[rescue] Re: Drive Reliability (was SCSI drive for sale at buy.com)

Jeffrey Nonken jeff_work at nonken.net
Wed May 14 19:15:14 CDT 2003

On Wed, 14 May 2003 19:19:05 -0400 (EDT), "Curtis H. Wilbar Jr."
<rescue at hawkmountain.net> wrote:

> Well, if you ever go to dispose of any high capcity (100MB or higher)
> MFM drives... don't toss em... just e-mail me... depending on what
> you have, I'll pay the shiping to save it.

I think my ESDI drive is 150 meg. The next larger, if I haven't tossed it,
would be a Seagate ST4096. After that you get down around 35 meg and lower.
I think the MR522 is about 20 meg. I'm pretty sure I've already tossed my
ST412; last time I used it, it was showing signs of age.

I may even still have one of the really old Tandon drives. It's an 11 meg
full-height 5.25" drive and doesn't even have buffered seek. The only PC
controller that I know you can use it on is one of the old Western Digital
8-bit XT controllers; you have to configure it to run without buffered
seek. (Though they should work with the TRS-80 project I'm planning to send
to Koyote.) My employer bought two of them. They cost $900 each. When I got
them, one had a bad controller board. I was astounded to find a box of them
at a hamfest not long after that; I impressed the guy by quoting exactly
what drive they were for. I bought two at $12 each. The first one fixed the
broken drive. I never used the second.

Ah, the good old days when they would use foam to try to keep the static
discharge springs from vibrating. They'd sell kits with a silicon grease /
graphite mix to lubricate the contact point. I used to flow the solder and
move the spring around to get it to wear at a different spot. And the
damned things would still squeal.

I don't think I've ever owned an MFM drive bigger than the ST4096, and that
was relatively recent. Mostly I made do with 20 meggers and smaller. I
remember crying the night I smoked two 35 meg drives and had to scramble to
put my BBS back online.

We can't all be heros, for someone has to sit on the curb and clap as they go
by. -Will Rogers

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