Apple Disk II Floppy Disk Subsystem Teardown and Optical Drive Conversion
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Background and Identification
The Apple Disk II Floppy Disk Subsystem is a floppy disk drive designed by Steve Wozniak and manufactured by Apple Computer, Inc. This disk drive is compatible with 5 1/4-inch floppy disks. It was first sold in June 1978 for a pre-order price of USD $495. Later, the Apple Disk II was sold for USD $595 including a controller card and cable. The controller card can control up to two floppy disk drives.
The Disk II Floppy Disk Subsystem was designed for use with the Apple II personal computer family. The floppy disk drive replaced cassette tape storage for personal computers. The Disk II is not compatible with any Macintosh computer without an Apple IIe Card. Using the floppy disk subsystem without the IIe Card can damage the drive or the controller card.
Over the Apple II series’ lifetime, Apple produced six variants of the 5 1/4-inch Disk II concept including the Disk II, Disk III, DuoDisk, Disk IIc, UniDisk 5.25”, and Apple 5.25 Drive. Each of these disk drives uses the same low-level disk format and be interchangeable using simple adapters.
Apple Disk II Floppy Disk Subsystems include the name “disk II” printed in bold white font in the lower left-hand corner of the device’s front panel. The front face is often black while the rest of the drive’s body is a beige or cream color.