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Amstrad PCW8256

[33k] Amstrad PCW8256

Type: Micro Computer
Release Date:  

Value New:

460
Current Value:  
Rarity:  
Specifications: Amstrad PCW8256
Size: 375x325x309mm
Weight:  
CPU: Z80A
Clock Speed: 3.95MHz
Memory: 256K RAM, 128k of this is used as a RAM disk
Video Display: Built in 13" green screen. 92 x 32 characters
Storage: 3" 170KB single sided floppy drive
Interfaces: Printer port, keyboard port, second disk drive connector
Operating System/s: CP/M 3.0 or AMSTRAD'S AMSDOS on Disk
Input devices: Keyboard with 82 keys including 8 function keys and a numeric keypad
My Amstrad PCW8256
Acquired: Jun-1997
Status: Faulty
Condition: Good

Serial #:

Recorded
Box: No
Manuals: No
Notes

This computer was donated to my collection along with some software on the now almost impossible to get 3" disks. However it seems to have a faulty disk drive, switch it on put the disk in and it just sits there doing nothing.

Update - How to fix drive problems Thanks to all those people who have emailed me about how to fix the disk drive. This is the most complete of the replies I received. Hopefully this will help others out there with the same problem. (If you do try this it is at your own risk)

This solution provided by Ron Haller-Williams.

1. Switch off and unplug, then wait at least 5 mins (EHT safety).

2. Remove the back from the machine (2 screws at top, 2 at bottom, & 2 into motherboard or main PCB - all marked with arrow on the casting.)

3. Mark which end of the drive the coloured (red or blue) edge of the 26-way ribbon cable goes to, perhaps with a small sticker on the drive casing. Then remove the ribbon cable and 4-way power cable from the drive (leave them attached to the main PCB!)

4. Remove 4 screws holding drive outer casing. For this and step 2 you will need a long slim s/driver pozi #1, carefully noting any grounding (black) wire. Then remove the 4 screws holding outer casing to drive (philips #2). Outer casing has inner & outer parts, note carefully how they fit!

5. Use a cardboard box or something so that by re-plugging the power and ribbon cables (!!!orientation!!!), you can run the machine with the drive innards visible.

6. Do so, no need for a diskette, but be careful not to get a fistful of the 12KV tube anode voltage.

7. You will already have observed the moving part that clamps around the floppy - a bit like a black mushroom (??!!!??)

8. Switch on - I bet this will not turn, showing stretched drive belt !!!

9. Switch off, disconnect. If I am right, do steps 10-15. Else curse loudly and just do steps 13-15.

10. Unplug the drive again and remove 2 screws (philips #1) holding large PCB of the drive in place. This will give access to the belt.

11. Replace the belt with a good one - try hi-fi or electronic stores etc. You want 3mm to 3.2mm (0.125 inch or a bit less) by very thin by some 215mm to 220 mm (8.5 to 8.7 inches). But check this for yourself!! If you cannot get locally, see SD Microsystems LTD web page at http://come.to/sdmicro where they offer drive service kit for 12.95, (includes belt, cleaning pad, cleaning fluid).

12. Carefully replace the drive main PCB and 2 screws.

13. Carefully replace the drive outer casings and 4 screws.

14. Re-install the drive (4 long screws, 2 cables, ground).

15. Replace the rear cover (care with power lead, kbd skt, and general-purpose edge connector) and 6 screws.

References

LuxSoft of Luxulyan Amstrad PCW LocoScript and other Disc Conversions to PC or Mac

SD Microsystems LTD With over a decade of experience in supporting Amstrad computers from the CPC 6128 through the PCW range (8256/8512/9512/Plus/9256/10) to the PC 1512/1640/2086/286/386 and so on. They can still supply a wide range of software on 3", 3.5" or 5.25" disc and essential supplies such as blank media.

Amstrad PCW Computer Site Offering machines, software, spares, hardware, parts, links, disc transfers, free advice and PCW club details.

Holland Numerics Limited This service provides conversion/copying of data files between PCW 3", PCW 3.5", PC 5.25", PC 3.5" and Mac 3.5" diskettes.

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Copyright © 2006 State of the Ark & Donovan Marshall
Last Updated: Monday, 9 May 2005