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Floppy drive won't recognise disks - help?

 
 
poachedeggs@hotmail.co.uk
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      11-08-2008, 10:27 AM
The remaining problem with this DeskPro EN 866 sff is that the floppy
drive won't work. Initially the seller, a refurbishing company, seem
to have not plugged the power connector in (labelled P2?), which I've
now done. I don't see how any of the leads can be in wrong - they
seem to only go one way? I tried to fit another drive I had in a
drawer to see if it was the drive itself but the fit is wrong. The
light lights up, it seems to work _mechanically_, so to speak - tries
to read the disk, but prompts for a disk to be put in, even though
there is one. I've tried reading or formatting from a C: prompt to no
avail.

I don't suppose it really matters, as who uses floppies now, but if
there's something simple I'd like to get it sorted. I have a few
files on some floppies I could make use of.

Otherwise, a really good machine for 30 quid - almost makes me sick I
bought a new laptop.

Thanks.

p.s. Being curious about Linux, if anyone can also let me know if I
can set this machine up to dual-boot, and what is recommended, that
info would be great, here or emailed to poachedeggs at hotmail dot co
dot uk .


 
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Ben Myers
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      11-08-2008, 05:14 PM
(E-Mail Removed) wrote:
> The remaining problem with this DeskPro EN 866 sff is that the floppy
> drive won't work. Initially the seller, a refurbishing company, seem
> to have not plugged the power connector in (labelled P2?), which I've
> now done. I don't see how any of the leads can be in wrong - they
> seem to only go one way? I tried to fit another drive I had in a
> drawer to see if it was the drive itself but the fit is wrong. The
> light lights up, it seems to work _mechanically_, so to speak - tries
> to read the disk, but prompts for a disk to be put in, even though
> there is one. I've tried reading or formatting from a C: prompt to no
> avail.
>
> I don't suppose it really matters, as who uses floppies now, but if
> there's something simple I'd like to get it sorted. I have a few
> files on some floppies I could make use of.
>
> Otherwise, a really good machine for 30 quid - almost makes me sick I
> bought a new laptop.
>
> Thanks.
>
> p.s. Being curious about Linux, if anyone can also let me know if I
> can set this machine up to dual-boot, and what is recommended, that
> info would be great, here or emailed to poachedeggs at hotmail dot co
> dot uk .
>
>

It is possible that the floppy drive is clogged with dust and dirt.
Does the motherboard BIOS recognize that the floppy is there? Seems
like it does. If you have a can of compressed air, blast some air
inside the floppy drive. Do so out of doors, to keep from inhaling the
dust... Ben Myers
 
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William R. Walsh
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      11-10-2008, 04:19 PM
Hi!

> The remaining problem with this DeskPro EN 866 sff
> is that the floppy drive won't work.


One of my Deskpro EN SFF machines exhibited this same failure. It
turned out that the stepper motor and lead screw driving the heads was
simply stuck. It seemed to have been caused by disuse.

I got it freed up by repetitively inserting and removing a garbage
diskette and asking the computer to read it. It slowly came back to
life and is now working fine.

Particularly bad cases might call for taking the drive apart (which
requires a precision set of small tools in some cases) and cleaning
it. You might also need to make sure the lead screw driving the heads
can move freely and isn't jammed or blocked.

These things collect plenty of lint over the years, so you might find
a lint ball in the drive that is messing things up. You could probably
see one (if there's one in there) by flipping open the drive door and
shining a light in there.

> Initially the seller, a refurbishing company, seem
> to have not plugged the power connector in (labelled
> P2?), which I've now done.


I would imagine that the prior owner of the machine did this instead
of the refurbishing company. Chances are they thought of it as a
"security" measure.

If you don't mind my asking, where did you get your Deskpro?

> I don't see how any of the leads can be in wrong -
> they seem to only go one way?


If you put the power connector in backwards, you'd have a smoking ruin
in place of a floppy drive. The data connector can be connected
backwards without lasting damage.

I never tried a generic floppy drive in any of mine--they haven't
needed replacement.

> Otherwise, a really good machine for 30 quid - almost
> makes me sick I bought a new laptop.


They are *really* great systems. If you're ever looking for a similar
system with more processing power (Pentium 4!) the Evo D500 series
(also available in SFF) are much less common but still nicely made. I
have one of the Evo D500 SFF models and it's just a Deskpro with the
drives moved around and a P4 1.7 GHz CPU.

> p.s. Being curious about Linux, if anyone can also let
> me know if I can set this machine up to dual-boot,
> and what is recommended, that info would be great,
> here or emailed to poachedeggs at hotmail dot co
> dot uk .


You can dual boot just like you would any other computer. The Deskpro
EN will run Linux nicely--I've been using gOS Beta 3.0 on one of my
mine. It's only single boot, though.

William
 
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Ben Myers
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      11-10-2008, 06:40 PM
William R. Walsh wrote:
> Hi!
>
>> The remaining problem with this DeskPro EN 866 sff
>> is that the floppy drive won't work.

>
> One of my Deskpro EN SFF machines exhibited this same failure. It
> turned out that the stepper motor and lead screw driving the heads was
> simply stuck. It seemed to have been caused by disuse.
>
> I got it freed up by repetitively inserting and removing a garbage
> diskette and asking the computer to read it. It slowly came back to
> life and is now working fine.
>
> Particularly bad cases might call for taking the drive apart (which
> requires a precision set of small tools in some cases) and cleaning
> it. You might also need to make sure the lead screw driving the heads
> can move freely and isn't jammed or blocked.
>
> These things collect plenty of lint over the years, so you might find
> a lint ball in the drive that is messing things up. You could probably
> see one (if there's one in there) by flipping open the drive door and
> shining a light in there.
>
>> Initially the seller, a refurbishing company, seem
>> to have not plugged the power connector in (labelled
>> P2?), which I've now done.

>
> I would imagine that the prior owner of the machine did this instead
> of the refurbishing company. Chances are they thought of it as a
> "security" measure.
>
> If you don't mind my asking, where did you get your Deskpro?
>
>> I don't see how any of the leads can be in wrong -
>> they seem to only go one way?

>
> If you put the power connector in backwards, you'd have a smoking ruin
> in place of a floppy drive. The data connector can be connected
> backwards without lasting damage.
>
> I never tried a generic floppy drive in any of mine--they haven't
> needed replacement.
>
>> Otherwise, a really good machine for 30 quid - almost
>> makes me sick I bought a new laptop.

>
> They are *really* great systems. If you're ever looking for a similar
> system with more processing power (Pentium 4!) the Evo D500 series
> (also available in SFF) are much less common but still nicely made. I
> have one of the Evo D500 SFF models and it's just a Deskpro with the
> drives moved around and a P4 1.7 GHz CPU.
>
>> p.s. Being curious about Linux, if anyone can also let
>> me know if I can set this machine up to dual-boot,
>> and what is recommended, that info would be great,
>> here or emailed to poachedeggs at hotmail dot co
>> dot uk .

>
> You can dual boot just like you would any other computer. The Deskpro
> EN will run Linux nicely--I've been using gOS Beta 3.0 on one of my
> mine. It's only single boot, though.
>
> William


Maybe it's me, but it is far easier to replace a floppy drive than to
disassemble it. Cleaning out dust and dirt inside a floppy drive
sometimes works, too... Ben Myers
 
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William R. Walsh
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      11-10-2008, 11:07 PM
Hi!

> Maybe it's me, but it is far easier to replace a floppy
> drive than to disassemble it. Cleaning out dust and
> dirt inside a floppy drive sometimes works, too...
> Ben Myers


I get the feeling you handle a lot more computer equipment than I
do. :-)

It depends upon what day of the week it is--bright and early on a
Monday morning (maybe) I'm much more inclined to crack open a drive
and work on it. On Friday afternoon, probably not so much.

I'm also inclined to do what I can to keep things out of the
Dumpster...my "other job" *is* dumpster diving and trashpicking.

William
 
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Ben Myers
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      11-11-2008, 01:57 AM
William R. Walsh wrote:
> Hi!
>
>> Maybe it's me, but it is far easier to replace a floppy
>> drive than to disassemble it. Cleaning out dust and
>> dirt inside a floppy drive sometimes works, too...
>> Ben Myers

>
> I get the feeling you handle a lot more computer equipment than I
> do. :-)
>
> It depends upon what day of the week it is--bright and early on a
> Monday morning (maybe) I'm much more inclined to crack open a drive
> and work on it. On Friday afternoon, probably not so much.
>
> I'm also inclined to do what I can to keep things out of the
> Dumpster...my "other job" *is* dumpster diving and trashpicking.
>
> William


You're right. I have a few Compaq floppy drives here without bezels and
with the rounded eject button. It is interesting that Compaq assigned
different part numbers to floppys that were 100% physically compatible
across many product lines and over a span of years. Interesting, but
stupid inventory management. Of course, when a know-nothing corporate
procurement manager wants a specific part number, an identical
substitute will never do. Equally stupid... Ben Myers
 
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