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Converting Floppy Installation Disks to a single CD

by stephen_herring / October 5, 2006 5:38 AM PDT

I have numerous installation disks of programs more that 10 years old that take up more that one Floppy disk. These programs still work well with today's operating systems. EX: 1994 version of WordPerfect that is on 11 Floppy Disks. This program loads quickly and I love to use it but anytime that I decide to reformate my hard drive and start over, I have to reinstall all of my programs. Consequently, I am looking for a "conversion Program" that allows me to put a program like this with all 11 of these installation disks onto a single CD and install that way. Needless to say this would also make it much easier to back up my installation disks. I am running Windows Mellenium on a Pentium III 800 computer. Can any one help me ?

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Never found that. But...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 5, 2006 5:46 AM PDT

There is RAWREAD and RAWRITE you can find on to put images of the diskettes on CD so you have a backup.

Also, you're a doshead. Did you try copying all those files to a CDR and see if it would install?


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Things to try.
by Kees Bakker / October 5, 2006 6:03 AM PDT

1. Make a folder like WP_install on the hard disk. Copy all diskettes into that folder. Burn it to a CD. See what happens if you run setup.exe from the CD.

2. Slight variation: burn all files from that folder to the root folder of the CD (not a WP_install folder).

3. Make a folder like WP_install on the hard disk. Copy all diskettes to a different subfolder (disk1, disk2, ..., disk11). Burn the WP_install folder to the cd.

4. Slight variation: burn the 11 subfolders to the CD without an intervening folder wp_install.

Use rewritable CD's while experimenting.

If you can't run setup from any of these 4 CD's (none of these are guaranteed to work, I think), you still can copy the 11 folders from CD #3 to 11 different diskettes and install from there. That's a much needed backup of those diskettes.

Still, I would be amazed if all 11 WP diskettes are readable without errors after all those years. In my experience, diskettes degrade fast enough to be unusable by now.

A lucky circumstance is that all those old DOS-programs don't need to be installed. Just burn the folder as it is on your hard disk to the CD, and copy it back on your reformatted machine. That's how I transferred WP long after I didn't have a drive for the 5?" install diskettes any more. It's a nice backup also.

In fact, up to and including Windows 98 at least (and it could very well be that it includes ME also) you can do a clean reinstall of Windows by deleting the Windows folder (and possible some of the Microsoft made subfolders of Program Files) from native MS-DOS, thus keeping all data and all programs that don't need the registry up and running. No need at all to reformat and lose your documents and old DOS programs.

Still, having a backup of everything, stays necessary.

Hope this helps.


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