Unable to read any Amiga disks, please help!

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MarzSyndrome
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2016 6:55 pm

Unable to read any Amiga disks, please help!

Post by MarzSyndrome » Fri Feb 26, 2016 10:30 pm

Hello, all. Registered finally to ask for your help since I can't work out what's the guilty culprit in my setup.

I originally purchased a Kryoflux board in 2012, purchasing the Advanced package which included the Molex cables, the USB cable and the floppy data cable. I later purchased a power supply unit from your store after initially wasting time and money on a cheap unit from eBay. Then I accompanied it with a Samsung SFD-321B floppy disk drive, acquired from eBay. Everything is connected together in accordance with the Quick Start guide and manual (floppy drive powered by PSU, plugged directly into the mains). This setup worked fine most of the time without issue for ages.

Over time, I replaced the floppy drive with another SFD-321B from eBay in 2014 owing to issues I was having with the other drive struggling to read most disks. But even this seemed to have its own problems, and late last year I went for a different approach and purchased one of the 3.5" drives directly from the Kryoflux store. This turned out to be more expensive, but I hoped it would result in a more reliable drive. Not so lucky unfortunately! The drive I got - not a Samsung SFD this time (it says "Alps Electric Co. Ltd", "DF354H090F" and "S/N 8Y632065") - didn't look all that newish or clean upon receiving it, and after initially being unable to actually put a disk inside it all of a sudden, I opened it up (the top on this drive is easier to take off than with the Samsung ones) and was surprised to discover what looked like a chewing gum foil packet placed inside the works! Taking it out allowed the disk to fully go in, but otherwise it seemed to behave no better than the rest. Ironically, going back to the second Samsung drive I purchased later on seemed to perform a lot better once I worked out how to get "fast mode" going in DTC again (by replacing the firmware file).

But I digress. There is actually one very serious problem with my Kryoflux setup that I haven't been able to rectify: it keeps reading every track on an Amiga disk as "unformatted". It all seemed to start a week or two ago when I was gradually going through some disks I recently purchased from eBay and imaging them through the Kryoflux, and all the tracks were being properly recognised and their tracks written to file. At some point I unplugged the KF+drive+cables setup and set it aside for a moment as I wanted to clean my desk. After some time, I plugged everything back in, and found that neither new disks I had yet to image, or disks that I already did successfully image only moments ago, were all reporting as "unformatted" under the DTC tool.

And I know the difference between traditional DOS/NDOS-formatted Amiga titles and MFM-custom-formatted ones - disks that I know were definitely readable and ADFable in the past were now no longer having any of their tracks saved because DTC keeps giving out results like in this example (I switched drives in-between each attempt):

Code: Select all

C:\DTC_x64>dtc -fF29.adf -i5
KryoFlux DiskTool Console, v2.51_Win64, uiv.1, Oct 29 2014, 16:45:36
(c) 2009-2014 KryoFlux Products & Services Ltd.
Developed by The Software Preservation Society, www.softpres.org
Licensed for private, non-commercial use only.

00.0    : frev: 2784, drift: 0.042 us, tfer: 0 B/s, rpm: 300.234
00.0    : base: 0.961 us [29.480%], band: 2.884 us, 3.291 us?, 3.565 us?
00.0    : AmigaDOS: <unformatted>
00.1    : frev: 2578, drift: 0.125 us, tfer: 0 B/s, rpm: 300.231
00.1    : base: 0.958 us [53.243%], band: 2.874 us?, 3.057 us?
00.1    : AmigaDOS: <unformatted>
01.0    : frev: 5990, drift: 0.042 us, tfer: 0 B/s, rpm: 300.227
01.0    : base: 1.021 us [61.698%], band: 3.262 us, 4.086 us?, 5.728 us?
01.0    : AmigaDOS: <unformatted>
01.1    : frev: 12586, drift: 0.104 us, tfer: 78930 B/s, rpm: 300.230
01.1    : base: 2.056 us [65.185%], band: 2.887 us, 4.112 us, 6.037 us?
01.1    : AmigaDOS: <unformatted>
02.0    : frev: 46756, drift: 0.042 us, tfer: 212012 B/s, rpm: 300.228
02.0    : base: 2.004 us [99.859%], band: 2.124 us?, 3.989 us, 6.012 us
02.0    : AmigaDOS: OK*, trk: 004[000], sec: 11, *T
02.1    : frev: 47878, drift: 0.666 us, tfer: 222325 B/s, rpm: 300.233
02.1    : base: 2.004 us [99.773%], band: 3.990 us, 6.013 us, 8.018 us
02.1    : AmigaDOS: OK*, trk: 005[001], sec: 11, *T
03.0    : frev: 45218, drift: 0.021 us, tfer: 212701 B/s, rpm: 300.266
03.0    : base: 2.005 us [98.894%], band: 1.833 us?, 2.833 us?, 3.979 us
03.0    : AmigaDOS: <error>, trk: 006[002], sec: 11, bad: 2, *T
03.0    : Bad sector found
03.0    : frev: 45218, drift: 0.083 us, tfer: 209974 B/s, rpm: 300.232
03.0    : base: 2.005 us [99.010%], band: 2.749 us?, 3.980 us, 6.015 us
03.0    : AmigaDOS: <error>, trk: 006[002], sec: 11, bad: 3, *T
03.0    : Bad sector found
^C
C:\DTC_x64>dtc -fF29.adf -i5
KryoFlux DiskTool Console, v2.51_Win64, uiv.1, Oct 29 2014, 16:45:36
(c) 2009-2014 KryoFlux Products & Services Ltd.
Developed by The Software Preservation Society, www.softpres.org
Licensed for private, non-commercial use only.

00.0    : frev: 8115, drift: 0.125 us, tfer: 64101 B/s, rpm: 301.128
00.0    : base: 0.917 us [25.064%], band: 2.752 us
00.0    : AmigaDOS: <unformatted>
00.1    : frev: 18014, drift: 0.062 us, tfer: 109551 B/s, rpm: 301.128
00.1    : base: 2.061 us [64.418%], band: 2.793 us, 4.042 us, 6.183 us
00.1    : AmigaDOS: <unformatted>
01.0    : frev: 8272, drift: 0.104 us, tfer: 65121 B/s, rpm: 301.138
01.0    : base: 1.874 us [30.403%], band: 3.050 us, 5.622 us?, 6.176 us?
01.0    : AmigaDOS: <unformatted>
01.1    : frev: 19804, drift: 0.083 us, tfer: 121318 B/s, rpm: 301.132
01.1    : base: 1.957 us [92.024%], band: 2.847 us, 3.802 us, 5.870 us
01.1    : AmigaDOS: <unformatted>
02.0    : frev: 8451, drift: 1.290 us, tfer: 66712 B/s, rpm: 301.138
02.0    : base: 2.165 us [25.061%], band: 2.688 us, 6.496 us
02.0    : AmigaDOS: <unformatted>
02.1    : frev: 21713, drift: 0.645 us, tfer: 125984 B/s, rpm: 301.129
02.1    : base: 2.110 us [94.534%], band: 2.799 us, 4.058 us, 5.422 us
02.1    : AmigaDOS: <unformatted>
03.0    : frev: 9020, drift: 0.104 us, tfer: 71208 B/s, rpm: 301.140
03.0    : base: 2.000 us [0.000%], band: <invalid>
03.0    : AmigaDOS: <unformatted>
03.1    : frev: 20819, drift: 0.978 us, tfer: 123607 B/s, rpm: 301.134
03.1    : base: 1.977 us [92.906%], band: 2.677 us, 3.835 us, 5.932 us
03.1    : AmigaDOS: <unformatted>
04.0    : frev: 8682, drift: 0.146 us, tfer: 68815 B/s, rpm: 301.140
04.0    : base: 2.000 us [0.000%], band: 6.077 us?
04.0    : AmigaDOS: <unformatted>
04.1    : frev: 23197, drift: 0.749 us, tfer: 129470 B/s, rpm: 301.133
04.1    : base: 1.794 us [85.951%], band: 3.074 us, 4.261 us, 6.139 us
04.1    : AmigaDOS: <unformatted>
^C
C:\DTC_x64>dtc -fF29.adf -i5
KryoFlux DiskTool Console, v2.51_Win64, uiv.1, Oct 29 2014, 16:45:36
(c) 2009-2014 KryoFlux Products & Services Ltd.
Developed by The Software Preservation Society, www.softpres.org
Licensed for private, non-commercial use only.

00.0    : frev: 18245, drift: 0.125 us, tfer: 127455 B/s, rpm: 300.135
00.0    : base: 2.092 us [28.719%], band: 8.369 us
00.0    : AmigaDOS: <unformatted>
00.1    : frev: 18611, drift: 0.125 us, tfer: 125501 B/s, rpm: 300.187
00.1    : base: 2.512 us [7.709%], band: <invalid>
00.1    : AmigaDOS: <unformatted>
01.0    : frev: 18047, drift: 0.166 us, tfer: 126471 B/s, rpm: 300.121
01.0    : base: 2.000 us [0.000%], band: 8.642 us?
01.0    : AmigaDOS: <unformatted>
01.1    : frev: 18460, drift: 0.083 us, tfer: 125501 B/s, rpm: 300.197
01.1    : base: 2.000 us [0.000%], band: 8.693 us?
01.1    : AmigaDOS: <unformatted>
^C
C:\DTC_x64>dtc -fF29.adf -i5
KryoFlux DiskTool Console, v2.51_Win64, uiv.1, Oct 29 2014, 16:45:36
(c) 2009-2014 KryoFlux Products & Services Ltd.
Developed by The Software Preservation Society, www.softpres.org
Licensed for private, non-commercial use only.

00.0    : frev: 18284, drift: 0.125 us, tfer: 127455 B/s, rpm: 300.211
00.0    : base: 2.000 us [0.000%], band: 8.161 us?
00.0    : AmigaDOS: <unformatted>
00.1    : frev: 18726, drift: 0.062 us, tfer: 125022 B/s, rpm: 300.220
00.1    : base: 2.000 us [0.000%], band: 8.160 us?
00.1    : AmigaDOS: <unformatted>
01.0    : frev: 18015, drift: 0.812 us, tfer: 126227 B/s, rpm: 300.145
01.0    : base: 2.594 us [3.641%], band: <invalid>
01.0    : AmigaDOS: <unformatted>
01.1    : frev: 18401, drift: 0.125 us, tfer: 125501 B/s, rpm: 300.225
01.1    : base: 2.000 us [0.000%], band: 8.752 us?
01.1    : AmigaDOS: <unformatted>
02.0    : frev: 17862, drift: 0.125 us, tfer: 125022 B/s, rpm: 300.215
02.0    : base: 0.916 us [24.982%], band: 2.749 us
02.0    : AmigaDOS: <unformatted>
02.1    : frev: 18120, drift: 0.125 us, tfer: 125022 B/s, rpm: 300.251
02.1    : base: 2.000 us [0.000%], band: <invalid>
02.1    : AmigaDOS: <unformatted>
03.0    : frev: 17507, drift: 0.187 us, tfer: 123142 B/s, rpm: 300.222
03.0    : base: 0.944 us [27.763%], band: 2.833 us
03.0    : AmigaDOS: <unformatted>
^C
C:\DTC_x64>dtc -fF29.adf -i5 -dd1
KryoFlux DiskTool Console, v2.51_Win64, uiv.1, Oct 29 2014, 16:45:36
(c) 2009-2014 KryoFlux Products & Services Ltd.
Developed by The Software Preservation Society, www.softpres.org
Licensed for private, non-commercial use only.

00.0    : frev: 18405, drift: 0.125 us, tfer: 127703 B/s, rpm: 300.216
00.0    : base: 2.000 us [0.000%], band: 8.664 us?
00.0    : AmigaDOS: <unformatted>
00.1    : frev: 18924, drift: 0.125 us, tfer: 131024 B/s, rpm: 300.228
00.1    : base: 2.000 us [0.000%], band: 8.164 us?
00.1    : AmigaDOS: <unformatted>
01.0    : frev: 18235, drift: 0.062 us, tfer: 127207 B/s, rpm: 300.154
01.0    : base: 2.000 us [0.000%], band: 8.744 us?
01.0    : AmigaDOS: <unformatted>
^C
C:\DTC_x64>dtc -c2
CM: maxtrack=83

C:\DTC_x64>dtc -fF29.adf -i5
KryoFlux DiskTool Console, v2.51_Win64, uiv.1, Oct 29 2014, 16:45:36
(c) 2009-2014 KryoFlux Products & Services Ltd.
Developed by The Software Preservation Society, www.softpres.org
Licensed for private, non-commercial use only.

00.0    : frev: 18413, drift: 0.000 us, tfer: 127455 B/s, rpm: 300.255
00.0    : base: 2.000 us [0.000%], band: 8.165 us?
00.0    : AmigaDOS: <unformatted>
00.1    : frev: 19089, drift: 0.021 us, tfer: 130501 B/s, rpm: 300.251
00.1    : base: 2.072 us [29.717%], band: 8.289 us
00.1    : AmigaDOS: <unformatted>
01.0    : frev: 18108, drift: 0.062 us, tfer: 126715 B/s, rpm: 300.193
01.0    : base: 2.000 us [0.000%], band: 8.665 us?
01.0    : AmigaDOS: <unformatted>
01.1    : frev: 18756, drift: 0.146 us, tfer: 125022 B/s, rpm: 300.248
01.1    : base: 2.000 us [0.000%], band: 8.128 us?
01.1    : AmigaDOS: <unformatted>
02.0    : frev: 17751, drift: 0.083 us, tfer: 125261 B/s, rpm: 300.271
02.0    : base: 2.000 us [0.000%], band: 8.750 us?
02.0    : AmigaDOS: <unformatted>
^C
C:\DTC_x64>dtc -fF29.adf -i5
KryoFlux DiskTool Console, v2.51_Win64, uiv.1, Oct 29 2014, 16:45:36
(c) 2009-2014 KryoFlux Products & Services Ltd.
Developed by The Software Preservation Society, www.softpres.org
Licensed for private, non-commercial use only.

00.0    : frev: 17793, drift: 0.104 us, tfer: 124784 B/s, rpm: 300.202
00.0    : base: 2.000 us [0.000%], band: 8.167 us?
00.0    : AmigaDOS: <unformatted>
00.1    : frev: 18710, drift: 0.166 us, tfer: 131286 B/s, rpm: 300.228
00.1    : base: 2.051 us [30.772%], band: 8.205 us
00.1    : AmigaDOS: <unformatted>
01.0    : frev: 17460, drift: 0.062 us, tfer: 123607 B/s, rpm: 300.158
01.0    : base: 2.176 us [24.553%], band: 8.702 us
01.0    : AmigaDOS: <unformatted>
01.1    : frev: 18445, drift: 0.229 us, tfer: 125501 B/s, rpm: 300.227
01.1    : base: 2.000 us [0.000%], band: 8.248 us?
01.1    : AmigaDOS: <unformatted>
02.0    : frev: 17274, drift: 0.208 us, tfer: 117405 B/s, rpm: 300.463
02.0    : base: 0.906 us [23.958%], band: 2.719 us
02.0    : AmigaDOS: <unformatted>
^C
C:\DTC_x64>
(I know for a fact that even MFM titles have at least a DOS-readable Track 1 for one thing, so this is definitely not good.)

The real kick in the balls though? When I initially encountered this problem and tried switching back and forth between my three 3.5" drives and trying both slow and fast firmwares, all to no avail, I assumed that something had gone poof in my otherwise still-alive-and-blinking Kryoflux board.......... so I purchased another one. Quite recently. Just the Basic edition, natch, since I still had all the cables. So I plug this newer board in and............

Code: Select all

00.0    : AmigaDOS: <unformatted>
00.1    : AmigaDOS: <unformatted>
01.0    : AmigaDOS: <unformatted>
01.1    : AmigaDOS: <unformatted>
02.0    : AmigaDOS: <unformatted>
Aaaaaaarrrrggggghhhhhhh!!!

To stress, this isn't anything like the typical issue of a sector struggling to be read and forcing several retries - the drive (whichever one) just behaves like it's going through the tracks without a struggle, but just writing every one off as "unformatted" without much of a thought.

Just for the record, I did try imaging a disk in RAW mode to see if that would work, but WinUAE couldn't do anything with it, and looking at the file through a hex editor appeared to reveal quite a lot of barren space all around, and hardly the packed data I've come to expect from these kinds of dumped files.

So far, I have tried all of the following:

* Used every possible USB port on both the front and back of my desktop PC, *plus* the extra ports built into my ASUS monitor.
* Tried all three of my 3.5" floppy disk drives in possession. (And now with a 4th on its way after I decided to make another cheap eBay purchase out of frustration.)
* Tried both connector ports on the floppy data cable.
* Tried both connector plugs on the MOLEX-to-BERG cable.
* Tried both my older Kryoflux board and the newer, most-recently-purchased Kryoflux board.

So far I've used just DTC and not the GUI-friendly program since I'm a command-line nut at heart and would feel more comfortable with reading the end-results from the former. Anyhow, it would seem like neither the drive nor the board are at fault, and I don't think it's a power supply unit issue since I haven't seen any random power cutoffs or anything similar. So I can only assume that it may be one or more of the cables at fault? Though that said, replacing the USB cable with a similar white one originating from the house printer didn't make a difference.

I'm at my wit's end here. Something is glitching out during the transfer process and preventing DTC from acknowledging the tracks properly, and I've tried everything I could think of. I hope I don't have to start dissecting a floppy drive or anything too complicated. Removing that random gum packet was literally the most I did with one of them!

For the sake of providing information, I'm on a Windows 7 64-bit desktop PC. If anything more than that is required, feel free to let me know, thanks.

User avatar
mr.vince
Posts: 2120
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2010 5:48 pm

Re: Unable to read any Amiga disks, please help!

Post by mr.vince » Sat Feb 27, 2016 8:23 am

As for the foil thing: these drives come from a retailer, it might have been an unused pull - but maybe someone, e.g. in a store, had fun placing a chewing gum paper in the drive. Is is something where community and forums can't help, you should contact us directly.

I can only start with a guess.... Either the PSU is emitting HF and killing the signal or, what sounds more likely, the data cable might be broken by now. Has this ever been replaced? The copper wires are pretty thin and not meant for constant plugging / unplugging.

MarzSyndrome
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2016 6:55 pm

Re: Unable to read any Amiga disks, please help!

Post by MarzSyndrome » Sat Feb 27, 2016 11:21 am

Do you have a direct e-mail address or other means of contact then? I always wondered whether I should try to send the drive back and get a potential refund since I already have two other (soon to be three other) drives here and this purchase was the most expensive one, unless that's not how it works?

As for your suggestions, does HF mean High Frequency or something else, and is it something that can be fixed by myself? And no, I'm pretty much still using the same data cable that was acquired from the Kryoflux Advanced package a few years back. Didn't think I was potentially damaging the cable that easily! I did just quickly make a couple of cheap cable purchases from both Amazon and eBay just in case one of them at least turns out to be rather crap and/or incompatible.

User avatar
mr.vince
Posts: 2120
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2010 5:48 pm

Re: Unable to read any Amiga disks, please help!

Post by mr.vince » Sun Feb 28, 2016 10:16 am

It's really easy to get in touch - there's an email address on e.g. the invoice. Not quoting it here because this is a public place and being scanned by spammers.

As for the cable... It works until it breaks when you unplug it. These cables are - by design - for a very limited amount of connection cycles.

Something must have changed or happened - as it was working before and now it dies not, even with a second board.

MarzSyndrome
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2016 6:55 pm

Re: Unable to read any Amiga disks, please help!

Post by MarzSyndrome » Wed Mar 02, 2016 8:41 pm

Well guess what! Two, yes, two different floppy data cables and another Samsung drive later, and the problem still won't go away! *headdesks*

So could it actually be the PSU after all? Is it bust? Will I need to replace it? Since you're currently out of stock on PSUs, could you recommend any particular place to get them from? I'm UK-based so if there are any UK sellers to trust I'd be more than happy to go for them.

Just so you know, I even tried connecting everything up to this spare laptop of mine in the house, and using its USB ports. Not a sausage of a difference! Nor does plugging the PSU into a different mains outlet at the other end of the room.

I don't know how many more cables and units and boards I'm going to have to buy at this rate. To think everything was just peachy not long ago, then I unplug it for a moment and now it just refuses to co-operate...

User avatar
mr.vince
Posts: 2120
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2010 5:48 pm

Re: Unable to read any Amiga disks, please help!

Post by mr.vince » Wed Mar 02, 2016 8:45 pm

It's really unlikely you got two dead specimen; still possible if one drive killed the drivers by some over-current.

Let's go through this once again. When you connect the drive to power (nothing else needed), your hear a "click" or something from the drive?

When you operate the board, two lights come up during the process, yellow and green. Red is on all the time?

Can you hear the disk spinning and the drive head ticking while the stepper motor moves it forward for each track?

If all of this is yes... wow. I'd want to check head clog. You have tried a couple of disks, right? Not only one...

MarzSyndrome
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2016 6:55 pm

Re: Unable to read any Amiga disks, please help!

Post by MarzSyndrome » Wed Mar 02, 2016 9:00 pm

It is indeed a yes to all three. I'm not noticing anything else out of the ordinary with the way the floppy drive speaks up or the way the Kryoflux board emits those three colours.

I've tried three or four different disks so far, one or two of which I know I dumped before with zero issue. But I also try juggling back and forth between drives, floppy data cables and USB ports, just in case I come across a rare perfect combination. I've often wondered how tricky it must be to get exactly enough power out of any particular USB port - I wouldn't be surprised if one microscopic hiccup at any point is enough to ruin the transfer signal. Occasionally I sometimes get the odd result of seeing some AmigaDOS tracks be read as they should, but they're usually always accompanied by plenty of "bad sector found"s and/or "unformatted"s.

And what is "head clog" anyhow? Will I need to open up a floppy drive or two after all and do something a bit more tricky?

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mr.vince
Posts: 2120
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2010 5:48 pm

Re: Unable to read any Amiga disks, please help!

Post by mr.vince » Wed Mar 02, 2016 11:19 pm

Erm... How do you power the floppy drive?

MarzSyndrome
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2016 6:55 pm

Re: Unable to read any Amiga disks, please help!

Post by MarzSyndrome » Wed Mar 02, 2016 11:37 pm

Via the PSU. Thought I made that clear in my first post. Apologies.

I know the board has its own external power supply port, Molex port and disk drive power connector, but as the manual heavily promoted the idea of powering the drive through the PSU, I haven't attempted the other methods. I'm also not sure what kind of plug I need for the external power port anyhow - the plug for my laptop is just a tad too big for it.

spags
Posts: 91
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 5:46 am
Location: Australia

Re: Unable to read any Amiga disks, please help!

Post by spags » Thu Mar 03, 2016 1:40 pm

Go check out the "Bad floppies :(" post in the Dumping forum - I meant to post that here.

Also, don't use the Molex from the Kryoflux. Although the feature is documented, that some documentation also says don't use it. I'm sure the board is well designed and manufactured, but I wouldn't risk stressing the boards power regulation. There may also be a very remote chance of back feed from the motors to the board or in the case of an accident (spilled liquid, loose screw) sending over-current up through the USB line. Sure it's highly unlikely, but remember that these drives are fragile, sensitive and are probably older than half the human population.

My guess would have been cable as well. I have seen a bent pin on an internal SCSI interface being bent right down almost at the bottom of the pin, thereby being almost impossible to notice since the plug would insert almost all the way in. My only suggestion would be to check that all the pins on your Kryoflux look fine.

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