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eebuckeye

Problem with Adam floppy drive

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I received a floppy drive in very good condition and I connected the Adamnet cable to the side of the computer then to the input of the drive which is set to drive 1. With the computer off the red light on the drive stays on until the computer is powered. Then just the power light stays on. Is this normal?



I cleaned the drive head and tried 4 disks.. I insert the disk in the drive then reset the Adam. The drive spins and the Adam screen is blank but that is all.. nothing happens.



I removed the drive from the case and can see the disk spin but do not see the head moving at all. Any suggestions by chance?



Thank you



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It is normal for the drive light to remain on until the adam is turned on - it actually is running - so it is best not to leave it on when the Adam is off.

 

As for the head not moving it could be many different reasons. with everything off and power remove, remove the case and then try moving the head gently back and forth along the rail to make sure it is not stuck. If you can move it make sure the rails are nice and clean. If you can't it could be that the head is stuck on the rails or the stepper motor is bad or the control board is bad.

 

I'm not an expert on these - I just have a good grasp on how they work - there are experts on here that may chime in with better advice than me :)

 

Milli

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Thanks for the suggestions! I moved the head gently back and forth and lubricated the rails. No disk would boot but I noticed that when I moved the head forward and inserted a disk that the head went to the far back position so it can move.

 

Hmm...

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Thanks for the suggestions! I moved the head gently back and forth and lubricated the rails. No disk would boot but I noticed that when I moved the head forward and inserted a disk that the head went to the far back position so it can move.

 

Hmm...

THAT sucks! Next thing to try.........loosen but keep snug the 2 hex screws that adjust the head and move the head in tiny increments to the left or right. The other cure on the controller board may be to find the adjustable capacitor under the drive on the controller board and slightly turn the adjustment a teensy to the right. Lesson, only buy drives that are working; nor working drives which can't be tested with an ADAM and a disk may have a50/50 chance of actually reading and writing even though they appear to work

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Sigh...I had one then two, three, now four drives that worked at one time well, then intermittently (often only when warmed up) but all now exhibit this exact same behaviour. Not an alignment issue as no attempt to seek is made, no adjustment of the adjustable capacitors made any difference. All in good cosmetic condition, all power up. None work. So yeah, a "TESTED" drive is tested when it reads, formats, writes when connected to an ADAM without issue and tested does `NOT mean that just the light comes on when plugged in.

Edited by coleconut

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I had one of these also do this - ended up reselling it recently on eBay as parts and specifically explained it did just this, along with video doing this. Would wonder if this is that same drive?

 

Milli

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I had one of these also do this - ended up reselling it recently on eBay as parts and specifically explained it did just this, along with video doing this. Would wonder if this is that same drive?

 

Milli

If there is a way you could tell it is your drive you should let him know because he could use that as proof this guy resold the product in devious way.

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Sigh...I had one then two, three, now four drives that worked at one time well, then intermittently (often only when warmed up) but all now exhibit this exact same behaviour. Not an alignment issue as no attempt to seek is made, no adjustment of the adjustable capacitors made any difference. All in good cosmetic condition, all power up. None work. So yeah, a "TESTED" drive is tested when it reads, formats, writes when connected to an ADAM without issue and tested does `NOT mean that just the light comes on when plugged in.

Have also had that problem David. Years ago there wa a guy in Missouri who I had fix them by adjusting some capacitor or other. He quit making repairs some years ago. I contacted him just recently but he won't fix anything anymore. Bummer because he did it very reasonable and apparently had training to do it.

Edited by adamcon

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On 9/20/2016 at 7:08 PM, eebuckeye said:

Thanks for the suggestions! I moved the head gently back and forth and lubricated the rails. No disk would boot but I noticed that when I moved the head forward and inserted a disk that the head went to the far back position so it can move.

 

Hmm...

Hello,

I know this thread is ageing but I just paid dearly for an ADAM 160K disk drive experiencing this exact issue.  Head will reset backwards but absolutely no seeking forward when accessing disk.  Drive is visible in SmartWriter as DRIVE C but throws a CANNOT ACCESS THIS FILE error attempting to read an Adam EOS formatted disk.   Seems like power board and logic boards generally work, and disk spins.  I thoroughly cleaned entire drive and lubricated head rails before powering up first time.  Did you solve your issue because I think mine is the same problem?  Shawn.

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I wish some one would take on repairing and servicing drives for the Adam community. Milli has taken on Data Drives for us. Now we need a Disk Master :)

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On 7/11/2021 at 8:02 AM, RGDiRocco said:

I wish some one would take on repairing and servicing drives for the Adam community. Milli has taken on Data Drives for us. Now we need a Disk Master :)

Yes, his YouTube videos are really helpful.  I followed one video to prepare my disk drive for awakening from a 30 year slumber.

As it turns out, my disk drive IS actually working!  My old Adam 160K labeled disks however had been erased, a detail I forgot in the last 3 decades.

The symptoms I reported are normal if you insert an unformatted disc.  One problem with this old tech is you have to have a copy of Adam Disk Manager (EOS) or Adam CP/M to format a blank disk.  Fortunately I booted a CP/M data pack and was able to test formatting a 160K CP/M disk, rather than continue troubleshooting my drive for NO apparent reason : )

That said, I've had a number of discs I tried formatting that reported bad blocks even though they look like new and are very clean. From what I've heard these Adam disk drives were often problematic like so much of the other Adam hardware before revisions were made.

made.

     Shawn

 

 

 

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My Adam disk drive has also weird problems 😔. At first sight seems to work fine, I've the aforementioned Disk Manager or CP/M disks; but if I boot them and try to format a floppy, it works but it never verifies fine, fails the very first track. Sadly is my only Adam drive so I can't easily swap drive mechanisms or controller boards. The Adam disk drive is a complex beast to diagnose...😕

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12 hours ago, jltursan said:

My Adam disk drive has also weird problems 😔. At first sight seems to work fine, I've the aforementioned Disk Manager or CP/M disks; but if I boot them and try to format a floppy, it works but it never verifies fine, fails the very first track. Sadly is my only Adam drive so I can't easily swap drive mechanisms or controller boards. The Adam disk drive is a complex beast to diagnose...😕

I can't believe this, but MY drive is now doing the same thing!  It created and verified several CP/M and EOS Disk Manager disks last night without any issues.  This morning I found it wouldn't read any of those disks and if I attempt to format a CP/M disk now it fails verification at the first block 000.  I couldn't find anything wrong inside and cleaning the disk head changed nothing, wasn't dirty at all.

Might have to set this aside for a bit.  Seems like the read head or wiring to it is not working.  Was doing SO well and then nothing!

     Shawn

 

 

 

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Seems like the read head or wiring to it is not working

 

That scares me to the bone, if there's some kind of head wiring problem, the drive will be 99% ruined. I don't have a 100% good working drive so I can't compare measured resistances between both heads.

Also, seems hard to replace the drive mechanism, there're some extra cables unknown to me...I need to check ASAP the controller schematics.

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If the head wiring is the issue, yes a serious setback.  Seems like our drives are otherwise 90 percent working, but I am not a hardware repair expert. I'll keep looking into this as time permits.  Yes, there are extra wires from the main drive assembly to the power and controller board below.  They disconnect easily if needed.  Hang in there.  If I find out more I'll be sure to share here.

     Shawn

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Well, I've found this thread talking about connecting a Gotek, so the cable wiring must be more or less the standard. Note that the original drive is still in place and being powered, maybe is still giving some signals that allows the Gotek to work. I'm saying this because already tried to swap the drive mechanism with a new working one (a 5.25" 360K standard floppy  drive) without success, no signals of life when booting the Adam; so my guess is that something it's not fully standard with this controller.

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17 hours ago, jltursan said:

Well, I've found this thread talking about connecting a Gotek, so the cable wiring must be more or less the standard. Note that the original drive is still in place and being powered, maybe is still giving some signals that allows the Gotek to work. I'm saying this because already tried to swap the drive mechanism with a new working one (a 5.25" 360K standard floppy  drive) without success, no signals of life when booting the Adam; so my guess is that something it's not fully standard with this controller.

Swapping in 5 1/4" 360K mechanics is not enough, there is a whole conversion process that needs to be done as well as an updated firmware version. See the attached instructions on how to do this mod, but it will only be worthwhile if the Controller Board is working properly.

 

As far as the Gotek driver, rietveld posted some videos as well as explained the details. You have to connect the ribbon and power cable from the Controller Board to the Gotek drive, so the 5 1/4" mechanics are removed and the Gotek drive is mounted in it's place probably with a 5 1/4"-to-3 1/2" drive adapter kit. In rietveld's video, it looks like the ADAM 5 1/4" FDD is still conected to the Controller Board, but it is not.

 

ADAM 5.25 Floppy Disk Drive Upgrade to 320K or 360K.zip

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On 7/14/2021 at 2:59 AM, jltursan said:

My Adam disk drive has also weird problems 😔. At first sight seems to work fine, I've the aforementioned Disk Manager or CP/M disks; but if I boot them and try to format a floppy, it works but it never verifies fine, fails the very first track. Sadly is my only Adam drive so I can't easily swap drive mechanisms or controller boards. The Adam disk drive is a complex beast to diagnose...😕

In reviewing this topic, it seems that your Adam disk drive WILL boot existing floppy disks, correct?  You are only experiencing a problem verifying newly formatted disks?  If so, then this is slightly different than my problem because my drive suddenly quit reading ALL disks this month.  Still hope to get it working again when time allows.

     Shawn

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Indeed, my drive is only failing in verifying newly formatted disks, it still seems to be able to read disks. As it looks like the drive can't write, I've been testing some write procedures and strangely enough, it can write small pieces of data (e.g.: copying a small file). I'm puzzled...

 

Swapping in 5 1/4" 360K mechanics is not enough, there is a whole conversion process that needs to be done as well as an updated firmware version. See the attached instructions on how to do this mod, but it will only be worthwhile if the Controller Board is working properly.

 

Many thanks!. The Gotek+flashfloppy procedure could serve as a way to test if the controller is in working state...

 

As far as the Gotek driver, rietveld posted some videos as well as explained the details. You have to connect the ribbon and power cable from the Controller Board to the Gotek drive, so the 5 1/4" mechanics are removed and the Gotek drive is mounted in it's place probably with a 5 1/4"-to-3 1/2" drive adapter kit. In rietveld's video, it looks like the ADAM 5 1/4" FDD is still conected to the Controller Board, but it is not.[/quote[

 

I mean that the original drive is partially connected, it still has the single wires that are connected to the PCB controller. If the Gotek doesn't need nothing more than being powered and connecting the ribbon cable, it'll be easy to check 🙂

 

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8 hours ago, jltursan said:

Indeed, my drive is only failing in verifying newly formatted disks, it still seems to be able to read disks. As it looks like the drive can't write, I've been testing some write procedures and strangely enough, it can write small pieces of data (e.g.: copying a small file). I'm puzzled...

Perhaps you have already tried this, but I would suspect you might need to try cleaning the write head with a cotton swab and a dab of isopropyl alcohol.  Also, have you tried many different brands of floppy disk?  Before my drive quit reading everything I was able to format some disks perfectly but did find certain ones that it complained repeatedly about.  I think some of these old discs simply are not good anymore.  Please keep us informed of your progress.

     Shawn

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Yep, the header was cleaned with isopropyl, the rails lubbed, etc., I've already tested a couple of disks but you're right, maybe I need to test a pile of floppies to be absolutely sure, they're not reliable at all right now. Next, I'll probably try the Gotek installation. 

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On 7/20/2021 at 2:43 AM, jltursan said:

Yep, the header was cleaned with isopropyl, the rails lubbed, etc., I've already tested a couple of disks but you're right, maybe I need to test a pile of floppies to be absolutely sure, they're not reliable at all right now. Next, I'll probably try the Gotek installation. 

I know you said you could read and sometimes write to disk.  Perhaps we could diagnose just a bit more if you are willing to erase a known working/reading Adam floppy disk.  Reformat and verify it.  If this goes OK, would seem to indicate drive is OK and the other disk failures are due to the media age, condition, or quality.  However, if the working disk fails to reformat and verify, would seem likely the problem is in the drive itself.  I share your frustration as my drive was working one night, and not the next morning.  Keep us informed of your progress.

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