Apple II Unidisk illness

Everything was fine… Until… It wasnt!

My lovely Unidisk suddenly started to to fail. Formatting some discs it started to complain that the disc was not working…. Tried a few discs… Nothing… Rebooted to a known good ProDos disc.. Nada!

Oh no! Ok well lets open it up and see… could just need a clean perhaps?

Just a few screws shows the well designed mechanism and board:

The connector here was removed by me to gain access to what is underneath! That would have been TOO easy…

All looks clean and nice… Hold on what is that in the bottom?

Ah! Not great… Discovered one of my temporary labels:

Opps! Well lets get this out of the way…

Warning! That crack you can see was me slipping with my screwdriver! The plastics are so fragile by now as this is old it is not take much to break it… Oh well… I need to be more careful.

So it could be that label, but perhaps not. Lets look at the drive head as we should clean it since we are here:

Looks a little dirty to be fair. Using some cool boiled water (from the kettle) and a cotton bud we should be able to shift some of that muck:

Urgh.. Nasty…

Well its cleaner. Lets test it… Success! It booted from my ProDos disc, so that is fixed…

Maybe I spoke too soon…

Reassembled it totally (that was a mistake) and it worked for a few more discs and all was happy… Then it did the same as before and failed with the same disc error.

Hmmm… Perhaps it still needs a clean, or it is broken for good. I will need to take it to bits again and have another go.


Opening it up AGAIN and cleaning the head in the same way seems to be done the trick.

My cute little drive seems to live again. I even managed to boot Apple Works, a festival of disc swapping, which worked fine.

We love you Steve Wozniak. Your designs are just lovely…

Will continue to test as who knows? It might go again. This thing is old.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *