NeXT Floppy CRC Error ? Possible solution! Fun Stuff

Started by Rob Blessin Black Hole, September 04, 2017, 11:57:03 pm

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Rob Blessin Black Hole

Hello NeXT Community:  It has been rather quiet on the forums ,  at any rate...
I'm sure a lot of you have had this problem . You go to do an install with existing floppies that are now 25+ years old .
If you have the console panel open it helps as it lists the errors
and so you start to install packages from floppy ,

sometimes with multiple floppies, maybe the first one installs perfect
then, it asks for the second floppy and gets partially through the floppy then gives you the errors while installing and ejects it . You are baffled what was that ? If console is open it often says CRC error

What do you do? You just spent megabucks on eBay for as is NeXT app on floppy and fail.

Here is what I have started doing as maintenance to help prevent and in some cases resolve some of the CRC floppies plague on NeXT.

A CRC Error is caused by dust or scratches on the surface of the floppy and bad checksums , it can't read so it kicks it out.

First before you install anything from floppy ,

if it has been awhile I recommend taking the lid off your NeXT slab or cube and either buy some dust off or use an air compressor to blow out any dust bunnies internally especially in the floppy drive .
It is worth disassembling the NeXT slab or cube down to the shell at this point, especially if it has never been done or it has been awhile.

NeXT Slabs for newbie's  to open single screw in the middle back and hinge forward , I've seen a lot that were pried open .  

NeXT Hardware Manuals are here

I often find lots of dust bunnies, dried and live bugs , roaches lol Brian looking at you and other parts like screws under the motherboard or fans or under the rails and behind the backplain on a cube, which can cause shorts or damage  !

Test the floppy drive manually to make sure it moves and works freely , put a floppy in and manually eject.

You can start up the system with the cover off or on and start with a non critical floppy , see if it mounts , see if it formats and ejects from the menu choose disk eject .

If you are going to install or reinstall old floppies , you can make a folder per floppy and drag and drop the entire contents of the floppies into the individual folders.  

Please note the exact name on the floppy
like disk#1 differs from disk #1  the space makes a difference.

The idea here is back ups of the original floppies before the install ,

So if you had errors on a floppy disk 2 , format a NeXT floppy , give it the identical name or this won't work . Copy the matching folder onto the floppy ,
Then retry the install , instead of inserting the floppy with errors try your clone floppy with any luck it just works.  I think this is because on the floppy it is in a package and on the install it goes file by file so the slightest mosquito fart fails the install .

Sometimes you get lucky and it just installs flawlessly , other times  it is errors , errors , errors.  
So with luck you can make a clone floppy of the floppy with errors.

Format choose NeXT Format on a new floppydisk  it may need to be high density 2.88 , copy the entire contents of the matching floppy back up folder onto your new NeXT formatted floppy, and name it the same syntax counts here as the install package looks for a specific name on the floppy to continue .

With any luck it works and you can complete your install error free. If does not please contact me as I may have the floppy back ups you seek.

I also sell new old stock floppy drives, just say Rob I read your Floppy post and I'll offer you a new old stock one for $10 or you can order it on my eBay store for $19.95 and I also have boxes of  used hd floppy disks , how about 10 for $10 and I'll throw in 2 extra in advance in case there are errors on them .  Shipping US $8 , international $18 and I can paypal an invoice.

***** So story time as the NeXTcomputers site has been in earily quiet , I feel lonely out here posting lol like the Maytag repairman.

Some apps also were available on CDrom and their were some great ones.

NeXT was the first company to release software on CDrom with the release of NeXTSTEP 3.0 and I remember trying convince folks this was a great much easier than vinyl or floppy disk , first with music then software!

In working for Alembic systems , we made the very first NeXT 3rd party cdrom in 1993 .
You had to make a cup of coffee while it loaded and I still have the master.  

There were other NeXT Cdroms  that had compiles of  ftp sites on them, in fact I'm still coming across ones for NeXT that I've never seen like The Internet Unplugged for NeXT Computers.

Then some very cool NeXT  CD's with commercial started to appear all around the same time like the App Wrapper , Jesse's cool app store  and GScorp Solutions suite.

I uploaded the NeXT Time ISO which lets you play multimedia files like quicktime  and yes it works on previous on your original NeXT.

GSCorp,  so I'm continually amazed to this day what I find,

to take a look at the awesome work done here by NeXT developers.

NeXT was so far ahead of its time that this software still rivals even surpasses  modern software for ease of functionality and use.

Here is a prime example  ,

If you are new or a seasoned vet and have not seen this , well worth downloading and checking it out!  

The apps run in demo mode but I noticed after running watchme .app its 3 minute timer went away after watching the screencast demo.  

What is truly neat about this is the NeXT developers show you how to use their app in a watchme enabled demo so drag into your local apps directory .

Oh how knowing of GSCorps Watchme demos existence would have made training new salesmen so much easier, I took a look but not an in depth look back then  as I was continually slammed.

It looks like the capabilities of Screencast may allow for remote NeXT support, just wonder if it would work over the net?

As it appears @Image does allow global screen sharing , wow just wow.
Anyone have experience with these apps?
Rob Blessin President computerpowwow ebay
303-741-9998 Serving the NeXT Community  since 2/9/93