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Are Problems with your Floppy a Conspiracy?

By john.m1 ·
This short piece of text won't take long to read and may give you the chance to save a reasonably useful mind from going "BSOD"!

You may think that this item is more appropriate for Techie Q&A but i have tried that (without success) and now want to open a debate.

Is there a conspiracy of hardware / software vendors wishing to kill off the floppy? We already have new computers being sold without a 3-1/2 slot. Could it be possible that Win2K has been designed to "produce" ad hoc behavior problems?

Take this for an example:
16 new computers of good workstation spec, plenty of ram and hdd space all win2k pro / office xp. server = win2k advance server.

Over several weeks students save their work (couple of *.doc and *.ppt files) to floppy without any problems. Then one day a disk error says that it needs to be formatted! the disk is either corrupted and unrecoverable or some work can be recovered via recovery software (usualy older deleted versions of the work not the current one). sometimes the corrupt disk can be read in another machine but mostly not. there is no pattern, it is random regarding, the computer, the user, the floppy brand, time of day, tongue hangs from left corner of mouth or the right etc.

The answer could be to rid ourselves of the floppy (jus' like they want us to) but it is still the most useful and cost effective media for student files, it used to be pretty reliable too!

i tried using USB ram sticks but guess what, they also need reformatting after saving work to them!!

i need help, am i the only one with this problem, is it a conspiracy, do vendors really want all computers to have CD-RW's as standard?

Over to You, it's now open.

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Floppies are on the way out.

by DC_GUY In reply to Are Problems with your Fl ...

Apple has been selling computers without diskette drives for years. I think it's just the wave of the future. We're supposed to be using firewire and CD-RW. Or just have a pact with a friend and e-mail your data to each other. That way you've got a much more secure off-site backup.

It makes sense. I hardly ever back something up that fits on one floppy, and it takes forever.

I've had the same experience of writing data to a diskette and finding that some computers can't read it.

Nonetheless I agree with you. I feel secure with a floppy disk in my pocket.

Of course, 30 years ago I said the same thing about a deck of punched cards. ^_^

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Floppy Life

by TheChas In reply to Are Problems with your Fl ...

I suspect that you are simply running into a combination of low cost drives, and cheap / worn out floppy disks.

The key here, is does the system properly deal with a new pre-formatted floppy?

If so, I think that your users are simply wearing out the magnetic media on the disks.

As to USB Flash drives, I suspect user error here.
If the users unplug the drive before the write cycle is complete, or fail to shut down the service the data on the drive can be corrupted.

Even CD-RW disks are not the answer as they loose their format from time to time.

If there is any conspiracy, it is against ALL local storage.

It is well known that Microsoft desires to move computing to a subscription based model.
Any local storage reduces the profit potential from on-line storage and application leasing.


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Bye bye floppy you won't be missed

by Oz_Media In reply to Are Problems with your Fl ...

The only time i wanted a floppy for my notebook was when I needed to reprogram the serial number and clear the BIOS on a new system board.
Get this, IBM sent me a list of serials AND BIOS reset codes!! What a maroooon! THier bos found out and had a heart attack, oh well not my fault. Anyway, I had them send a techut to install viw USB floppy drive (as they should have in the first place, that's why I have good warranty coverage, so I don't have to fix it).

But all in all, floppy is not a loss at all. I think floppy disks are lower and lower quality everyday, there is no marhin in selling them anymore so they are a watsted product for most, especially when CDR's are only 50 cents now, hold way more information and last longer if taken care of.

I don't see floppy as a useful media format anymore. I wwas shocked as s**t when I found out IBM used them for setting up system boards on some notebooks (especially models that NEVER came with a floppy drive, where's the sense in that?!?)

CDR's, DVD are the way to go now. DVD's still cost a bit as does a decent +/- writer. but with CD burners selling for less than $100.00 and CDR's at about 50 cents, this is not an expensive alternative especially when it actually saves and recovers you data regularly.

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I think you'll find it is more likely how the floppy is treated

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Are Problems with your Fl ...

That is the problem here. Students are particularly bad at this I've noticed as well as they tend to throw them in a top pocket or into a brief case/handbag and then forget about them until they are needed. While I do agree that the floppy is probably the best storage medium for most students it is still better to e-mail the work to you're self if possible at least that way you have a more permanent copy that is very unlikely to get lost and the floppy that is used to bring it back to the College/Uni or what ever only needs to survive the trip in {a one way trip} so it just might survive a bit longer.

As far as the USB stick goes it is more likely that the write wasn't finished properly if it has been messed up like most students it is relatively unimportant writing the data to which ever device is used as a storage media but the bulk of the time is spent on producing the data and then it is an afterthought in saving it once the day/class/what ever ends. So it is always a "Rush Job" saving the data and unfortunately quite often the storage devices are removed prior to them finishing.

That all applies to most places of learning but if you are subject to active scanning when entering/leaving buildings this could have some adverse side affects like data loss as well.


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More From Poster

by john.m1 In reply to Are Problems with your Fl ...

thanks for your contributions, this has been a hair pulling problem for me so i welcome the suggestions, i was going to recomend USB pens as a solution but when 'they also' gave me an error i did a little flippette and thought it was all a conspiracy, i took it very personal.

blank cd's cost less than floppies these days but there is the startup cost of supplying the writers.

and what about any security issue i.e. the ability to take home large chunks of whatever they can find on the system or worse still downloading from the internet to cd/rw. these are students remember (sometimes they manage to do something clever) and with all best effort we usualy find that we are playing catch up, or firefighting their latest attempts to go round the system. its hard to believe but they dont always follow the usage policy that we have.

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