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Preserving Floppy Disks

21 Sep 2023 9:48 AM | Anonymous

Here is an interesting article written by: Bryan Cockfield and published in the Hackaday web site:

Time is almost up for magnetic storage from the 80s and 90s. Various physical limitations in storage methods from this era are conspiring to slowly degrade the data stored on things like tape, floppy disks, and hard disk drives, and after several decades data may not be recoverable anymore. It’s always worth trying to back it up, though, especially if you have something on your hands like critical evidence or court records on a nearly 50-year-old floppy disk last written to in 1993 using a DEC PDP-11.

This project all started when an investigation unit in Maryland approached the Bloop Museum with a request to use their antique computer resources to decode the information on a 5.25″ floppy disk. Even finding a floppy disk drive of this size is a difficult task, but this was further compounded not just by the age of the disk but that the data wasn’t encoded in the expected format. Using a GreaseWeazle controlled by a Raspberry Pi, they generated an audio file from the data on the disk to capture all available data, and then used that to work backwards to get to the usable information.

You can read more at:


  • 22 Sep 2023 7:40 AM | Anonymous
    Dick, you often talk of going paperless as the only way to go forward in this world - perhaps this article is telling you (and others) that may not be the totally best solution if you want some things to survive for your future descendants. After all, only one person may get access to your digital world, I believe there is a place for both digital and paper records.
    Link  •  Reply
    • 22 Sep 2023 7:44 PM | Anonymous
      I used a company called Retro Floppy to digitize my 3.5 disks. They did a great job recovering PC and Apple 30 year old files.
      Link  •  Reply

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