mersenneforum.org Њw long does da﬩a on floppy disks la≤⊦?
 Register FAQ Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

2020-12-03, 08:47   #2
xilman
Bamboozled!

"𒉺𒌌𒇷𒆷𒀭"
May 2003
Down not across

10,501 Posts

Quote:
Depends greatly on how they have been stored.

I have been able to read >90% of 15-20 year old 5.25" floppies (written circa 1988, read circa 2008) for a colleague who wanted access to old data. Not tried with 3.5" floppies. Perhaps I should give it a go. I still have a Slackware Linux distribution from about 1989 which was installed on a 386 box which itself is still in the attic.

2020-12-03, 08:53   #3
retina
Undefined

"The unspeakable one"
Jun 2006
My evil lair

2×34×37 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by xilman I still have a Slackware Linux distribution from about 1989 which was installed on a 386 box which itself is still in the attic.
Be interesting to see if the HDD is still working.

And the capacitors in the PSU might fail if they have dried out. They might be fine but just need some conditioning to bring them back to working condition. If it was me, I'd want to give them a good examination before powering it up.

 2020-12-03, 10:11 #4 M344587487     "Composite as Heck" Oct 2017 3·5·72 Posts I recently tested some Atari ST's with about 100 games on 3.5" floppies, mostly legit disks with the odd backup on a rewritable. Only a few failed to read. I've had more trouble with the disk drives than the floppies, out of 3 internal and 4 external drives only 1 internal worked and 2 external.
 2020-12-03, 12:01 #5 kriesel     "TF79LL86GIMPS96gpu17" Mar 2017 US midwest 113538 Posts Generally, when we notice data storage medium life is when it is not long enough. But it's way longer than floppies were originally designed for. The first floppies were intended for microcode uploading, more quickly and conveniently than tape, not long term storage. Like open reel tapes, keep them away from floor polishers and vacuum cleaners' external magnetic fields, temperature and humidity extremes, and sunlight. (Fires, floods, structural collapses, etc.) Last fiddled with by kriesel on 2020-12-03 at 12:05
2020-12-03, 15:27   #6
PhilF

Feb 2005

577 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by xilman Depends greatly on how they have been stored.
I have found it also greatly depends on the brand. If they are 3M, might as well throw them away.

But I have 100's of Sony floppy disks (both 720K and 1.44M) that can be read perfectly.

Last fiddled with by PhilF on 2020-12-03 at 15:28

 2020-12-03, 15:45 #7 Xyzzy     "Mike" Aug 2002 2×11×192 Posts Maybe a bit-for-bit "rewrite" every few years will "recharge" the data? For flash memory just reading every cell will "recharge" it.
 2020-12-03, 17:03 #8 storm5510 Random Account     Aug 2009 U.S.A. 32·199 Posts I have some from the late 1980's, and a USB floppy drive. It would be interesting to see if any are still readable. Edit: I tested about 15. All were readable. It is one thing to read the file table, but another to actually read the tracks. I don't have anything which will do that. The oldest one had files on it from 1995. Last fiddled with by storm5510 on 2020-12-03 at 17:34
 2020-12-03, 17:58 #9 Dr Sardonicus     Feb 2017 Nowhere 23×181 Posts I'll have to get out some of my old floppies and see what I can see. These are 3.5 inch floppies I bought in 1991. I know that sometime in the 1990's I copied a NASA image (TIFF file if memory serves) of "The Earth at Night" onto three floppies (it was more than 3MB, and those disks could only hold 1.4MB or so). Fast forward to around 2010. I wanted to put that pic on my new computer. I went to the NASA site, but that particular image had been taken down. I went for my floppies, which. I mused, were old enough to vote. I was able to reassemble the file from the pieces, no problem. I do recall some of the cheaper floppies, like those with promotional offers, didn't hold data very well. I heard lots of complaints from people who had tried to reuse them, and not long after reformatting and writing to them, found their files irretrievable due to data loss. In the early 2000's, I installed a text editor on a computer for a guy I knew. It was a true-blue IBM PC that was old enough to drink, running under DOS 1 or 2 (I think). Its only text editor was EDLIN. I needed a 5&1/4 inch floppy for that one. But I had to fiddle with it, because the computer was so old, its disk drive could only handle the wide tracks for a 360K capacity format. It couldn't read the narrower, closer-together tracks on the newer formats of 5 & 1/2 inch floppies. So I used a magnet to destroy all traces of the old tracks, and reformatted the disk with "retro" settings for the 360K format. Success! Last fiddled with by Dr Sardonicus on 2020-12-04 at 17:39 Reason: fignix sopty
 2020-12-03, 18:35 #10 kriesel     "TF79LL86GIMPS96gpu17" Mar 2017 US midwest 113538 Posts What's the most you ever paid for a floppy or a floppy drive? 1982, Computerland, box of 10 IBM label floppies $60. I think the oneIBM label 5.25" 320K full height floppy drive in the original IBM PC listed at$570. Now we can get whole systems for less. I got the 1-floppy configuration, and added a Tandon 5.25" full height for $300, so the DOS diskette could sit in one and programs and data in the other; big step forward from doing the floppy shuffle constantly. The standard track to track stepping time in DOS was 12 msec as I recall. Someone came out with a little program to modify that, and I tweaked it to 4 msec, which sped up access a lot and the drives sounded much happier. First hard drive was$449 for 20MB, years later, in the same system, by swapping out a full height floppy for a half height. It took a lot of floppies and time to back that up. https://devblogs.microsoft.com/oldne...1-00/?p=102946 Last fiddled with by kriesel on 2020-12-03 at 18:46
 2020-12-03, 19:06 #11 PhilF     Feb 2005 Colorado 10010000012 Posts My first computer was a 1978 Southwest Technical Products 6800 kit, with the only mass storage being to a cheap cassette tape recorder (that the end user had to provide), assuming you bought the fairly expensive cassette tape interface kit (I forget what that cost). Later a dual drive 5.25" floppy drive kit came out, including its own substantial case and power supply. I gladly paid the \$995.00 for it. Each floppy was single-sided and held 90K.

 Similar Threads Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post bgbeuning Software 1 2015-12-17 01:27 davar55 Lounge 60 2013-07-30 20:26 grandpascorpion Programming 7 2009-10-04 12:13 panic Hardware 9 2009-09-11 05:11 schickel Lounge 2 2009-02-22 12:31

All times are UTC. The time now is 22:55.

Mon Jan 18 22:55:22 UTC 2021 up 46 days, 19:06, 1 user, load averages: 2.16, 2.50, 2.45