How to access files of 3.5 floppy disk

June 22, 2020 at 11:00:44
Specs: Windows 8.1
Have old floppy disks (some with IRS Tax Returns) and want to clean them off before disposing of the floppy disks. Have bought an external floppy disk drive (A drive) but cannot get it to read the contents of the floppies. I want to delete the files before pitching the disks.

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#1
June 22, 2020 at 11:09:59
Could be the floppies are already bad. Unless stored in near-pristine conditions, floppies have a high failure-rate. Best to see if you can get known good ones to work or fail before blaming the drive.

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."

message edited by T-R-A


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#2
June 22, 2020 at 11:34:29
Just break it open, take out the disc & & cut it up with a pair of scissors.

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#3
June 24, 2020 at 15:16:40
How are you attempting to view the files? Try looking for the drive in Computer. You should hear a sound when connecting the USB cable from the drive. If you don't, try a different USB port. Inserting a floppy disk should activate the drive but not necessarily show the files. In Computer click on the A drive to view the files.

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#4
June 24, 2020 at 21:12:47
A big hammer, or a good fire... (same goes for hard drives.) Entropy is easy, we(humans) are very good at it.

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#5
June 24, 2020 at 22:29:57
> You should hear a sound when connecting the USB cable from the drive.

Do you mean the Windows chime indicating that a USB device has
been connected, or the sound of the floppy drive engaging the disk?

Should hear both, I think.

I'm seriously thinking of buying a (hopefully) new Sony floppy drive
that is the identical model to the one I used to save stuff on ten years
ago. (Not twenty or thirty. I have lots of disks from then, though, too.)
I can put it in the Dell desktop I "found". Way more expensive now
than it was in 2009.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#6
June 26, 2020 at 07:39:27
You don't need to buy another drive. Floppy drive heads were problematic back in the day. The brand had nothing to do with it. i suspect you are not looking for the files in the correct manner. The path is to the A drive first, then if the files are not accessible they may be corrupt. i never used Windows 8 so I am not sure if the path is My Computer or simply Computer.

FYI, after reading your original post, I pulled out a used USB floppy drive that I inherited and never used before. Grabbed a random disk that was probably made 20 years ago. I was able to read the files. There is a lock on 3.5" floppies that prevents you from over writing them. Look at the upper rear corner for the lock.


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#7
June 26, 2020 at 10:49:49
You weren't conflating me with the original poster, were you?
I have problems reading floppies with my relatively new external
drive, but not necessarily the same problems as the O.P. But in
both cases, the problem is reading them. I suppose that even
my newish drive could have a problem with dust on the heads.
Floppy drive cleaners are becoming hard to find, too.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#8
June 28, 2020 at 04:05:05
Most of my old floppy disks are stored elsewhere, but I have
15 of them here, and I just looked at them again with the newish
drive. (About 2 years old, I think, but I'd have to look up exactly
when I got it...) Turns out, this time around, only two of them
were unreadable. Two that I had marked as unreadable when
I first got the USB drive were readable this time, and I was able
to extract the contents to the hard drive with no problems at all.

So I probably won't bother with the Sony internal drive.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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