Re: 370A floppy drive?

Ed Breya

The first thing to do is check to see if you've been trying with HD disks. If so, find some non-HD oldies to try out - you may be pleasantly surprised. If that doesn't work, you'll have to do some investigation and experimenting.

I would think the operator's manual should address the disk formatting info. I have had problems with old equipment with floppies because it couldn't format the more modern higher density ones, but it was OK if those same disks were formatted on a PC of the right vintage that could do it at different sizes on demand. These were from the evolutionary period when floppies were virtually the only removable storage, and they kept getting bigger. I have one old PC that's capable of doing this - the others for some reason don't give the choice to format in any size other than the defaults for the disk type. I don't know if it's due to the OS, the floppy drive unit, or some software or settings that are just right, but it has worked, so I have left it alone.

For the vintage of the 370, I would think the old single- or double-density 720/800 k size would be right to start with - it is a 3-1/2" not 5-1/4" right? I have tried to fake the drives into using the newer 1.44 MB "HD" types by modifying the indicators, but the magnetic material is different enough that it hardly ever worked. You have to get the oldies for 720/800 use - they are getting rare in circulation, although there should be plenty of NOS ones around out there, considering how many must have been made. I always save or scrounge old useless MAC and PC application programs just for the disks, to be formatted and reused for the old equipment. I don't bother with the HD types for this purpose.


Join to automatically receive all group messages.