repair A drive?

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My A drive (floppy) doesn't work: can it be repaired, do I have to replace
it? (Compaq Presario 1200)
Regardless of what floppy I put in it, I get a message about the disk not
being formatted, and format it now. It doesn't matter what I do: I can never
get any other message or read a disk.
I tried using a cleaner disk a couple of times; it didn't change anything.
Are there instructions on line about how to remove/replace a floppy drive in
a laptop. (There's no warranty left to void-the laptop's 5 years old.)

Re: repair A drive?

The drive is certainly technically repairable, but as a practical
matter, YOU cannot repair the drive.  Instructions for replacing it are
in the service manual, but you may not be able to obtain one.
Replacement would be obvious to an experienced technician once the
machine is taken apart and opened up.

William Andersen wrote:
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Re: repair A drive?

William Andersen wrote:

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Your problem _may_ be something very simple.

On the principle of "check the easy stuff first", take a good bright light
and look in the opening in the drive and see if you see anything glaringly
obvious--I've seen symptoms such as you describe after a piece of paper got
wedged in the drive for example.  One that's insidious is the shutter
coming off a diskette in the drive--look carefully for that as if you don't
expect it the shutter can look from the viewpoint of the opening in which
the diskette is inserted as if it is part of the drive.  While you're about
it blow in some canned air (Dust-Off or whatever brand)--it may be just a
wad of dust on the head.

If it's not something obvious, you're probably going to have to replace the
drive--it _could_ be a connector problem but odds are that it isn't.

If you've never opened a laptop before, please understand that there are
many tiny parts and some of them fragile--if you don't have some degree of
mechanical aptitude _and_ a gentle touch you may very well break it beyond

Diskette drives can sometimes be repaired, but, being honest, it's one of
those jobs that if you have to ask, then you can't do it, at least not
without investing a lot more into training and tools than anybody who
doesn't fix them for a living wants to spend.  If you google "Presario 1200
parts" you'll find a number of sources for the drive you need--prices range
from 18 bucks up to close to 100 depending on whether it's the drive and
its carrier or the bare drive and new or used.

As to the details of replacing the drive, I've never worked on that
model--all I can say is obtain the service manual if you possibly can, take
your time, think about how things fit, if something's not moving try to
figure out how it's secured rather than forcing it, many cable connectors
have latches, and remember that screws are often located behind labels and
rubber feet.  A magnifier and a flashlight will be very helpful.

You _may_ find once you've gotten into it that the problem is a loose cable
or corroded connector, odds are though that it's the drive.

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