Author Topic: Help - PSR5700 suddenly won't read old saved composition discs  (Read 1504 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline smanning


I am new to the forum, and am hoping someone can help me.

I have just purchased a psr5700 on eBay, having had one new as a 15 year old, and used it for college re- creating music of the era and playing it at concerts and for GCSE etc. I am now an old fart, and having kept the discs to save all the rhythms and sequences had a desire to get back into it, and try and learn to play again. After setting up my new purchase, I spent an hour of nostalgia loading up many of these old songs and listening to what I had managed to do some 23 years ago.

Then disaster - the discs suddenly won't seem to load. When I press "from disc" The disc in use button doesn't light up and it says  "type error or unformat". I know it's the correct format as they have been used many times. Funny thing is, the keyboard seems to be ok in formatting discs, but it won't seem to read them now.

I am gutted, and wondered if anyone can help me either replace the disk drive or replace it with USB (I have seen a thread about this but I am unclear how I can transfer the data off my discs onto USB). I have heard that part of the disk drive can become unaligned and needs replacing but being more of a user than a techie I have no idea how to do this.

The data on my floppy drives is most important for me to keep and be able to load up and use again. If anyone can offer any advice or help I would be grateful.

I am located in Barnstaple, Devon and am happy to pay if anyone can get it fixed for me.

Thank you

« Last Edit: May 16, 2017, 04:41:03 AM by smanning »

Offline SciNote

Re: Help - PSR5700 suddenly won't read old saved composition discs
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2017, 03:13:35 PM »
Yeah, I was going to guess a disk alignment problem.  Having used floppy drives on computers over the years, I know this can happen.  I would certainly NOT write ANYTHING to any of your disks from the keyboard until you are sure the disk drive is repaired, if you do decide to repair it, because if the disk head is out of alignment, then trying to write data to the disk from that drive could mess up the disk.

I have seen various floppy-drive-to-USB-reader conversions advertised for keyboards like these, but I do not know how well they work or how difficult they are to install.  I'll let the more detailed tech oriented people here answer that question.

As far as getting your data from the floppy disk and storing it on to a USB flash drive, I can only think of two possibilities, and both possibilities depend on whether a regular PC floppy drive (from back when floppy drives came with PC's) can read the Yamaha formatted disks.  And those possibilities are to either find an old-but-working computer that has both a floppy drive and a USB drive, and to move the files from the disk to a flash drive with that computer, or to see if there is such a thing as an external floppy drive that can be hooked to a more modern computer, and then do the same thing -- copy the files from the floppy disk to a flash drive on the computer.

Those are the ideas that I have, but there could be other possibilities that I am not aware of.
Yamaha PSR-E433
Yamaha PSR-520
The following users thanked this post: smanning

Offline Dick Rector

Re: Help - PSR5700 suddenly won't read old saved composition discs
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2017, 03:40:14 PM »
I had the same problem some years ago and bought an external floppy-to-usb-drive. Copied all the floppies to an USB, problem solved. I also changed the floppydrive in my PSR 2000 keyboard for an USB-drive, back in 2009 and still use it.
Cheap, about 30 US$ and you can store the content of 100 floppies on an USB stick. If you want to know more about it send me a PM with your email-address and I will send you the info I've send to hundreds of people. Although I must say that I'm not familiar with your model keyboard.

« Last Edit: May 14, 2017, 03:41:36 PM by Dick Rector »
PSR-2000 and PSR-S950
The following users thanked this post: smanning

Offline tyrosaurus

Re: Help - PSR5700 suddenly won't read old saved composition discs
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2017, 04:30:21 PM »
Hi Steve,

I think that if I had bought a 25 year old keyboard from a seller on eBay, I would have been surprised if any part of it worked at all, especially the floppy drive!

Floppy disk drives can drift out of alignment over the years, and this may be what has happened to the one in your '5700.

However before doing anything else, it might be worth checking that the heads don't just need cleaning.  A bit of 'fluff' or whatever could have become trapped on the heads, which might explain why 'the end' came so suddenly, although if, as you say, you can still format new disks and write to/read from them, this suggests that it is more an alignment problem than simply dirty heads!

Now you can try to clean the heads by opening up the drive and using a cotton bud wetted with isopropanol.  However you would first have to remove the drive from the keyboard!

It would be much easier if you could obtain a 3.5" floppy cleaning disk, which is basically a 'felt' disk in a normal disk case, which you wet with cleaning solution and insert in the drive like any other disk.  The drive should spin the disk for a few seconds until it realises that it is not a formatted disk, during which time the wet part of the disk should have passed over the read/write heads a few times.  Floppy cleaning kits are not as easy to find as they used to be, but here is a link to one such kit:

The problem could also be a build up of dirt or mildew on the disk surfaces over the many years that they have lain unused.  I have seen accounts on the internet about carefully cleaning the actual disk surface using isopropanol, either by opening the protective door over the disk material, cleaning the area of disk exposed using a cotton bub, then rotating the disk slightly with your finger, and repeating.  Alternatively you can prise open the plastic disc case and carefully clean the whole disk, using tape to hold the disk case together after reassembly if necessary.

My experience with 'old' floppy disks in new drives is that it is variable and unpredictable.  Before I retired from work, I saw floppy disks  which had been working fine in drives on any of many different machines, suddenly stop working in some of them, but continue to work in other machines of the same age!  So if cleaning the heads doesn't help (and I have my doubts about it doing so!), you could, as has already been suggested, try a disk in a PC with a floppy drive.  Failing that you could get an external USB floppy drive for your current computer to try.  If you find one that can read the old disks, then you should be able to at least make copies of them for security and others for you to play around with, and you may even find that the drive can read floppies formatted on the '5700 drive, so it's just possible that the keyboard might read copies of the old disks made to disks formatted on the '5700.
However even if you get the drive/disks working, I don't know enough about the '5700 disk filing system to know if there is a way to make the data transferable to another keyboard or even a PC!  Obviously to use the USB 'floppy emulator' that you refer to, you would need to have the data on your old disks transferred to it in order to help your situation!

At the end of the day, it depends on how much you really want these files as to how much effort and money you want to throw at the problem.  If money is no object, you could try a data recovery agency, and have the files transferred either to new floppies formatted on the '5700, or a different medium.


The following users thanked this post: smanning

Offline smanning

Re: Help - PSR5700 suddenly won't read old saved composition discs
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2017, 12:14:50 AM »
Thanks for this info, I will try the floppy disk cleaner first and see what happens

Offline travlin-easy

Re: Help - PSR5700 suddenly won't read old saved composition discs
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2017, 09:22:11 AM »
Many years ago, I too owned a PSR-5700 - great keyboard. The floppy drive, however, was the weak link and had to be replaced twice in 5 years. Hopefully, the disk cleaner will take care of the problem for you.

All the best,

Gary 8)
Love Those Yammies...