Broken floppy disks
cclist at sydex.com
Sun Aug 19 09:59:40 CDT 2007
On 19 Aug 2007 at 15:31, Ade Vickers asked:
> .... are 3.5" 1.44MB floppies just inherently useless?
Once written, 3.5" DSHD floppies seem to retain their information
well enough; they just don't like being rewritten. Degaussing
sometimes helps temporarily reclaim a floppy for another use.
If you search the list archives, you've heard me rant on this
subject. The short answer is "pretty much". I've been able to
recycle a number of bad 1.44MB by covering over the density-indicator
aperture and using them as 720K. But even that doesn't work on all
On the other hand, the failure rate of 720K DS2D diskettes is
substantially lower than that of DSHD.
If you place the floppy on a tabletop so that the exposed hub faces
down, they make decent coasters on which to place drinks. I suppose
one could use the disks to shim up a leg on a wobbly table. Like old
CDs, I'm always looking for new uses for 3.5" floppies.
For what it's worth, I've had the same experience as you with 5.25"
floppies--they tend to hold onto data better. Last week, I got a
conversion job in where a number of 5.25" DSHD diskettes were
mistakenly written 20 years ago in a Kaypro 10. I had a bad feeling
in my gut about that--5.25 HD media differs considerably in its
magnetic characteristics from 2D media. Yet I encountered only a
single read error--and that was in a backup file. Out of the 300
diskettes on that job so far, I've yet to encounter another
unrecoverable error--and many of the diskettes have obviously been
recycled from other uses.
8" floppies tend to be even more tenacious than 5.25". I routinely
process media that was written more than 30 years ago without
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