Disc fault 18 woes

Yesterday, I received a Pace 5.25″ floppy drive for my Beeb. When I plugged it into my Beeb and tried to format a disk with *FORM80, I was greeted with the message:

“Disc fault 18 at :0 00/00″

I opened up the drive, and watched it in operation with the cover off. It looks like the disk is spinning, but it doesn’t seem to do much else.

I then tried another floppy drive that I had, an unbranded 5.25” floppy drive and was greeted with the same error. This drive made a rather concerning grinding noise when I tried to *CAT the disk.

The only common thing between the two floppy drives is that they are both powered by the Beeb’s auxiliary power port. I’m thinking that the drives might not be receiving enough power. The Pace drive uses a standard Molex power connector inside, so I’m going to try hooking up a PC power supply to the drive and seeing if it works when externally powered.

(Long-overdue) Update (May 13 2017): I believe the problem may be as simple as the heads on the drive are dirty. I am going to give them a clean and see what happens.