Mac SE FDHD Floppy Drive Problem

Discussion in 'Apple Collectors' started by dodofleet, Jul 20, 2017.

  1. dodofleet macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2017
    #1
    Hi guys,

    I'm fairly new to classic Macs.

    I have a Macintosh SE FDHD with dual floppy drives. Initially after relubricating and cleaning the 2 drives, I thought they were dead, however I have discovered they are reading 400k formatted disks without a problem but not 800k or 1.4mb (spits them out or says they need initializing). I have tried multiple official software disks of the 400k, 800k and 1.4mb varieties with the same results. any ideas?

    Thanks.
     
  2. MacTech68 macrumors 68000

    MacTech68

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Location:
    Australia, Perth
    #2
    Difficult to say exactly without pics or video.

    The mechanism may not be loading fully, leaving the top head out of contact with the media.

    Or, the head(s) may be dirty

    Or, the top head spring may have been stretched, which is easy to do if you manually lift it too high when cleaning. :eek: :(

    Or, the top head is damaged in some way.
     
  3. dodofleet thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2017
    #3
    Thanks for the reply MacTech! Sorry for the late response.

    Before I knew much about how delicate floppy drives are, I may have stupidly lifted the top heads a bit when cleaning them. Is there any way to repair them (like replace the spring maybe) or am I destined to scrap the drives and buy some more SuperDrives of this vintage?

    Thanks.
     
  4. MacTech68 macrumors 68000

    MacTech68

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Location:
    Australia, Perth
    #4
    I am loathed to say that if the spring has been stretched, I've usually grabbed a replacement drive and acrapped the bad drive for parts.

    The problem is that the spring can't be easily removed or replaced (let alone finding a supply of appropriate springs).

    The two heads are aligned at the factory, at which point the two torx screws at the top of the head assembly are tightened and a resin poured into the rear, sealing the screws. Alignment between the top and bottom heads is critical, both in radial and azimuth.

    However, since the head assembly is pretty much toast, you might try this solution - I make no guarantees that this will work as I've NOT attempted this myself. http://tkc8800.com/post/macintosh-sony-superdrive-head-spring-repair

    Another thread here with some notes and links:
    https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/mac-plus-floppy-drive-help.1354182/

    Note that if you remove the top head lifting clip FIRST (see pic), removal of the head assembly is easier (and less risky).

    DriveHeadLiftClip.jpg
     
  5. dodofleet thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2017
    #5
    Thanks for the info and the links MacTech! I really appreciate it. :)

    I will have a go of the suggestions when I next get the chance to sit down for 5 minutes in amongst young family and work! I don't have much to lose as the drives aren't much good for anything as they are.
     

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