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HD20 failure rate?

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I have had several HD20 pass through my hands and still have a few on hand. I never had an issue with any of them, even the ones I put into basic service and use somewhat regularly. So I am wondering if anyone has had a drive fail and if so, what mode? Drive, power supply?

 

Just curious really.

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I've acquired three over the years.  Only one was fully working, even though all three power up, have the light turn on, and the drive platters spin.

One of the broken ones appears to have dead drive electronics - while the platters do spin up, it doesn't identify to the system AT ALL. And yes, having three of them, I tried moving around various bits of electronics - no good.  The drive electronics on that one are dead.

The other broken one identifies itself to the system, but fails all checks/formats/etc.

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Over the years i have found several brands in those HD20 units, some were huge seagate ST drives IIRC, never seen any Rodime, but where of the same period, so  probably correct.

 

Mines are all Miniscribe units, many were also upgraded to a bigger or better modern unit.

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Over the years i have found several brands in those HD20 units

I think you're confusing the SCSI "Hard Disk 20SC" with the floppy interface HD-20 that's the topic of this thread.

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I think you're confusing the SCSI "Hard Disk 20SC" with the floppy interface HD-20 that's the topic of this thread.

 

I suspect so also.

 

My HD20SC had a huge Seagate 5 1/4" drive that wouldn't initialize when I got it.

 

I've only had my HD20 open once, but it has the Rodime drive. I've never investigated, but I've been told the interface is proprietary. I just have it sitting under my 512Ke and it-fortunately-continues to work fine every time I turn it on.

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Just recently used my new FloppyEmu to boot my 512K with HD20 support.  One of the two HD20s with cables worked, and I'm yet to test the third as it needs a data cable, but now I know where I can "borrow" one from.

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Yeah, by HD20 I do mean the boxed external floppy interface unit originally designed for the 512k. SC20, etc. Those I know are more a mixed bag.

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Rodime drives are famously garbage. Cheap but in the same reliability tier as Miniscribe and Kalok. Also yes the interafce on the drives in the HD20 was proprietary. It ain't SCSI, nor IDE or MFM.

Apricot used them as well and they were equally unreliable.

 

Miniscribe and Seagate drives in the HD20 SC however I would not be surprised about.

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Rodime drives are famously garbage.

It never fails someone chimes in with that statement, but does anyone have statistics to support it? So far as I can tell in contemporary literature Rodime seemed to have a respectable-enough reputation, at least until they went under in terms of selling products and turned into a shell company existing solely for patent trolling. Companies like CMI come off far worse in terms of evidence supporting that their actual products sucked.

 

The fact that any of these drives, from any manufacturer, work at all 30 years later is basically a miracle.

 

(Also, let it be noted that even "good" manufacturers turn out the occasional lemon. Seagate sold a bazillion of their ST351/A IDE drives, one of the last common drives using an old-fashioned stepper motor positioner instead of a voice-coil, and I saw *so* many dead ones after they turned three or four years old. The very common and otherwise-okay ST-225 got a bad reputation for a while because it was easy to damage it by denting the case with too-long screws... etc.)

Edited by Gorgonops

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I realize I'm in the minority, but the Rodime drive in my Rodime 20 Plus is still going strong; same with the drive in my HD20. Of course, like anything 30+ years old, these things are on heavily borrowed time. Most of my Quantum drives have turned sour in the last year due to age. 

 

The award for worst drives goes to Jasmine and Maxtor - my Jasmine developed bad sectors shortly after I bought it, and my Maxtor won't even power up anymore. 

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I have several Rodime drives.. haven't had any bad luck with them yet.. Now the Connor crap in both the portable and PB100's.. as well as the Quantums.. I bet you'll have more complaints on those newer drives than the older Rodimes... 

 

I also have two widget's working great... I've done all the caps on all my old drives. 

Edited by aplmak

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The HD20 uses the Rodime drive because it was actually designed to use the "Nisha" drive, which was a follow-on to the Lisa Widget drive that was cancelled in mid-early 1985 when Apple decided to stop designing their own drives. However, the HD20 was already designed around the Nisha drive, so they designed a replacement logic board for the Rodime drive with a Nisha-compatible interface. My understanding is that Rodime was selected because they were the only vendor of 3.5" hard drives at the same time. This is all corroborated by various documents I found somewhere on Bitsavers. Internal memos relating to Nisha R&D, actually.

Edited by techfury90

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