Track-center tuning of 5.25″ floppy drives

Posted Sat, Jul. 27th 2013 in
Over the years, millions of 5.25″ floppy drives have been discarded because of an easily repaired defect: Loss of track-centering alignment. This problem is easily repaired with simple tools such as a screwdriver, a computer/monitor, and a software disk. Track-centering misalignment is suggested when a floppy drive can
read its own written disks, but gives disk-errors when attempting to read disks written on other drivers. Likewise, the disks written on the misaligned drive give error messages when read on other drives that are correctly aligned. In this session, I will present this problem and demonstrate how track-center alignment software is used to correct it. Participants will be given free copies of the public domain track-centering software, with a written handout that presents all details of the drive-realignment procedure. I will demonstrate the track-center tuning with several Apple II floppy drives: the classic Disk ][, the 3/4 height Apple 5.25 drive (with DB-19 plug), and then with one or two clone drives. Participants are invited to bring to K-Fest any floppy drives that they suspect are misaligned; I will check the alignment of each drive and adjust it to perfection, FOR FREE.

Disk II Theory of Design and Functionality

Posted Thu, Jul. 25th 2013 in
Topics include: archiving and servicing the disk drive, tweaking it for working with floppy disks that are shedding magnetic particles, and more.