8" drive variations

Jules Richardson julesrichardsonuk at yahoo.co.uk
Tue Mar 13 11:32:03 CDT 2007

As hinted at in another post a few days ago, I'd like to add an 8" drive (or 
possibly more than one if necessary) to my Imagedisk machine in order to be 
able to archive 8" media.

My knowledge of 8" drives is practically non-existent, so what are the gotchas 
  involved? Things like:

Do 8" drives exist in both hard and soft sector variants? Is one far more 
common than the other (as with 5.25")?

Do 8" drives exist with wildly different track counts (40, 77, 80 etc.) and 
again is any one particular flavour far more common than the others?

Are there any problems with some particular drives that'll make interfacing 
them to a '765 type FDC more difficult?

etc. etc.

I suppose the real big question is: Is there a particular flavour (i.e. 
geometry and interface, not specific brand) of 8" drive I could use that will 
mean that I can read and write the majority of 8" floppies found in vintage 
hardware? That would at least seem like a good initial step, and I could worry 
about the minority formats later on.



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