Advice needed on floppy drive head cleaning kits...

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jdb2
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2018 7:49 pm

Advice needed on floppy drive head cleaning kits...

Post by jdb2 » Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:37 pm

I recently bought a KryoFlux Personal Edition Premium and it works great! I tested it on some disks which didn't have any important data on them. For the rest of my disks though, I want to be sure that the drives don't eat the disks. So, I bought one 3.5'' drive cleaning kit from here and a "Floppiclene" 5.25'' drive cleaning kit from here. I'm not really worried about the 3.5'' drive head cleaning kit, but the "Floppiclene" 5.25'' drive cleaning kit which I bought off of eBay is old, and I am wondering if it still works or if it will damage my drive ( especially that bottle of ancient cleaning fluid ).

What has been your experience with floppy head cleaning kits? Should I go ahead and use the kits? I know a hard-core software preservationist would probably recommend that I disassemble the drives and clean everything with 100% isopropyl alcohol, but I *really* don't want to go through the trouble of doing that, unless I need to.

Thanks,

jdb2

SomeGuy
Posts: 178
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:18 pm

Re: Advice needed on floppy drive head cleaning kits...

Post by SomeGuy » Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:28 pm

Do NOT use old cleaning fluid. It has probably degraded and can become nasty. It is just Isopropyl alcohol - get some fresh stuff at Walmart.

The cleaning disk itself should be fine. Does it appear dirty? What kind of material is theirs made out of? If it is a sort of plastic-feeling white fiber, you should be able to clean it with water and a soft brush, perhaps following up with some Isopropyl alcohol.

Usually cleaning disks can themselves be cleaned and reused unless they become permanently gunked or tattered.

There can be times when a drive head gets so fowled you have no choice but to open the drive and clean directly, but 99% of the time a cleaning disk should keep things good. If you wind up having major problems with heads getting gunked, you might consider using a drive that is sitting out in the open with an easily accessible head, at least for initial passes. Of course always inspect unknown disks before putting them in a drive. That can save loads of headaches.

jdb2
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2018 7:49 pm

Re: Advice needed on floppy drive head cleaning kits...

Post by jdb2 » Mon Nov 12, 2018 4:40 pm

Thanks for your prompt and detailed response! :D
SomeGuy wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:28 pm
Do NOT use old cleaning fluid. It has probably degraded and can become nasty. It is just Isopropyl alcohol - get some fresh stuff at Walmart.
I figured as much. :) Thanks for the advice :)
The cleaning disk itself should be fine. Does it appear dirty?
It's a "vintage" 5.25'' cleaning disk with a bottle of cleaning fluid and it's all still sealed in its original packaging.
What kind of material is theirs made out of? If it is a sort of plastic-feeling white fiber, you should be able to clean it with water and a soft brush, perhaps following up with some Isopropyl alcohol.


It's a "Floppiclene" cleaning disk, which one can find on eBay, but I'm not sure what it's made out of.
Usually cleaning disks can themselves be cleaned and reused unless they become permanently gunked or tattered.
Thanks for the tip. :)
There can be times when a drive head gets so fowled you have no choice but to open the drive and clean directly, but 99% of the time a cleaning disk should keep things good.
I hope that's the case in my situation.
If you wind up having major problems with heads getting gunked, you might consider using a drive that is sitting out in the open with an easily accessible head, at least for initial passes.
Well, the Epson 5.25'' drive which I bought off of eBay has no cover and it should be "pretty easy" ( famous last words :P ) to get to the heads.
Of course always inspect unknown disks before putting them in a drive. That can save loads of headaches.
Inspect the disks? Do you mean inspect them for particulate contamination or mold?

Thanks,

jdb2

SomeGuy
Posts: 178
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:18 pm

Re: Advice needed on floppy drive head cleaning kits...

Post by SomeGuy » Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:31 pm

jdb2 wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 4:40 pm
Inspect the disks? Do you mean inspect them for particulate contamination or mold?
Exactly. Before putting an unknown disk in your floppy drive for the fist time, hold it up to the light at various angles to view the disk surface. Put two fingers through the hub and gently turn the disk cookie to see all of the surface area.

If there are any visible splotches clean with a q-tip and water (q-tip and alcohol only if you need the big guns). Scratches or rings carved in to the surface may indicate contaminants inside the disk jacket and might warrant giving the disk a bath.

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