Dying PCjr drive; options?

Jim Leonard trixter at oldskool.org
Sat Oct 8 21:07:06 CDT 2005


As the subject implies, I've got a PCjr with a floppy drive that is having 
trouble reading disks and fails the internal CTRL-ALT-INS diagnostics. 
Symptoms include a very loud/bad noise at first seek (rest of seeks sound ok), 
and a "B" ("have drive serviced") result of the diags.  The diskette I used for 
diags was tested in a 5150 and found to be good.  This drive was working a week 
ago but has declined steadily until it can't successfully boot the machine.  (I 
bought some time by formatting disks 8 sectors per track instead of 9, but that 
no longers works :-)  I've already cleaned it using a cleaning diskette and 
alcohol.

What are my options?  Is the floppy drive in a PCjr as goofy/proprietary as the 
rest of the machine?  If so, should I even attempt to repair it?  By the bad 
clunk/buzz noise, I am assuming the head is slamming into the side of the drive 
or something equally heinous.

Another related question:  When I was first getting started with personal 
computers 25 years ago, I seem to recall that track alignment was a common 
problem and could be fixed by using a calibration diskette and special software 
that you could monitor as you turned the alignment screw.  Without one of those 
factory calibration diskettes, is it even possible to align/calibrate a floppy 
drive for track alignment?
-- 
Jim Leonard (trixter at oldskool.org)                    http://www.oldskool.org/
Want to help an ambitious games project?             http://www.mobygames.com/
Or check out some trippy MindCandy at             http://www.mindcandydvd.com/



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