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Thread: disk dumping

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Principality of Xeon
    Blog Entries

    Default disk dumping

    I was up until 5am. Why does this nonsense take so long? Alright I didn't start until 1 but whatever. I have a group of floppies I had to rescue from oblivion. Really the only vintage machine I have, that works, is a Wang PC382 386. In many ways ideal for the job as it has high density 3.5" and 5.25" drives. Issue 1, it's in pieces and scattered all over the property, literally. Got it all together, and running! I could dump the contents of 5.25" disks onto no HD 3.5"s, and read them onto my Lenovo with a USB drive. That's where the real trouble started, although most of the work was completed. I don't know if it's windows 10, I guess it has to be, but it's sees every subsequent floppy you put in the drive as the first. And to really put a cluster on your brain, it seemingly wrote THAT directory to a different disk, totally throwing me into the Twilight Zone. I ain't lying. I had to redo a couple of disks, which thankfully read a second time due to this screwed up behavior. Now I have the contents of those 2 disks dumped onto separate previously untouched floppies, wondering if I'll be able to read off their contents. Please help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    New Jersey, USA


    Yeah, I don't trust Windows not to write to a disk I'm trying to read. For floppies the simplest solution is to use the write-protect feature (assuming your floppy drive actually honors this).

    I usually use a Unix system to do raw sector dumps of disks I want to preserve, using the "dd" utility. I trust Unix not to write to a disk gratuitously. And when using 'raw' devices I know that every read will be satisfied directly from the drive (no block caching).

  3. #3


    Not sure to fully understand your problem, you say is the Lenovo machine that wrongly reads the disks or the Wang failing to write?. I've used W10 with USB drives and all kind of supported formats and never found a problem like that...
    If it's the Wang, that sounds like a screwed DC signal. I would try to check if the DiskChange floppy sensor (are both drives showing that weird behaviour?) is a mechanical switch and is dirty or simply the floppy stores too much dust inside


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