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View Full Version : moldy diskettes - how do I clean 'em?



hargle
January 27th, 2011, 12:15 PM
I picked up a copy of "Big Blue Disk Magazine" issues #4 and 5 from ebay a few months back. I finally got around to attempting to read the contents off the 360k disks last night. When I opened the plastic cases the disks were stored in, it smelled like these 2 boxes had been stored in the bottom of a swamp for the past decade. A nasty moldy smell filled the entire room.

I did manage to pull all the data off issue #5's disks, but the 2 disks of issue #4 aren't readable at all. While I can't actually see anything on the disks themselves, the 2 disks sound like sandpaper when they are spun up.

So, question #1 is: Does anyone happen to have big blue disk #4 that I can get from you? That would be a lot easier than #2:

Question #2 is, what can I do to clean these disks? Can I rip open the sleeve and dump 'em in soapy water, clean them off and try them in new sleeves? What solution do you suggest I use?

glitch
January 27th, 2011, 12:26 PM
I've had success with taking the media out, washing it in mild soapy water, and drying with /cool/ air from a blowdryer. I've got a Verbatim 5.25" head cleaning kit which includes a 5.25" jacket that you put cleaning pads in -- it works great for placing raw media into as well.

hargle
January 27th, 2011, 12:45 PM
Thanks for the tips!
Any particular methodolgy for washing? Like CDs, working in straight lines from the center out? Just fingers or with a sponge?

mbbrutman
January 27th, 2011, 12:56 PM
I've used a similar technique. Mild dish soap worked well.

If you don't have a cleaning kit to use to hold the bare media you can sacrifice a diskette that has developed bad sectors. You can usually carefully open them, remove their existing media, and replace it with the media you are trying to save.

There is very little wiping to be done. I would be careful not to scratch or soak in water that is too warm.

Mike

Chuck(G)
January 27th, 2011, 01:34 PM
I gave away a couple of issues of BBD last year. I don't recall which forum member got 'em, but I can look--or you can search the archives.

Lorne
January 27th, 2011, 07:35 PM
I gave away a couple of issues of BBD last year. I don't recall which forum member got 'em, but I can look--or you can search the archives.

Wasn't it me?
Didn't you image them first?
If not, I can - at least the images can't get moldy.

I just went and checked - you gave me #8 & #11.

Chuck(G)
January 27th, 2011, 07:43 PM
Okay, thanks for jogging my memory.