3 1/2 floppy formatting

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  #1  
Old 01-23-04, 04:13 PM
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3 1/2 floppy formatting

I use 3 1/2 floppy discs to back up word documents for my business. I usually just right clicked the item to save, and send it to the floppy drive. I never 'formatted' a disc. They have always worked when I go to access these documents.

Today, I tried to access some files I saved on Tues. and it said it couldn't read it, the disc wasn't formatted. If I format it when prompted, I will lose the documents.

Is the disc just shot or corrupted?

Should I be formatting these discs before saving any thing on them?

Any info would help.

TIA

P.S. Is there any way to retrieve the documents on the suspect disc?
 
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Old 01-23-04, 04:59 PM
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Try reading them in a different drive. The drive could be defective. If you format you will loose the documents. You may have already lost them though.
 
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Old 01-24-04, 08:04 AM
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floppy diska era apoor way to make backups. backups that you expect to use on a regular basis should be made to tape, zip disks or USB drives.

Unless the disk reads i another floppy drive, you are SOL.
 
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Old 01-24-04, 10:51 AM
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Hi prowallguy

It would be a good Idea to invest in a good CD burner with good software like Nero. I do all my backups for my business on CD/R you can fit 700MB on a CD and only 1.44MB on a floppy.
 
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Old 01-24-04, 11:51 AM
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CD-RWs should not be used for repeat backups, as they are not designed for more than a few writings.

CD-Rs can be used, but of course these fill up and eventually need to be thrown away.
 
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Old 01-24-04, 02:01 PM
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For cdrw's, there is a limit to the number of times an area of the disc can be rewritten, but that number is relatively high (the Orange Book requires 1000, but some manufacturers have claimed as much as 100,000). Of course, this is under laboratory conditions. If you don't handle the disc carefully, you will add scratches, dirt, fingerprints, and other obstacles that make the disc harder for the drive to read.
 
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Old 01-24-04, 03:41 PM
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I only use the floppys for temporary saves while work is in progress. I save them just in case something stupid happens. I have a cd burner, and use that when I want a permanent save, with my final document or file.
I still am curious if I should format the floppy before I save anything to them.
 
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Old 01-24-04, 04:06 PM
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You are making perfectly good use of your 3.5" floppy drive. It sounds to me like the problem you are running into is that a previously written (and assumed, formatted) is no longer working.

In this case, there are two possibilities; 1) the floppy has gone bad. 2) The floppy drive is having a problem. The latter could be several things, dirt, alignment, electronic failure, mechanical failure, etc.

One way to determine which case you have is to try reading the floppy in another computer. If it works, then you have a problem with the floppy drive in the computer where you were attempting to save. If the floppy is unreadable in another computer, most likely the floppy has gone bad. I won't attempt here to give all the causes of floppy going bad. However, it is possible that your drive could still be a problem - ie. made the floppy go bad. But this is an unlikely scenario.

Lastly, I believe most 3.5" floppies are formatted when you buy them, which is why you may have never needed to format before. But, suffice it to say, somewhere, at some point, each floppy needs to have a format before it can be used.
 
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Old 01-24-04, 05:42 PM
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To answer your questions about formatting floppies.

Most floppies are formatted when bought. Years ago you could but them formatted Apple formatted, IBM compatible formatted or unformatted.

If you but them formatted they should be fine. If you get them from somewhere else, such as a friend, or AOL or whatever, they should be formatted before use.

Your PC should tell you before writing that the floppy needs to be formatted.

I would look for either a bad floppy or a bad drive.
 
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Old 01-24-04, 08:43 PM
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Thanks. All my other floppys work fine, must be one gone bad.

Thanks again for the help.
 
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Old 01-24-04, 09:27 PM
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Uhh..Not sure if it was answered, but to format a floppy right click on the drive in explorer and select format....I always fomat floppies before reusing them.
 
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Old 01-24-04, 09:30 PM
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So you are saying after I use them once, erase the data, I should format them before I use again?
 
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Old 01-24-04, 09:34 PM
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I do. Mostly because I'll run out of room for something I really need if I leave any old files on there and to test if the disk is any count...formating erases everything so there is no need to delete files beforehand.
 
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Old 01-24-04, 09:38 PM
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One more thing...if you have a few kb to spare on the disk check to add system files. Any floppy would essentially become a boot disk should you have a nasty crassh...
 
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