Reliability of floppy drives

From: Russ Blakeman <>
Date: Mon Apr 13 01:25:45 1998 wrote:

> Guys, are anyone using bulk disks like 25 a box or more? Usually
> often are not too well screened. One time I got myself 25 disks box
> that my friends claimed to be pretty good and knows few had bad ones
> and formatted them again all. About 5 or 10% came out bad and more
> disks followed into bin after some use. I have much luck with Fuji
> also RAO (but these RAO are only found in highly marked up expensive
> office supplies so I had only access to RAO, nearly never get them
> bec they were priced over $15~22 CDN when I'm in Canada. When I'm
> out visiting in USA (rarely now) I pick up one or two boxes of these
> Fuji disks which typically priced very reasonably. Dysan,
> Viewmaster, Maxwell, few others failed my quality requirement and
> some bucked data off when I put some to under heavy use.
> Fuji and RAO did not do that at all.

I buy them 100 and 500 per case and usually get 1-2 with bad sectors per 100.
Not bad considering they're anywhere from 18 to 24 cents each. The biggest
problem seems to be early failure of some drives and dirt failures. I've had
drives give Sector Not Found, General Failure, etc and ran a wet cleaning disk
through to get the same. I've opened them up and used a foam swab and denatured
alcohol (like I use for vcr repairs) on the heads against the grain of the head
and the drive works like new. The biggest culprit is smoking residue and soot
from wood stoves, both of which are present here. "Back belching" may do
something to it too ;-)

Some of the problem is caused by the user, leaving stacks of disks on the desk
to pick up all sorts of grit and dust that gets put into the drive and diskette
eventually. If I have extremely important data to protect I either use a tape
backup or a rewriteable CD (CDRW) to store the data, such as my business records
and address lists. This is not perfect as you have to actually do the backup for
it to work and I've been known to slack 3 months on my checkbook reconciliation
so you can imagine when the last time was that I backed up the hard drive.

 Russ Blakeman
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Received on Mon Apr 13 1998 - 01:25:45 BST

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