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Turtlezz

Atari 1050 Disk Drive "Boot Error"

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Hey all, so I have an 800XL that was generously given to me by a friend who owns a VG store. Along with it, he gave me the Atari 1025 Printer, and the Atari 1050 Disk Drive (Both which are still in box!) I've bought some cartridge games for the 800XL, and it works great! Eventually, I decided why not order some floppy games, since I have a Disk Drive with the SIO cable and power supply? I got Zaxxon, Gauntlet, and Ballblazer. I was so excited to finally hook the Disk Drive up and get a taste of some real nostalgia.

 

Unfortunately though, all three games ended up giving me the same problem. The Drive itself seems to be functioning properly. I put the Disk in with both the 800XL and DD turned off, then I turn on the DD and the power LED and disk-reading LED come on. I wait until the reading LED turns off, then I turn on the 800XL. It boots, the reading LED turns on and I can hear the disk being spun, and eventually, I get a nice big "BOOT ERROR" on the screen, accompanied by a beep. After 4-5 seconds, it repeats, and so on.

 

All three of the games instruction manuals said that doing what I did should boot the games up just fine. But sadly, the three of them will not boot up. I really wanted to play them too :(

 

So, any ideas? I'm not going to simply get rid of the games, as the boxes are pretty damn awesome looking in my shelf ;).

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Try cleaning the head. Take the screws out of the bottom of the drive and carefully lift the top off, keeping the front attached to the top.

Carefully and gently lift the pressure pad up and clean the head with isopropyl alcohol. Not too much, just a little on a cotton swab. Scrub the head with alcohol, then with a dry swab.

 

When all is completely dry, put a disk in and test it. Remove the disk and repeat the cleaning procedure if necessary, then put it back together.

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Congratulations on your newly acquired Atari goodness! Are you holding down the "Option" button when you turn the 800XL on?

Holding down OPTION (to disable built-in BASIC) is necessary for most games, but doesn't cause a BOOT ERROR message. Usually, the system just locks up after a number of sectors have loaded if the user forgets to hold it down.

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this ^^^

 

yeah. you're looking at either drive head cleaning, drive sensor adjustment, or swap the sio cables around.

 

check the contacts on the sio cables are clean also

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Maybe the drive-selector is in the wrong position. If it is not in position for drive 1, then it doesnt boot.... (the drive selector switch is on the back/right on the outside of the 1050 drive. They are a black and white plastic square that can be moved left/right by using a small screwdriver or pencil.

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Wrong device # would mean the computer wouldn't even attempt to load from the drive.

Spin up then Boot Error msgs with single sector read beeps at few seconds interval almost certain to mean the media is bad or more likely the head needs a clean. Best method is open the drive& do it with isopropyl alcohol& cotton bud.

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Please don't turn the drive on with the floppy in the drive.

Are you sure the disc is actually spinning? Line up the timing hole, put the diskette in, close the door, what for the light to go off and pull it out and check if the hole moved. (or open it and watch).

Typically a long slow "BOOT ERROR" in my book means a belt slipped off or is really bad.

Also, as suggested, cleaning the heads etc..

 

We really should put together a 1050 troubleshooting guide.

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If you open the drive by removing the six Phillips screw from the bottom you can see if the drive is spinning with and without the disk. Also without the disk in the drive, and the drive turned off, you can gently push the head toward the middle of the drive mechanism and then power on the drive to see if the head moves back all the way (towards the rear of the mechanism). If the cleaning doesn't work and/or you're not comfortable with opening up the drive, there are many people around that can fix the drive for you.

 

David

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and one final thing worth considering. the "contacts between the SIO socket and the board (both inside the 1050)

 

you can identify if this is suspect by adding a little (not lots) of upward or downward pressure to the plugged in SIO cable.

if the socket>board connection is damaged/dodgy then this small amount of pressure can help make a proper contact

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Hey everybody. After following every single suggestion posted here, with all three different games, nothing has changed. The belts are fine. Everything inside is completely fine. So it's either all three games fall under the bad media category...... or this drive is just kaput :(

 

EDIT: Decided to film a video for you guys. What happens in the video is what happens every time.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74tNLw8PQ80

Edited by Turtlezz

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Hey everybody. After following every single suggestion posted here, with all three different games, nothing has changed. The belts are fine. Everything inside is completely fine. So it's either all three games fall under the bad media category...... or this drive is just kaput :(

 

EDIT: Decided to film a video for you guys. What happens in the video is what happens every time.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74tNLw8PQ80

 

Looked to me like the zero track sensor (?) maybe isn't working. It isn't moving the head back and forth to seek track 0. The head should move back and forth to seek a track.

Probably someone better can say.

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Hey all, so I have an 800XL that was generously given to me by a friend who owns a VG store. Along with it, he gave me the Atari 1025 Printer, and the Atari 1050 Disk Drive (Both which are still in box!) I've bought some cartridge games for the 800XL, and it works great! Eventually, I decided why not order some floppy games, since I have a Disk Drive with the SIO cable and power supply? I got Zaxxon, Gauntlet, and Ballblazer. I was so excited to finally hook the Disk Drive up and get a taste of some real nostalgia.

 

Unfortunately though, all three games ended up giving me the same problem. The Drive itself seems to be functioning properly. I put the Disk in with both the 800XL and DD turned off, then I turn on the DD and the power LED and disk-reading LED come on. I wait until the reading LED turns off, then I turn on the 800XL. It boots, the reading LED turns on and I can hear the disk being spun, and eventually, I get a nice big "BOOT ERROR" on the screen, accompanied by a beep. After 4-5 seconds, it repeats, and so on.

 

All three of the games instruction manuals said that doing what I did should boot the games up just fine. But sadly, the three of them will not boot up. I really wanted to play them too :(

 

So, any ideas? I'm not going to simply get rid of the games, as the boxes are pretty damn awesome looking in my shelf ;).

1050-field-service-manual.zip

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Looked to me like the zero track sensor (?) maybe isn't working. It isn't moving the head back and forth to seek track 0. The head should move back and forth to seek a track.

Probably someone better can say.

I know what you mean, don't worry! I also noticed that the track sensor, which the head is obviously attached to, isn't moving at all during reading-time. The thing is though, if I push the track sensor all the way forward while the Drive is turned off, then turn it on, the track sensor moves all the way backwards! So clearly the mechanism works..... it just doesn't make any sense! :/

Edited by Turtlezz

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If you have a SIO2PC interface or an SIO2SD, you could run the 1050 diagnostics disk from a virtual drive and see what it thinks. That might shed some light on things before breaking out an oscilloscope. I would suspect track 0 sensor issues first.

 

Could a bad 3086 chip cause symptoms like this?

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When the drive was powered on, it looks like it does a seek then returns to track 0 (which I recall as being normal, but don't have a 1050 in front of me to test). I would think if the Track 0 sensor was bad you would get a nice banging noise from the head pulling back against the hard stops. Another thing is the speed could be off and would produce a similar issue.

 

Maybe time for an SIO2PC since that will help get you up and running with many things and even load up the diags to the 1050.

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You did scrub the heads with cleaner right?

As I stated in my previous post, I tried literally every single suggestion. I scrubbed the head at least 5 times. From watching my own video, I feel as if it's not reading the whole entire disk and staying in a single spot, therefore unable to read all the information stored on the disk.

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Well, i'm going to say its the drive speed or something with the U1 3086 chip (but the 3086 going usually just results in non stop boot error buzz). At this point we need to get you a working drive to troubleshoot this more. I think there is a basic program floating around in the forums here that will allow you to format a blank disk and check the drive speed w/o having DOS. But I'm not sure about that.

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"Fiddling' with things inside a drive when you don't know what's what is a very bad idea. Buying a SIO2PC , and then running diags on your drive is the best option at this point if you still want to do it yourself. But for about the same price (or a little more) you can send it to someone who can fix and adjust it to run like new.

 

David

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"Fiddling' with things inside a drive when you don't know what's what is a very bad idea. Buying a SIO2PC , and then running diags on your drive is the best option at this point if you still want to do it yourself. But for about the same price (or a little more) you can send it to someone who can fix and adjust it to run like new.

 

David

 

What do you recommend for running to diagnose a drive through an SIO2PC?

 

Thanks, in advance!

--Tim

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SIO2PC won't give any great advantage and really the only easy diagnostics on offer without opening a drive up are attempting to read, write or format and doing an RPM test (and I believe that will fail if the drive can't read).

 

The easiest method to try and get a drive working is to open it up and inspect and clean the head.

 

http://www.the-liberator.net/site-files/retro-games/hardware/Commodore-1541-Floppy-Drive/Commodore-1541-Floppy-Drive-Hong-Kong/Commodore-1541-Floppy-Drive-Hong-Kong-026.JPG

 

I've attached this pic as it's what turned up in image search, though it's not a 1050 head and it's out of the drive, it gives an idea of what a healthy one should look like, though I don't think it will be necessarily that whitish colour.

What you do want is to be able to see that little line with the box in the middle as it's the business end and if covered with oxide won't work well.

 

A dirty head will usually have a bunch of crud on it and usually not looking symetrical or like it belongs there. Method to clean is use a cotton bud or lint free cloth with isopropyl alcohol applied to the cloth. Not too much pressure and you'll need to lift the felt pressure pad off the head. Don't get the felt pad wet.

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You can't run the diagonstics from another drive (as one and two) with the Atari Diagnostic disk, so you will need two drives (both set to drive one). Make sure the bad drive is turned off, boot from the good drive and then turn it off. Then turn on the bad drive, and put the diagnostic disk in the bad drive and then run the diagnostic tests. The SIO2PC would been the good drive, then you'd have to unplug it after you load the diags, turn on the bad drive, insert the diags disk, and then start the tests. This sounded good until I discovered that the file dump on Atarimania is blank. So on top of the SIO2PC adapter you'll need to get the Atari 1050 diagnostic disk. At this point I would really recommend you send the drive to someone to fix. It costs about $50 to $60 dollars with shipping. I can give you the name of someone that I use, he is in Alabama.

 

David Milsop

Kingwood, Texas

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