Mega 4 floppy trouble

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Jope
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Mega 4 floppy trouble

Postby Jope » Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:24 am

Hi,

I have a Mega 4 with some floppy trouble.

Disclaimer: I haven't messed around with STs much, so I have no idea what is normal and what is not. My TOS is Swedish, so I can't give you exact error messages as they would show up in English. However I understand Swedish, so I don't have to guess what the machine is telling me. :-)

Here's the problem description:
- When I power on the machine, the floppy drive light blinks, then stays on and it starts stepping.
- If I stick in a disk, it sometimes boots to the desktop right away, sometimes it takes a long time as if there is no disk inserted
- After I end up in the desktop without inserting a disk, the drive LED stays on. If I now insert a disk, the LED goes off. (normal?)
- More often than not, inserting an Atari ST disk and trying to open it by double clicking on the icon for drive A, it will just briefly read it and hang with the busy mouse pointer
- Sometimes I can get a disk to read, and it will show me the contents. If I try to read the contents of any file, it will say that it can't be read. (Is this normal for binary files?)
- Alternately if I insert a valid ST disk that has sometimes given me a directory listing, the machine will briefly spin the disk and then show 0 bytes used by 0 objects.
- If I attempt to format a disk, I get disk motor activity and stepping, then it says that formatting failed and I might have a write protected or faulty disk (the disk is unprotected and defect free). If I click retry, it will not retry, it will only redraw the error box and my only way forward is to abort out of it.
- I have tried all of this with a PC floppy drive set to DS0 but the symptoms are exactly the same.

So. Does this behavior ring any bells? Is it an easy fix like "swap in the 1772"? :-)

Thanks in advance!

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spiny
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Re: Mega 4 floppy trouble

Postby spiny » Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:19 am

try a floppy disk cleaner, then a different drive first, before you start swapping out chips :)

Jope
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Re: Mega 4 floppy trouble

Postby Jope » Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:36 am

Yes, tried it with a PC drive, set to DS0, but no change in the behavior.

I forgot to mention that as a pre-emptive step I cleaned the heads of the Atari drive with a cleaning disk, no help either. :-)

jd
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Re: Mega 4 floppy trouble

Postby jd » Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:52 am

Jope wrote:Hi,


- When I power on the machine, the floppy drive light blinks, then stays on and it starts stepping.
- After I end up in the desktop without inserting a disk, the drive LED stays on. If I now insert a disk, the LED goes off. (normal?)



All normal, mine does exactly that. What floppies are you using? with the age of some disks you might wanna see if a PC can format and verify them first then after cleaning the drive head (as suggested above) try and format using the desktop formatter (i.e. not a seperate proggie).

Jope
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Re: Mega 4 floppy trouble

Postby Jope » Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:56 am

jd wrote:What floppies are you using? with the age of some disks you might wanna see if a PC can format and verify them first then after cleaning the drive head (as suggested above) try and format using the desktop formatter (i.e. not a seperate proggie).


Hi, the floppy disks are fine, they can be read with other devices without errors.

As you can see from my error report, I have tried to format the disks with the format command found in the menus in GEM, but it fails. The PC formats them without errors, the Amiga formats them without errors.

They are TDK DD floppies.

The head has been cleaned, I forgot to mention that.

Kriegor
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Re: Mega 4 floppy trouble

Postby Kriegor » Fri Apr 27, 2012 6:27 pm

One quick and simple thing to try before trying anything else (if you haven't already) would be to open up the machine, remove all the socketed chips and put them back. Do this very very carefully using a small flat screwdriver and nudge them out mm by mm, alternating sides for every nudge and always keep an eye on the IC legs so that they won't bend. Or use a real IC extractor tool if you happen to have one! Shouldn't take more than 15 minutes and doesn't cost you anything. This is the less brutal way of doing the "4 inch drop", it fixed my Megafile.

And as said, the LED behavior is perfectly normal :) Good luck!


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