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Reviving a PCW8256

Started by liamoc, 16:02, 27 July 22

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Hi all, 

I have a nice condition PCW8256, but I was told the disk drive was broken.  When I power it on, I just get a green screen, but apparently this is normal if there is no boot disk inserted? 

To address the disk drive problem I replaced the disk drive with a Gotek floppy emulator, using one of these adapters:

I reversed the power cable as instructed and plugged in the device. The gotek now powers on correctly when I turn on the machine. I used the system disk images from habisoft ( but found that when I turn the machine on, it still just hangs on a green screen. The Gotek appears to be on, but it doesn't look like the system is trying to read the disk at all.

I'm using the latest version of FlashFloppy on the Gotek, and it is one of the new ones with the MOR pin as a jumper. So I bridged that, and used the following FF.CFG:

motor-delay = 200
pin34 = rdy
I also tried sector-doubling the provided DSK images for CPM and nothing seems to be working. What should I try next?


Not clear what you're doing here.

Firstly, the initial problem may have been that the rubber band in the disk drive has disintegrated, and may need replacement.  This is fiddly, but is not a major job.  The repl band is readily available via the web.  This is however something you can go back to later.

The gotek drive is not all you need, and you don't say what you've got.   You need an image file of a viable boot image, and the gotek needs to have 'selected' this image.   Are you doing that?   The image needs to have a correct boot sector, and the correct system file.   If you've got, say, a 9xxx series image this will not work for an 8xxx machine.

Sounds like either the gotek is not responding at all, or an image is not selected, or the image is not a viable boot image.

If you use disk (side) 1 or 2 of the 4 side set then these SHOULD boot, (1) into LocoScript, or (2) into CP/M.  Sides (3) or (4) will NOT boot.  You should then get blue/black lines down the screen.



As I said before, I'm using the CPM disk images for the PCW8256 available from Habisoft here:

The image is selected -- it's displaying on the FlashFloppy OLED screen.


Is there a 'key' on the connector/adaptor, i.e. is it possible to connect the plug either way around?  It will not work if it's the wrong way around.   The normal PCW will connect ONLY the correct way around, because of a 'key', I don't see anything similar on the parts shown here.



Yes, it is possible to connect it the other way around. I have tried all possible orientations of the ribbon cable and the adapter. If I flip the adaptor but not the ribbon cable, the FlashFloppy OLED says "Maybe the ribbon cable is the wrong way around?". If I flip the ribbon cable but not the adaptor, I also get "Maybe the ribbon cable..?". If I flip both, then it powers on correctly and selects the image but the machine still just hangs on a green screen. 


Do you have to click a button on the Gotek in order to "insert" the selected image?

It may be a silly question, but better safe than sorry.


No, I have the CP/M disk image selected and it will be "inserted" already upon powering up.


Don't use the latest version of Flashfloppy.

Use the Stable...  That should be v3.29.

I get similar issues with the latest version.


Hi all, I managed to get the old floppy drive working by replacing the belt, and the Gotek also works now as drive B:. My only remaining task is to install everything into the case -- to do this, I need to remove the bottom panel that covers the second drive slot. This may be a stupid question, but how do I remove this panel?

Many thanks.


If I remember correctly, the B: space has a plastic fill which is designed to be broken out, i.e. it's only partially attached to the rest of the case.   Then there's a sticky plastic cover on the top to hide the join.   If you look from the back or the front, this should be clear.   From the front, prise away the sticky cover, then cut away the the attaching bits of the cream plastic.  Should leave a fairly clean hole.  Minimal cutting.


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