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matching an MFM drive to a controller

Chuck(G)

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Are you trying to recover data from the drives or just want to use them with the controller? If it's the latter, you've got nothing to lose by simply trying out the setup. Given the age of the drives, it's not a lead-pipe cinch that they're still functional in any case.
 

seaken

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So far, everytime I try to re-use an MFM drive I have had to low level format it with the controller and Debug and then format it for the OS. I have not been able to save the data. I'm sure it was probably possible but I did not have what it takes to save the data. But usually after reformatting I can use the drive.

Seaken
 

Twospruces

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Are you trying to recover data from the drives or just want to use them with the controller? If it's the latter, you've got nothing to lose by simply trying out the setup. Given the age of the drives, it's not a lead-pipe cinch that they're still functional in any case.
I'm not trying to recover data at all. I just don't want to waste money on the controller.
I'd like to confirm the drives work, and either use from time to time with my Z-171, or sell.
Need to spend some $$ on a controller, so want to make sure what I can find nearby has no obvious "gotchas".
thanks!

I should have said - considering buying a controller to test the drives! So, is a WDXT-GEN a reasonable controller to purchase.
 

Chuck(G)

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It would probably be good choice for an 8 bit controller, as it features dynamic configuration. Of course, if the drive's kaput, no controller will save the day.
 

Twospruces

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It would probably be good choice for an 8 bit controller, as it features dynamic configuration. Of course, if the drive's kaput, no controller will save the day.
thanks. The dynamic config part is only for the F300 version; what I have found locally is an F320 version that is fixed parameters.

So, my question is
* the F320 uses 4 heads and 615 cylinders
* the KC-20B is 4 heads and 615 cylinders

That looks compatible, but is there anything I am missing?
thx
 

Chuck(G)

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Should work--I wonder if the difference between the two controller versions is mostly a matter of BIOS? If so, there are BIOSes available.
 

Twospruces

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thank you. I was wondering same; I'll look for the BIOS and see if I can install a socket and play around a bit.
If you know where the BIOS files can be found let me know here thanks!
Steve
 

Twospruces

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well I bought the controller, so if I get everything to work I will augment this thread. cheers
 
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