Gotek fails floppy drive test

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Gotek fails floppy drive test

Postby Jo22 » 2018-1-26 @ 20:45

Good evening everyone,

I'm currently toying around with a Gotek device,
and noticed something curious.

Perhaps it's nothing, but I'd like to share it with you anyway.. :)

-

Okay, so I bought that device For further education of my own.
Now that everyone seems to use that kind of stuff, I thought it was about time for that. ;)

When I got it, I tried to use the built-in formatting function to format/partition my 256MB CF card.
It didn't work, of course (Murphy's Law). So I tried another card reader - still no luck.
Another card - nope.

Later, I downloaded the Batch Manage Tool and formatted/partition the 256MB CF card.
This time, it worked. Or so I thought..

When I went back to the Gotek and tried the CF card, it still didn't accept the card.
Of course, I tried differend readers again. Still no luck.

That was when I gave up on the card an decided to buy a small, cheap USB pen drive.

After reading that article at pixelnostaglie.de, and because the Gotek uses USB 1.0 anyway,
I thought a that any pen drive with at least 2GB of capacity would be fine for a first test.

Unfortunatelly, times went on since the last time I bought one locally,
so the familiar 2GB and 4GB models were no longer for sale. :(

I checked both a local drugstore and an electronics market, but the smallest and cheapest they
had was an 8GB pen drive for ~7€. So I ended up with that (I have no money on the mind, but
experiments like that could damage a thumb drive. So I wanted to start with something cheap).

When I got home, I tried the built-in formatting function again and it worked.
Well, kinda. The formatting stopped at no.24.

So I went back to the Windows machine, ran the Batch Manage Tool and formatted the drive,
and put it in the Gotek again. And it finally worked! Yay!
Well, kinda.

When I ran the Floppy Drive Test in CheckIt! v3, everything seemed fine at first glance.
Until it was performing the random write test. It failed.

But even more so, it crashed -or resetted- the Gotek emulator.
It went back from slot no.002 to slot no.000.


And for some reason, the Gotek did nolonger respond to the buttons until
I switched off the PC and powered it on again.

After a reboot, the Gotek behaved normal again.
My floppy image in slot no.001 (win98 boot up disk) was gone, however.

I repeated these steps a few times, with the same results.
(Including different versions of CheckIt!)

-

Anyway, this is NO complaint or rant or something along these lines.
In fact, I'm pretty amused right now! :D

I'm curious, however, so I'd like to ask:

Has anyone encountered a similar behavior so far ?

The Gotek is running with the default firmware.
I'm not sure about the hardware revision, however.
Pressing the device's buttons during power-on causes this message:

U00
126
F01



Any comments welcome! :)

Edit: Video clip uploaded. Available at http://youtu.be/ewyKYLP7HpM
Attachments
checkit.jpg
gotek.jpg
batch_tool.jpg
Last edited by Jo22 on 2018-1-26 @ 21:11, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gotek fails floppy drive test

Postby meljor » 2018-1-26 @ 21:09

I recently ordered one from china, works great, LOVE the thing!

I watched Phil's (old) video about the Gotek and he mentioned that the software it came with was not so great and advised something else. It's in the video. I downloaded that and it is exactly like in the video, working fine. I never even used the cdrom that came with it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=taFP1J_lZBI

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Re: Gotek fails floppy drive test

Postby Jo22 » 2018-1-26 @ 21:23

Thank you very much! :D

Using an alternate firmware sounds interesting to me.

I already heard a bit about FlashFloppy, which seems to be the new one in town. :)
It is fairly new, though. They reached a milestone just last year (1.44MB support added).

meljor wrote:I never even used the cdrom that came with it.

Me, too. I haven't even had a look at the content of it. It is still in the bag it came with. ^^
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Re: Gotek fails floppy drive test

Postby Jo22 » 2018-1-27 @ 17:19

Quick update. The Gotek firmware finally killed my USB pen drive. :dead:
It is now "write-protected" and can't be written to anymore.

The pen drive's capacity is beeing reported as zero bytes used, zero bytes left.
Formatting doesn't work anymore. The total memory is beeing reported as 7.5GB.

I'm kind of glad that I paid only 7€ for it. :)
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Re: Gotek fails floppy drive test

Postby agent_x007 » 2018-1-27 @ 17:30

If I had to guess, I would say it's because you paid 7E for it that it died.
Don't buy cheap pendrives/microSD cards, they get warn out very fast.
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Re: Gotek fails floppy drive test

Postby r.cade » 2018-1-27 @ 17:31

I doubt the firmware did that. Most times I've heard of this happening, the 12v and 5v got mixed up on the connector and this destroys the USB stick.
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Re: Gotek fails floppy drive test

Postby Jo22 » 2018-1-27 @ 18:29

Thanks for your replies! I appreciate them!

My pen drive is/was brand new, I bought it just yesterday.
It worked fine on the Windows machine, no problems there.

Even that Batch Manage Tool from ipcas worked fine.
The issues startet at the very moment the Gotek w/ default firmware accessed the drive:

Preparing the new, unused pen drive didn't fully work on the Gotek itself.
(Because of this, I used the ipcas software, see screenshot.)

Formatting a virtual floppy on the Gotek in the DOS-PC didn't work, either.
(Reading from a prepared slot did work). Doing a test via CheckIt! gave it the rest.

It "crashed" the Gotek and corrupted one of the floppy partitions on the pen drive.
I've recorded a video of it (see first post).

agent_x007 wrote:If I had to guess, I would say it's because you paid 7E for it that it died.
Don't buy cheap pendrives/microSD cards, they get warn out very fast.

Hm. I only formatted 100 slot so far (a few times). A 2GB drive could hold about 1000 slots,
and I was using an 8GB model. How could it wear out that fast ?

r.cade wrote:I doubt the firmware did that. Most times I've heard of this happening, the 12v and 5v got mixed up on the connector and this destroys the USB stick.

But how ? :?: I've never lost an USB stick that way.
Other media and card readers I tested are still working.
The Gotek was always properly connected to the floppy power cable.
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Re: Gotek fails floppy drive test

Postby r.cade » 2018-1-27 @ 18:57

Could just be a bad stick, then. It happens. It is made as cheap as possible.
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Re: Gotek fails floppy drive test

Postby Jo22 » 2018-1-28 @ 12:57

Yes, maybe. Anyway, I'm going to replace the original firmare by something that doesn't rely on a 1000 partitions. :)
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Re: Gotek fails floppy drive test

Postby kaputnik » 2018-1-28 @ 13:25

Jo22 wrote:Yes, maybe. Anyway, I'm going to replace the original firmare by something that doesn't rely on a 1000 partitions. :)


Just remember that you can't go back to the original firmware again once you flash something else.

Flashfloppy works quite well with DOS in its current state. The only thing I've tried, that my Gotek flashed with the latest Flashfloppy fails at, is doing a format a: /s. Not sure if it's the firmware or something with my hardware setup, but it fails when writing the system files to the newly formatted image, haven't really looked into it yet. Copying files to and from the Gotek with the copy command seems to work flawlessly though. Seems like the author has been working some at DOS functionality the last release, maybe it'll get fixed if it's a firmware problem :)
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Re: Gotek fails floppy drive test

Postby Jo22 » 2018-1-28 @ 15:57

kaputnik wrote:Just remember that you can't go back to the original firmware again once you flash something else.

Thank you a lot for the information! :)
All I need is basic functionality, so that's fine for me.
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Re: Gotek fails floppy drive test

Postby Jo22 » 2018-1-28 @ 16:49

Quick update (again).

I sucessfully flashed the Gotek with Flash Floppy v.0.9.6a! :D

To make it work, I soldered-in a few pins to the PCB and used an Serial-USB converter :
I set the jumper to "boot", connected the TX/RX pins (crossed) and powered the Gotek via the 5V and ground wires.
It worked fine even though the Gotek normally expects 3.3V (sorry, my Serial-USB adapter cable did not feature that).
I had to tap the reset pin a few times with a screwdriver, though, until the connection was established.

Now that's what I can tell so far..

a) The flashed Gotek had issues in my Pentium 133 PC with a now common high-speed floppy controller (500KBit/s).
Anytime I tried to copy big files (several KBs in size) to an 1.4MB or 720KB virtual drive, I got "a device not ready error".
However, copying them from the Gotek to the HDD was no issue.

b) The flashed Gotek works perfectly fine in my XT-class computer with a slow floppy controller (250KBit/s).
I guess that's no surprise, since that's what the Flash Floppy firmware was made for in the first place (Amigas, Atari STs, etc had them by default).
Copying small or big files makes no difference. Even the CheckIt! Floppy Drive Test now works like a charm. :D


I suspect that the new firmware can't cache big files yet (at 500KBit/s), due to isufficient computing-power
to process them in time. Or because these big files don't fit into a single track/cluster/etc.
Or simply because the HD support is just new and will be improved in the next months.

(Oh and I can now use very old pen drives, too. ^^ I was using my 64MB model (not GB) for that test.)
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Re: Gotek fails floppy drive test

Postby kaputnik » 2018-1-31 @ 08:18

Looks like there's a lot of development going on in the PC department right now. Just flashed 0.97a released two days ago, and format a: /s works as intended now, the system files transfers just fine :)

Have a look in the release notes, and follow the link to issue #35 thread on Github (which at least partly is about the system transfer problem by the way). Seems the author has gotten himself an old PC to experiment with recently.

Looks like Flashfloppy might be mature enough to completely replace the Gotek original firmware for PC use too soon enough :)
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Re: Gotek fails floppy drive test

Postby Jo22 » 2018-2-01 @ 20:26

Wow, thank you very much for the news! :D

Just checked #35, as you suggested and it indeed fixes both of our little problems:

IMG HD images (1.44 M) don't works well. When reading, sometimes give errors.
When writing, only files of short lenght can be copied without errors.
Same files, in 720k images, can be copied well.
Same for format operation: they failed always, in HD mode, writing track 0.
Impossible to execute "SYS A:" command, for example, on already previously formatted HD 1.44 IMG.

Source: https://github.com/keirf/FlashFloppy/issues/35

Since these are now fixed, I think I'll now do the update for the Gotek.
That's also a good reason for me to try out the USB-based update function for the first time.. ^^

kaputnik wrote:Looks like Flashfloppy might be mature enough to completely replace the Gotek original firmware for PC use too soon enough :)

Yup, I think the same. :) I guess we're also lucky that one of the supported platforms, the Atari ST, supports IBM-style floppy formats, too.
Which means, a bit of preliminary work had already been done. Otherwise, perhaps, Flashfloppy wouldn't have got support for PCs that soon.
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Re: Gotek fails floppy drive test

Postby Jo22 » 2018-2-02 @ 11:58

Just updated to 0.97a.. :)
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