Questions tagged [floppy-disk]

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

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15
votes
4answers
5k views

Where can I find an external 8-inch floppy disk drive?

Where can I find an external 8-inch floppy disk drive? I have some data I would like to retrieve from a really old 8-inch (200 mm) floppy disk, but have no working computer than has a drive to read ...
11
votes
4answers
705 views

How to build a workstation to handle bulk quantities of floppy disks?

I need to handle bulk quantities of floppy disks, where I archive their contents, then recycle them by formatting them for use on old Amiga/Atari/MS-DOS computers. I have a 3.5" floppy disk drive ...
3
votes
1answer
167 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 ...
19
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3answers
4k views

Wanted: 5.25" floppy to USB adapter

I have found inexpensive (~$15) 3.5in floppy to USB adapter cables but have been unable to find a similar adapter for 5.25 floppy drives. Does anybody make such a thing? Are the pinouts of a 3.5 the ...
12
votes
8answers
5k 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'...
5
votes
3answers
452 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 ...
23
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4answers
4k views

Can my floppy disk still work without a shutter spring?

One of my floppy disks' shutter spring got lost. Now the shutter can't slide normally. Can I still use the floppy disk?
6
votes
1answer
372 views

How-to destroy sensitive data on floppies?

What was considered the best practice, or "military-grade" procedure, for protecting secrets stored on floppy disks when disposing of the old disks?
10
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4answers
804 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 ...
22
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6answers
6k views

Why was the shrinking from 8″ made only to 5.25″ and not smaller (4″ or less)?

Answers and comments to Why were 5.25" floppy drives cheaper than 8"? suggest some reasons why floppy disks moved from 8" to 5.25"; basically it seems the smaller size reduced engineering ...
9
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5answers
596 views

Drilling 720Kb floppies to 'upgrade' them to 1440Kb?

I remember back then, there were few people that used to drill an extra hole on them to double their capacity. Surprisingly, it worked! While the other way around is plausible I am quite unsure of ...
2
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2answers
784 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 ...
7
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2answers
2k views

Repairing/Lubing/Fixing Amiga 500 floppy drive

I have acquired an Amiga 500 that seems fully functional, but the floppy disk drive seems to have mechanical issues. I could get it to read a few floppy disks until the last one wouldn't pop out when ...
5
votes
2answers
334 views

Is there a program I can run on the C64 to speed up booting of a game?

Though I had several friends back in the day with a Commodore 64, I only recently acquired one after a friend gave me his old one before he moved house. As such, I'm diving in to learning about the ...
10
votes
2answers
740 views

Replacing the Floppy drives in my Amiga 3000

My Amiga 3000 is starting to show its age, and recently one of the two internall floppy disk drives appears to have given up the ghost... I'd like to replace the drive but the A3000 case doesn't have ...
9
votes
1answer
450 views

HxC floppy emulator on Amiga 1200, second virtual drive disappears after reboot

I've recently purchased a HxC/Lotharek SD Card floppy drive emulator. It's working well replacing DF0: but I'm seeing some odd behaviour with its emulation of DF1:. On the first boot after power-up, ...
4
votes
6answers
3k views

Were any external disk drives stacked vertically?

There was a time when floppy disk drives were big, expensive devices that in many cases, instead of being components of a computer, would be separate machines connected by a cable, in some cases with ...
21
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5answers
5k 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
4k views

Why did 3.5" floppies win (and not another size)?

It's an open question whether desktops would've kept using 5.25" until the end of the floppy era, but laptops meant something smaller was going to be introduced; that much was essentially ...
12
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7answers
1k 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 ...
24
votes
2answers
4k views

Why were 5.25“ floppy drives cheaper than 8”?

The first floppy disks were eight inches. This size was set by IBM; I haven't been able to find any indication of why they chose it, but maybe it was just because it seemed quite small to them ...
3
votes
3answers
300 views

Gotek drives for MS-DOS (plus few more constraints)

I have installed two gotek device instead of two old unworking floppy disk drives (in particular on an Olivetti PCS 86). And the result is something like this: (The one on the right should the the A:...
18
votes
1answer
3k views

Did 5.25" floppies undergo a change in magnetic coating?

3.5" floppy disks, in the transition from 720K to 1.44M, changed the actual coating to a different compound that was magnetically 'stiffer'. This was necessary to support the higher density, but meant ...
23
votes
4answers
2k views

What were the differences in floppy disk formats between Amiga and IBM/PC compatible computers?

The capacity in Amiga Old File System format (OFS, OS version 1.x) was 840KB, with the Fast File System ("FFS" (!)) introduced for OS 2.x onwards able to store 880KB. The PC format stored 720KB on the ...
4
votes
3answers
246 views

What was the DOS FAT12 720k floppy raw disk format structure?

I am looking for detailed info on the low-level floppy disk structure of an MSDOS-compatible 720k Double Sided Double Density disk. Stuff like GAP/SYNC patterns, ID and CRC Field structure, standard ...
9
votes
4answers
788 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Recovering old Commodore 5.25" floppy disks

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 (been through about 100, I can see the files of 2 or 3 disks, ...
11
votes
8answers
2k 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 were less common sizes such as 250 kB, 800 kB, ...
2
votes
1answer
229 views

How to read old 3.5" Macintosh formatted floppies on a MacBookPro

I have connected a USB external floppy drive to my Macbook Pro (OSX El Capitan). I am unable to "view" the external drive, and hence unable to access the floppy content. I have inserted a floppy, ...
48
votes
20answers
12k views

Did personal computers ever support 8" floppies?

When I look at the following picture, it seems a bit awkward to me that personal computers ever supported 8" floppies (unless the size of your computer case was as big as a fridge !): Am I right or ...
19
votes
7answers
4k views

Why not constant linear velocity floppies?

The outer tracks of a disk are longer than the inner tracks, and could therefore potentially hold more data. Constant angular velocity puts the same number of bits on every track, which wastes much of ...
6
votes
4answers
648 views

Amiga floppy disks and GCR vs MFM

According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Group_coded_recording the Commodore 1541 disk drive used a particularly efficient GCR encoding scheme to cram 170K onto the same 5.25" disks that in an Apple ...
22
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2answers
2k views

Cleaning 5¼" floppy drives

Going to the store is treacherous for me. So I prefer doing stuff at home, including cleaning up 5¼" floppy disks with only home supplies. Unfortunately, I do not know how or which materials/chemicals ...
6
votes
1answer
1k 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?
41
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
423 views

Can a Harlequin ZX Spectrum clone be modifed to run CP/M?

The ZX Spectrum (and therefore the Harlequin) has its ROM from $0000 to $3FFF, while RAM further up to $5AFF is used for the screen (see Memory-Map). As CP/M expects RAM from $0000 upwards the two are ...
33
votes
3answers
5k views

What modification is required from a PC floppy for use in Amiga?

Around the end of the time of Amiga popularity, obtaining a replacement Amiga floppy drive was a nuisance, while PC drives were ubiquitous and cheap. One could install a PC drive in Amiga after ...
5
votes
2answers
196 views

Tools for creating disk images on Mac Plus

I got BMOW's floppy emulator and have been pulling a bunch of files from 30 year old floppies (which have a miraculously low rate of failure) onto my SD card. One of the things I wanted to copy was a ...
9
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4answers
2k views

Purpose of two disk drives on the Osborne 1

I recently discovered the Osborne 1 computer, and I noticed it had two floppy disc drives. What was the purpose of including two drives?
12
votes
1answer
523 views

What did Microsoft customize on Windows 95 installation floppy disks?

I have a Windows 95 Upgrade 3.5" DMF installation disk set where several disks were infected by the boot sector virus known as "Chance.A". I'm interested in restoring these to their original contents. ...
8
votes
4answers
1k 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-...
5
votes
1answer
619 views

How to install System 7.5.5 on a Macintosh SE/30 using floppies?

I have a Macintosh SE/30 with a formatted Disk. I'd like to install the latest System 7 on it that will run. According to Wikipedia that should be 7.5.5. According to several sources Apple has made it ...
7
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
672 views

How can I use ImageDisk (.IMD) images with VirtualBox, WinImage, etc.?

I've got ImageDisk installed on my old 486, and I've been ripping some disks for archival purposes (some 3.5", some 5.25"). It spits out .IMD files, which contain some amount of header and metadata, ...
3
votes
2answers
88 views

FDD data dropouts after changing disks

I'm building a FDD controller out of a $10 microcontroller. It's mostly working pretty well, and I can read both 720kB and 1440kB PC MFM disks (the only ones I have to test with). However... if I ...
11
votes
3answers
905 views

Finding byte boundaries in floppy disk MFM bitstreams

I'm building myself a floppy disk interface based on a microcontroller. I'm successfully reading the bitstream off the disk and (probably) decoding the MFM bitstream into actual bits, based on the ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Weak bits on floppy for copy protection

How did the vendors using copy protection create weak bits on the floppies? This always fascinated me as a kid. I ended up finding a weak bit emulator that would intercept the floppy disk interrupt ...
9
votes
2answers
176 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
269 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. ...
33
votes
8answers
9k views

Why were floppy disks invented after hard disks?

For those of us who grew up with personal computers in the 1970's or 1980's, the experience was a very gradual migration from floppy disks to hard disks as the primary persistent storage. So, based on ...