Best 3,5" floppy drives?

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Brume
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Best 3,5" floppy drives?

Postby Brume » Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:26 pm

Well, I've access to many floppy drives at the office. Some of my colleagues made a large RAID0 of floppy drives a few years ago with them. It was mainly made as a proof of concept. So they received more than 10 various models, but the drives are still there and nobody cares anymore.
I was wondering if I can use one of them to obtain better results for the imaging process.
If so, is there a way to test them with SPC?

Thanks in advance (to Jim mainly, but any advice from someone else is welcome ;) )

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Re: Best 3,5" floppy drives?

Postby JimDrew » Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:41 pm

Hands down, the Samsung SFD-321 series is the best I have used so far. The writing is spot on compared to any other drive. This is what I use personally.

In the pull-down menu you might notice there is a "Disk Utils" function that is coming. This has various tests suites for drives and media. This will help you determine if your disks and/or drive are working properly.
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Re: Best 3,5" floppy drives?

Postby Brume » Thu Jan 16, 2014 5:07 pm

Great, I have found one unit :D

Thank you Jim. Just one question: this model doesn't have so many pins as the other. See the picture attached. Is that OK?
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Re: Best 3,5" floppy drives?

Postby JimDrew » Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:44 am

Wow... that looks nothing like any of the 321 series I have. What is the exact model?

Based on the key (center of the plastic connector) as long as pin one (red stripe) is to the left, then that should work as those missing pins would be ground pins. That entire row is ground, so technically you don't them all. However, if that connector is upside down for some reason (which should not be the case because of the key), then I am not sure what would happen.
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Re: Best 3,5" floppy drives?

Postby Brume » Fri Jan 17, 2014 7:39 am

Thank for the information Jim :)
It's a SFD-321B /LEB
Still haven't tried it, but I'll do it while the week-end with SPC.
I'll clean up it just a little a bit (it looks like new) and I'll re-image all the original disks I made last week.

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Re: Best 3,5" floppy drives?

Postby Brume » Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:35 pm

I've tested the drive while the week-end: bad results for me :?

I've tried to image more than 20 disks with SCP and then write them with the SFD-321B. They don't work at all, even the non-protected games were faulty on the real hardware. I firstly thought my floppies were damaged, so I used some new disks. Same results. Then I tried to copy directly the contain of a disk with SCP, w/o imaging it. Same results, the disks weren't copied correctly. Even if the GEM appeared and the desktop.inf was correctly read, the main .PRG can't be launched because of damaged (or missing?) data on the disks.
So, I came back to my old Sony Drive, tried to image same disks with the same floppies and they worked like a charm on my STE.

Maybe the drive is broken, even if it looks like new. Anyway, I'll try with another manufacturer tonight. I need a second drive since the first one (the Sony drive) is already monopolized by KF.

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Re: Best 3,5" floppy drives?

Postby Feltzkrone » Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:58 pm

From my personal experience I can also only recommend to use a Samsung SFD-321B. Maybe yours just has dirty heads or is otherwise faulty. Regardless of using that drive with SuperCard Pro or KryoFlux: You can check the quality of a written disk by dumping it afterwards and thanks to DrCoolZic use hist AUFIT Analyzer to figure out how serious the problem is and if it happens for particular tracks only (e.g. the innermost tracks) or for one of both sides only etc. If you like, just make one example image available, or one made from the source disk and one from the target disk so they could be compared directly and I'm confident somebody can give you a hint what could be going wrong.

And by the way: SFD-321B drives in various condition are pretty much always offered by Germany based private sellers on ebay starting at 1 EUR and sometimes they aren't even sold for that. You'd just have to find one seller who ships to France (without track and trace should be about 9 EUR). In my opinion it's really worth it: It's able to access 84 tracks (although rarely needed) and unlike many other drives it does not have a problem with existing encodings that rely on bitcells significantly larger than 8 µs which is the nominal maximum for MFM encoded DD disks.

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Re: Best 3,5" floppy drives?

Postby dlfrsilver » Sat Feb 22, 2014 4:10 pm

I give a good PC drive, the Sony MFP-920, or 921 is able to read up to 82.1 tracks.

I use it to dump with Super card Pro and also Kryoflux :)
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Re: Best 3,5" floppy drives?

Postby DrCoolZic » Sat Feb 22, 2014 4:59 pm

Perso I am using Mitsumi D359 T7 and Mitsumi D359 M3 for SCP and KF


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