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Powerbook 520c floppy drive acting up


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I recently acquired a PowerBook 520c that seems to be in decent shape. However, the floppy drive is acting up. Even when it's empty, I get a message that it cannot read the floppy when I start the machine. The only way to get past the eject-initialize window of doom is to insert and reformat[!] an actual floppy. This normally does the trick.

 

The eject mechanism does not work when I'm in the system, but the computer will automatically and forcefully spit out the floppy if I restart. Oddly, it will still give me the eject-initialize window. Could this be caused by dust in the drive causing the computer to sense that there is a floppy there? Has anyone experienced this problem?  I'll get an air duster and maybe a floppy cleaning kit and see if that helps.

 

 

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Hi BishioBlougram,

 

Odd error but have come across it a couple of times - in PowerBooks - it usually suggests the drive mechanism itself is caught/not fully engaged thinking a disk is installed when in fact it isn't, or a sensor/switch is dirty.  Long story is yes cleaning the drive should help, but the mechanism might be gummed up causing the issues.  I'd try the compressed air, tweezers to remove any dust, ultimately though it might need to be pulled out and inspected. Good thing is it works :)

 

JB

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Thanks, will do. As a stopgap measure, is there any way to bypass the floppy check altogether during startup? Would the computer still work and boot from the hard drive if I simply disconnected the floppy drive or would it throw an error that prevented me from using it? I don't need the drive; I can transfer files through other means.

 

 

 

 

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I will disconnect the floppy ribbon once I have the tools top get under the hood. But in the meantime, is there any way to disable the floppy drive through software? Maybe a keyboard shortcut during start-up? Having to reformat a floppy every time I start the computer is a little annoying.

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No software solutions - have you given the drive internals a bit of a spring clean?  It might free up the mechanism.

 

With the right Torx bit you remove three screws from underneath, reach in fold out the keyboard on the palm reset, where you'll see the floppy drive ribbon that can be freed.

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Yup. I will do that. These seem to be good instructions for getting under the hood. I'm just waiting for my torx set to arrive. I had to jettison a lot of things when I moved to the US eight years ago, and the two SE/30s I have acquired since all came without screws.

 

And speaking of jettisoning stuff, I might have to get a multimeter as well. I think the AC charger is toast. My computer came with a jury-rigged Apple AirportExtreme AC adapter taped together with the Mac cable; this worked fine, but I threw it out and bought an original adapter instead. Big mistake. Now my computer shuts itself off after a few minutes. Since it worked with the makeshift adapter, there must be something wrong with the new one.

 

 

 

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