Questions tagged [floppy-disk]

Use, restoration and imaging of floppy disks; low-level formats of floppy media. Consider [file-system] for high-level formatting.

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10 votes
2 answers
917 views

When did the floppy disk icon become the standard symbol for the “save” function in user interfaces?

The floppy disk icon is a widely recognized symbol in user interfaces, typically representing the “save” function. Screenshot depicting a floppy disk as "save" icon When did the floppy disk ...
-2 votes
0 answers
78 views

What is the Origin of the "Floppy Disk" Save Icon? [duplicate]

“The ‘floppy disk’ icon has become a universal symbol for the save function in numerous software applications. I’m curious to know about its beginnings. What is the Origin of the "Floppy Disk&...
4 votes
0 answers
95 views

Seeking information regarding how/when Commodore would refurbish a disk drive

I recently added a Commodore 1581 3.5" floppy disk drive to my collection. Being interested in the history of my new toy, I wondered what I might learn from it's serial number. After some ...
0 votes
4 answers
538 views

I need to find a controller card for an Apple II 5.25 inch floppy drive, the 20 pin connector wont work on the 34 pin controller card I have

I can't find any adapters or secondary connectors, can anybody get me a link to a working floppy controller card that works or possibly a connector that goes from 20 pin male to 34 pin female? I have ...
5 votes
1 answer
335 views

How to use dd command to write a PC booter floppy image to a USB flash drive?

I have some PC booter images from new homebrew games by this Japanese developer: http://inufuto.web.fc2.com/8bit/ As I know, those images have a 360k size, and are self-bootable by the old IBM PC (...
12 votes
7 answers
4k views

Did any games or other programs combine disk formats on one side of a disk?

On a typical floppy-based system, the act of reading a sector consists of the following steps: Moving the head to the appropriate track. Waiting until a certain "start of sector header" ...
5 votes
1 answer
170 views

How Can Apple II DOS 3.3 Floppy Disks be Restored after Formatting with INIT?

I have files on around 50 5.25" floppy disks. Most are in the Apple II (or ][ Plus), DOS 3.3 formats. I have the Apple ][+ with 64K RAM (48K on MBd plus 16K on the Language Card in Slot 0), and ...
8 votes
2 answers
783 views

What's the timeline of Commodore diskette drives?

Commodore produced a number of different floppy diskette drive units, both 8" and 5.25", over the course of its history. Can someone provide a chronological list of the drives, their release dates, ...
8 votes
1 answer
716 views

Why would a 720k (DSQD/96tpi) 5.25" floppy disk be read as 360k?

I'm backing up some old floppy disks, some of which are Double Side Quad Density 96tpi Soft-Sectored disks, which I understand to have capacities of 720KB. When I read the disks (in a 1.2MB drive) ...
8 votes
3 answers
5k 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, ...
7 votes
2 answers
3k views

How does 2M for DOS (2 MB formatted floppy disks) achieve what it does?

This is the program and technique in question: https://dbpedia.org/page/2M_(DOS) Also described here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2M_(DOS) And here is the unintelligible explanation from the website:...
11 votes
3 answers
2k views

Is side 0 on the top or bottom of a floppy disk?

Assuming a 3.5" or 5.25" diskette placed on a surface with its label side facing upwards, which side of the magnetic disc within does head #0 of the drive reside on?
6 votes
6 answers
2k views

When was the end of the floppy-only IBM PC clone?

Can we pinpoint in what year the number of IBM-compatible PCs (whether original IBM machines or clones) sold without a hard disk drive became so negligible that almost all new commercial software, ...
3 votes
2 answers
468 views

Apple IIc making grinding sounds when accessing disks beyond normal clicks

I'm looking for resources and/or advice. What problems with a IIc could be causing either the internal or external drive to make this horrible grinding sound? It's different than the usual startup ...
2 votes
3 answers
809 views

How to determine the required RPM for a 3.5-inch floppy disk?

In addition to my other related question Is it possible to read floppy disks at non-standard rotation speeds (RPM)?. How to determine the required RPM for a 3.5-inch floppy disk as disks can ...
14 votes
2 answers
557 views

Did any software use "deleted data" floppy sectors?

The standard IBM System 34 floppy format supports two different types of sectors, "data" and "deleted data". In the sector header, data sectors are marked by an FB byte (Data Mark ...
8 votes
4 answers
815 views

How to read copy protected Apple II floppies / NIB images

I've got a game on Apple II 140k 5,25" floppy that does not exist in the archives yet. I would like to read it into an image. But ADTpro just shows read errors on all sectors in spite always ...
16 votes
5 answers
3k views

Did the original Macintosh not have any MIDI or similar music capabilities?

The original version of Shadowgate for the Macintosh is an eerie experience after you have played the NES version, with its amazing soundtrack. The Mac version is entirely mute, save for some random ...
15 votes
3 answers
9k views

Windows 95 installation floppy images are larger than 1440 KiB. How can I fit their contents on standard floppies?

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 install ...
1 vote
0 answers
227 views

Install Windows NT 4.0 with floppy disks [duplicate]

Not that long ago, I got this 3.5 inch floppy disk drive, and I would like to install Windows NT 4.0 on a computer with the floppy disks. So, how can I get all 3 floppy .img files, onto the floppy ...
9 votes
1 answer
228 views

What is the VTOC format for an AppleDOS disk with more than 50 tracks?

I am trying to read files of an AppleDOS 3.3 disk. The documentation I've found, both from Inside AppleDOS and also from Archiveteams' website (which I believe was taken from Inside AppleDOS): http://...
11 votes
3 answers
1k views

How can I boot or extract files from an IBM PS/1 with a DoubleSpace-compressed hard drive?

I’m trying to boot an old IBM PS/1, mostly with the intention to read out its hard disk. I realized quickly that the original floppy disk drive was broken, so I replaced it with a Gotek floppy ...
9 votes
2 answers
2k views

How to backup/dump Atari 520st floppy disks on modern hardware

I know the real answer is to download cracked games but from the era before internet got afordable, I have a lot of community games which never reached the Internet and that I would like to rescue as ...
10 votes
2 answers
2k views

Install a DOS application consisting of 5 .IMG files (when expanded) on Windows 10 running DOSBox-X [closed]

I downloaded a copy of DataEase 4.5 database. Once I expanded the download, it had five .IMG files representing the original five 3.5" floppy disks. I wish to install the software so it can run ...
13 votes
1 answer
2k views

Did RapidLok etc knock floppy drives out of alignment?

From https://www.filfre.net/2016/01/a-pirates-life-for-me-part-3-case-studies-in-copy-protection/ But balanced against the one great advantage of RapidLok for the legitimate user was at least one ...
6 votes
1 answer
287 views

What is the "Special Cleaning Mechanism" in some Sony HD Floppy Disks?

I recently bought a pack of Sony IBM formatted high density floppy disks, the same pictured below. There's a "Special Cleaning Mechanism" logo displayed on the box, and the only information ...
8 votes
2 answers
3k views

Can the Gotek floppy emulator be made to work with classic Macs?

The Gotek floppy emulators are really popular in the retro scene. I have one modified (firmware update) to work with my Amiga 500. Can one be made to work with any of the classic line of Macintosh ...
10 votes
3 answers
2k views

Are there any open-source C64 DOS wedges and fast loaders?

The ever-so-popular EPYX Fast Load cartridge for the Commodore 64 included a DOS wedge (adding commands such as $ to list the files on a disk, /filename to load a file and @ to show the disk error ...
10 votes
3 answers
1k views

What is the maximum allowable error when aligning the magnetic heads of a floppy drive?

Today, I realigned the transplanted heads of a floppy drive by hand, and it felt like a herculean thing to do; as well as an experience I hope to never repeat. Now that I'm finished, I want to ...
7 votes
3 answers
4k views

Dimension of a 3.5-inch floppy disk

Can anyone tell what are the dimensions and/or volume for a 3.5-inch floppy disk? I am doing a presentation and want to make a visual on how many floppy disks are required to save 200 GB (73662 floppy ...
5 votes
0 answers
822 views

What was the last 5.25-inch floppy disk drive manufactured?

Assuming that no manufacturer of removable-media disk-drives is still manufacturing disk-drives for 5¼-inch floppy disks - what was the last drive model manufactured / sold and who was the ...
36 votes
8 answers
10k 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 ...
12 votes
2 answers
2k views

What physical size and density floppies are the intermediate-capacity options for the /F switch of the DOS/Windows/OS/2 FORMAT command meant for?

In MS-DOS 5.0 and newer, PC-DOS 5.0 and newer, Windows 9x, Windows NT 3.1–2000, and OS/2 4.x, the FORMAT command (present in some form or another in literally every single version of Q/86-/MS-/PC-DOS, ...
14 votes
4 answers
2k views

Is my opened floppy disk useless now?

I was wondering if floppy disks are ruined if, say, a 3 year old rips them apart... I had important pictures of my 12 year old son on a floppy disk. I was doing some spring cleaning and came across ...
10 votes
2 answers
3k views

Is there any hardware that lets me use floppy drives with low level formatting capability on a modern pc? [duplicate]

There's a bunch of usb floppy drives out there but it's clear they're quite limited. I want the ability to low level format my disks. Is there any usb/pci/anything adapter that can interface with ...
16 votes
4 answers
5k views

Is there any way today to recover/dump 2M disks?

2M disks where formatted using 2MGUI to increase 3"1/2 & 5"1/4 DD/HD/ED disks' capacity. Is there any way today to recover/dump these disks to a file with modern hardware? Specially the 5"1/4 ...
34 votes
3 answers
3k views

Why did connecting the IBM PC 3.5" FDD backwards cause the problems it did?

When the 3.5" FDD was introduced for the IBM PC and compatibles (or possibly earlier), someone made a decision to make the data cable between the controller and drive unkeyed. This, of course, meant ...
37 votes
9 answers
9k views

How long can a floppy disk spin for before wearing out?

I'm mainly interested in 3.5" floppies here, as they're what I have lying around, but other sizes could also be interesting to hear about if anyone has the data. As I understand it, the head rubs ...
34 votes
2 answers
5k views

What are the three or four holes on the back of a 3.5inch floppy disk indicating and used for?

Why do 3.5 inch floppy disks have sometimes three and others four holes on the backside? What's the difference, what do this holes indicate and what are these used for?
2 votes
2 answers
282 views

How do I save data from a program with CC65 [closed]

I wanted to have a calculator program be able to save a set of answers on a floppy disk or tape but I have no idea what I should do. I am aware that the "cbm.h" library can be used to load ...
25 votes
4 answers
5k views

Did something like floppy disk jukeboxes for home computers exist in the 70s or 80s? Would that have been a feasible concept?

Many home computers in the 1970s and 1980s had two floppy disk drives, or owners bought a second drive, to reduce having to play disk jockey. A second drive was especially popular with Commodore Amiga ...
14 votes
6 answers
3k views

Was drilling 3"5 720 KiB floppies to 'upgrade' them to 1440 KiB at all reliable?

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 the ...
1 vote
0 answers
87 views

Can a floppy disk be formatted in another size for (read-only) backwards compatibility? [duplicate]

Is it possible to format a 3.5″ floppy disk in another size? For example an original 1440 KiB floppy as a 720 KiB or 360 KiB disk thats (at least read-only) compatible with 720 KiB or 360 KiB drives? ...
26 votes
4 answers
5k 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 ...
4 votes
1 answer
443 views

Are the ACTUAL DISKETTES different for 360KB Single, or Double sided? 1.2M? [duplicate]

I have lots of old IBM 5.25" diskettes. I have 360 kB "Single sided", 360KB "Double Sided" and 1.2 MB diskette drives. Are the diskettes THEMSELVES different for use in these ...
11 votes
2 answers
3k views

What is the (standardized) weight of a 3.5 inch floppy disk?

What is the weight of a 3.5 inch floppy disk and was the weight ever standardized?
18 votes
1 answer
2k views

Can you use 5.25 HD floppy disks in a DD drive?

Is is possible to format and use 5.25 high density disks in a double density drive?
8 votes
3 answers
667 views

Reading data of floppies from a ZX Spectrum Swift Disc

Back in the day when we had a Sixword Ltd. Swift Disc floppy-drive we were ahead of the game on our speccy, allowing us to use 3.5inch floppy disks. See: https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/swift-...
9 votes
0 answers
146 views

On the TRS-80 models I and III when is the directory track number written in the third byte of sector zero, and when in the second byte?

Earlier I had found that many but not all TRS-80 Model I and Model III disks begin with the three bytes 00h FEh 11h. This is the beginning of the boot sector where the CPU interprets it as a NOP ...
20 votes
4 answers
3k views

Can powering on/off a 1541 damage a disk left inside?

The User's Guide for the Commodore 1541 disk drive includes a vague warning, on page 7, to "remember to always remove the diskette before the drive is turned off or on". Some third-party ...

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