Need help with 16500A floppys

jim stephens jwstephens at
Mon Jun 27 12:26:11 CDT 2005

I have an HP 16500A analyzer with original 720k disks.

Problem is that only the rear drive seems to read the disks.

I am suspicious that the front drive is bad.  I am using
stock 720k (single hole for write protect only) and trying
to format them in both front and rear.

I also am not able to read the stock originals with any
program under either linux or dos.  I realize that these
seem to be formatted in a proprietary HP format.

I luckily downloaded all the kits from the Agilent site before
they were thoughtfully erased by Agilent.  However these
programs have not produced anything but floppy images
which I cannot get onto a disk either.

I should also explain that I am trying to use the 1.44 disks
on my PC to do the format of the 720k disks.  All I can seem
to do is get formatted dos disks, but the HP write program

Also all attempts as mentioned to get data off HP disks onto
a linux box or windows box have failed.  I know that under dos
there is a format byte in the first sector that confuzes the bios
and windows systems if it is not properly set.  I tried the
read mode of "rawrite" that i had anyway just as a desperation
move.  I also tryed a forced format "dd" input from the 720k
device on linux.  This last should bypass any media format
bytes, and set the floppy path to just that format.  Still no

My current thought is to dredge my stock of junk for a 720 K
drive and try it on a dos or linux box.  the main problem that
I can think of between making new disks on the pc and reading
them on the analyzer is the possiblity of formatting problems
due to the head width.

I pretty much am convinced the front floppy on the thing is
bad, so I need one of those.  I don't know if it is common, or
a weird one specialized to HP yet or not.  I also have not been
able to clean it, as I need to buy a fresh supply of alcohol (isopropyl)

to clean with.


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