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Sony HITBIT HB-F1XD Floppy Drive

Hello again Mr HIT BIT. I bought this unit a while back and never got around to testing the floppy drive...


As you can see from the image below, there was a sticker attached that said the Floppy drive was problematic. (フロッピーディスクは動作しません)


This didn't worry me too much, as I intended to use the cartridge slot more than the floppy drive. Regardless, I wanted to eventually test it out. I actually even bought a random second-hand disk from a second-hand shop in Japan whilst purchasing the main unit.


Based on the sticker... the first goal was to inspect the drive!

Pulling the unit apart

In full Sony-style, there's 6 screws (with arrows pointing to them!) on the underneath of the unit that need to be undone. Once they're out, flip the unit back on its base and remove the cover left-to-right. The floppy disk eject button is seated through a hole in the top half of the case, so be careful when removing!


Once off, there's a shield on top of the floppy drive to remove. This has one screw top-right. Undo the screw and then use a flat-head screwdriver to prize off the clips along the back of the floppy drive. After this, there are then three screws that hold down the bracket that the drive is attached to. With these out, you can then perform a back-flip with the drive and expose the wiring. It turns out it's a 34-pin data cable and standard floppy drive power cable!? But with only the 5v wiring.

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The drive itself

Things got interesting from here... after removing the top case (more clips, use a flat-head screwdriver), I noticed that there didn't seem to be a drive-belt at all. All articles online indicated that these drives had belts and are known to perish over time. I started pulling the drive apart further and found out that Sony actually chose to split the drive motor across the base PCB!? Talk about a nice way to save space... and not have to need a belt!

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Talk about mesmerising... those copper coils are beautiful! But dang... I'd gone and bought a belt and everything... if this still isn't working, as per the sticker, then I'm really in trouble!

Testing the drive

I put it as-back-together-as-needed to test the drive and turned it all on. I put the disk in, but all was very quiet. My MegaFlashROM loaded into Nextor and I hit the number '2' key to switch to the second drive.


What? It works? MENU.BAS sounds like a good place to start...


Ok, here we go... is this a demo disk? "Tanaka Yatsuu Shin"? I'll need a bit of help translating this... regardless, "CG" sounds like fun!


4 Images? Here they are in order...

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I had it all working nicely, but the machine was half apart... so I screwed it all back together.

Floppy Drive Issues

Once back together, the drive refused to read. Taking it apart bit-by-bit, it started reading again once the drive shell was off... but this wasn't reliable either...


Gosh-darn... it's time to dig further into this drive... It seems I can wire in a PC drive.. but first I'll open the whole unit up again and give it a proper clean. It felt like it was having issues understanding that the disk was in the drive... I'll start there and determine what sensors are used and if they're functioning correctly... but that's all in the new year!

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  1. Were you able to finally resolve the issue?

    • Alex,
      What I’d managed to determine was that the floppy actually needed downward pressure on it to read. It seems that the lower read-head in the drive wasn’t making contact with the disk.
      Springs may have been a factor, as per the Amstrad I’d worked on… but I found that a paddle-pop stick stuck in the side holding the disk down made it work 90% of the time.
      Hope this helps…

  2. Hello. I can’t remove the unit disk. I have removed the screws, but it seems attached to the back side.


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