This weekend the plan was to image over 100 of my old 5.25" diskettes mainly from the 1980's DOS era using 3 computer systems. On Sunday morning I had 4 working 5.25" floppy drives and by nightfall this had been reduced to 1.
The shameful culprit: The Wabash floppy disk
On Windows Vista I use the excellent EMT4WIN to Image
On Cromemco Cromix I am using ftar -cuv (UNIX format) and -cv (Cromix format)
On DOS I use Dave Dunfield's Image Disk
In all three cases here is a quick guide on howto ruin temporarily or even permanently your previously 100% working floppy diskette drive
- Remove Wabash diskette (circa 1980-1985) from sleeve
- Inspect for signs of damage - no, all looks good. No rust spots or blemishes
- Insert into floppy drive, close door
- Start imaging program and drive spins up
- Horrible screeching sound like nails on a blackboard follows
- Your diskette drive stops working and even after a lot of cleaning may never recover. Examing the diskette often now reveals a track or two where all oxide has disappeared (presumably stuck on heads of your diskette drive) and diskette now has a see thru track
In fact after over an hour of cleaning 3 out of 4 floppy drives now don't work at all, so my practical advise is, however important the data on that old Wabash floppy is, do not be tempted to read it. Just throw that diskette away.