Need to tfr Win98 data to Win7/64 computer

March 8, 2013 at 19:40:45
Specs: Windows 7
I need to transfer some Autocad dwg files that are on 3-1/2" floppies probably formatted with Win98 to a Win7/64 computer. I am using an external 3-1/2" USB drive to read them.

All systems are working fine, but the Win7/64 computer can't read the Win98 floppies. It asks if I want to format the floppy.

Can anyone help me get the files off these disks?

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March 8, 2013 at 20:23:16
The floppy drive could be bad, the floppy disks could be bad or it could a missing media descriptor byte. Here's some info on that:

One of the solutions there is to reformat the disk. Of course you don't want to do that since you'd lose the data on it. The workaround is to use a disk editor to write the MDB to the disk. There's a DEBUG script here that should do it too:

Or you could use a win98 machine and copy the older disks to newer-formatted disks or to cd and then copy them to the win7 computer.

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March 9, 2013 at 16:56:23
Thank you DAVE/in caps!!
The floppy drive is new and I don't know how good the disks are yet.
But reading about the script reminded me that I've got an old barely running Dell with XP on it. I'm going to run the script on the Dell and try to read the files on it.

I'll report back with an update later.

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March 16, 2013 at 07:09:58
Debug script didn't work on either XP or Win7 machine.
But I've got a line on an old Win2000 machine that should be able to read 98 files.

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Related Solutions

March 16, 2013 at 13:36:04
If it is the media descriptor byte (instead of the disks just being bad) I don't think 2000 will work either. I think you'll need 98 or below to read a disk without the mdb. (The MS article says 98 also requires the mdb but I don't think that's true. If you format a disk in 98 it will set a mdb but it's not required for 98 to be able to read a disk.) But if you get the 2000 machine go ahead and try it. It may work out.

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March 16, 2013 at 17:21:06
I'll let you know.

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March 20, 2013 at 17:18:22
Just a note of bad news, having the same problem on old CNC machines: turns out it is BAD sector on even primo old floppies: the damn things are just getting too old, bettter use a hex editor to save what you can...uggg

That is to say I bought a brand new box of 100 premiumgrade floppy disks and everyother one of them is bad on the first few sectors: it's just age.

Hell, I am even seeing it on old CD's!


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March 20, 2013 at 19:26:36
It's hard to believe they're all bad. Even about half of the used floppy disks I pick from the bottom of the goodwill bins are good. Maybe you've got a bad floppy drive?

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March 21, 2013 at 06:58:49
I only have five floppies that have data I need to recover. If they are bad, windows doesn't note that other than to say they are not formatted, and asks me if I want to format them. I may sacrifice one and try to (re)format it to see if it's the media itself that has failed.

But for now I'm searching for a used Win98 machine that I can try to read them with.

"Hex editor" sounds too much like "hemorrhoid" for me

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March 21, 2013 at 10:14:51
Do NOT allow windows to format that floppy as it won't do any good what so ever. I suggest you read the floppies in true DOS mode only. Windows always does this with floppies as it doesn't really support the media. There will be nothing found to be wrong with any of the disks in true DOS mode. Don't even let win98 try to read them, boot to true DOS mode, read the floppy disks there and/or image them, then move the files to a hard drive where you can zip them and get them off the 98 system via USB drive or some such.

My Atari still reads it's 30 year old floppies just like it was yesterday, don't know why anybody else should have different mileage. Old ain't enough to ruin them it seems. I'll read your floppies and/or image them for you on my networked 98 box, email you the results as an attachment if you like. Or send your floppies back with an enclosed USB drive loaded with files and images. lee_454ATyahoofigure it out. Don't forget to use a subject line that doesn't mention my huge wang, breasts, or full pouty lips. I'm supposed to be able to pick you out of the spam after all. Atari guys are doing this all time since most have sold off their outfits but just did come across some source code on a handful of floppies that they really wanted to look at one more time and maybe assemble and run on a PC emulator. No charge until we hit floppy number 20.


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March 21, 2013 at 23:02:30
You don't necessarily have to find a working windows 98 computer--just any computer (with a good floppy drive) that you can install 98 on.

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