So I was given three boxes of old Atari stuff from a friend who had a too-cluttered attic. I've got an 800 and an 810, and the 800 works beautifully (except for that horrid RF out. I'll eventually get an S-video or RGB mod/cable), however the 810 appears to not.
What I've got - condition
Atari 800 - completely functional
Atari 810 - nonfunctional, will not write or read diskettes
homebrew SIO2PI cable - verified to work with several disk images
box (one of those plastic disk rolodexes) of Atari 5.25" disks - functionality not known, they appear perfectly fine (i.e. media isn't scratched/scratching off under the drive head).
What I've tried - result:
booting from diskette officially labeled as Atari Dos 2.5 - drive goes "BRRRRTrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrBRRRRRTrrrrrrrrrrr", 800 shows a string of "BOOT ERROR"s which accumulate with frequency approximately equal to that of the BRRRRTs from the drive, which occurs every 10-15 seconds
cleaning head with isopropyl alchohol and piece of facial tissue - no result
booting from diskette hand-labeled "Master diskette" - drive goes "BRRRRTrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr", 800 shows a somewhat faster string of "BOOT ERROR"s.
booting atari dos from SIO2PI - works as expected
booting with a game from SIO2PI - M.U.L.E. theme is now stuck in my head.
formatting diskette- drive goes "BRRRRTrrrrrrrrrr-rr-rr-rr-rr-rr-rr-rr-rr-rr-rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr" and remains spinning for between 30 and 60 minutes (I had left the room at around 30, and came back around 60). Eventually it stops, and DOS gives error 173 ("BAD FORMAT")
I disassembled it to make sure everything was doing what it should, and everything looked in order. Belts were tight, no debris or other obvious problems, head went back and forth like it should.
Is there anything I'm missing? (other than speed; I have no way of measuring drive speed and from what I've gathered, it shouldn't effect formatting or disks formatted by that drive)