Ensoniq SQ-80 Floppy Woes

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Italo_DX
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Ensoniq SQ-80 Floppy Woes

Post by Italo_DX » Fri Nov 07, 2008 7:04 pm

I tracked down an 800K floppy for my SQ-80. The floppy seems fine; my old Macintosh SE reads it without any problems. When I put it in my SQ-80 and format it, it says the disk is unusable and formatting failed. I shot some compressed air in the drive (which looks pretty clean as-is) to no avail.

Any ideas?
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Re: Ensoniq SQ-80 Floppy Woes

Post by rhino » Sat Nov 08, 2008 7:33 pm

sorry, i don't understand.
are you putting a diskette into the SQ-80 drive, or a new drive unit into the SQ ?
it sounds like if oyu have a disk media, it may be bad.
the actual drive unit is probably non-standard ....made for Ensoniq only.
only place i know hat sells them is route66studios
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Re: Ensoniq SQ-80 Floppy Woes

Post by Italo_DX » Sun Nov 09, 2008 5:06 am

I'm sorry I wasn't clear. I meant to say I located an 800K floppy disk to use in the Ensoniq. My Mac SE can read 400K/800K/1.4MB disks and it had no problem reading and writing to the 800K disk I intend to use in the SQ-80. However, the SQ-80 says the disk is unusable after I try to format it.
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Re: Ensoniq SQ-80 Floppy Woes

Post by Bitexion » Sun Nov 09, 2008 5:19 pm

I have the same problem. A friendly being on this forum actually packed up a whole bunch of old 800k amiga disks he had lying around and sent them to Norway. None of them would format correctly inside the synth.

The only disk that works is the one that came with my synth, thankfully that one has dozens of soundbanks on it so I don't really need anything else. i think there's some 40 soundbanks on the disk.
I also got a cartridge with 2 more banks (side A and B).

Hoping it never rots :P

You shouldn't need the diskdrive anyways these days, I'm sure there's loads of free soundbanks in sysex format out there on the big intarweb you can upload via MIDI. And you can also use the computer to dump the internal soundbank if you want to keep it. Although I admit it IS nice to just go to the storage menu and call up a brand new soundbank instantly instead of fapping about with MIDI programs on the PC.

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Re: Ensoniq SQ-80 Floppy Woes

Post by rhino » Sun Nov 09, 2008 8:10 pm

i have an SQ-80. (my first and favorite). if you want i could format some disks and send them to you to try.

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Re: Ensoniq SQ-80 Floppy Woes

Post by Italo_DX » Sun Nov 09, 2008 8:12 pm

I have a few more old 800K mac floppies I can try first... I cann always use SysEx, but I just thought using a floppy to store patches and sequences would be neat in its own right ;)
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Re: Ensoniq SQ-80 Floppy Woes

Post by Bitexion » Sun Nov 09, 2008 10:51 pm

Yeah it is really neat, and you get that oldschool tick tick tick sound while it read/writes on the disk too.
Can store both single sounds and banks and sequences.

I don't know why this particular disk works and none other..but it says

Sony
Double Sided
MFD-2DD (dd means double density)
on it.

1.44MB disks are called HD disks (high density) so you don't want those.

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Re: Ensoniq SQ-80 Floppy Woes

Post by Italo_DX » Mon Nov 10, 2008 7:06 pm

Hmmm... The disk I'm trying to use reads:

SONY
Double Density
MFD-2DD

Its blue.

EDIT: On the reverse, "DOUBLE SIDED" is printed by a dot matrix printer.
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Re: Ensoniq SQ-80 Floppy Woes

Post by Bitexion » Tue Nov 11, 2008 7:11 pm

Sounds like they are the exact same disks.
I have never tried to actually format the disk in the synth though, since it contains tons of sounds already I don't wanna try it. But it is possible that the disk I have was formatted in a computer with a 800kb diskdrive back in the day, for all I know the disk could be from 1988, when 800k disks were used for all kinds of computers, like the Atari ST, commodore amiga, IBM pc's etc.

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Re: Ensoniq SQ-80 Floppy Woes

Post by Italo_DX » Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:02 am

I'll try to format it for DOS on my Mac and then try to use it in the Ensoniq.
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Re: Ensoniq SQ-80 Floppy Woes

Post by rhino » Wed Nov 12, 2008 2:11 am

BEEEEP !

iirc Mac format will not work in Ensoniq.

worth a try....i am wrong on a regular basis
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Re: Ensoniq SQ-80 Floppy Woes

Post by Sir Ruff » Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:01 am

According to the Buchty website, more recent high-density disks work fine... I think that's what I'm currently using (disk is from 1996, that's all I know!) been using the same disk for 5? years, minimal use tho.

Best advice: hold out for a programmable RAM cartridge... they're pretty common-I wouldn't pay more than $30 for one. I FINALLY got one this year for like $20.... load/save time is non-existent, and the nice thing is that there are two banks (compared to the 1 internal bank). So you can backup all your internal sounds, and still have another bank to save more stuff too... gives you 120 sounds total... before getting the cart, I was always running out of room internally, and having to save individual sounds to the disk which is a pain cos you never end up loading them again to use. the sq80 is still my favorite synth to play and program. it's just got great character.
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Re: Ensoniq SQ-80 Floppy Woes

Post by blueknob » Sat Nov 15, 2008 10:33 am

In my experience this is common, my solution was to format them first on a PC and check for any bad sectors, I then selected only the ones with zero bad sectors, which then would successfully format on my many Ensoniq keyboards.

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Re: Ensoniq SQ-80 Floppy Woes

Post by loungedumore » Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:58 am

Zombi Thread !!!!!!

Ok well thought I'd ask if anyone figured this out for sure ...
I too have read lots say that HD disks will work as well however all mine have just gotten stuck in formatting .... no errors , just kept going till I shut it down :?
I have 1 Disk that did work it looks visibly older and says MF2-HD .
So ? School me ....
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Re: Ensoniq SQ-80 Floppy Woes

Post by rhino » Mon Nov 21, 2011 5:09 am

The correct disk must have only the "write protect" hole. If it has the square HD hole on the opposite side, you'll have to put a piece of tape over it. As a last resort, try erasing the disk with a demagnetizer...then try to format in the SQ80.
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