400k Floppy Drive Death March

In preparation for the upcoming VMM Open House, I’m setting up a Mac 512k running System 1.1 from a 400k floppy disk. Last time I used the 512k (several years back) I had 2 working internal and external Single Sided drives, plus a few spares. However these old 400k mechanisms do not age well, the lubricants slowly dry up over time and then you can’t insert or eject a disk.

I primarily use a Mac Plus and newer systems in the Museum, so these drives haven’t been touched in a few years. I guess I should consider using hermetically sealed storage for these parts, as significantly more lube drying has occurred in the 400k mechanisms in the last few years. I’m now down to one working internal drive, no working externals, and a box of frozen spares. Barely enough for the Open House. Looks like I need to tear down and try to relubricate these old mechanisms – or find someone who knows how to without using WD40!

One response to “400k Floppy Drive Death March”

  1. Adam Rosen says:


    Anonymous said…
    I have just been bitten by the vintage mac bug. I recently purchased an Apple Lisa. I would love to know how to keep this fine computer in running condition through maintenance.
    – Macinchop
    January 2, 2010 at 2:24 PM

    Adam Rosen said…
    You can fine some useful tips and info in my article Tips for Working with Vintage Macs. There’s also a wealth of useful info on the Low End Mac website, linked in the sidebar. Welcome to the Cult of Mac!
    January 2, 2010 at 3:14 PM

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