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A:\ drive issues


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#1
Big Yeller

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Alright... I have an old 1.44 mb floppy with some family tree info on it. To my knowledge it is the only copy on a computer disk. When I put the floppy in the A:\ , Windows Xp home asks me if I want to format the disk because it is not formatted.

Now I know it is old but is there any way to get info off the disk aside from trying to find someone who is stuck in the stoneage with an old 486 computer that works off of DOS?

Or is it problems with my drive? Seeing as how we don't really use the small floppies for anything anymore.

I also have another disk that has address and phone numbers on it, and I believe that the file is an office 2003 file. I had the same problem come up with that.
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#2
Kemasa

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If you can't read any floppies on the drive, then most likely it is the drive, not the floppy. You should be able to read the floppy on any system with a floppy drive, it need not be running DOS or be an old machine.

You could also try reading the floppy on another machine, if you can find one with a floppy drive (perhaps a library).
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#3
fleamailman

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agreed, since it's floppies as opposed to a floppy it is probably the drive but my advice anyway is not to store stuff of floppies and to transfer as quickly as possible the data stored because unlike CDs or harddrive floppies only last a few years before their data is lost, something to do with their magnetism becoming weaker over time
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#4
Neil Jones

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Floppies, if well looked after will last quite a long time. They don't like being bashed about, left in pockets, sat on, having their metal strip removed, left next to magnetic sources, left in direct sunlight or being generally abused.

From the Wiki:

One of the chief usability problems of the floppy disk is its vulnerability. Even inside a closed plastic housing, the disk medium is still highly sensitive to dust, condensation and temperature extremes. As with any magnetic storage, it is also vulnerable to magnetic fields. Blank floppies have usually been distributed with an extensive set of warnings, cautioning the user not to expose it to conditions which can endanger it.

Users damaging floppy disks (or their contents) were once a staple of "stupid user" folklore among computer technicians. These stories poked fun at users who stapled floppies to papers, made faxes or photocopies of them when asked to "copy a disk", or stored floppies by holding them with a magnet to a file cabinet. The flexible 5¼-inch disk could also (folklorically) be abused by rolling it into a typewriter to type a label, or by removing the disk medium from the plastic enclosure used to store it safely.


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#5
cmw2010

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Floppies will also fail on a moments notice. I have used this program very successfully Bad Copy, to retrieve data from floppy disks. I had probably 20 floppies from a print shop and flower store with old tee shirt designs on them. Probably 15 out of 20 did the same thing as yours, claimed to need formatted. Bad Copy retrieved almost every one and I then burned them to Cd. They have a demo so it is worth a shot.
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#6
Big Yeller

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I thank you for the help. Apparently there is nothing on the disk as far as data. I am leaning more toward the fact of the floppy drive is bad. The bad copy program is great, so thanks for that.
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