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ScuzzBlog: Diaries October 2017

Entry 20th October 2017: Post: 5

It's a 2.5 inch struggle

I struggle like mad to keep Amiga 1200s running on traditional
hard drives. That means 2.5" and at a push 3.5" drives. I have
been working hard to get a whole bag of old 2.5" drives working
with limited success and tonight I felt I was going up and down
and up and down in terms of success with a couple of machines.

I have 26 Amiga 1200's of one form or another and currently
have 16 of them running with conventional drives. I do not have
a CF card for an Amiga 1200... nor am I likely to ever get one.

I have a plastic tub that sits behind me here and I regularly
have two Amiga 1200s running with flaky or busted drives that
I tinker with. I have managed to get two working this week and
tonight it was time to test another. And man was I so close
with the first round.

I have this A1200 that has a particularly annoying case insomuch
that I cannot for the life of me eject a floppy disk from the
side. I have tried everything but there is just something wrong
with the case. Anyway, it has a busted IBM drive inside and in
a fit of desperation I powered up and down with a brick to see
if I could kickstart the thing.

Nothing was showing on the screen with a floppy boot but I did
have drive light activity and the drive was powering up. I moved
to the other room where I test these things and what I found when
using HDToolbox was the drive being recognised. I could even see
the partitions but nothing on the Workbench. So I basically
changed the Work from booting to no boot and saved and like magic
the drives appeared on the Workbench. How excited was I.

I rebooted and they vanished. The drives had all the hallmarks of
a 3.5 install so I thought I should try the drive in a 3.1 ROM
machine. Sadly this rendered the drive dead or unreadable. So sad.

I could no longer see the drive with the HDToolbox. So I bagged
the drive and have put it in the freezer. Some times works.

I then pulled another 1200 that I was having issues with and that
too had a busted hard drive. The machine kinda powered up but no
drive activity and the floppy was not working. I opened up and all
I was getting was the power light. My notes on the machine suggested
a problem and I had intended having a look when I got a moment.

I decided to pull the hard drive and switch to the machine I had
just been working on. AMAZING !!! the drive powered up. It runs
with a very odd Workbench but fires up no problem. Only an 85MB
drive but a drive all the same. I now have the machine sitting
behind me and she will stay on test here for a few days.

Thing about the 2.5" drives is you just have to keep them running.
So when I get one working I just make sure the computer is used
once or twice a week. Better to fire up once a day.

I did learn from a Viper and a HD card on a 2000 that if you leave
the drives running they can just burst back into life. Either that
or hit them or freeze them. There is very little else you can
really do. The best though is just keep them oiled by running on
a regular basis.

Like I say I have 16 A1200s with the regular hard drive and just this
week I have managed to get three more working by basically hitting
them with a blunt rubber end to a screwdriver. Works for me.

I have had three more on power all week and they have been slowly
improving. I have had them in the freezer for a day or two. See if
that helps. I won't give up... not until they expire completely.

First A1200 for the evening with a broken
IBM drive that showed some signs of life

Swapped out for a machine with the 3.1 but
sadly died during the process. Bagged and
now in the freezer. So sad.

Second machine with broken drive and swapped
the dead drive out into the earlier 1200 and
like magic fired into action

All singing dancing ARQ and magic menus
A touch elaborate for my tastes... but hey

Quite a busy Workbench that definitely
was not of my making

Magic Menu in the WBStartup... Hmmm
that may have to go. Like ARQ though

A lot to take in . Just need to test the drive

And so another 1200 has an internel drive
This computer was the third that I acquired
It was given to me by a good friend, probably
around 1997 if I recall.

Sadly it always had this problem with the floppy
drive and the case alignment. Odd one that.

Time to extract the other 1200 from test and put
the freshly rejuvenated machine in its place

Poor old Pmello... from Bristol. So funny with just
the 85MB hard drive. At least the heart has moved to
a better place. I will get round to fixing her.. promise

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Last updated 20/10/2017

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