View Full Version : Data Transfer with nothing more with 360k Floppies

March 30th, 2006, 10:18 PM
All right. The Compaq Portable II that I just bought is showing signs that the hard disk is going to fail. The drive has some information left over from the previous owner. I would like to preserve that data for...things. If I were to back up this data using the single 360k floppy drive, I'd go nuts. All of the 5 1/4" disks I have are over 15 years old, and not very reliable. Instead of searching around the net for a box or two, I was thinking about using a null modem. Connect the serial port on my main desktop to the one on the Compaq through a null modem. Then, I would be able to transfer the data that way, right? Yes, it would be slow, but it wouldn't be constantly swapping and formatting disks.

March 30th, 2006, 10:46 PM
PM me if you need a couple of NOS blanks.
Your idea is sound, but the age of the portable II, and bit issues, and old dos version can be a problem.
First thing though, what is the HDD you have doing to make you think it is going to die?
MFM's dont readily die. Plus, how much stuff do you want to back up? The whole drive, or a few certain files?

Terry Yager
March 30th, 2006, 10:49 PM
Slow, but still a helluva lot faster than sneaker-net.


March 30th, 2006, 10:53 PM
For a one-time transfer I'd use FastPCLinker for dos. It works in all versions of dos, or so they claim, and will run in a dos window up to win98. I couldn't get it to work with the nt-kernel, though. But 98 for sure. It uses the parallel port so it's faster than a serial port and it's shareware.

/edit I have the windows version and it worked great between win98se and win3.1.

March 30th, 2006, 11:15 PM
Its a 20MB drive, half full. I was thinking it was going because I keep getting "sector not found" errors when its reading the C drive

March 30th, 2006, 11:22 PM
ah, I see, time for a low lev format, but yeah, you're going to have to transfer, I like the idea of parallel port transfer.

Terry Yager
March 31st, 2006, 12:13 AM
Interlnk/intersvr comes bundled with every version of DOS from 5.0 on up. I've always found it quite servicable and simple to use, in both serial and parallel modes. (Serial is considerably slower, but has the capability to install remotely to a client machine, which can be very useful at times).The pinouts for the necessary cabling are included in the help files.


March 31st, 2006, 12:54 AM
Well, as of right now, it only has MS-DOS 3.2. Will a DOS 5 boot disk be enough?

April 1st, 2006, 12:20 PM
I used to use LapLink which is capable of handling data transfers via parallel or serial ports. It works well under various versions of DOS. You ran it on both systems and had control of the opposite machine from the one. It handled wild card transfers retaining the directory structures. You could even transfer the LapLink application itself via the serial port.

April 1st, 2006, 12:42 PM
If worse comes to worse, I have 100+ 5/25 floppies all over the place. Let me know if you need any.


I also have this stupid LanTastic set that uses parallel ports. Have every thing to use it and its in mint, (I never used it) condition. I'm never going to use it. If you want that, thats fine too.

Micom 2000
April 1st, 2006, 11:28 PM
Its a 20MB drive, half full. I was thinking it was going because I keep getting "sector not found" errors when its reading the C drive

See if you can get an old MFM "Disk Manager" program which will mark bad sectors. That would extend the life of the HDD. There are also some other old HD utilities.
"Spinrite" comes to mind.


April 5th, 2006, 07:37 PM
I agree with a lot of what was already said. I have the same Compaq, and I had the same kind of problem. I fixed it with Spinrite program using level 2. I would try that first, and Norton Utilities v 5.