Questions tagged [disk-drive]

For questions about computer disk drives for removable magnetic storage media.

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11
votes
3answers
1k views

Default (as opposed to physical) read/write heads - what are they?

The Seagate U Series hard disk Product manual states that the drive has 16 "Default read/write heads" while it has 4/3/2/1 "Physical read/write heads" (depending on actual model). ...
25
votes
4answers
2k views

Why did the Atari 8-bit computers make beeping noises while accessing the disk and cassette drives?

If you've ever used an actual Atari 8-bit computer with either a cassette or disk drive, you would have noticed that it made a variety of "beeping" noises while accessing the devices. Specifically, ...
12
votes
3answers
741 views

How do you send code to a Commodore disk drive and run it?

Commodore disk drives such as the 1541 used with the Commodore 64 and similar computers, and the earlier 8050 used with the PET series, had their own 6502 CPU and 2 kB or so of RAM used to run the ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Should I use the internal or external drive for loading Amiga 500 games?

I have a working (I think) Amiga 500 system with an internal DF0 drive and an external DF1 drive. The Amiga 500 powers up with Workbench v1.3. Can anyone tell me how to access a game disc (Marble ...
2
votes
2answers
152 views

HDD data recovery advice

I found my assumed long lost “win98” toshiba protege laptop in our wet and moldy storage container. Was there for years, through cold-humid variances. The files on his computer are extremely ...
2
votes
1answer
158 views

What is the file that VICE refers to as dos1541?

VICE needs a file called dos1541 if you want hardware emulation of the 1541 disk drive. What does that file contain, exactly? The 1541 seems to have two ROMs: a DOS and a KERNAL. But if I take the ...
8
votes
8answers
3k views

Were any external disk drives stacked vertically?

There was a time when floppy disk drives were big, expensive devices that in many cases, instead of being components of a computer, would be separate machines connected by a cable, in some cases with ...
6
votes
3answers
283 views

What is the floppy disk port pinout for the NEC PC-8001mkII?

I have a NEC PC-8001mkII computer (sometimes incorrectly called a "PC-8001mk2") which has a built-in disk controller for PC-8000-series double-density 5.25" drives. (The English and Japanese Wikipedia ...
6
votes
2answers
408 views

What's the timeline of Commodore diskette drives?

Commodore produced a number of different floppy diskette drive units, both 8" and 5.25", over the course of its history. Can someone provide a chronological list of the drives, their release dates, ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

How fast are transfers between the C64 and the 1541 floppy drive?

I am developing some software for the Commodore 64, and my intention is to use the 1541 as a coprocessor. I'll have the 1541 compute some data for me, and then retrieve this data over the serial line. ...
8
votes
3answers
647 views

What are my options for fast bidirectional transfer between a C64 and a 1541?

Since asking a similar question, which is really exclusively about using KERNAL to transfer between disk drive and computer, comments, answers and others hint at the fact that using the KERNAL really ...
18
votes
1answer
818 views

Any difference between a VIC-1541 and a C64-1541?

I have both a beige VIC-20 styled VIC-1541 disk drive and the later brown C64 1541 drive. Is there a difference between them (besides how they look)?
10
votes
3answers
691 views

Commodore VIC-20/64/128/16/Plus 4 floppy disk drive replacement

We all know that floppy disks are getting hard to find, and floppy drives are fragile to begin with (especially Commodore's 1541 drive). I know that several companies and parties have released floppy ...
13
votes
2answers
763 views

Were 1541s upgraded with more RAM?

Since the Commodore 64 was often used with one or more 1541 drive, and these had CPUs which could run user code, it makes sense to me that these would have been expanded in the day, to have roomier ...
23
votes
4answers
2k views

How can I access an old pre-IDE disk?

I have a wonderful Zenith SupersPORT 286 laptop (ZWE-0200-40) whose power circuitry seems faulty and it no longer powers up. I have useful material on the disk which I'd like to extract. The disk (a ...
15
votes
4answers
7k views

Where can I find an external 8-inch floppy disk drive?

Where can I find an external 8-inch floppy disk drive? I have some data I would like to retrieve from a really old 8-inch (200 mm) floppy disk, but have no working computer than has a drive to read ...
2
votes
1answer
486 views

Why did Nintendo commission Sony to create a disk reader if the Famicom already had one?

The way I understand it, Nintendo's engineers couldn't figure out how to design a disk system for the SNES, so they commissioned Sony to do it for them. Why would Nintendo do this if they already had ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the danger involved in trying to write already closed file with Commodore 1541 disk drive?

The Commodore 1541 disk drive and other IEC devices are self-contained computers. The operating system runs on the drive itself. This setup significantly improves the flexibility. As a side effect, if ...
35
votes
8answers
9k views

Why were floppy disks invented after hard disks?

For those of us who grew up with personal computers in the 1970's or 1980's, the experience was a very gradual migration from floppy disks to hard disks as the primary persistent storage. So, based on ...
4
votes
2answers
383 views

Getting a disk image off of a HP 9133 drive

I have a HP 9133 combo disk drive connected to an HP 9000 model 310 computer running Basic 4.0. This setup is used to control a few machines, and does not have a floppy inserted. The hard drive is ...
13
votes
3answers
3k views

Only “Drive A:” detected with two floppy disk drives

I am trying to repurpose an old Acer Aspire M1641 to copy/format bulks of 3.5'' floppy disks. I think it's one of the last generations of computers to have a 34 pin floppy disk drive header as it also ...
12
votes
2answers
938 views

Bootable floppies lock up with floppy drive connected via USB adapter

I am currently trying to mount a 3.5'' floppy disk drive in a modern computer. What I did is that I bought a 34-pin floppy drive connector to external USB adapter so that I can connect it to my ...
8
votes
4answers
8k views

Connecting Iomega Zip (parallel port) to modern PC

Am wondering what would be the easiest way to connect an Iomega Zip drive (parallel port version) to a modern PC. I note there are USB to IEEE 1284 adapter cables, but would be very surprised if this ...
8
votes
2answers
283 views

Disk drive long storage, with or without disk inside?

I am asking myself what is the best when storing a 3.5 disk drive for a long time but still planning to use it in the future, what is the best: Store it with a disk inserted, or leave it empts ?
2
votes
1answer
1k views

What systems used hard sectored floppy disks?

Which computer systems used hard sector indexing of floppy disks? Background: On 5 1/4" and 8" disks there is a hole punched into the disk used for optical timing to locate the start of sectors. ...
18
votes
3answers
1k views

Obscure uses of the Commodore 8050/1541 disk drive

When I was working for a foundry consultancy, we did the following Download routines to add delays when writing certain tracks. This was a security feature. When the program started, it would try ...
10
votes
2answers
833 views

How many IEC devices can I connect to a C64 / C128?

I have two C64's, a C128, and as for drives: SD2IEC, 1541-U2, 1541-II and a 1581 - that makes for 4 devices. Looking at the drives, those only allow 4 device ID settings (8,9,10,11), but according to ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

How can a computer use the drive's momentum for emergency power?

I remember reading an answer about a computer that, in the event of a power failure, would write the important parts of the memory to disk - using the momentum of the still-spinning drive to do so. ...
5
votes
2answers
580 views

Compaq Contura Aero 4/33C - moving data to CF/IDE disk - No operating system detected

I've got a Compaq Contura aero 4/33 laptop with original DOS system installed. As the HDD is old and dying, I've decided to copy the drive to a CF card on a CF/IDE adapter. After connecting the drive,...
10
votes
1answer
361 views

Was Apple's automatic disk ejection mechanism patented?

I always though it was an awesome idea, but no one ever copied it. Even if more complicated than a standard eject mechanism, I guess it should not have been so outrageously expensive not to be ...
19
votes
2answers
1k views

How did programs/patches stopping Amiga idle floppy drive noise work?

The Amiga computers would by default automatically detect a disk being inserted and respond by reading from it and displaying its icon. Polling the drive(s) for a new disk would produce a clicking ...
8
votes
3answers
682 views

Advantages to installing a parallel port in a C1541-family drive other than speed

Are there any advantages to installing a parallel port in a C1541-family drive and using a parallel cable to a PC to image disks, other than increased speed (i.e. since the standard IEC protocol is ...
10
votes
1answer
374 views

Is there any existing hardware mod for C64 to decouple tape drive from IEC (1581 drive collision)?

Commodore 64 has a known bug which doesn't allow to use tape drive together with a 1581 drive. Basically, in C64 the SRQ (Serial ReQuest) line is connected between IEC bus, CIA chip and the tape ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

Writing 800k Mac floppy images for 1.44M-equipped Macs using Linux

If you have Macintosh filesystem image of an 800k boot disk, but your physical Mac has a 1.44M SuperDrive, how can you produce a physical disk that can boot that Mac?