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I inherited two A500s. The other day I brought them out and hooked them up with their A500 power supplies. The monitor displays the hand asking for the Workbench disc, and the A500 drive clicks as it waits for a disc to be inserted, but when I insert a Workbench 1.3, it does not boot, but still asks for the Workbench disc. I have two A500 PSU for them, and tried both supplies on each machine. Same results for both A500s.

Why won't it boot from the disc? As far as I know, the disc is reliable and good.

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  • The other day you brought them out from where? Computers' moving parts could suffre from being in storage, the same as a vintage car or something that has it's brakes seize.
    – OmarL
    Dec 23, 2020 at 14:08
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    As far as I know, the disc is reliable and good. how do you know? can't you try another bootable floppy like a game instead? Dec 23, 2020 at 21:23
  • An old school solution for similar problems is to pick the machine up about 4 inches and drop it. Sometimes the chips get loose, and this helps reseat them. (Sounds odd, I know, but it was the solution given by CATS and it often worked.) May 13, 2021 at 14:22

2 Answers 2

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If the illustration disappears, the drive makes sound, but then the illustration comes back, either the drive is bad or the disks are bad.

Floppy drive maintenance for the A500 is as follows:

  • Unplug the Amiga.
  • Remove the screws on the underside.
  • Lift off the top.
  • Detach the power cable and data ribbon to the drive.
  • Unscrew the drive from the mounting rack.
  • Remove the floppy drive.
  • Unscrew the small screws on the sides or underside of the floppy drive to remove the top metal casing.
  • Gently clean the drive heads with a swab using rubbing alcohol or lighter fluid.
  • Clean the drive rail with rubbing alcohol or lighter fluid.
  • Re-lubricate the drive rail with lithium grease.
  • Also clean the small switches near the front slot of the drive, these detect the disk insertion and write-protect condition.
  • Reverse the steps to re-mount the drive. Reseat the cables firmly - these may have come loose with moving the unit.

Alternatively:

  • The disks really are bad, try other disks.

If the illustration doesn't disappear, the drive is not detecting the disk or the drive is not powered. Cleaning the detect switch and reseating the cables firmly should fix this.

Less likely but still possible is the CIA chips that help coordinate everything the Amiga have started to become defective. These may need to be replaced.

It's also possible that one of the voltages coming from your PSU is bad, so the motherboard is active but the drive is not.

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The people who had these A500s most likely had a huge stash of bootable game diskettes, so you can use that to test the disk drives.

From what I remember about how the A500 drive works, you should be able to know if the drive is bad, or if the disk is bad just by listening to it.

Without a disk in, the drive should make a click at regular intervals.

With a disk in, assuming the disk is spinning, which you will hear, if the drive does not seek at all, it means it can't read the boot sector. This can mean either the disk or the drive is bad.

If you hear it seeking several times this means it read the boot sector and is trying to load files from the disk. This means the drive heads work, and the seek motor probably works too. If it stops seeking, then that's probably a bad disk.

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