Help aligning Kaypro disk drives?

From: D. Peschel <>
Date: Fri May 22 06:43:54 1998

A while ago I got a Kaypro 4'84 system for free and have been trying to bring
it back to a state of stability and usefulness. The system as a whole was in
good shape; my problems have been with the disk drives.

I had hoped it was "only" old, worn-out disks that were causing the problem
(and the disks are worn-out, as tests with 22DISK on a school PC show) but the
drives themselves seem to be flaky. (Either that, or the new Verbatim disks
I bought are substandard.) My worst fear is that the drives are corrupting the
disks somehow. (Can this happen even when no writing is involved?)

I have two spare drives; one is evidently SSDD and the other is DSDD -- I have
not tested them. Only the DSDD drive is really suitable. These are, IIRC,
96-tpi MFM drives. They are made by TEC. (Not the same as TEAC, I suppose.)

I would just put one in, except that I'm not sure if I need to do anything to
align them. Even if I did need to, I undoubtedly don't have the equipment.
Is alignment really important? What about on new drives?

Could cleanliness be a problem? (I cleaned the heads with a head-cleaning kit
a while ago; I put the dust cover on the computer for some time but stopped;
however, the keyboard latches in front of the drives anyway. I keep the doors
closed and the shipping inserts in the drives; I definitely have been careless
about the order of inserting/removing the inserts and opening/closing the
drives and turning on/off the computer.)

It's very unsettling to think of my software eroding as I watch. I haven't
found replacements for some of it. I've tried using 22DISK; there are two
problems with this: 1) It doesn't like my formats very much, and 2) I've been
using PC's in the computer lab and I don't trust those drives any more than
mine! I may haul an ex-roommate's Korean '386 box out of the closet if I get

The Apple ][ disk drives I've seen have had flawless performance; even PC 5.25"
drives seem to do very well. I'm getting very tired of hearing my machine
go "grkgrkgrkgrk ... grkgrkgrkgrk ... grkgrkgrkgrk ..." (It's one of those
sounds that is instantly annoying and recognizable by pure instinct as a Very
Bad Sound. I wonder what a list of those sounds would look like?)


-- Derek
Received on Fri May 22 1998 - 06:43:54 BST

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