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For questions related to the use, restoration and imaging of floppy disks.

3
votes
0answers
67 views

Which DOS for a TRS-80 Model 4P?

Looking at the TRS-80 Disk Software Page, there's a rather extensive selection of DOS options that seem to work with the 4P and also claim high compatibility with the Tandy "TRSDOS" option. ...
1
vote
2answers
219 views

Commodore Amiga 600 Software Failure. “Error: 8000 0004 Task: 000026D0”

Software Failure on Commodore Amiga 600 when I insert a floppy in drive. Software Failure. Press left mouse button to continue. Error: 8000 0004 Task: 000026D0 Independent from the floppy I ...
3
votes
1answer
167 views

Using floppy disk interface on Future Domain TMC-1680 SCSI ISA card

I have this old card, a Future Domain TMC-1680 ISA SCSI card that has a 34-pin floppy disk connector on it. I am trying to research that to see if I can make it work (before anyone asks - just for the ...
6
votes
4answers
606 views

Why did common floppies never advance past 1.4 MB in size?

The chronology of some early floppy standards was: 80 kB, 160 kB, 360 kB, 720 kB, 1.2 MB, finally 1.44 MB. (There where less common sizes such as 250 kB, 800 kB,...
7
votes
2answers
461 views

Were external floppy drives for Atari ST and Amiga inter-compatible?

Were external floppy drives for Atari ST and Amiga inter-compatible? For example, Commodore 1541* had its own serial bus protocol. But what about the external 3.5" DD floppy disk drive on 23pins D-...
8
votes
3answers
830 views

How to spin up 1541 drive without C64

I have a 1541 drive and I want to make it spin but I don’t have a Commodore computer. I don’t need to read data, I would just like the drive to spin. Can I manually tell it to spin using a raspberry ...
12
votes
4answers
4k views

Installing Windows 95 by floppy?

Ok so I have an old laptop with only a floppy drive. It came with windows 95 on it but suffered from some terrible BSODs that I could not resolve. I figured I would just download some windows 95 ...
6
votes
3answers
320 views

Is my opened floppy disk useless now?

I was wondering if floppy disks are ruined if, say, a terror of a 3 year old rips them apart... I had important pictures on a floppy disk. I was doing some spring cleaning and came across it and ...
9
votes
2answers
238 views

Disk drive long storage, with or without disk inside?

I am asking myself what is the best when storing a 3.5 disk drive for a long time but still planning to use it in the future, what is the best: Store it with a disk inserted, or leave it empts ?
0
votes
1answer
102 views

My floppy drive in my IBM model 8525-001 doesn't seem to be working

I tried to put a floppy disk into my IBM model number "8525-001" and it doesn't seem to be processing it. The light below the floppy drive blinks yellow every once in a while (such as when I turn the ...
6
votes
1answer
186 views

Availability of 5.25" floppy emulators?

Emulators from Gotek or HxC support 3.5" floppies. However none seem to support 5.25" PC drives. Are there any alternatives out there?
2
votes
3answers
411 views

Recovering old commodore 5.25" floppy disks

I am noob to all of this, I am trying to relive my childhood. I picked up a commodore 64 with about 1,500 floppy disks. Many of them are de-magnetised and there is currently only one disk I can run (...
3
votes
2answers
163 views

Commodore VIC-20/64/128/16/Plus 4 floppy disk drive replacement

We all know that floppy disks are getting hard to find, and floppy drives are fragile to begin with (especially Commodore's 1541 drive). I know that several companies and parties have released floppy ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

Formatting a 720K floppy disk over USB fails with Windows 10

I've read many times that USB floppy drives will not format (or read/write) 720K disks. But then I read several posts online where people say they have done it. Even with Windows 10 (which is what I'...
12
votes
5answers
1k views

Adding the third floppy drive?

I've seen a few computers with more than two floppy drives, most with two 3.5" and one 5.25". My question is how was this achieved? I've heard that it could be done with a second controller card, but ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

USB floppy drive emulator, is there such a thing? and if so, where can I get one

I'm aware of the floppy emulators that are installed to 3.5" bays where "disks" are stored on a flash drive. But what I need now is the opposite - essentially a USB dongle that emulates the floppy ...
-1
votes
4answers
406 views

Can a HiFi speaker erase a floppy disk?

I played 20 minutes of music with a floppy disk directly in front of the speaker's subwoofer. No damaged sectors at all. Can a speaker actually erase a floppy disk? How close does it need to be?
2
votes
1answer
132 views

How does a HD floppy drive react to an ED disk?

If one inserts an ED disk into a floppy drive, which supports sizes only up to HD, how does it cope with ED?
28
votes
11answers
10k views

Dealing with oversized files decades ago? Data transfer in the age of floppy disks

I can imagine the following situation 20 to 40 years ago inside a working office between two colleagues: "Can I have a copy?" "Sure, wait a moment....done! [eject] I'll pass that floppy disk onto ...
-4
votes
2answers
347 views

How long can a HD floppy disk hold 2.88MB before erasing itself?

From Wikipedia - Floppy_disk: to format or write to this high-coercivity media, the high-density drive switched its heads into a mode using a stronger magnetic field. When these stronger fields ...
41
votes
9answers
14k views

Why were floppy drives not any faster?

180rpm to 360 rpm, unlike 12000rpm on optical discs, was how fast floppy disks got. I am not sure, whether all drives had the same speed, but 360rpm is not close to the physical stress limitations of ...
11
votes
6answers
873 views

How to at least partially read damaged sectors of floppy disk?

It is necessary, that the floppy drive, just like CD-ROM, attempts achieving 100% data integrity using the help of error correction. If a sector is not readable, it just does not get sent to the ...
4
votes
1answer
388 views

DD vs HD vs ED floppy disks: lifespan/writecycle difference? Other differences?

DD, HD and ED floppy disks have individual materials to match their densities. But is density their only difference? Are there any differences regarding: Maximum allowable rotation speed? Rewrite ...
2
votes
2answers
159 views

Do DD floppy disks need regular full reformats?

http://retrocomputing.stackexchange.com/a/5449?noredirect=1 Floppy Disks have tracks that can be destroyed by a magnet, which would cause it to need full reformats, as stated in the answer link above....
24
votes
3answers
3k views

Magnetic exposure to floppy disk damages file system and requires complete reformat?

What I noticed is, that formatting a floppy disk takes three times as much time for the same data amount as writing a file to the disk normally. The accoustically perceivable jumps of the head between ...
6
votes
2answers
805 views

Was there a special drive, that saved much more than 1.44MB on an HD floppy disk?

I think that I have once seen an Internet article, which stated, that special drives are capable of making many megabytes of data out of one ordinary MF-2HD floppy disk. But I am unable to find it ...
3
votes
3answers
700 views

Is there anything useful for a retro in these cheap Chinese floppy drives?

Looking on eBay for floppy drives, I came across these incredibly cheap Chinese 3.5" USB drives (there are lots of them on offer). https://www.ebay.com/itm/USB-1-1-2-0-Portable-External-3-5-1-44MB-...
6
votes
2answers
177 views

Why might I get “drive not ready” when formatting a floppy?

I have a 3.5" floppy drive in an IBM XT 286 (5162). I can boot DOS from the floppy just fine but when I try to run FORMAT, it always says that the disk drive is not ready. Specifically: A:\>...
8
votes
2answers
754 views

Why is the RDY signal on floppy disk drives disabled?

While look at some 3.5" floppy disk drives I have, I noticed they have a little resistor missing next to RDY and, looking it up online, I find some instructions for adding a resistor there to enable ...
4
votes
4answers
351 views

Does low-level formatting improve floppy disk longevity?

I have a dozen or so 3.5" floppy disks from the 90's and most of them show bad blocks when I scan them with badblocks. If I do a low-level format, where the sectors are laid down again, will that make ...
19
votes
5answers
4k views

What makes a floppy disk bootable?

A lot of web sites describe how to create a bootable floppy disk using an existing image (via dd). But what about the image makes it bootable? I'm interested in making my own bootable floppy images ...
1
vote
0answers
317 views

What computer (possibly a PC compatible) rendered a spinning floppy disk on the screen on a boot error?

I recall seeing an IBM PC compatible or similar system many years ago in a business environment that had a distinctive boot error screen. The system showed a spinning floppy disk on the screen, ...
10
votes
4answers
480 views

Looking for an easy to use Commodore 64 disk/sector editor

First, let me say I understand that 'recommendation style' questions can be very subjective, but I believe there is enough value in a few good beginner resource pointers that others could benefit from ...
7
votes
1answer
219 views

How can I tell if an Apple II disk image is bootable?

I have around 500 floppy disk images from an Apple II and IIgs BBS/usergroup that closed down recently. Some of the disks are bootable, but many aren't. Is there an easy way to tell if a disk boots ...
30
votes
2answers
5k views

What is between the sectors of floppy disks?

I've found this page which has an informative description of how sectors were encoded on floppy disks: http://nerdlypleasures.blogspot.com.au/2015/11/ibm-pc-floppy-disks-deeper-look-at-disk.html Do ...
5
votes
3answers
336 views

Can floppy disks have sectors laid out without being formatted?

Using the Amstrad CPC disk data format as an example, the sector IDs are C1, C6, C2, C7, C3, C8, C4, C9, C5. Is it possible to lay these IDs on a track without actually formatting each sector or does ...
13
votes
3answers
871 views

What were practical uses of SCSI floppy drives?

I've always been fascinated by the rarity and elitism of such devices. However, from a practical standpoint, I don't understand why such low transfer rate device ended up in a bus commonly used for ...
15
votes
1answer
929 views

Is it possible to adapt a standard PC floppy drive to work in an IBM PS/2?

I have three different IBM PS/2 machines and all of them are in perfect working order—except for the floppy drives. None of the floppy drives will read disks, which means all I can do is key in BASIC ...
9
votes
2answers
559 views

Transferring files between Commodore PET and IBM PC

Suppose you have two early eighties computers, a Commodore PET with 8050 disk drive and an IBM PC with its 5.25" disk drive. Is there a way to transfer files between them? Not machine code programs, ...
5
votes
2answers
439 views

Are floppy disks used for MS-DOS setup still needed after you install the operating system?

I currently only have 11 disks available. One of the disks is a reserve, so I will not use it unless I have to. That brings us down to 10 disks. Disk 0 - Blank, I will use this for the installation ...
11
votes
1answer
426 views

Using a 360k (DD 5.25") floppy with Windows XP?

My PC XT clone went up in smoke (literally) the other day. I salvaged the half height 5.25" double density floppy drive though and dropped it into an old 1.8 ghz AMD tower I had laying around. Plan ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there a better way to the 6 disks install of Windows 3.1

I want to install Windows 3.1 on my MS-DOS 6.22 Machine. I have the 6 disk images. But I only have 1 or 2 spare Floppy disk that I can write the disk images onto. One way I can think of is to write ...
23
votes
2answers
1k views

How did MS-DOS assign drive letters in the case of more than two floppy disk drives?

The IBM PC BIOS had provisions for up to four floppy disk drives, by virtue of returning the number of floppy disk drives in a two-bit field plus a none/some flag (allowing for reporting values of 0, ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Which Apple floppy drive is compatible on both Apple IIc and Macintosh

I have an old Apple IIc (not Plus) and an old Macintosh Plus (1MB RAM). I want to buy an external 3.5 inch floppy drive that works on both machines, that way I don't need two different drives around ...
9
votes
1answer
86 views

Apple II: ProDOS partitions on floppy disks?

On the Apple II using ProDOS, was it possible to create partitions on a floppy disk? Would it be possible to have two or more partitions on a 140k 5.25" or 800k 3.5" disk? (The question here is not ...
11
votes
2answers
266 views

What happens when a floppy track contains multiple sync words?

This question is specifically aimed to the Amiga hardware. Let's assume a floppy track is read via DMA using sync word to trigger the start. Let's also assume the track contains the sync word ...
2
votes
1answer
650 views

What systems used hard sectored floppy disks?

Which computer systems used hard sector indexing of floppy disks? Background: On 5 1/4" and 8" disks there is a hole punched into the disk used for optical timing to locate the start of sectors. ...
85
votes
16answers
19k views

Does “Disk Operating System” imply that there was a “non-disk” Operating System?

In the 1980's at primary school we saw MS DOS and DR DOS competing before Windows 3.1 and subsequent releases took over that space. At home we had Apple II's which booted up to a BASIC prompt. On ...
4
votes
0answers
104 views

Can a modern 1.44MB floppy drive work with an Amiga 2000? [duplicate]

Can an Amiga 2000 (or even A500) be made to easily work with modern 1.44 MB drives? Meaning, is it just a matter of pin mappings or are the drives just too incompatible? I realize there are other ...
11
votes
3answers
378 views

Building a floppy disk workstation to handle bulks

I need to handle bulks of floppy disks where I have to archive their contents and then recycle them by formatting them for use on old Amiga/Atari/MS-DOS computers. I currently have a 3.5" floppy disk ...