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Accessing an HP-9133XV disk drive with an HP-85

Posted by Juergen (CH) on 12 Oct 2005, 8:56 a.m.

A few months ago, I aquired a new-old-stock HP-9133XV disk drive (3.5" single-sided floppy plus 15 MB hard drive, Amigo protocol) for CHF 20.- (about $15.-). I thought I could use it with my beloved HP-85A. But no luck! I tried again and again, but I was not able to access the floppy drive nor the hard disk drive: the INITIALIZE command never finished. The manual states that only Option 004 of this device is compatible with Series 80 computers. Option 004 means that the logical configuration of the hard disk drive is only 5 MB with 4 volumes. But that has nothing to do with the floppy drive! Anyway, I found a hint on the back of the device that somewhere there must be three jumpers which define the logical configuration.

I opened the 9133XV, found those jumpers and configured it appropriately. But still no luck! I was at the end of my thether...

Last week, I started another try (sometimes I'm really strongheaded). I also digged out my HP-86; this was my last chance to succeed. And Yippee! The HP-86 did format floppies and the four hard disks without any problem. Now, I connected the 9133XV to my HP-85 and turned on both. A moment full of supense! Wow, the HP-85 was able to access the floppy drive and the four hard disk volumes. LOAD, STORE, everything works fine now. I still cannot format floppies on my HP-85 but that's only a small inconvenience.

Fortunately, I also found a PC floppy drive which seems to be capable of writing to SD floppy disk using HP's LIF Utilities for PC. Now, I can transfer files between my PC and my HP-85 :-)

I would like to thank Vassilis Prevelakis and John Shadbolt for their excellent web sites with very interesting information about Series 80 computers. And many thanks to Etienne Victoria whose support last week motivated me to peg away.


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