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hp-9121 floppy disk repair help needed
Message #1 Posted by Pascal on 3 Mar 2008, 11:26 a.m.

Hello,

I have one hp-9121 hp-ib floppy disk unit and one of the floppies does not work: when I insert a floppy it does not stay inside (no lock). I guess it would need some cleaning inside, can anyone give me some guidance for that ?

First of all how can I open the case without damaging the system, are there any precautions to take ?

What method should I use for cleaning the mechanism ?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Pascal.

      
Re: hp-9121 floppy disk repair help needed
Message #2 Posted by Tony Duell on 4 Mar 2008, 4:16 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Pascal

This sounds like dried and hardened grease on the eject mechanism. It's a very common problem with the full-height Sony 3.5" drives. At least yours is a single-sided drive, so there's no risk of head damage from this -- in the double sided models it's possible for the upper head to get caught in the disk when you eject it, and for the head then to be ripped off the gimbal spring.

Anyway, I wrote an article in Datafile (HPCC journal) last year about how to take the (double-head) drive apart and clean it, with a follow-up article a couple of months later on a newer type of eject mechanism that I'd seen. I suspect that, being a single-head drive, you'll have the older type. It's not hard to take it all apart and clean it, but there are a lot of little parts and if you've not done it before you might find the articles of use.

I would think HPCC could sell you back issues of the appropriate issue(s) of Datafile.

-tony

            
Re: hp-9121 floppy disk repair help needed
Message #3 Posted by Pascal on 5 Mar 2008, 9:56 a.m.,
in response to message #2 by Tony Duell

Thanks Tony for your input. Can you tell me if it's possible to do some basic cleaning without taking everything apart ? How can I safely open the case and where should I first look for ?

I would like to try this first before and it doesn't work I will investigate further with the Datafile article.

Thanks in advance,

Pascal.

                  
Re: hp-9121 floppy disk repair help needed
Message #4 Posted by Tony Duell on 6 Mar 2008, 4:41 a.m.,
in response to message #3 by Pascal

I've never tried to clean one without fully dismantling it. I guess I had a misspend childhood (:-)), I rebuilt my first ASR33 while still at school without the manuals (and that thing has over 1000 parts), so taking a disk drive apart doesn't bother me. If you follow the article you'll not upset the head alignment (don't remove the stepper motor or track 0 sensor), so you don't need the alignment stuff.

As regards getting inside a 9121. Unplug all the cables from the back, then either push the power switch in (as if to turn it on), or pull the button off. Then remove the 2 screws from the back, and lift the back edge of the plastic cover up. It'll 'hinge' on the bottom front of the bezel and will then come off. Note how the tabs hook over the front of the metal chassis.

There's a plastic cable guide post in the middle of the chassis, held on by one screw. Take that out next. Then remove the 3 screws holding each drive in place, lift the drives out and unplug the cables.

                        
Re: hp-9121 floppy disk repair help needed
Message #5 Posted by Pascal on 6 Mar 2008, 9:11 a.m.,
in response to message #4 by Tony Duell

Hi Tony, Thanks for your advice, I'm more on the software side of life, so totally dismantling a disk drive seems a little scary to me... I will open it and see if I can easily unblock the mechanism. best regards, Pascal.

                        
Re: hp-9121 floppy disk repair help needed
Message #6 Posted by Pascal on 7 Mar 2008, 6:06 a.m.,
in response to message #4 by Tony Duell

Hello Tony,

Following your instruction, I was able to clean the external mechanism and this was enough to make it work again !

Thanks for your support !

Pascal.


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