twiigss asked in Computers & InternetSoftware · 4 weeks ago

5.25" and 3.25" disks for the DOS OS not reading properly?

So the game I was playing on the DOS machine had an error.  I still own the original 3.25" disk.  So I put the disk into the drive, and get a General Read Error.  I got out my 3.25" USB floppy drive, put the original disk in and it read it perfectly fine.  Didn't get any kind of errors at all.

So I was able to copy from the original 3.25" disk to an unused and brand new 3.25" disk.  I placed the brand new 3.25" disk into the DOS machine, and it read that disk without any problems.  (back when walmart still sold 3.25" disks I bought a couple packs, they just been sitting ever since)

I've never had any other OS or computer system other than DOS, and I know for absolutely certain, 1000% certain, that all of my 5.25" and 3.25" disks are made for DOS only.  Can this be an issue of those disk drives going bad? 

Back in the old days I could run Scandisk to fix bad errors on the disk, but Scandisk won't even run on those disks.  And like I said, the original 3.25" disk read fine on my USB 3.25" disk drive, but the disk wouldn't read on the actual 3.25" disk drive installed in the DOS machine.

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  • keerok
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago
    Favourite answer

    Try cleaning your old floppy drive. I hope you still have those old floppy cleaning disks. You can use 70% isopropyl alcohol if the supplied fluid has dried up already.

    There might be a discrepancy in the hardware. I also experience that - non-reading in the old drives but readable on the newer USB ones, and reversed. No sense fighting it. Just try copying to another diskette and hope it works this time around. Yes, I bought boxes of them before the stores near me ran out. I still can find them somewhere in the city though, close to colleges teaching computer science.

  • 4 weeks ago

    If the disks all read in one drive, and none of them work in the other, then clearly the drive is bad. In fact, "general error" on a disk drive means it's failed and it doesn't know why. As opposed to a "disk error" or "read error", etc which could be the disks.

  • 4 weeks ago

    If you re-plug the original disk into your machine's drive and get the General Read Error again, then you can be fairly sure it's a quirk between that particular disk and your machine's drive.  In that case you've already lucked out and found your external drive doesn't mind reading that disc, and you've done the right thing to address the problem (making a copy and determining the machine drive can digest it just fine).

    These things happen.  Drives and disks don't always get along...just MOST of the time.

  • 4 weeks ago

    So it sounds like the drive in your machine is faulty.  That's not unsurprising, it's electronic equipment and they don't have an infinite life.

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