1571: A Small Defect

Today I got a pack of fifteen 5.25 floppy disks, which I bought on eBay from an Englishman (ginger_colin). The floppy disks were quite cheap – about 15 EUR incl. shipping. They are used DD floppies with some DOS programs on them. They look like commercially recorded disks.

The 1571 drive did not want to cooperate at first. When trying to format a disk with “OPEN 1,8,15, "N0:NEWDISK,01":CLOSE 1” the green LED blinked. And LOAD"$",8 only gave an error message. The drive often made an unnaturally loud crackling sound with those operations. Not a good sign.

The drive mechanism has a top bezel that could quickly be removed with three screws. No being able to see the drive mechanism, it was immediately clear that the read-write head didn’t lower onto the disk when accessed. Some kind of lever on the read-write head is normally lowered onto the disk by a flap connected to the front lever, after turning the front lever. But the lever had slipped over the end of the guide on the flap, and so the whole thing stopped working.

With the lever pushed into place, the drive actually worked again. It was nice to see the head moving up and down all the tracks while formatting.

The assumption is more and more confirmed that the drive fell from some distance at one time. It was probably hit exactly on the front lever, which is broken off and no longer there. The whole thing probably knocked the lever on the read-write head out of its guide.

I haven’t tested very much yet. However, I was able to format the floppy and save a simple Basic program.

Note: Here’s a picture of it. The black lever was so far back that it slid down behind the silver part that raises and lowers with the front lever, and wedged itself with that so that it neither raised nor lowered:

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