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Black 1.2MB Floppy Drive

olePigeon

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Aug 14, 2009
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Looking for a black 1.2MB floppy drive. 1/2 or full height, doesn't matter

Thanks!
 

vwestlife

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They do exist, but are rare. (I have never heard of any full-height high-density drives, though.) The only computer I've ever had a black 1.2 MB floppy drive in was a Wang 286.

It might actually be easier to get a beige or white 1.2 MB drive and then a black 360 KB drive of the same design (TEAC, Mitsumi, etc.) and then swap the faceplates.
 

olePigeon

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I didn't think about that. I currently have a black 360 KB drive (or could be 720, not sure). I'll see what model it is. Thanks for the suggestion.

Is there a reason to keep a 360 KB drive instead of replacing it with a 1.2 MB drive in a regular old 486 DOS PC?
 

Chuck(G)

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Yup--if you have a need to make some real 360K floppies, rather than half-tracked simulacra.

Better question--any reason to keep a Teac FD55F (96 tpi QD) rather than change it out for a FD55FG (1.2M)?

I've got a couple of the F's in black faceplates. I'll trade them for FGs.
 

Ole Juul

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Is there a reason to keep a 360 KB drive instead of replacing it with a 1.2 MB drive in a regular old 486 DOS PC?

1/ You'll need a 360 to write DD disks.
2/ 360 KB disks and drives are cool
3/ 360K is probably all you need
4/ they're older
5/ you can often have more than one drive in a box
6/ you don't have any 1.2 MB diskettes
7/ you like360's best

And so on. :) However, if you have no other machines requiring you to write DD disks on the 486 then the 1.2MB drive is probably more period appropriate.
 

Stone

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I have a new, black, Teac 55GFR 1.2M drive if that's of interest.

I also have some high quality 1.2M DS/DD floppy disks.

1/ You'll need a 360 to write DD disks.
As fas as what Ole said above, that's not really accurate. An accurate statement would be... You'll need a 360 to ‘reliably’ write DD disks.

A 1.2M drive will write 360K disks that it or other 1.2M drives can read with no problems whatsoever. The read reliability goes down when a 360K disk written on a 1.2M drive is then used on a 360K drive. Some 360K drives will have a problem with this and some will not. However the readability goes up if the 360K disk is first formatted in a 360K drive and the disk is then written in a 1.2M drive.
 

Chuck(G)

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However the readability goes up if the 360K disk is first formatted in a 360K drive and the disk is then written in a 1.2M drive.

That's not my experience. The most reliable way you can write a 360K disk in a "1.2M" drive is by formatting and writing a degaussed floppy in the same 1.2M drive. No real downside, other than a lower S/N ratio.
 

Stone

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I meant that the readability goes up in 360K drives if the 360K disk is first formatted in a 360K drive and then written in a 1.2M drive. And, by goes up, I didn't mean to imply that it gets as good as a disk both formatted and written in a 360K drive.
 

Chuck(G)

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I don't want to drag this thing out, but if you want to preserve readability in 360K drives, re-writing anything on a 96 tpi drive that was originally written on a 48 tpi drive will preserve readability in the 96 tpi drive, but the 48 tpi may not be able to read the result at all. I believe that IBM even had words about this. (I include "formatting" as writing).

Taking an utterly blank, degaussed floppy, and writing it on 96 tpi drive will create a floppy that can be read and written in a 48 tpi drive. However, the converse is not true.

I just performed this experiment in a box that has both Teac 55BR and 55GF drives.
 

vwestlife

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I've never had the degree of compatibility problems between 360K drives and 1.2MB drives that everyone warns about. The only drive I have that tends to be fussy about that is the full-height Tandon drive in my IBM 5150. I think many of the later half-height 360K drives use a narrower head in order to improve compatibility with disks written to by 1.2MB drives.
 

Stone

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I've never had the degree of compatibility problems between 360K drives and 1.2MB drives that everyone warns about. The only drive I have that tends to be fussy about that is the full-height Tandon drive in my IBM 5150. I think many of the later half-height 360K drives use a narrower head in order to improve compatibility with disks written to by 1.2MB drives.
I have to agree with you completely. I wrote thousands 360K disks on my 1.2M drives for 10 years and those disks were used on literally hundreds of different machines without any problem. You know, I think they purposely sent all the really good HD drives to us in the East and let the Left Coast get most of the junk! :)
 

Chuck(G)

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Well, you guys obviously have your own opinions.

I refer you to the IBM 5170 Technical Reference, page 9-5 "Diskette Drive Compatibility".

It may well work for you, but it's not reliable. On the other hand, formatting and writing 360K disks on a 360K drive is very reliable--I've done many thousands.
 

Chuck(G)

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That's particularly dangerous. :)

Similar to the guy who observes that filling his propane tank while he has a lit cigarette hanging from his lips observes that the practice is safe--he does it all the time.
 

olePigeon

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I come from a Mac world, so I wasn't sure if a higher capacity drive could read/write older disks. I think Apple kept the variable speed motors in their 3.5" drives so you could still do 800k and 400k floppies even in a 1.4MB drive. The drive I have is a Mitsumi D503 half-height drive. Google says it's a 360KB drive, so I'll hold onto it to ensure maximum compatibility. Good info to have, thanks guys!

So I am looking for a 1.2MB drive, then, to accompany my 360KB drive. Black so it matches my PC. :D PM me a price if you have one.
 
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