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Thread: Cleaning Up an Original Software Box

  1. #1

    Default Cleaning Up an Original Software Box

    I recently purchased an old game (used) which came in the original box. It was the type with an outer sleeve which fits over a two part box (top and bottom). Everything about the item is great except for the inside of the bottom part of the box which is somewhat dirty/stained/mildew. I'd like to try to clean it up.

    Anyone have any suggestions on how to clean a paper/cardboard box?

    Thanks...Joe

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    I'd love to know how professionals clean/restore paper. It probably involves chemicals that are not available to mere mortals.

    Just from a bit of experimenting, I can tell you that both isopropyl alcohol and bleach will rip up the surface of paper, even if just dabbed on. Plain water doesn't do much other than wrinkle paper while it dries. Oddly the best results I have had involve soaking paper in 3% peroxide + sunlight just like whiting up plastic. Of course that still usually leaves the paper a bit wrinkled, you can tell it has been wet, but it has whitened up some yellowed pages.

  3. #3

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    I have used the peroxide + sunlight on plastic before. Tried it with a slot car body and let it stay for a day or so. Made the body brittle and now it is in pieces.

    Just a follow-up about this same item. The game (off the auction site) came with both 3.5" and 5.25" disks. When I tried to copy the files to the hard drive, all but one (out of five) of the disks failed. Some would not read at all (according to the manual the disks are not copy protected).

    I also saw the disks were unprotected which allowed them to be written (and some disks show a file with a date 2 years after all the others). The game was listed as untested so I cannot be too upset but I have asked if the seller would give a partial refund now that they know the disks are useless. The game was $10 and I was thinking a $2 refund would be a nice gesture because the box and manual have value, and that would mean the manual cost me about $4 (in addition to shipping).

    Yea or nay on my opinion? I will not leave negative feedback even if I do not get a refund, but nor can I give positive feedback.

  4. #4
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    If the seller stated that they made no warranty about the contents of the disks or stated "as is" then I don't believe it really right to ask for a refund.

    But if they were selling it as a working product with no disclaimers, then I don't see an real problem asking for a refund. Although $10 is still probably not a bad deal.

    It is simply a fact that many 5.25" disks on eBay weren't well stored, user mileage can vary, and poor readability is expected.

    Just a couple of thoughts thoughts:

    Did you inspect the surface of the disks? Did you try cleaning any visible dirty spots with a q-tip and water?

    If the 5.25" disks are 360k and you tried reading them in a 360k drive, then you might try a 1.2mb drive. If a previous user wrote to them with a 1.2mb drive, they would have problems being read in a 360k drive. Or if they are 360k and you only tried a 1.2mb drive, sometimes a genuine 360k drive will have better results.

    If the 5.25" disks are quality 1.2mb disks and show no signs of surface damage, sometimes just re-reading a large pile of times can help. I find WinImage handy for that as I can just hold down the key to make it keep retrying. (But stop if is sounds like things are getting torn up!) Trixter's "Disk2img" is designed specifically for fast retrying.

    Since the disks contained both a 3.5 and 5.25 version, and if it really is not copy protected, it might be possible to piece things together from both sources. (You did say all but one has some errors). I could take a look at the disk images if you want.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by SomeGuy View Post
    If the seller stated that they made no warranty about the contents of the disks or stated "as is" then I don't believe it really right to ask for a refund.

    But if they were selling it as a working product with no disclaimers, then I don't see an real problem asking for a refund. Although $10 is still probably not a bad deal.
    The seller did state "untested" but I thought I would ask if he/she would offer a slight refund since the disks turned out to be bad. Turns out the seller did send a $2 refund as I asked and that allows me to leave positive feedback without hesitation. Obviously it wasn't the $2 which was the issue, it was the type of feedback (if any) I was going to leave. If the seller came through with a refund, then I would leave positive feedback. If not, I probably would leave none because negative would be wrong and neutral would ruin someone's 100% record.

    I will try some of the things to get the disks read and maybe check on a fellow member to see if they have copies of the disks. I have to see if I can even test the density of the 5.25" disks. I tried reading them on a 1.2mb drive and can try a 360k drive if I can free one up. I also though about piecing it together but on some of the disks (if I remember correctly), other than reading the directory I don't think I could get further than that

    Thanks...Joe
    Last edited by Grandcheapskate; July 3rd, 2019 at 10:49 AM.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by SomeGuy View Post

    If the 5.25" disks are 360k and you tried reading them in a 360k drive, then you might try a 1.2mb drive. If a previous user wrote to them with a 1.2mb drive, they would have problems being read in a 360k drive. Or if they are 360k and you only tried a 1.2mb drive, sometimes a genuine 360k drive will have better results.

    If the 5.25" disks are quality 1.2mb disks and show no signs of surface damage, sometimes just re-reading a large pile of times can help. I find WinImage handy for that as I can just hold down the key to make it keep retrying. (But stop if is sounds like things are getting torn up!) Trixter's "Disk2img" is designed specifically for fast retrying.

    Since the disks contained both a 3.5 and 5.25 version, and if it really is not copy protected, it might be possible to piece things together from both sources. (You did say all but one has some errors). I could take a look at the disk images if you want.
    I was able to do a DIR on the two 3.5" disks and one of the 5.25" disks - the other two 5.25" disks are completely unreadable. I cannot copy all the files off any of them.

    Looks like the 3.5" disks are 720k while the 5.25" disks are 360k. I have a couple 360k drives (which I purchased new) sitting on the sidelines but I have no 720k 3.5 drives. So when I have the chance to hook the 360k drives into a machine I can see if the 5.25" disks can be read.

    Based on the fact there is one file with a date 2 years after all the others leads me to believe the original owner wrote on these disks and perhaps that is where the damage occured.

    Thanks...Joe

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grandcheapskate View Post
    Looks like the 3.5" disks are 720k while the 5.25" disks are 360k. I have a couple 360k drives (which I purchased new) sitting on the sidelines but I have no 720k 3.5 drives.
    A 1.44M 3.5" drive will read 720k disks just fine.
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

  8. #8
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    Most popular DOS games' files can be found easily with a web search.
    Offering a bounty for:
    - The software "Overhead Express" (doesn't have to be original, can be a copy)
    - A working Sanyo MBC-775, Olivetti M24, or Logabax 1600
    - Music Construction Set, IBM Music Feature edition (has red sticker on front stating IBM Music Feature)

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