Replacement/repair VersaBay II Floppy Drive FD1238H

Hi there!

I recently got an NEC Versa 4000 laptop. The floppy drive (FD1238H) in it is very flakey, and it often won't read its own formatted disks. I have tried cleaning the heads with a bit of rubbing alcohol, but it made no difference. Very occasionally it would read, but most of the time it would just give a drive failure error. Both the heads and the motor are moving, which I double-checked by inserting a floppy to see if the spindle had turned, as well as manually winding out the heads and then after a power cycle, I opened it back up to find they were back in the home position.

Unfortunately, this is not a standard floppy drive (at least, not that I know of). It sits inside a caddy which has a proprietary connector on the back. In order to interface to that connector, it uses a flat flex cable, making this floppy drive probably unique to this series of machine (although I would be very happy to be proven wrong on that).

It's also possible to get hard drives, batteries and CD-ROMs for that bay (and I occasionally see them on eBay, but they are asking insane prices). Just wondering if anyone knows more about these drives. I am pretty certain it is the same drives that were used on the NEC 6000 series (as it was also branded VersaBay II) and possibly the NEC 2000 series, though it may be the VersaBay I.

Here is a gallery of photos of the drive itself:

The product number, which is used in NEC documentation is 134-506793-056-0. It seems most of the parts for this machine and era start with 134. Any information about these drives (if they are rebadged drives from a different manufacturer, for example, or other products they were used in) would be greatly appreciated!


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