A Conversation for 3.5 Inch Floppy Disk Maintenance

Some of my favourite floppy disk stories

Post 1


No idea whether any of these are actually true, or just Urban Myths:

1. Another Compaq technician received a call from a man complaining that the system wouldn't read word processing files from his old diskettes. After trouble-shooting for magnets and heat failed to diagnose the problem, it was found that the customer labelled the diskettes then rolled them into the typewriter to type the labels.

2. Another AST customer was asked to send a copy of her defective diskettes. A few days later a letter arrived from the customer along with Xeroxed copies of the floppies.

3. A Dell technician advised his customer to put his troubled floppy back in the drive and close the door. The customer asked the tech to hold on, and was heard putting the phone down, getting up and crossing the room to close the door to his room.

And my all time favourite:

4. A customer phoned the support line and said that his new computer wouldn't read the floppies from his old computer. Both computers were from the same manufacturer, so they should be compatible. After eliminating all the obvious things, the technician concluded they would have to honour the on-site support contract. An engineer visited the customer. He spent an hour or so dismantling the PC and testing the floppy drive, and was on the point of replacing it when he asked to see one of the disks in question. The customer proudly produced an old 5.25" floppy which he had carefully cut down to 3.5". He had even created a sliding flap out of some of the redundant material - all in all, a perfect replica of a 3.5" diskette!

Some of my favourite floppy disk stories

Post 2

Jimi X

What about the idiot who used a magnet to stick a floppy to the refrigerator door so he'd remember to take it to work in the morning? And no, it wasn't me!! smiley - winkeye

- X

3.5" floppies are evil

Post 3


Why is it that when you are transporting a large file, "zip"ed or "rar"ed onto multiple disks, even disks which allowed you to write the file onto them will fail when you try to read it back again? And why is it always disk 6?

3.5" floppies are evil

Post 4



Perhaps this could be avoided by numbering your disks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7? Or would the disks wise up to what you were doing?


3.5" floppies are evil

Post 5


I've had a number of disks jettison their metal shutters whilst inside the drive (causing all sorts of interesting grinding noises); it's always good fun rooting around inside the drive with a pair of tweezers.

I've also seen people try to insert floppy disks into Zip drives; they make some rather spectacular noises as well smiley - winkeye

3.5" floppies are evil

Post 6

I Am Iron Man

I've had that netal flap problem many a time. The simplest thing to do, I find, is if it becomes bent such that it catches on removal from the drive (but not so much that it comes off) is to rip the thign off there and then, hence saving yourself all that tweeszer work.

I've only had two disks corrupt on me, miraculously, but they were both the diskson which I stored the car encyclopaedia I was working on. I'd done about 60 pages in publisher, with some pictures as well, when one of the disks screwed up, and the after about a month the other one did too. I wonder if it was feeling sad after losing its brother.

Although a mate of mine had an interesting problem with one of his floppys. It claimed to have a capacity of about three gig. Unfortunately he couldn't store anything on it.

3.5" floppies are evil

Post 7


I have just brought a box of Verbatim disks and on the box it honest-to-god states that it each disk has 2.0MB unformatted capacity. And then on teh sides it state that they come formatted.

Go figure

3.5" floppies are evil

Post 8


Given that all 3.5" floppies are now owned by the devil and merely leased out to poor unsuspecting folk, they would undoubtedly wise up to what you were doing. Even if not, this would undoubtedly cause anybody you gave them to to phone you up in the middle of the night and say "where's disk 6?" At this point, when you explained why you were doing this, people would start to give you funny looks.

Ah, the joys of CD-R. Pity I haven't got one.

3.5" floppies are evil

Post 9

Santragenius V

Some distant friends of mine once were doing their final exam report stuff. Careful guys they were and kept two separate floppy copies of the material.

One day, at the institute, the PC they used had a drive that just had a bad day and ruined disk 1.

"Phew, good thinking to have two", they said to each other....

...and proceeded to put it into the same drive.....

Sad, isn't it?


3.5" floppies are evil

Post 10

..// seawolf //..

Yep. This also happens with hard drives:
2.0MB unformatted. Yup.
1.38MB formatted. Yup.
This is because of the filesystem being horrible and stealing some of the space for it's filing (e.g. file alocation table, other nice-nesses).

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