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Commodore 1541 floppy disk drive

Updated 9 August 2019

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Like many users at the time, I bought my first Commodore 64 in a bundle complete with cassette tape drive. Ignorance is a beautiful thing as I never knew what modern floppy drive technology was. Insert the tape, press play, wait ... wait ... wait 20 minutes and then ... wait ... up comes the game. This page is a dedicated place holder for all things C64 floppy drives that I come across.

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Introduction

The Commodore 64 experience will never be complete without using the Commodore 1541 floppy disk drive. This is the best known retr-computing disk drive for the wonderful Commodore C64. Technically, the Commodore 1541 was a single-sided, 170kB drive for 5¼ inch disks. Under the cover lays the common MOS 6502 microprocessor running CBM DOS 2.6.

Commodore 1541 C64 Disk Drive front view
Commodore 1541 floppy disk drive (source: Wikicommons)

Quirks of the Commodore 1541 floppy disk drive

The sound of your $500 disk drive drumming itself to destruction is a classic example of how vendors actually hate consumers. In order to protect their software, vendors would code error tracks on their disks so the disk drive would error our and bang its head against the stop. The copy protection software would then know that the damaged disk was 100% genuine and continue to load. They save a few dollars. T he consumer ended up with a self destructed boat anchor. Great going guys!

On the bookshelf

Commodore 1541 User's Guide

Commodore 1541
User's Guide
(read online)

Commodore 1541-II User's Guide

Commodore 1541-II
User's Guide
(read online)

Commodore 1541 Service Manual

Commodore 1540/1541
Service Manual
(read online)

Commodore 1541 Maintenance Manual

Commodore 1541
Maintenance Manual
(read online)

Sams Computerfacts Commodore 1541 Service Data

Sams Computerfacts
VIC 1541 Service Data
(read online)

Sams Computerfacts Commodopre 1541-II Service Data

SAMS Computerfacts
1541-II Service Data
(read online)

SAMS Commodore 1541 Troubleshooting and Repair Guide

SAMS Commodore 1541
Repair Guide
(read online)

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Fan Fiction

Vanessa was already in her 20s when she saw her first Commodore 64. It wasn't the most beautiful object she had ever seen but she knew that she had to learn about computers to keep up. It was the Commodore C64 advertising that drew her in. Are you keep up with the Commodore?, cause the Commodore is keeping up with you.

Luckily, this particular Commodore C64 was connected with one of those new fangled Commodore 1541 floppy drives. Vanessa just didn't see the point of using one of her valuable music cassette tapes for games. This machine had the Commodore 1541 5¼ inch disk drive. Slowly, and with one finger, she typed load "*",8,1.

Wait. Wait. Wait. Then the music stared. Bless the SID chip. The Commodore 1541 continues to make those strange knocking sounds. Wrrrrrrrp. An opening screen started loading. The Commodore 1541 had proven its worth. Up loaded Vortex Crystals. It was the classic platform games that gave her the most happiness.

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