User avatar
AstuteHorse

Posted Sun Jun 24, 2018 1:10 pm

Good evening everyone,

I have been given an Amiga 500, got it home and it starts up fine but seems to have issues reading floppy disks,

Initially it was able to read SimCity and got to the main menu but after restarting the machine I got the following errors,

"Error validating disk, Disk is unreadable"
and
"Disk structure corrupt, Use DISKDOCTOR to correct it"

After a while, it will now just boot to the Amiga Workbench V1.3 start up screen and will now no longer get any further than this. Putting a floppy in now will make the image on screen flash a few times and then return to the static image.

It also makes some awful noises while trying to read the disks, this is my first Amiga 500 so not sure if this is normal.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

User avatar
Dynamic_Computing

Posted Sun Jun 24, 2018 3:03 pm

If I am reading your post correctly, it still does boot off of floppy to workbench? And after that it does not seem to be reading any discs. Is this accurate?
Are you able to format a blank disc and see if it is usable? If it is then one of two things may be happening. Either your old game discs are just bad or your floppy Drive is out of alignment. If it is out of alignment that may be why it can still format a floppy and read it. chances are if you put that formatted floppy and a good amiga drive it would cause problems.
There were some alignment utilities available and I'm sure they're still out there somewhere. But it might be just as easy to check eBay and buy yourself another floppy Drive. if you do find an internal one that works, they're really not that hard to install.

User avatar
primitivefunction

Posted Sun Jun 24, 2018 6:06 pm

If the drive is making unusual grinding noises you should probably stop using it until you’ve identified the problem.

Have a look at the surface of the disk(s) by pulling back the metal shutter. Are there any lighter coloured rings on the surface? Any spots or discoloured areas? (have a look at the top and bottom). Sometimes disks stored in damp conditions will develop mold. It is also possible that a poorly maintained drive head has scraped some off some of the top coating - usually visible as rings or bands.

If it is the drive at fault, you will need to open up your Amiga. Get some isospropyl alcohol and cotton buds and give the drive heads a gentle clean. You’ll probably be surprised at how much dust and filth has collected inside the drive assembly - its always a good idea to give it a good clean anyway when you get a s/h machine.

Feel free to post pictures if you need more help diagnosing the problem.

User avatar
AstuteHorse

Posted Mon Jun 25, 2018 2:38 am

Cheers everyone, I'll open it tonight and have a look on the inside

This isn't my video but it does have the same issues that mine is doing, found this last night but no actual fixes

User avatar
AstuteHorse

Posted Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:28 am

Good evening,

I've opened it up and given it a clean. I've cleaned both of the heads in the red circle area and everything seems to be moving fine (in the blue area) I'm no expert but it seems fine to me.

Is there anything else I should check before buying a new drive?

The image that flashes when the floppy is inserted is,

Image

Which I assume is normal behaviour,

Image

User avatar
intric8
Seattle, WA, USA
Website

Posted Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:50 am

I have a sneaking suspicion that the drive probably ate your original Workbench disk. Do you have a spare copy of WB 1.3?

Now that you've cleaned the drive, there's a good chance it will be OK. The only way to really know is if you can put a fresh WB 1.3 disk in there and see what happens.

Option 2 would be to use a disk/game that boots off the floppy (a lot of games did this to optimize resources). Do you have any like that? Or are all of your disks ones that need to be run from within WB? Sort of a Catch-22 if your WB disk is borked.

When you put a disk in at the WB Requester screen and it flashes and resets, it's not seeing your Workbench disk (or a bootable game disk). Do you have more software you can try?

User avatar
AstuteHorse

Posted Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:52 am

I have a few I did keep trying the same disk to prevent damage to others,

Is there any visible signs on the floppy disk itself which can indicate damage?

Sorry I'm really not an expert in these things.

User avatar
AstuteHorse

Posted Mon Jun 25, 2018 11:21 am

After some investigation and looking on the internet, I don't believe the heads are move correctly, the components in red move no more than about 3mm when a disk is inserted, is this normal?

I've seen videos on YouTube which show this part moving more freely.

Image

User avatar
intric8
Seattle, WA, USA
Website

Posted Mon Jun 25, 2018 11:23 am

Is there any visible signs on the floppy disk itself which can indicate damage?
I mean, not necessarily. When you put the disk in there the first time, it's possible a dust bunny ran its hands all over the magnetic storage and garbled it. Some folks say that they've used isopropyl alcohol and cotton swabs, slide the door open, and cleaned the disk surface. And in some cases that has fixed things. I've never done that, personally.

If you're using the same disk and it's already toast, I don't think it will suddenly spring back to life in this case. You're going to need either a fresh WB 1.3 disk (either way most likely) and/or a disk that boots off the floppy drive and bypasses WB 1.3 to further your tests. If you do get another WB 1.3 disk, and it works, I highly recommend duplicating that disk to some formatted blanks for safe keeping. Things do happen from time to time.

User avatar
AstuteHorse

Posted Mon Jun 25, 2018 11:51 am

Doesn't seem to be working with any of the disks I have so can only assume it's gone bad.

Any one know if its possible to convert an old Windows machine floppy to work in an Amiga :D





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