Peripheral Products


Storage Selection:

Name: 9895A Disc Drive
Product Number: 9895A
Introduced: 1980
Division: Greeley
Original Price: $5830
Catalog Reference: 1981, page 647
Donated by: Monash University.


The 9895A was a modular, dual eight-inch floppy disc drive with an HP-IB interface. It was developed and initially manufactured by HP's Corvallis Division before moving to the newly created Greeley Division in 1980. The 9895A accepted DS/DD discs, each with a storage capacity of 1.1MB. The storage capacity of the eight inch DS/DD discs was only marginally exceeded by the 1.44MB capacity of the 3.5 inch floppy discs still in use today.

The 9895A used the AMIGO command set. The 8-inch drive mechanisms in the 9895A were made by Magnetic Peripherals, Inc of Oklahoma City, a subsidiary of Control Data Corporation.

In September of 1983, manufacturing of the 9895A was transferred from Greeley to HP's Guadalajara Division.

The 9895A was obsoleted in May of 1986.

You can use your PC's hard drive (with an HP-IB board installed) to emulate this drive with vintage HP computers.

Collector's Notes:

The 9895 disc drive is a very robust product. These machines are bulky and make a loud clunking sound when engaging a disc. These machines are very reliable, and many non-working models can be made to work. Until 2012, all five units at the museum worked. The most common problems with these drives are mechanical, usually due to extensive use or to transportation. We once received a unit where both HDAs were askew on their rails, ejection mechanisms were disconnected and missing top rail springs. We just reconnected the ejection mechanisms, reseated the HDAs and replaced the missing springs and the old boy came to life. The read write heads apparantly have a long life. If you get one of these drives from a country with a different AC power point, it's easy to remember to change the fuses and reposition the voltage switches. But, don't forget to adjust the drive belt drive wheel for your local Hz rating (explained in the service manual). Between 2012 and 2014, three of the ten drive mechanisms in our five units failed. The failures occurred on the small PCB that controls the drive mechanism. The main drive controllers and power supplies all function as normal. Interestingly, these drive have a 600uF metalized paper capacitor between the on/off switch and the power supply. In most other products, capacitors of this type and age will fail and "smoke out". All five of the capacitors in our drives are still intact!

The 9895A was probably the most connectable mass storage device ever made by HP. It could be used with the 9825, 9835/45, HP 1000, HP 3000, 250/260/300, 80 Series, 120/125, 500 Series, 200 Series and 300 Series. Because if its broad connectability, the 9895A is very useful for data migration purposes, particularly for older computers.

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