GreaseWeazle Trouble Shooting Update – Amstrad 3″ Disks
This is a follow up article to https://muckypaws.com/2020/09/03/greaseweazle/ where I’ll covering off a common issue that can be experience when using an Amstrad FD-1 External 3″ Drive.
Reading Track 0.0...Command Failed: GetFluxStatus: No Index
The most common causes for this error are as follows :-
- Have you disconnected the 5V Power Cable inside the FD-1 External Unit? This must be done to protect the GreaseWeazle (remember to put it back when you’ve finished with it).
- The 34Pin FDC Cable is upside down.
- The official cable works correctly as supplied, however you will need to file the Key from the Connector to insert the cable into the Drive upside down.
- If the cable is upside down you will hear the drive spinning and the front red LED Light will be permanently lit (switch one of the connectors upside down).
- Do not use the Middle connector on a dual drive cable (The one with the twisted cable for Cable Select, as seen on older PC 3.5″ Disks). The Amstrad FD-1 Drive is permanently jumpered to act as Drive B, they were expected to be connected to an Amstrad CPC664/6128 as a secondary drive (Disc controller wasn’t required).
- Note: I don’t have a DDI-1 and Drive to test the combination for 464 users.
- Check the command syntax
./gw read --revs=5 --drive B --ecyl=39 --single-sided diskfilename.scp
- If you believe the drive is configured as A
./gw read --revs=5 --drive A --ecyl=39 --single-sided diskfilename.scp
- If that doesn’t work, there may be a more fundamental issue with the Drive. Remove the top half of the case (with the drive powered off and unplugged). Reconnect the hardware and check that BOTH the disk and the drive motor spin
- If the drive hasn’t been used in 20+ years the drive belts tend to liquify into tar, in which case you’ll need to order a replacement https://www.dataserve-retro.co.uk/contents/en-uk/p15.html or the drive service kit: https://www.dataserve-retro.co.uk/contents/en-uk/p351.html
- I’ll upload a video showing the process of replacing the belt, though be aware there’s two major model designs, one with a mechanical write pin, the other with optical. The mechanical write pin version is a real PIA to deal with, but doable.
Thanks a lot for this very interesting post. I also have about a dozen of old 3″ CPC disks with games, data and own BASIC programs still here that I want to restore and also have an FD-1 drive (currently with broken belt, but replacement belt is on its way). I have ordered the Greaseweazle now, but am unsure about the data cable that I need. Do I get you right that I just need a 1:1 connected cable (34 pin obviously) without any twists? Like one of these should do it: https://www.ebay.de/itm/132895589308 or https://www.amazon.de/sourcing-map-Mehrfarbig-flexibel-Flachbandkabel-Rainbow-Color/dp/B07H25YBK5/ ? Thanks!
I got my Greaseweazle in the meantime and it is working. The 1:1 connected cable does the track. I noticed that on some disks, some tracks need several attempts to read (not use if it’s the FD-1 or the disks causing these read issues). Therefore, I currently use raw format where each track is in its own file, so that I can simply re-read the tracks with a bad CRC.
Hi Peter, Thank you for your message, apologies I’ve been away for two months post complex surgery. It’s good to hear you got it working, I had to file down the key on one of my cables to get it to work. I’ve been able to use SCP and then HXE to convert to .DSK formats for loading into emulators, and SCP files for re-imaging disks, which worked well with some of the older copy protection mechanisms. I still have a 100 odd disks left to archive.
Thanks for your reply, MuckyPaws. I hope all is going OK for you now. In respect to the Amstrad disks and the Greaseweazle, I can confirm that it works very well for reading protected disks. I have a few commercial games here that are protected with the famous Speedlok 6K/8K, and on the CPC itself I was never able to make a backup of these disks. With the Greaseweazle it was no problem to read them in. Today I opened my FD-1 again and did another attempt to clean it from the “remains” of the old belt. Apparently I did now a better job than when I tried it the first time. The drive runs now much more flawlessly, creating less bad sectors that need to be re-red.