Questions tagged [floppy-disk]

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

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50
votes
20answers
14k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

Copying disk images to Commodore 64 floppy disks

For some time now I have been on a mission to get back into playing games on a Commodore 64. I have bought an original Commodore 64C. I got hold of a original 1541 disk drive. I also got hold of a ...
35
votes
8answers
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
637 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. ...
3
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2answers
2k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
463 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 ...
14
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8answers
4k 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, ...
9
votes
4answers
2k 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
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3answers
1k 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
8k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
305 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 ?
4
votes
1answer
209 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
2k 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?
7
votes
3answers
4k 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, ...
10
votes
3answers
840 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 ...
19
votes
9answers
14k 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'...
16
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
12
votes
6answers
4k views

Is there a device that connects to a USB port and acts like a normal PC floppy drive?

I'm aware there are floppy emulators that are installed to 3.5″ bays where disk images are stored on a flash drive. But what I need now is the opposite: essentially a USB dongle that emulates the ...
2
votes
4answers
994 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?
7
votes
2answers
514 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?
32
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12answers
12k 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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
999 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 ...
50
votes
9answers
20k 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 ...
12
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7answers
3k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
986 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
324 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....
28
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
1k 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-...
10
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2answers
1k 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:\>...
11
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3answers
2k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
24
votes
5answers
7k 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
459 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, ...
11
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4answers
1k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
630 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
724 views

How could a 16-sector PROM Apple II access a 13-sector disk?

When the Disk ][ first came out for the Apple II, the PROMs on the interface card only knew how to work with a 13-sector format. Around 1980, the Disk ][ was updated with 16-sector PROMs either for ...
41
votes
3answers
7k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
482 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 ...
17
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3answers
2k 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 ...
18
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
10
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3answers
1k 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, ...
6
votes
2answers
960 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
21
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
29
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2answers
4k 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, ...
12
votes
2answers
2k 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
2answers
256 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
452 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 ...