Commodore Service and Restorer - Commodore 1571, 128D, 128DCR floppy drive head-error
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Commodore 1571, 128D, 128DCR floppy drive head-error


Recently quite a few Commodore 1571, 128D and 128DCR floppy drives have got to me with reading error in 128 mode.

The mode 128 – in the case of floppy – means double-sided disk management. This actually means that our DD disk is formatted by the floppy drive to use both sides at the same time. This is how there will be 664 blocks instead of 1328 blocks in mode 64. Of course, this double-head/two-sided mode only works in mode 128.

The problem is found in the design, as the upper head is supported from only one side in the open position. The fixing of the upper head was solved with a spring steel plate, which in the open state and due to the one-sided support leads to the deflection of the upper head.
True, this deflection happened in 30 years and it also helped that everyone kept these two-headed floppy drives in the open position.

If the two-headed/two-sided mode still works properly, insert a disk or paper head cover and lower the lever. Of course, in the last case, you need to remove the paper headcover when turning it on. Once in a while turning it on like this won’t ruin the mechanics and head, but it won’t really do any good to it.

Back then when purchasing a floppy drive, Commodore provided a paper headcover for each drive. If you don’t have any at home, you can easily cut a disk-sized out of cardboard and you can replace with it. Please avoid colorful cardboard because if you leave the colored cardboard in the drive, and as the head moves, the paint might get on the head.

The bad news is that this deflection cannot be remedied either. We can buy e. g. a broken, faulty 1571 and we can take the complete mechanics out of it, which we can put in the other one’s place. If its upper head is not bent yet. If two-headed/two-sided mode is not important to you, this mechanism can still be used in 64 mode. This is because the 64 mode only uses the lower head and its fixing was well designed.

If you are about to buy a Commodore 1571 floppy drive or a Commodore 128D, 128DCR, always make sure that the floppy drive works well in 128 mode. Simply format a disk in 128 mode (with the same instruction as on your VIC 20, C64, +4, 16, 116): OPEN 15,8,15,"N0:CSZ,01":CLOSE 15), if the formatting and the reading run without error (LOAD "$",8 then LIST) then we can be sure that the head is good. But put a disk or a paper in right away, and lower the lever, this is how you can store the floppy drive.

Facebook post on the topic:
Commodore 1571, 128D, 128DCR floppy drive head-error



Commodore 1571, 128D, 128DCR floppy meghajtó fejhiba

Commodore 1571, 128D, 128DCR floppy meghajtó fejhiba
head error in two-headed mode

Commodore 1571, 128D, 128DCR floppy meghajtó fejhiba
in single-head mode the head works well (lower head)

Commodore 1571, 128D, 128DCR floppy meghajtó fejhiba

Commodore 1571, 128D, 128DCR floppy meghajtó fejhiba
the upper head clearly has a one-sided support problem, the head bends to the right

Commodore 1571, 128D, 128DCR floppy meghajtó fejhiba

Commodore 1571, 128D, 128DCR floppy meghajtó fejhiba
storing two-headed drives, with protective paper inside and lever is lowered

Commodore 1571, 128D, 128DCR floppy meghajtó fejhiba

Commodore 1571, 128D, 128DCR floppy meghajtó fejhiba
factory protective paper types

Commodore 1571, 128D, 128DCR floppy meghajtó fejhiba
we can make such protective paper at home, just cut it out of thin cardboard


Commodore Service and Restorer Hungary | Commodore 1571, 128D, 128DCR floppy meghajtó fejhiba


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