A few Apple 5.25 floppies can't be detected

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arbeleg
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat May 07, 2016 4:32 pm

A few Apple 5.25 floppies can't be detected

Post by arbeleg » Wed Dec 28, 2016 7:41 pm

Hi, I have a Kryoflux with a flippy-modded Newtronics/Mitsumi D509V5 floppy drive (purchased from Kryoflux) connected to a Windows 10 PC. I have been working on recovering dozens of Apple 2 5.25 inch floppies from the early to mid 1980's. Many of them have been successfully recovered and I now have both preservation stream files, and Applewin-usable disk images (Apple 2 emulator for Windows).

I have a handful of disks, however, that aren't being detected at all when I insert them into the drive. I get an error that says:

Track 0
Error No disk in drive
Error Read failed

I have tried removing the cookie (magnetic disk) from the enclosing jacket and using a fresh new one, and cleaning the disk with pure isopropyl alcohol, but it did not change the results. Even in the new jacket, there is noise when the drive in spinning that does not occur with every disk.

In at least one case, the flippy disk is at least partially readable on an actual Apple //e with Disk ][ drive, though the other side isn't at all. I have tried Kryoflux specifying only side 0 or side 1, and it doesn't seem to help.

I do see circular lines on the disk itself, which may indicate physical damage. There was no mold or dirt visible when I cleaned the disk. I have tried changing the track range to read in the hopes of getting at least partial recovery, but so far have not been successful in getting anything read from it.

Is there any hope of gathering at least some of the information on the floppy, and if so, what other tips and tricks should I be trying?

Thank you,
Arbeleg

SomeGuy
Posts: 87
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:18 pm

Re: A few Apple 5.25 floppies can't be detected

Post by SomeGuy » Wed Dec 28, 2016 9:59 pm

I would try just saving a preservation stream first, you can always go back and analyze those later. A Kryoflux can even create a preservation stream from a completely blank disk. But if it is still saying there is no disk in the drive, then there is something oddly wrong.

If the drive is functioning properly, the only time that should happen is if it can not detect the index hole or if the disk is not spinning properly.

I'd start by checking the index hole both on the cookie and the opening for it on the jacket. If something is partially blocking it (such as fluff from the jacket lining) or if the jacket is on backwards (you said you took it apart), that could cause such a problem. Also check that the holes line up and are where they should be (If someone manually punched a hole in a flippy jacket, it could be off) and that there aren't any unfortunate extra holes in the cookie.

Note that a real Apple II does not use the Index hole, so it will be perfectly happy accessing a disk that has problems with the index hole.

The other thing to check is that the disk is spinning properly. You indicate it spins but makes some kind of noise? Is it more of a "whoosh whoosh whoosh" or a screeching sound? Typically that means there is residue in the jacket or on the cookie that causing friction and slowing the spinning, but you said you already switched those around and cleaned the cookie. You might try cleaning the cookie again with hot water (not hotter than you can touch). Personally I've found hot water is generally more effective and less harsh than isopropyl alcohol with the downside it takes longer to dry.

spags
Posts: 90
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 5:46 am
Location: Australia

Re: A few Apple 5.25 floppies can't be detected

Post by spags » Thu Dec 29, 2016 1:31 pm

Reading SomeGuy's suggestions made me think of a possible explanation for your problems. The disks that have this problem, do they all have their central hubs present and intact? Could it be that the hubs are absent and that the spindle isn't completely gripping onto the floppy surface? A slipping spindle; that might explain the noise and would be a reasonable explanation as to why the index signal wouldn't be created/detected.

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mr.vince
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Re: A few Apple 5.25 floppies can't be detected

Post by mr.vince » Thu Dec 29, 2016 2:13 pm

This error is solely index related. So the drive does not see the disk spinning...

arbeleg
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Joined: Sat May 07, 2016 4:32 pm

Re: A few Apple 5.25 floppies can't be detected

Post by arbeleg » Thu Dec 29, 2016 9:48 pm

Thanks to SomeGuy, spags, and mr. vince for the suggestions. I have been trying only to get a preservation stream, not also trying to get a Apple DOS 3.3 disk image for now.

I think that the center hub ring is missing on the disk. It does look different from other floppies I have from other manufacturers of roughly the same era. I have no recollection of ever removing a hub from a floppy, but of course it would have been decades ago. Is it possible that at the time the disk was manufactured without a hub ring?

FWIW, this is one of the oldest disks I have, and I believe it may have come with the Disk ][ to begin with. The paper sleeve it was in has the old rainbow Apple logo and "Disk ][" printed on it (assuming the disk and sleeve didn't get switched at some point).

Upon further testing, from visual inspection it looks like the disk is spinning when I put it into the drive. I can line up the index hole, put the disk in the drive, and when I remove it the hole is no longer lined up, so there is some disk movement occurring. And SomeGuy's suggestion of a slipping spindle seems most likely to me. The noise I mentioned is more of a screeching noise, and starts as the drive head makes contact with the disk, which I think is consistent with a slipping spindle problem.

If the problem is a missing hub ring, is it possible to add one to the disk? What would the technique for that involve? Are there any other alternatives I should try?

arbeleg
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat May 07, 2016 4:32 pm

Re: A few Apple 5.25 floppies can't be detected

Post by arbeleg » Thu Dec 29, 2016 9:56 pm

One additional detail. When I insert the floppy into the drive and close the lever to lower the spindle, it starts spinning, and the spinning continues indefinitely, accompanied by the squealing noise. If I use another Apple formatted floppy (a 3M SS/DD with a hub ring), when I close the lever on the drive it spins for less than a second, and stops. This happens even if the drive is not connected to the Kryoflux.

spags
Posts: 90
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 5:46 am
Location: Australia

Re: A few Apple 5.25 floppies can't be detected

Post by spags » Thu Dec 29, 2016 11:29 pm

Based on your description, my guess would be that there isn't quite enough pressure on the disk from the spindle. You say there is evidence that the index hole is moving, but it might be that the movement was only a few degrees around the disk (before it completely lost its grip and started slipping). You probably need to visually inspect the disk in action inside the drive to check this (rather than observing the initial and ending conditions). It is unclear from your comments whether your drive is mounted inside a case or if it is exposed so that the drive operations are easily visible.

There is a thread called something like "Help with damaged floppy" in these forums, which discusses the same issue (except on a 3.5 floppy) and how the hub can be glued back on (and appropriate glue). In your case, it sounds like you don't even have the hub to begin with.

So it sounds like you want a temporary hub. I can think of a couple of options but all are risky and would require that your drive be outside of a case so that you can keep an eye on any problems and access the spindle. I haven't tried any of these so it would be at your own risk. Keep your hand on the drive lever so you can remove the disk in an emergency.

Option 1 would be to find some sort of rubber O-ring that happens to closely match the size that the hub would be. Insert the disk and position the O-ring exactly centered before lowering the head/spindle.

Option 2 (ugly) is to find something like blue-tack (the stuff you use to stick paper/posters onto walls) and roll it up into a thin, long and even cylinder. You must have the stuff around the full 360 degrees of the cookie to spread the stress evenly - don't use a few blobs here and there. Stick it onto/around the hub and flatten it down a little (make sure it is consistent thickness). Give it a try, but be ready to remove all the stuff from the actual spindle of your drive afterwards. No idea what effect the stuff will have on your disk surface but I suspect it would be fine in the short term.

Option 3 is that you might be able to use Option 2 with a very thin coating of the stuff, but then to stick a piece of appropriately cut thin cardboard over it (essentially sticking a cardboard hub into place). The thickness of cardboard I am thinking of is something like you might find used in cereal boxes. This would hopefully stop getting the gunk all over the spindle of your drive. I don't think you could use the cardboard method itself without the stuff - I think the cardboard itself would slip.

As I said, these are all risky. Maybe others have better suggestions.

arbeleg
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat May 07, 2016 4:32 pm

Re: A few Apple 5.25 floppies can't be detected

Post by arbeleg » Thu Dec 29, 2016 11:56 pm

Thanks, spags. For what it's worth, the drive is exposed, and not inside a case. I can visually observe the disk spinning when it is inserted in the drive, and haven't noticed any problems, though it's hard to tell is there is any slippage.

I will look for the old thread for advice on gluing on a hub ring, though I'm really hoping it doesn't come to that.

ZrX
Posts: 245
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:09 pm

Re: A few Apple 5.25 floppies can't be detected

Post by ZrX » Fri Dec 30, 2016 12:29 am

One thing with screeching noise is a serious surface damage developing on a disk. Be careful if the disk is important one.

SomeGuy
Posts: 87
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:18 pm

Re: A few Apple 5.25 floppies can't be detected

Post by SomeGuy » Fri Dec 30, 2016 1:13 am

The hub ring is only needed for a few early models of floppy drives that didn't grip the hub properly. A 1.2mb drive should not need the hub.

From my own experience, screeching is usually caused by excess friction between the head and the magnetic surface.

If the disk keeps spinning when inserted, that may mean that there is sufficient friction that the drive thinks the disk is not spinning at full speed (1.2mb drives have "smarts" that spin the disk and check the index at insertion). Easy enough to verify by gently lifting the top head, and the screeching should stop or reduce.

Such screeching is almost guaranteed if the disk was a "Wabash" brand.

When I have encountered screeching, washing the disk in hot/warm water has taken care of that.

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