Re: Extracting files off “unknown” 8 inch disks. Any thoughts…

allison allisonportable at
Fri May 5 10:13:39 CDT 2017

On 05/04/2017 07:01 PM, Rich Alderson via cctalk wrote:
> From: Terry Stewart
> Sent: Thursday, May 04, 2017 2:41 PM
>> Just tying up some unfinished business.  Right at the beginning of this
>> thread I said...
>>> Guys in the building next door to me (a Science lab) have found some 8 inch
>>> floppy disks.  They want to see what’s on them, or at least to archive them.
>>> They have no idea what machine these disks were used with, or the software
>>> was used to write the files.  They may be CP/M, or some other format
>>> entirely.
>> It turns out these disks are from a VAX machine. Assuming the OS is VMS, I
>> scoured the Internet for something that might read them.
> Stop there.
> 8" floppies on a VAX are more likely to be an RT-11 file system for the front
> end PDP-11/03 than anything else you can think of.
> The rest is left as an exercise for the reader.
Not absolutely true!   THe boot system is a PDP-11, however the VAX can
have a Unibus or QBUS (depending on flavor) where a RX02 controller can
plug in.

The likely file system is FILES-11.  But can be "othter", especially if
its a unix machine.

>                                                                 Rich
> Rich Alderson
> Vintage Computing Sr. Systems Engineer
> Living Computers: Museum + Labs
> 2245 1st Avenue S
> Seattle, WA 98134
> mailto:RichA at

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