twiigss asked in Computers & InternetSoftware · 3 weeks ago

Do you have knowledge about 5.25" and 3.25" disks?

So basically I've kept a very small container made for 5.25" floppy disks that my dad had, and I've had those disks now for 30 years.  They are in pristine condition, but every single 5.25" floppy disk gives me a General reading error.  They've been stored in my closet in those containers.  But even still, after 30 years, have those 5.25" floppy disks gone bad?

I have a ton of 3.25" disks and they still work beautifully.  Even bought a pack or two when Walmart still sold them, and they also work.  So why do the 5.25" floppy disks not work, but the 3.25" disks do work?

2 Answers

  • 3 weeks ago

    You will need one of these to read any pre-PC format discs:

    As another answer says, there were many different floppy disc formats and sector / track arrangements & a PC will only read its own specific format and filesystem.

  • Adrian
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    It depends on what format those 5.25" disks were written with. There were several different operating systems, including MS DOS, CP/M and Apple to name a few. Each used a different formatting system with different directory structures and sizes. Some were double sided, some single sided. Some were 40 tracks (or 35 tracks), others were 80 tracks Some disks used 128 byte sectors, others used 256 or 512 byte sectors. You have to know the details of those disks.

    3.5" disks were primarily DOS (or OS/2), which pretty well followed a given "standard". PS: I've read 5.25" disks about a year ago for a fellow to recover data. They were DOS formatted, so they were easy to read and copy with Windows

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