Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 54 / NOVEMBER 1984 / PAGE 10

Commodore 1541 Head Alignment

I own a Commodore 64 and a 1541 disk drive. I am having problems loading programs that were saved about two months ago. Programs that were recently saved don't present a problem. When I attempt to load the older programs, the red read/write light flashes the entire time the program is loading. Some programs won't load, period. I've tried to clean my drive, but the problem persists. Can you please tell me what is causing this? I remember reading an article that said when programs are saved in different temperatures, problems may arise. If this is true, can this be the nature of my problem?

Gerry Robinson

Although temperature extremes can damage stored disks, it is probably not the source of your problem. As long as disks are used and stored within the recommended range of 50 to 125 degrees Fahrenheit, you shouldn't have any trouble.

The alignment of the read/write head in your disk drive may be skewed. The stepper motor sometimes slips out of alignment on some models of the 1541. This motor is responsible for precisely positioning the read/write head when the disk is reading or writing data. You should consider taking your drive to a Commodore Service Center to have it checked out.

If the red busy light on the front of the drive blinks while you're loading programs, this can indicate the drive is having trouble reading the data on the disk. This is not to be confused with the steadily blinking light encountered with a DOS (Disk Operating System) error. Ideally, the busy light should constantly glow red while reading data on the disk.