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HP=87 Disk Drives - Printable Version

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HP=87 Disk Drives - stephenpeterson - 06-28-2019 12:43 AM

Hello again,

I have an HP-87 with the incredible PRM-85 w/SuperROM87 ROM emulator board.
I also have a used HP-9121 and a used HP-9122C 3.5" disk drive.

Thus far I have been unable to INITIALIZE any new DSDD disks. The drive is accessed but after several seconds, it reports an "Error 130: DISC".

Does any one know if either of these drives will work with the HP-87?

Thanks in advance,

RE: HP=87 Disk Drives - Paul Berger (Canada) - 06-28-2019 03:57 AM

I have used both with my 86B, which is essentially a 87 without the built in monitor. The drives used in some of these diskette units are prone to the lubricant gumming up so that the drives do not operate correctly and if they may need to be cleaned and re-lubed, this is especially true of the drives used in 9121 and the first version of the 9122D. Later 9122D and the 9122C use a half high drive which is less prone to this problem.

The error you report 130 indicates that either the drive door is open or or the drive is not present, does the drive light come on when you attempt to initialize a diskette? If the diskette mechanism is gummed up the diskette may not drop into place when the door is closed and not make the diskette present switch in which case the drive would think the door is still open. Have you tried both drives in the 9122C? If it was a media problem I would expect you to get error 129 instead. I just noted in the manual it states that when you "CAT" an uninitialized diskette you will get error 130 which does not seem to match the description of the error.

edit: the description of error 130 is different in the "Operating and basic programming Manual" and the :Extended Mass storage manual", the Extended mass storage manual does not mention uninitialized media as a cause of 130.

As an aside you may also want to visit the hpseries80 group on groups.io you will find a lot of series 80 users there.

RE: HP=87 Disk Drives - Paul Berger (Canada) - 06-28-2019 04:15 AM

Further to my previous post, if the drive does seem like it is trying to initialize the diskette but fails part way through it could be a mechanical issue in the drive. Another thing that sometimes causes problems, is the 87 will by default attempt to format the diskettes at 256 bytes per sector. If the diskette was previously formatted on some other system it may take a few tries to get a successful initialize. If you have access to a bulk eraser, bulk erasing the diskette before attempting to initialize may be helpful. Have you tried initializing 2HD media in the 9122C?

RE: HP=87 Disk Drives - stephenpeterson - 06-28-2019 04:56 AM

Thanks Paul.
This has been an on-going battle. I went through all 4 Sony drives cleaning and lubricating, making sure the carriage switches positions up and down when a disk was inserted or ejected. So I think that part is okay. I even purchased another bare Sony drive, but it didn't seem to help. I bought an unopened box of blue disks.

After powering on with a disk in drive 0 on the 9121, the red "error" light flashes 5 times indicating no error. I may have to double check that.

It does give me hope that you think both model drives are compatible with the 87.

I will buy a bulk eraser and try that as I am running out of ideas.


RE: HP=87 Disk Drives - Dave Frederickson - 06-28-2019 08:47 AM

The 9122 has built-in diagnostics. I suggest running those to eliminate the drive as the source of the problem. Refer to the CE Handbook, Section V for a description of the diagnostics.