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Getting an internal 3.5 Floppy Drive on a 90's Mac Working

3.5 floppy mac

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#1 travistouchdown OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:32 AM

Hello All!  I recently picked up a Mac LC III curbside and it generally works great, and is running OS 7.1.  I cleaned up the case and blew a bunch of duster inside (including floppy) to ensure it would work as well as possible.

 

The machine itself works great, but when I try to put in a floppy, it will ALWAYS ask me to format it.  It sounds like I remember they are supposed to sound, and it ejects the disk properly.  It will attempt to format but then after the second check say "initialization failed" and eject the disc.

 

I am wondering if:

 

-Its bad discs (only have one pack of mac disks right now, others up at my parents need to go grab)

 

-Its a bad drive (not repairiable, needs to be replaced)

 

-The drive needs to be properly cleaned with a cleaning kit, internal dirt/grime on the read mechanism is whats the issue

 

Additional information:

 

-I tried yet to be formatted one sided discs from my Atari ST and those also wouldn't format

 

-The discs I was using would read and format on my G3 Pismo, but then would crash the computer when I tried to eject them and then become corrupted.

 

What is your take and what should I do FIRST?   Thanks in advance!!

 

Worst case scenario I do have an external 3.5 drive that I use with my IIgs I could always try..



#2 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:34 AM

Those diskette drives were made by Sony and built like tanks. If it sounds OK, it's probably bad diskettes. 

 

Note that you don't need "Mac disks" for a machine like this. Some were sold as "Mac formatted" but Mac OS will format an IBM compatible disk just fine. According to the specs, the LCII takes double-sided 1.44MB disks, so it's not like you need to dig out 800K diskettes either (though they should work if you have some). 

 

I wouldn't know where to buy fresh diskettes, and if it were me, I wouldn't bother with them. I would focus on getting it onto a network and/or hooked up to a SCSI CD-ROM drive. 


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#3 travistouchdown OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:58 AM

Those diskette drives were made by Sony and built like tanks. If it sounds OK, it's probably bad diskettes. 

 

Note that you don't need "Mac disks" for a machine like this. Some were sold as "Mac formatted" but Mac OS will format an IBM compatible disk just fine. According to the specs, the LCII takes double-sided 1.44MB disks, so it's not like you need to dig out 800K diskettes either (though they should work if you have some). 

 

I wouldn't know where to buy fresh diskettes, and if it were me, I wouldn't bother with them. I would focus on getting it onto a network and/or hooked up to a SCSI CD-ROM drive. 

 

Thanks and great points.  Doing a network with my G3 running OS9 might be ideal.

 

I am basically trying to get files and games over to this machine.  Thanks for the Low End Mac link, they are the best. 

 

So I can just plug this into the back of my Mac and string a phone line to my G3 and then I have a network?

 

http://www.ebay.com/...5YAAOSw1WJZNJe~

 

My G3 Pismo does have a phone jack but assume it goes to an internal modem?  Would that still be usable?


Edited by travistouchdown, Thu Aug 31, 2017 11:08 AM.


#4 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:22 PM

You'll need something to modulate the signal ... the wiring having matching pinouts isn't sufficient. Ideally you'd want to convert LocalTalk into Ethernet but it won't be plug and play. I'll try to research that when I have more time. 

 

The local talk wiring is a different protocol than what the internal modem on your Pismo. Different eras!

 

This is an interesting question and I'll give it some thought and get back to you. There's probably a cheap answer. Worst case is maybe null modem to each other?


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#5 travistouchdown OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 2, 2017 7:06 AM

Well I took it apart and cleaned the heads last night. Will test to see this AM if that was the issue. A Sony unit born 11.03.92 :)

Also occurred to me that I may need to lube various parts (the disc won't go in fully by itself need to push in with a pencil). There are a few good pics online of what joints/areas to lube. What lube would you use, silicon?

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Edited by travistouchdown, Sat Sep 2, 2017 7:07 AM.

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#6 travistouchdown OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 2, 2017 8:04 AM

Still not working. 95% sure it is the drive at this point. I need to find those lube diagrams and worst case scenario try to find another one of these drives on eBay..

#7 travistouchdown OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 3, 2017 1:34 AM

Thanks youtube! :)

 



#8 travistouchdown OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 3, 2017 2:06 AM

Nope.... Lubed all up.  Mechanism works fine but still won't successfully format a disc.

 

Any tips for finding one of these drives in the $10 buck range?  They are going for $50 on ebay and I will have to trash this thing before spending that kind of dough.

 

Thanks.



#9 travistouchdown OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 3, 2017 2:58 AM

Drive is well lubed.

 

Head will not lower onto the disc.  Any tips?



#10 travistouchdown OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 3, 2017 10:02 AM

Very strange, you can see when the disc is inserted the head doesn't touch the disc surface. The only thing the head is attached to (the upper head) is a thin layer of metal, so i'm not sure how to adjust this really or how it got out of alignment in the first place... Rst of the drive is in nice shape now. Any thoughts or ideas much appreciated.

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#11 travistouchdown OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 5, 2017 1:08 PM

Bueller?

 

So is it just broken then?  The only was I can see the head going down is that it's supposed to be electronically activated...



#12 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 5, 2017 1:39 PM

Im my professional opinion, judging from the symptoms you have presented, my diagnosis is that it is crashy and fucked up, with a secondary case of being thirty years old and found on the curb. 

 

If this were my project, I'd think about attempting a LocalTalk to Ethernet bridge, or more likely, putting it back from whence it came. That's EXACTLY what I did with a similar curbside find a few years ago. 

 

My current ancient Mac is a Mini vMac.


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#13 travistouchdown OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 5, 2017 9:19 PM

Roger that.

Going to replace the drive, get a SCSI CD-ROM unit, and look into the network idea.

Thanks :)

#14 H454 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 5, 2017 11:22 PM

Very strange, you can see when the disc is inserted the head doesn't touch the disc surface. The only thing the head is attached to (the upper head) is a thin layer of metal, so i'm not sure how to adjust this really or how it got out of alignment in the first place... Rst of the drive is in nice shape now. Any thoughts or ideas much appreciated.

 

The head should drop down as soon as the disk is fully seated.

Show here at the 16:30 mark:

https://www.youtube....ytbChannel=null

The head is knocked off track or has a tab broken.

You may be able to fix depending on how much time you want to put in to it.

What is the model # of your floppy drive? $50 is a lot and knowing that might verify compatibility.

There are a couple sonys going for around $20 on ebay and having a working internal drive on something this old is almost a must.

Or at least a headache preventer.

 

 

+1 on what Flojomojo said about getting on a network.

But the cheapest ways is an Ethernet card (also faster than apple talk).

Here is a ebay listing for a new card for $12.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Macintosh-Color-Classic-Ethernet-Card-Apple-LC-575-PDS-Farallon-New-Networking-/231332620598?epid=1431958381&hash=item35dc7fa936:g:zSgAAOxyyFhTeL5i

Put one in my performa 475 and it was great - was even able to use the internet - But this was 10+ years too.icon_biggrinwink.gif

 

 

"Worst case scenario I do have an external 3.5 drive that I use with my IIgs I could always try.."

I don't think the "pizza box" macs have an external drive port.

http://lowendmac.com/1993/mac-lc-iii/


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#15 travistouchdown OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:05 AM

New floppy drive is in ($40, ebay) and is working great.  

 

VRAM also upgraded with an additional 256 KB SIM :)

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#16 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:43 AM

Money-Pit-movie-poster-Tom-Hanks-Shelley

 

Congrats on getting it working, though!


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#17 travistouchdown OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:09 AM

I have a dual SD cart Floppy emu that hooks up via SCSI for my Atari 1040 STE and love it.

 

Where can one get such a thing for 90's macs?  



#18 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:27 AM

This is intriguing, if dag-nasty looking. 

 

https://www.bigmesso...com/floppy-emu/

 


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#19 H454 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:59 PM

This is intriguing, if dag-nasty looking. 

 

https://www.bigmesso...com/floppy-emu/

 

It looks better than their first models.icon_biggrinwink.gif

Looks MUCH better with the white case:

https://www.bigmesso...for-floppy-emu/

 

I had looked at these over the last year or two and since I have mac and Apple II stuff, this looks like the best option going.

The hardware support seems to be pretty good.



#20 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:13 PM

Hm, that white case makes it look like a blood pressure monitor from 1992. I prefer the clear lucite. Not that I'm buying either one. Maybe they should make it out of Super Nintendo plastic so it turns yellow in the sun/air? 

 

Sorry, just being mean. Floppy emulator looks like a cool compromise and a reasonable way to enjoy this stuff. I'd still opt for an Ethernet card first. 



#21 Osgeld ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:16 PM

the nokia (yea that's where its from) LCD screen is / was very popular for a low cost dead simple graphical display for many many many many ... many years in the hobby market 


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#22 H454 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:11 PM

Hm, that white case makes it look like a blood pressure monitor from 1992. I prefer the clear lucite. Not that I'm buying either one. Maybe they should make it out of Super Nintendo plastic so it turns yellow in the sun/air? 

 

Sorry, just being mean. Floppy emulator looks like a cool compromise and a reasonable way to enjoy this stuff. I'd still opt for an Ethernet card first. 

I'd mostly use the floppy emulator for anything that cant use Ethernet - the apple II.

Even not being able to use a web browser on something this old, having is at least as useful as a cdrom.

 

I've used the phonenet localtalk adapters, they are ok. But having the speed of Ethernet for file transfer is a HUGE time saver.

It's also one of the cheapest add-ons to any mac.


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