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Thread: Whats The Best Windows 10 Software For Scanning Floppy Disks For Errors

  1. #1

    Default Whats The Best Windows 10 Software For Scanning Floppy Disks For Errors

    I've purchased a job-lot of 100 1.44MB floppy disks and when writing disk images to them some have failed, others have been fine.

    I have a USB Floppy Disk Drive I'm connecting to my Windows 10 laptop - what's the best/most accurate software to use to scan the floppy disks for errors? I hope to scan them all in one go and throw away any ones that fail and put the ones that pass in a disk box ready for use as and when I need them so I dont waste time with possible faulty ones.
    My personal blog: www.retrocomputing.co.uk

  2. #2
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    Any software is pretty much irrelevant, as the USB floppy drive has its own firmware, much like a SCSI drive. So basically, format a drive and read every sector on it is about as much as can be accomplished.

  3. #3

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    Your best bet is to use a real floppy drive with DOS. Anything else can be somewhat, if not largely, unreliable. This might cause you to toss good disks or even save faulty ones.
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

  4. #4

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    Thanks for the replies I'll use one of my DOS laptops then - how do I read every sector on the disk, is there a DOS command I've forgotten about or a Utility I need to get hold of?
    My personal blog: www.retrocomputing.co.uk

  5. #5

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    I use Norton Disk Test (DT) from Norton Utilities Advanced Edition version 4.50 as I have for the last thirty years or so.
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stone View Post
    I use Norton Disk Test (DT) from Norton Utilities Advanced Edition version 4.50 as I have for the last thirty years or so.
    Blimey! I remember using Norton Utilities DiskEdit to repair faults on hard disk drives when I was at School - I can't believe the amount of things I've forgotten and are having to re-remember.
    My personal blog: www.retrocomputing.co.uk

  7. #7
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    If you really want to write test every magnetic bit on a disk, the SuperCard Pro has a media test. I wish there were a similar tool for the Kryoflux.

    At any rate, on a normal DOS computer (including Windows 95 and 98 in DOS mode), I'd think just preforming an "unconditional" format and looking for errors would usually be sufficient if there is no data you want to keep on the disks. Third party disk formatters like FormatQM or NFormat will be a lot friendlier than the default DOS formatter though.

    USB floppy drives are garbage.

    For read testing DOS formatted floppy disks, I also vote for Norton Disk Test (dt.exe) from Norton Utilities 4.5.

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    There are lots of tools to verify and format disks in DOS. I have my own preferences, but Norton isn't the be-all/end-all. If you're using Linux/Unix dd if=/dev/fd0 of=/dev/null will do it.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    I have my own preferences, but Norton isn't the be-all/end-all.
    It most certainly is if you you want ease, simplicity and reliable results but don't care to delve into that cryptic Unix stuff.
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

  10. #10
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    I've had mixed results with some nos disks I've held onto. I would create a boot disk on a Win10 laptop, with a USB floppy, often get errors. Well in one instance the disk still booted my Wang, and I was able to dump the contents of other disks to still yet other nos floppies. I didn't lose anything, that I know of. Only a handful of disks so far. My luck won't hold out forever though. My advice is to get a gotek, or multiples. Even if you could scan a disk, what's to say it won't fail shortly thereafter?

    With old disks with content, pay careful attention. DO NOT EVER do a directory search or anything like that. Simply insert the disk and IMAGE it. Sometimes you only get one shot and that's the truth. Subsequently the disk may be unreadable. A very good imaging program is ImageDisk by Dave Dunfield. Or you can go the Catweasel/Kryoflux/CopyIIPC route.

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