View Full Version : Floppy drive cleaning
01-15-2012, 11:10 PM
I'm getting ready to do a teardown of a few floppy drives to try to repair them. They're all suffering from the "can't tell disk is inserted" problem, so those sensors probably need cleaning. Can anyone who's done this before draw/point me to a diagram of where these sensors are and what they look like? I'm nervous about poking random mechanical components without knowing what I'm doing. Thanks in advance!
01-16-2012, 01:40 AM
The sensor is usually located at the mouth of the drive, either right beside the write-protection sensor (sometimes even the same part, a double sensor), or over the right-hand side where the HD hole and matching sensor would be. It's usually a small switch sensor with a springloaded pin sticking out the top which the disk presses down on. They're easy enough to replace if you're any good with a soldering iron, but the simplest thing to do is check their continuity with a multimeter to make sure the sensor itself is the problem...
01-16-2012, 02:08 AM
My A4000 couldn't tell whether the disk was DD or HD. I fixed it with a drop or two of cleaning alcohol (actually record-cleaning fluid - ClearAudio stuff) in the switch, followed by a bit of "in-out action". Works perfectly now.
01-16-2012, 09:39 AM
I clean mine at least once a year, what I do is remove them from the Amiga and put them in the dishwasher. It cleans them real well. Sometimes when they are really dirty I put them in the washing machine, but you have to use downy, or they won't come out soft.
Well anyhow, after you get done washing them, on my A3000 disk drive, on the left hand side you will see the LED light, right by the LED light you will see two bars sticking up, if you put your finger in there and press down they should go down, right in that area is the floppy sensor. Check out Daedalus above.
but his saying
engineers do it with precision, the only thing an engineer does with precision is screw things up. They should try working on half the designs they make up. Especially car engineers. Especially those that work with GM (general motors) you know the company that is part of the General Mexican Corporation)
01-16-2012, 10:18 AM
LOL, at least I don't put my vintage electronics in the dishwasher :p
True though, as an engineer I wouldn't go near any GM stuff myself - Traditional German cars all the way :)
01-16-2012, 11:45 AM
Thanks for the tips, gents! Will remember this for when I get going (won't get to it as soon as I'd hoped, unfortunately). Although I don't think I'll be going the dishwasher route :)
01-16-2012, 11:49 AM
I have had great luck with the old floppy disk cleaners for those errors (the ones shaped like a floppy). Saves having to take anything apart...
01-16-2012, 01:26 PM
Sometimes the microswitches are borked, but sometimes it's only a slightly bad contact. Carefully push them fully down with a small screwdriver or so, maybe 50 times. If it's not doing anything you'll likely have to replace them (same with the write protect sensor).
01-24-2012, 03:19 AM
The real enemy of floppies is dust. Vacuum it out and use a disk cleaner and you will be OK
01-25-2012, 08:35 AM
I'll suggest to read this detailed thread written by me specifically for this problem:
My solution is the most precise and "long-term running", but it's also the most complex: you have to be very patient. :)
04-15-2012, 10:39 AM
Found the switches at the front of the drive, hit them with some isopropyl alcohol, pushed them in and out a few dozen times, and I now have a working floppy drive! Thanks to all.
Ognix, I will keep your method in mind if this drive runs into trouble again. I suspect I'll need to do a full disassembly at some point in the future.
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