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Formating floppies

I have 98SE with IE and have alot of floppies that I have deleted things from but I was told I needed to format?? or reformat?? before I use them again. Is there a place on the web that will walk me through this? Thanks

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Re: Formating floppies

In reply to: Formating floppies

No real need for a link to a web-site. It's easy enough. But still it's easier linked to then written myself:
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;q141598
If you need help on which options to fill in, please post again.

You can also do it from the MS-DOS command prompt byt typing
format a:
followed by enter. That's about all. It has a lot of options, but most aren't applicable.

Two additional remarks:
- The DOS-format (and I think the Windows variant also) after formatting reports if there are any 'bad sectors' on the diskette. Throw away every diskette with a bad sector. This should really be zero or the medium is unreliable.
- Formatting a diskette takes about 2-3 minutes. Every track is written and checked, and that's slow. And you can't do it in the background, because the old MS-DOS coding severely blocks Windows, so other programs hardly run.

Hope this helps.


Kees

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Re: Formating floppies

In reply to: Formating floppies

Just a bit of advice for what its worth.
DONT Reformat Floppies. You are likely to get a good lot of them to fail in Format and will have to discard them.
You'll be better off to erase the Floppy and do a Disk Defragment, all under Windows. (Not a Win DoS conflict; just that you dont have to invoke DoS prompt)

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I disagree.

In reply to: Re: Formating floppies

'You'll be better off to erase the Floppy and do a Disk Defragment"

Assuming 'erase the floppy' means 'delete all files on it' (can't do anything else in Explorer in my opinion, and you wouldn't like the DOS-command erase *.*, I think) defragment wouldn't do anything, so would be useless.

Formatting is the only way to make a difference between reusable floppies, and floppies only suitable for the waste basket.

Just erasing files will let you use unreliable floppies and lose data you put on them. I've seen situations where I got to throw away 50% of a bunch of old floppies and rightly so. Even then, occasionally I get a "can't read file" on such a diskette. That's why I favor email above floppies for data transfer between locations, and a copy across my home network above floppies for backup at home (in fact I do both).

Kees


Kees

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Re: I disagree.

In reply to: I disagree.

My vote also ->

Floppies are DANGEROUS, period.

Short term use with a copy or backup somewhere else.
Full format with a report, throw away any that have bad clusters.

Don't learn as a college student did.
Mid-term test assigment was placed on a floppy that became unreadable. About 60 hours of work. I got lucky and was able to recover the file.

Bill

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Re: I disagree.

In reply to: Re: I disagree.

billzhills's post: Agreed, but the issue is not whether to use floppies or not.

Kees Bakker: Sorry, the 'Defrag' should have been 'Scandisk'. Scanfrag does mark bad clusters like Format does. And windows, by default, copies to Floppies with an equivalant /v (verify in DoS), which is a second level of safety.
The point I'm making is that the probablity of damage to Track 0 is very high in floppies. And my experience is that a floppy that avoids Format lasts much longer. Dont ask me why! Floppies that I've been using for, maybe 5 to 6 years, still perform ( though the capacity reduces due to bad clusters), BUT many of them have failed on a Format!
I stand by my experience.

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Re: I disagree.

In reply to: Re: I disagree.

Thanks to all of you who took the time to answer my question. I think I may be more confused then I was but will reread the answers and go from there. I need a new computer with a CD I can burn to but hoping to wait until the first of the year. I have had new floppies give me trouble with not being able to read my backup and it could have cost me my genealogy program with over 3,000 names and data but I had put my program on line so was able to download it from there. Thanks for the advice

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USB stick

In reply to: Re: I disagree.

I think everybody will agree on:
- A USB-stick is much better than a floppy to copy files to and from (bigger and more reliable). And they aren't expensive any more.
- For a backup use a cd-burner.

Personally, I don't like/use floppies with 'reduces capacity due to bad sectors'. I simply throw them away. There's always the risk that a new bad sector comes up right where part of my data is.
But that's more or less a personal choice. As long as it's not the only copy of the data you lose, it might not be a real problem.

Kees

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Re: Formating floppies

In reply to: Formating floppies

I find it takes too much time to reformat the floppies, especially if bad sectors are encountered. I used to do a visual first. Push the slider back and look at the surface. If there is any sign of defect (believe me, fungus is very visible) I don't bother with it anymore.

I have had several drives die on me going through old floppies. I try to read them. If they read, I extract the data. If not - JUNK!

To make sure that the floppies are sterile, I stack them up and leave an old speaker magnet (the bigger the better) on top for a day or so. I think after that, not even the CIA can get anything out of them Happy

I don't quite agree with Thumb Drives. Too expensive for the capacity and not fully portable. I work with a lot of notebook users and some of them are still running Win98. The USB Thumb Drives need drivers.

Since I have a couple of Compact Flash digital cameras (Nikons and Canon), I use these instead. They can be used in all notebooks with a simple CF PCMCIA Adaptor and I carry a multi-card reader with me if I need to work with desktop pcs without the PC Card slot.

Besides, CF cards are cheaper than Thumb Drives.

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