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Thread: Testing used floppy disks

  1. #1
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    Default Testing used floppy disks

    Recently I picked up a box full of 8 inch floppy disks. Mostly SSSD and DSSD, maybe 50 or so. I want to use them with my CP/M 2.2 machine that has two 8 inch single sided single density drives. My machine works just fine. In fact about 3 or 4 years ago I purchased a new box of 10 disks from ATHANA. Needed some more I called them and they do not handle them any more. Anyway, this box of used disks, I randomly selected a couple, They are mostly Dysan, 3M, IBM, some kind of elephant. The two I picked formatted and I installed a copy of Word Star 3.0 on each, both disks worked just fine. My question is, Is there an existing program that will completely and automatically check a floppy disk? I suppose I could write a program, but if there is one available, that would be easier. Thanks Mike.

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    When I've gotten a bunch of disks needing recycling, I've set up SyDupe to copy an image. Lets me do three at once.

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    Chuck, I copied Word Star to two disks and WS seemed to work fine, but that doesn't test each sector. What I'm thinking about is a program that writes a pattern to a sector and then verifies it. Then maybe writes a different pattern to the same sector prior to moving to the next. Mike

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    Sydupe formats and copies whole disk images and verifies them. Any other whole-disk format-and-copy program will do that (e.g. Diskcopy or the like). Without doing multiple passes over a track, that's about as good as you can get.

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    OK, where would I find 'SyDupe'? do you think that bit saver would have it? Mike

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    By the way, I have a copy if IMD which can write an image to a disk. I wonder whether or not it verifies after the copy. I'm have to investigate a little. Maybe I already have what I need. Thanks Mike

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    SyDupe was a commercial product, so no, not anywhere that you're likely to find it. The nice part is that it could write 3 drives at once and required no keyboard interaction. IMD can do what you need.

  8. #8

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    Can you put a DOS format on those 8" disks. If so, Norton Disk Doctor and Norton Disk Test from Norton Utilities 4.5 Advanced Edition is my go to and has been for thirty years. It's always been reliable and thorough.
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

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    The SuperCard Pro has a low-level media testing program that tests the entire track, including areas that can randomly be "gap" when formatted. Although the latest software has issues with at least some drives, so I use 1.90 or 1.91 (can't remember exactly off the top of my head)

    Normally I do the following when testing unknown disks:

    1: Visually inspect the disk, clean if needed.
    2: Run the SCP media test
    3: Follow up with a MS-DOS formatter that lets me use more than the normal number of sectors/tracks (such as NFORMAT)
    4: If errors occur and the disk is not ripping itself up, run the format in a loop for a while. Often things will improve.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stone View Post
    Can you put a DOS format on those 8" disks. If so, Norton Disk Doctor and Norton Disk Test from Norton Utilities 4.5 Advanced Edition is my go to and has been for thirty years. It's always been reliable and thorough.
    Probably not a stock DOS format. 8" disks come in single- and double-sided and are 77 track high-density and spin at 360 RPM, as opposed to, say, 5.25" 1.2MB disks, which spin at 360 RPM, but are 80 tracks. It's interesting because at least through DOS 3, there was an 8" device type in the code.

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