01/W Floppy Disk Drive Repairs

Disk Drive Topics
Error Messages

Cleaning the disk drive heads

Replacing the Floppy Disk Drive Which disk drive to use
rev: 2016Feb16p0221


Abbreviations on this page
DD = double-density (720K)
DOS = disk operating system 
FDD = floppy disk drive
HD = high-density (1.4M) 
KB = K = kilobytes
MB = M = megabytes
SMF = Std. MIDI File 
= Standard MIDI File 



Before doing anything, look up any error messages you see in the Error table below. From that you should be able to get an idea of what the problem might be.

In the simplest case, you may have tried to read one type of disk using the wrong screen. If things look worse than that, cleaning the drive heads is a good thing to try, especially if your 01 has been in smokey places.

If you are really unlucky, the drive will have to be replaced. Check the text to see your options.

Other disk drive related pages on this site are:

Disk Error Messages

If you try to access a floppy in your 01 and get an error message, here are some things to check:

Disk Mode Error Messages & Possible Causes
Message Meaning
Data Error

This message means the data being read off the disk is bad. 


Although it is very unlikely, it is possible that the disk drive has gone bad and the drive itself has damaged the disk. If you insert a disk containing valued work, it could be destroyed. The manual recommends:

  1. Re-insert the disk and try the operation again.
  2. If you are formatting or saving, insert a different disk and try again.
  3. Clean the disk drive heads, and try the operation again. (For head cleaning, refer to page 17.) {end of manual recommendations}

Use only new or empty double-sided disks until you know for certain your disk drive is not damaging disks.

Now, more likely reasons you will get this error include:

  • The disk is DOS formatted for 1.4M (high-density) instead of 720K (double-density) (details here), or
  • Bad data was written onto the disk, or
  • Good data on the disk isn’t being read properly. This can be caused by:
    • Dirty heads on your disk drive. If you use your floppy drive a lot, especially in smoky places, try using a floppy disk cleaner.
    • A dirty or damaged disk.
Disk Type Error

1. The disk is DOS formatted and you're trying to access it as an 01-formatted disk (by using Page 1 or 2).

2. The disk is not for the 01/W series.

Drive Not Ready There is no disk in the drive, or the disk is not properly or fully inserted.
Insufficient Memory MIDI data files can't be loaded or saved because there isn't enough free sequencer memory.
Memory Overflow While saving a MIDI file, the received data was more than 64K bytes.
No File The specified file isn't on the disk.
Protected Disk The write-protect tab on the disk is in the "protect" position (the hole is open).

Computer Error Message

"System Error: Cannot read from drive A" (in Windows 3.1 - may be different in other versions). This can mean you inserted a 1.4M disk that was formatted for 720K. Cover the hole with tape or a sticker or something. (details here)

Cleaning the Heads

Quoting directly from the 01 Manual:

If the disk drive head becomes dirty, data errors may occur. Accumulated dirt can scratch the disk. Regular cleaning is important to avoid dirt buildup.

To clean the disk drive head, use a commercially available fluid-type cleaning disk for dual-sided drives.

Using a single-sided cleaning disk may damage the disk drive.

Cleaning Procedure

  1. Moisten the cleaning disk with cleaning fluid.
  2. Immediately insert the cleaning disk into the disk drive and execute a load operation. (Any type of load operation is ok.) An error message will appear.
  3. After approximately 10 seconds, press the eject button, and remove the cleaning disk.
  4. For approximately 5 minutes, do not use the disk drive. (Using the disk drive before the cleaning liquid has dried may cause malfunctions.)

- - - - -

That ends the quote from the manual. The same cleaning disk is used for DD and HD disk drives. Just make sure it's for a 2-sided floppy drive.

Replacing the Floppy Disk Drive

If Korg Does It

One user paid $237 to have a Korg repair center replace his drive. This price included the drive, installation, and tax. (99Dec)

A replacement drive by itself cost $183 from a New York Korg dealer (99Dec). This is consistent with the $200 figure that has been reported in the past. Teac was selling the same drive for about $35 (97Feb15).

If You Do It Yourself:

In theory, you should be able to replace the 01 FDD with any generic PC-type 720K drive. But reports of successful replacement by users, outside of an authorized repair shop, have been rare. What follows is information that has been posted to a couple of korg lists over the years. Feel free to e-mail your experiences to me.

Static Caution!

The floppy disk cable connects directly to static-sensitive circuits. I assure you from personal experience that walking across cheap nylon carpet in Chuck Taylor tennis shoes will create enough static to kill the mouse port on a computer simply by touching the mouse! If ever you open your 01 and expose the circuitry, take strict precautions against static or you may cause expensive damage.

Dis-Assembling the 01

I’ve posted step-by-step instructions for taking your 01 apart and putting it back together in the Sticky Key section. Click here to go there. While you have your 01 apart, you might as well check and/or fix any “lazy” keys.

Re-Assembling the 01

As I said above, instructions are elsewhere BUT before putting it back together, test that the drive works.

If the New Drive Doesn't Work

Which Drive To Use

Old Reports

1. In 2002 you could buy a replacement drive (Teac 7500) for $99 from www.korgparts.com. This link is currently dead. [06Jan24]

2. Price is $150 + S/H and is available from "Parts Is Parts" (authorized vendor for Korg). For their number, call Korg tech support @ (516) 333-8737 Ext.1701. Ask for Ian." [01Apr01eg]

3. The Korg USA website (http://korgusa.com/service/teac.htm) once reported that the TEAC 6500 and FD235HF disk drives were generic replacement drives for the 01/W, T and I series keyboards. There are pins on these drives which must be connected together ("jumpered" is the term. A "jumper" is a wire connecting two points, allowing the signal to "jump" from one point to another.) A diagram was shown, which is reproduced below.

The site further stresses that the “keyboards were designed to be used with Double Density Disks only. High density disks will not always work properly.”

User Reports

In theory, you should be able to replace the 01 FDD with any generic PC-type 720K drive. But reports of successful replacement by users, outside of an authorized repair shop, have been rare.

I can't keep current with all the sources and their quality - you can feel free to e-mail your experiences to me. I have had little or no personal contact with any of these businesses. What follows is information that has been posted to a couple of Korg lists over the years, or comments sent to me from users who felt strongly enough to write.

I strongly recommend
that you subscribe to the Korg 01 Users Group/list server (which is not connected with Korg, the company) to post your questions and experiences. This world-wide list has many smart and helpful members who may have recent experience with these repairs. (To subscribe, visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/korg01w-list/.) Ask the Group about a particular company before ordering. You may also want to contact the Better Business Bureau where a compnay is located to check their recent history, positive or negative. Checking with the BBB is a good idea before doing business with any small company.

Route 66 Studios
Phone: 4:00pm to 9:00pm M-F 1-608-755-1993
e-mail: Route66studios@aol.com

Route 66 Studios sells disk drives, manuals, and batteries for the 01/W and other synths. [08May26]

PO Box 19015 - Anaheim Hills, CA 92817. voice: (714)-998-3001 fax: (714)-998-3121
e-mail: telesis@telesisgear.com

The Telesis web site shows they sell used gear as available. Contact them "to get the full lowdown". [08May26]

A user reports his original 01 floppy drive was an Alps Electric DFR 423F02A. It was replaced with a Chinon FZ357, on which was placed two jumpers. He didn't say which jumpers or where. He did say the setting was "720KB Mode" and "Drive Select 0". The drive works, but the green LED is always lit. The Alps Electric drive cost 170 Euro from Korg, He said the Chinon drive was available from ebay. [2002 Oct 16]

One reported successful replacement was a TEAC FD235HF-6529 bought from Ebay.com (sales@jimini.com) for $16. The jumpers were set as shown in the table below and it worked.

HOWEVER: All HD floppies had to have their hole covered after the drive was installed. This means you must cover the holes in all HD floppies you use in this new drive, even old HD floppies that used to work without having the hole covered. For more details, visit About the HD Hole on this web site. [00May22]

Another user reports installing a Teac FD235HF-4240 that did NOT work. His original drive was an "F4 QPR15 Sankyo 212168  5 Vo, 25 A , 34-pin, 4-pin power, 720 2DD, 3.5". Korg offered to sell him a drive for $150. [99Nov20]

One user said the original 01 floppy drive was a Teac, model FD235HF7529 [98Apr01].

A different user said the original was a Teac 6500 series, but this has since been replaced by the 7500 series.

Sony MPF 520-1
The Sony MPF 520-1 (a 1.44M drive) was reported as being successfully placed in an 01. User Roymario reported jumper settings as follows:

"If the drive face you You will notice 3 jumpers to the top right hand corner place jumper only on extreme right hand berge. This drive will do all function of a regular drive. The only catch being the front panel LED may never glow although the drive works perfectly."

Can I replace the original 720K drive with a 1.4Meg drive?

It depends on the drive (see Which Drive to Use above). But you will still be restricted to using 720K floppies. If you use a 1.4M floppy disk, it must be formatted to be 720K.

The 01 came with a 720K, double-sided floppy disk drive. The internal programming of the 01 expects to see this type of drive, and only this type. If you replace the 720K unit with something else (like a 1.4M drive), the internal programming wouldn't know how to operate the drive.

Some 1.4M drives may have a jumper or switch to set the drive to operate in 720K mode. In this case, the 01 should never know the difference.

One source has reported successfully replacing the original 720K FDD with a 1.44M FDD by Sony, model # MPF 520-1. It probably had a jumper setting that made it look and work like a 720K drive. It is unknown if other 1.4M FDDs will work in the 01W.

Most IBM PCs have a 1.44M drive which uses 1.44M floppies. The 01 can't read floppies formatted for 1.44M, but your IBM can read 720K floppies if they are properly formatted.

NOTE: 1.4M drives identify the floppy by looking for a square hole at one end. If it sees the hole, the drive automatically goes into 1.4M mode, and it won't read a floppy formatted for 720K. In this case, you must cover the hole with opaque tape (or something equivalent). This is important if you were using 1.4M floppies with the original 01 drive. That drive couldn't recognize your 1.4M floppy – it always assumed it was 720K. A replacement drive might know the difference, so you'll have to put tape on all your old 1.4M floppies.

Jumpers on the Teac FDD

If you get a Teac FDD, there are jumpers that must be correctly placed in order for the drive to work:

Teac 6500 and FD235HF Disk Drives
Jumper settings for 01/W, T, and I Series Keyboards
            3    2    1
           +-+  +------+    
  o    o   |o|  |o    o|    G 
           | |  +------+
           |o|   o    o     F
           +-+  +-+
            o   |o|   o     E
           +-+  | |
           |o|  |o|   o     D
           | |  +-+
           |o|   o    o     C
           +-+       +-+
            o    o   |o|    B
                     | |
            o    o   |o|    A
 Five jumpers are used to
short the following pins together: 
A1 to B1 
C3 to D3 
D2 to E2 
F3 to G3 
G1 to G2 

NOTICE: This information was submitted via the internet and has not been personally confirmed by me. Use this information at your own risk. Please e-mail me if you find anything missing or wrong. [98Apr20]

User report: "This jumper configuration is the same for the older Korg DSS-1 except that the connector CN9A on KLM780 must be reversed for this application." [01Apr01eg]

FDD Connector Pins

34-pin Floppy Drive Pins
Pin Name Direction Description
2 unused 

to drive
in original PC
Density Select (in PC-AT?)
4 unused - not connected
6 unused - not connected
8 INDEX- from drive Index (one pulse each rotation)
10 MOTEA- to drive Motor Enable drive-A
12 DRVSB- to drive Drive Select drive-B
14 DRVSA- to drive Drive Select drive-A
16 MOTEB- to drive Motor Enable drive-B
18 DIR- to drive Stepper motor direction (0=towards spindle)
20 STEP- to drive Step pulse
22 WDATE- to drive Write Data
24 WGATE- to drive Write Enable
26 TRK00- from drive Track 0 (0=track 0)
28 WPT- from drive Write Protect (0=protected)
30 RDATA- from drive Read Data (pulse=flux change)
32 SIDE1- to drive Select Head 1(0=top, 1=bottom)
34 unused
to drive?
in original PC (this I know)
Drive Ready? (in PC-XT?)
Disk Change (in PC-AT?)
Notes :

Hard Disk Drive

There is/was a company on the internet that advertises replacement drives for the 01, including a hard disk drive. I have no knowledge about the product, how it works, or how good it is. For information, visit their web site:  Megafloppy (http://www.megafloppy.com) (The new link is http://www.liontracs.com, more specifically, http://www.lionstracs.com/WEBLIONS/megafloppy/megafloppy.html)

It looks like the Megafloppy is a hard disk drive that fits in the floppy slot of your 01. The hard drive is partitioned to look like "hundreds of floppies". The price is not viewable with my browser but is said to be expensive.

User Reports

I get emails from users who have worked with their floppy drives. I copy them here as they were sent to me. I can't verify any of what they say, so double-check everything on your own.

From PV of Reno, NV

My experience replacing the FDD in a Korg 01/W-FD (August 2014):

The original was an Alps DFR423E02A. I had absolutely no luck finding one on the internet. TEAC-6500, TEAC FD235HF-6529, and FD235HF7529 are also hard to find, or expensive. I tried a TEAC FD-235HF-C891. It didn't work, almost certainly because pin 34 is not configured to send the "READY" signal. I couldn't see any way to correct this problem.

I then purchased a Samsung SFD-321B. These seem to be cheap and easy to find on Ebay. I had to take off both sheet metal panels, and solder tiny wires (or you can probably just create a glob of solder) to short the RDY trace plugs (located near the square chip near the middle of the PCB) and the DS0 trace plugs (located near the 34-pin ribbon cable connector).

I also had to tear out a section in the middle of the plastic housing around the ribbon connector to accommodate the tab on the connector on the end of the ribbon cable. This is because it turns out (on my 01/W, anyway) that the connector is backwards for the Samsung SFD-321B. You can easily check which way your cable should go: On one of the two rows of pins, they are almost all GND and, hence shorted together. Use your ohmmeter/continuity tester to see which row on the FDD is GND pins, and also do the same check on the connector at the FDD end of the disconnected ribbon cable. Just make sure the GND pins on the FDD are going into the GND holes in the connector.

The ribbon cable header and the power in header are on opposite sides of the rear of the Samsung SFD-321B compared to the original FDD. Hence, I also had to remove the power wires from a wire holder inside the Korg in order to get enough slack on the wires to be able to attach the power connector to the power-in jack on the Samsung SFD-321B.

The new FDD is working fine except the LED on the FDD stays on all the time. Oh well. [2014Aug18]