Why do good floppy disks go bad?
elson at pico-systems.com
Wed Apr 6 20:07:09 CDT 2016
On 04/06/2016 10:20 AM, Swift Griggs wrote:
>> When left in an unprotected state, or a poor environment, damp, mold and
>> dust can damage the surface, either degrading the magnetic layer or
>> causing the gap to shrink enough that the drive head physically damages
>> the disk?
Gap? There IS no gap on a standard floppy. The head
contacts the media surface.
(Bernoulli drives did have a gap, and spun at a much higher
But, on most single-sided floppies, there was a felt pad
that pressed the media against the head.
The only gap might be when the head load solenoid is
de-energized, the pad retracts and the media pulls away from
the surface. That was used on the old drives with AC motors
that spun the disk all the time.
Most double-sided drives pinched the media between the two
heads, and the DC motor shut off when there was no
reading/writing for a while.
> I'll go way off the rails and say that I beleive it's mostly due to
> oxidization of the ferromagnetic particles on the floppy itself. I've also
> heard smarter people than me claim that some floppies used "binders" for the
> particles on the disk which are attractive to some forms of mold.
All floppies and magnetic tapes have some kind of binder to
hold the oxide to the backing, and it does deteriorate over
time. Ozone and other air pollution probably makes it go
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