch back to kickstart screen.

the diskdrive could be non-working anymore. as a replacement you may get a gotek drive. amigakit.com sells them.

what you have to do, check the battery of the a500+ - after all those years, they tend to leak and
will destroy the motherboard. take alook here.

even if not such a bad scenario, you must remove/desolder the battery.
the amiga will work without it, no need to replace it.

here is an image of the a500+ motherboard, look for the blue barrel battery.
i hope your's still looks like that

if you see some damage on the motherboard take some photos and attache them here.
some experts here may help you to find a solution.

Last edited by emufan; 15 December 2016 at 00:33.
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Old 15 December 2016, 00:38   #3
Catal49
 
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Hi,
Thank you for your reply.I have tried different disks including Workbench v 2.04 which came with the Amiga.Nothing works.

I appreciate the time you took to answer my questions and the inclusion of the links also helped.

The warranty seals are still intact,but I will probably take your advice concerning the battery.

Thank you.
 
Old 15 December 2016, 00:47   #4
emufan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catal49 View Post
Thank you.
np.
just take some photos of the still intact seal, but you are better of with looking at the battery

since you heard that strange screech from the floppy the other day, it may really happen,
the drive bite the dust. read about that gotek replacement, it is a good solution.

perhaps somone else has another idea, but until that, you can inspect the innards of the amiga
if you have some technical blessed friends or neighbours, maybe they can desolder the battery.
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Old 15 December 2016, 16:45   #5
Akira
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First off: STOP trying disks! You could be making the situation worse and maybe damage disks that were fine too.

This is typical "damage" coming from a disk that was dirty. The screeching is caused by the shit that was on the disk surface (usually almost invisible mold).

You have to clean the disk drive head and hope it works again. This is a rather annoying process but it can be done. It's not over yet, if it was working fine, it should work fine again after proper cleaning, that is, if it didn't misalign itself.

For future reference and to avoid this, before you pop an old disk in your drive, smell it. Does it smell like it's been in a damp attic for years? If it does, do not insert it without furtehr inspection. old on floppy disc surface can be seen, but it's barely noticeable, looks like watermarks on a surface. You can extract this disc and wash/clean it if needs be (topics in this board will talk more about it) but if it isn't worth the hassle, just put it aside and forget about it.

Sometimes disks will smell fine and still have mold on the surface. If you look at the disc inside with proper light and angling it a it, and rotate it fully as you inspect it, you might be able to see it. I do this with every disk I get.


As for warranty seal: do you want a computer you want to use or do you want a museum piece you will display and leave on a shelf? If the former, just forget about it, it's ridiculous. As emufan says, A500s should get their battery replaced ASAP.
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Old 16 December 2016, 01:05   #6
Catal49
 
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Thanks very much for your advice Akira.
 
Old 16 December 2016, 01:41   #7
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Yes, thanks, Akira. I use to insert "whatever disk" and then if it doesn't work I use a "disk drive cleaning kit" using isopropyl alcohol. That's of course not only with the miggy, but also with my old PC's.

My question is: How do I clean a floppy disk before trying it (avoiding damage to the drive)?. Could you please tell?. I mean: everytime I put a record on my turntable I clean it, so I wouldn't mind to make something similar with a new floppy which I haven't tried.

Last edited by Retrofan; 16 December 2016 at 01:56.
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Old 16 December 2016, 15:28   #8
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I only clean disks (with alcohol) if their content must be rescued. Otherwise, it makes more sense to discard them.
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Old 16 December 2016, 17:55   #9
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Yeah, with 3.5" floppies it's a pain in the ass to dismantle and clean them, so only do it if you must rescue the data within, otherwise, get rid of them.

Here is a thread where we discuss plenty how to clean disks to recover data from them:
http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=81282
PErsonally I clean them with water and dry them properly. Some people disagree. It worked for me. But then I haven't used the disks again because it's a pain.
Isopropyl alcohol seems like a good method too. Just make sure it's the 99% pure whatever stuff, otherwise it will leave residue (same problem as before)

Mold shouldn't form again if you keep the disks in a cool dry place. Mold occurs when floppies are stored like shit.
So yeah this is not a method you can do like when you "clean a vinyl record" before playing it. It's not that simple. Just wiping the surface with a cloth won't work, you need a liquid to remove the mold properly.

Last edited by Akira; 16 December 2016 at 18:01.
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Old 16 December 2016, 18:39   #10
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Akira, funny you mentioned mold and such on disks.
Last week on an impulse, I bought a hundred used Amiga formatted disks on ebay.
They came in five plastic bags and were cruddy as hell, felt like grit everywhere

Came from a now defunct amiga software seller that is getting rid of his old stock.
So I guess I shouldn't even risk trying to read any?

Well, he did throw in a few freebies with it, joystick, manual , cables, not a total waste.
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Old 16 December 2016, 19:48   #11
idrougge
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akira View Post
So yeah this is not a method you can do like when you "clean a vinyl record" before playing it. It's not that simple. Just wiping the surface with a cloth won't work, you need a liquid to remove the mold properly.
Heh, I though he used a liquid cleaning agent for his LPs too. I've got a bottle stuffed away with my turntable.
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Old 16 December 2016, 19:48   #12
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So I guess I shouldn't even risk trying to read any?
Dirty disks will damage your drive. It's not worth it.
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Old 18 December 2016, 17:30   #13
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Maybe I will make some sort of art piece or sculpture out of them.
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Old 23 December 2016, 18:47   #14
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Yeah, get that battery out asap. And if there is any leakage then clean it asap with vinegear or bakingsoda.

I still use floppy disks from time to time. I keep my floppy drives clean and have carefully cleaned many floppy disks by spinning the disk with my finger on the spindle and look for spots. Then carefully use a cotton stick with some isoprop to remove spots.

Gotek is a very nice solution which I highly recommend.
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Old 05 January 2017, 15:52   #15
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I always manually open the shutter and inspect the disk surface in light to see if I see any mold of debris on them. You can also move the center hub while the shutter is open to insect the whole disk. If you see anything, do not use the disk! But if you must you can use q-tip in some isopropyl alcohol to dip the q-tip and wipe the dirt away and that should be ok to use. But still might dirty your read/write heads to be careful and make use a disk cleaner kit after you are done reading the disk.
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