Finally, Death of the 3.5 inch floppy disk - Page 2

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Re: Finally, Death of the 3.5 inch floppy disk


On Apr 27, 2:07A0%pm, John Tserkezis
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Stocking a lot is unlikely to help. Not so long ago I did a final
transfer
of data I had on floppies from the early 90-s. They were all readable
and
in good health (some were even from the late 80-s), I moved them to
images on newer media (HDD, which I currently backup on DVDs) all
right.

But when I tried to write to some of them they all failed miserably,
even the newest ones. Non-formattable, complete scrap. And some of
them had been written just once or twice, so my guess is that even
unused new disks will age and become unusable within max. 10 years.
As if the brownish magnetic stuff they are covered with dries and
hardens
over the years and the tiny magnets inside remain stuck forever :-).

Dimiter

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Dimiter Popoff               Transgalactic Instruments

http://www.tgi-sci.com
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Re: Finally, Death of the 3.5 inch floppy disk



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 Now that you mention it, my experience mimics that too.  Long term
storage appears to be very much pot luck, but much longer than what I
would have though reasonable for floppy media.

 Writes on the other hand, pretty much all long term age disks proved
failure prone in this regard.

Re: Finally, Death of the 3.5 inch floppy disk


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The audio recording guys deal with this on a regular basis. Old tapes
come in for remix/remaster and the oxide layer is in danger of
shedding. So the tapes are baked at a moderate temperature to allow
the binders to hold the oxide on the tape for one last pass through a
tape deck.

-a

Re: Finally, Death of the 3.5 inch floppy disk



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I have some disks from 1993 that are still readable. I have some from later
that are gibberish, reformat did not help them come back to life. Guess it
depends on the manufacturer.



Re: Finally, Death of the 3.5 inch floppy disk



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You can *sometimes* revive old diskettes with media level tools like
SpinRite ... but diskettes gradually lose their magnetic media (the
head touches them) so it depends on how much has been lost.  Even if
the diskette appears unreadable to the OS, IME you can usually recover
most of the data from it.

George

Re: Finally, Death of the 3.5 inch floppy disk



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Spinrite a name not heard in years. My copy with an eye patch dissappeared
many moons ago in a land far away.



Re: Finally, Death of the 3.5 inch floppy disk


On Apr 27, 9:07A0%pm, John Tserkezis
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Good grief, and here I was thinking Microsoft _finally_ got around to
fixing that.  (I mean, cripes... at least look at a flaming CD
fellas?!)

I think USB could be difficult due to the fact that the initial loader
(in the case of Windows XP and earlier) started in DOS, loaded the
drivers into RAM then kickstarted the NT kernel from there, but one
would have thought that on modern systems, the BIOS should still at
least allow some access to USB drives.  And clearly CD-ROMs are
accessible as it loads the rest of the drivers that way.

Never the less, this is just one of many countless examples where
floppies are still needed.  I guess the general public never have to
face the dilemma of getting drivers into a new computer, and thus the
floppy drive is seen as a needless relic of the past.

Re: Finally, Death of the 3.5 inch floppy disk


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That can create problems in the truly general case. Think about
it: you are loading drivers for an HBA and want to get them from
a CD-ROM, potentially attached to that very same HBA...

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That would seem the most natural PC way of doing things.  I'm not
really familiar with the Windows boot process anymore but there
has to be _some_ point early on where the BIOS is still readily
accessible and kernel modules can easily be loaded.  

Of course the most elegant way would be to place basic get-you-home
drivers on the device itself.  Sun managed this twenty years ago
with their OpenPROM system, and that didn't even depend on the CPU
since they were written in architecture-independent Forth.  However
that probably requires the kind of centralised planning and
authoritative "this is the way it is going to be done" assertion
that is difficult to enforce for commodity x86 hardware.  The only
time I can see you doing it is with a new bus standard: if e.g.
PCIe had demanded it manufacturers would have little wriggle room.

--
Andrew Smallshaw
snipped-for-privacy@sdf.lonestar.org

Re: Finally, Death of the 3.5 inch floppy disk


Andrew Smallshaw schreef:
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That was originally the intention with the IBM PC, e.g. the video card
has its own Flash or (EPROM in the old days). Unfortunately it works in
real mode only, and standardization for the software interfaces appears
to have stopped around 1988. The elderly among us probably still
remember Ralf Browns interrupt list.

Re: Finally, Death of the 3.5 inch floppy disk


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I still have it on my server. The windows version (help file) even. But
resent the word "elderly" :-)

Meindert



Re: Finally, Death of the 3.5 inch floppy disk



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OK geriatric




Re: Finally, Death of the 3.5 inch floppy disk



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Legacy



Re: Finally, Death of the 3.5 inch floppy disk


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There is a way to merge drivers ioto a windows install CD image, (
obviously this required writing a new CDR) AIUI microsoft calls it
"slipstream"

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I think ACPI is something like that.




Re: Finally, Death of the 3.5 inch floppy disk


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Interesting. What's decaying about them? I've got Fuji MF2HD from the
90's and they still work fine.

--
Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com /

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Re: Finally, Death of the 3.5 inch floppy disk



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The media does not have high enough coercivity to retain magnetic
alignment indefinitely - given enough time it loses orientation and
your data simply fades away.  
And unlike hard disks, diskette R/W heads actually touch the recording
surface and gradually wear away the media.

George

Re: Finally, Death of the 3.5 inch floppy disk



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Well... sorta. The magnetic layer is covered with a low-friction
protective layer.

So strictly speaking the heads do not touch the recording per se,
merely a coating over it :) But yes they are not flying heads.

Re: Finally, Death of the 3.5 inch floppy disk


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Hmm, I have disks dating back to 1990 and none of them has ever lost
data or caused read errors. But some posters said that they still can
have lost writeability. No idea why.

I did always make sure to never buy disks from dubious sources but
always the good stuff, name brands.


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Yes, and that wear is clearly visible. However, the typical disk is used
as file storage and only once in a while read back, and then only small
parts of it.

--
Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com /

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Re: Finally, Death of the 3.5 inch floppy disk




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I have an old HP logic analyzer that boots off of a floppy.


Re: Finally, Death of the 3.5 inch floppy disk


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AFAIK there's also plenty of scopes from Tek and others where that's the
only way to get screen shots over to your PC. Unless you bought the now
pretty much unobtanium GPIB interface for beaucoup $$$. But mostly I see
that with production machines. One floppy slot and absolutely zilch in
terms of other interfaces. CNC gear become almost useless without being
able to feed data into it.

--
Regards, Joerg

http://www.analogconsultants.com /

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Re: Finally, Death of the 3.5 inch floppy disk



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Many, maybe most, of them have an old-fashioned serial interface too,
for which people have cobbed together interfaces so that they can be
controlled from a central point. There are half a dozen, from several
different suppliers, in a college machine shop that I'm familiar with-
used for teaching CNC machining.


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