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09.004 How do I clean my disk drive R/W head(s)?




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This article is from the Apple II Csa2 FAQ, by Jeff Hurlburt with numerous contributions by others.

09.004 How do I clean my disk drive R/W head(s)?

         The easiest way to clean a drive's R/W head(s) is with a Cleaner Diskette.
This is a diskette with a paper disk such as the 5.25" and 3.5" Cleaner
Diskettes available in Radio Shack's Disk Drive Head Cleaner Kits. These kits
usually include "Cleaning Fluid" (isopropyl alcohol), too.

     The 5.25" Cleaner Diskette has panels you pop out to expose the cleaning
surface. Apple II 5.25" drives have a single head which contacts the disk from
the bottom and a pressure pad which presses against the top side. So, pop out
the panel on the bottom side of the Cleaner Diskette and leave the top panel in
place. When cleaning, insert the diskette with the bottom side facing down.
This lets the paper disk rub against the head and avoids wear on the pressure
pad.

     The 3.5" diskette has a small plastic panel you can snap out for cleaning
two-head drives. Since the standard 3.5" 800k Apple II drive has two heads,
snap out the panel so that both the top and bottom heads get wiped.

     To clean your drive head(s), you sqirt a few drops of Cleaning Fluid onto
the Cleaner Diskette disk, insert it into the drive, and get the disk spinning
for 20 seconds. (Booting the Cleaner Diskette is one way to get it spinning. If
DOS or ProDOS is installed, doing a CATALOG is another way. For example:
CATALOG,S6,D2 would get your 5.25" Drive 2 spinning.)

     If you think it has been several months since the drive was last cleaned,
repeat the procedure-- i.e remove the Cleaner Diskette, add more fluid, etc..
As a rule, do not let the disk spin more than 20 seconds for any cleaning
cycle. This is especially a concern with 3.5" drives where the heads are
mounted on springs and much more subject to snagging and being pulled out of
alignment.

By:  Steve Jensen
    

 

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previous page: 09.003 How can I adjust my 5.25" drive for the best performance?
  
page up: Apple II Csa2 FAQs
  
next page: 09.005 I picked up an apple IIe and a duodisk drive at a thrift store. Could someone describe the connecting cable?