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I have a Mac SE FDHD where the second floppy drive is behaving bad. The eject mechanism works fine, but when I insert a working diskette, it makes the normal disk read sounds a very few times (and in the meantime the mouse pointer gets kinda stuck, as if the computer is working hard). It then gives the dialog saying "This disk is unreadable. Do you want to initialize it?" every time. I've tried with two Mac formatted HD diskettes - both work in the first drive but gives the above behaviour in the second.

 

What to do?

Edited by Tonebender
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I have a whole stack of floppy drives that do that.  One thing that might work is if you take the floppy drive you, use a q-tip and some alcohol and clean the heads very gently.  That might get it working again.  If you don't want to mess around with taking it apart, you could try a Floppy Drive Cleaning Kit such as the one linked below.

 

http://www.frys.com/product/3289841

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The drive in my SE/30 worked perfectly, until I inserted a damaged floppy by mistake once. It then wouldn't work AT ALL! Even with known good floppies.

I bought a Drive Cleaning Kit like the one ole suggested. Inserted it and it cleaned the heads and that's how my floppy drive was resurrected!

You should give it a go, a cleaning diskette is always useful!

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I found this problem; on many of my macs, that were in storage. When I tried to use recently; I got all kinds of similar errors to what you experienced. These were of different generations of floppy drives; Quadra 700, Power Macintosh G3/300 tower, etc. I found; when I cleaned, lubricated the mechanisms, paying particular attention to the worn gear that runs the reading head and used alcohol/q-tip, to gently clean the heads... they both started acting normal and the initialization messages went away. It seems; that floppy drives, suffer from lack of use and develop problems, when in storage for years. The Quadra 700 floppy drive in particular: looked like, it had never been serviced and had hardened white lithium grease everywhere, causing the mechanisms to by sticky. 

 

Here is diy; that might be helpful: 

 

https://wiki.68kmla.org/Floppy_Drive_Lubrication

 

Aside from the typical rubbing alcohol; I found this electronic cleaner and synthetic grease to work excellent. 

 

CRC 5103 Quick Dry Electronic Cleaner - 11 Wt Oz. (under $5 at Walmart)

 

https://www.google.com/search?q=crc+electronic+cleaner&oq=crc+electronic+cleaner&aqs=chrome..69i57.7821j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

 

 

Super Lube 21030 Synthetic Grease (NLGI 2), 3 oz Tube (got mine at Harbor Freight)

 

https://www.google.com/search?q=crc+electronic+cleaner&oq=crc+electronic+cleaner&aqs=chrome..69i57.7821j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#q=superlube

Edited by billymade
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Thanks for the tips!

Yesterday, I took the device apart, reading the 68kmla wiki floppy lubrication tutorial. I removed dust and tried to make sure the moving parts are moving. I didn't find any parts that needed obvious lubrication, everything seems to move smoothly. The heads seem well aligned, and I also cleaned them with some disc/tape/head cleaner (alcohol on a q-tip). But it doesn't work still.

 

I tried operating and observing the drive when it was out of its case. The disk and the head motor spins a little while, but then just stops.  :(

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The floppy drives; DO need lubrication. I just cleaned mine with the electrical contact cleaner, assuming that would be good enough and it still had the problems! It wasn't until AFTER I lubricated both of them and worked in the grease, installing/uninstalling a floppy disc many, many, times... that the errors, finally went away. Think about it; my Quadra 700 is 25 years old and from what I can see, the floppy drive has never had any maintenance (that is a long time; no wonder the lithium grease, was hard and old). I cannot guarantee your floppy isn't damaged or needs replaced but it is worth a try. Worst case scenario; maybe have one of the guys on this site, that do repairs take a look at it for you or see if they can sell you a floppy drive, that has been gone through and works correctly. Maybe post in the classifieds section; I am sure, someone has a extra floppy drive, they would be willing to sell you. 

 

Here is a very in depth video; that maybe helpful? 

 

 

Note: if you end up having a bad plastic gear(s); they are being reproduced and sold online: 

 

https://www.google.com/search?q=apple+floppy+drive+replacement+gear&oq=apple+floppy+drive+replacement+gear&aqs=chrome..69i57.5598j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Edited by billymade
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Hm, maybe you're right, but what makes me think it's not a lubrication issue is the fact that the drive behaves the exact same every time I test it. This includes movements and number of buzzing sounds, etc. And it doesn't appear to have any troubles with the moving parts. But who knows.

 

There are floppy drives available for a decent price on eBay, so that's one solution if all else fails. On the other hand, I might just ditch it and install some kind of memory card instead, since this SE lacks a harddrive and has one functioning floppy drive already. But I thought it would be kinda neat to have it restored to its original configuration.

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Well, based upon my current experience; of going through (2) floppy drives and successfully getting them to work again.... I would say give it a shot! What do you have to lose? If you do not clean and lubricate the drive; you will never know, if it will work.  

Edited by billymade
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It's possible the head tension is too low. If you remove the head and look at the back end where the upper and lower heads hinge, there's a spring that pulls them together, and on each side there's some notches arranged in a sort of stair-step fashion that the spring hooks to. Try moving that spring (it might take some doing, as it's held in place by some sort of varnish) up a notch or two and see what happens.

 

c

Edited by CC_333
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Thanks for the tip!

 

Now I just discovered that the other floppy drive in the same SE is also having some kind of issues. It can read mac-formatted disks no problem, but when I try to format them, they always fail at the verification phase. Anyone knows anything about that?

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