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formatting 3 1/2" diskettes ( HD 1.44 Mb & DD 720KB)

I have 2 computers running Win2K PRO & Win XP Pro. They are both P111 733 MHZ generic machines. I have several HD (1.44MB) and DD (720KB)
diskettes which I need for my line of work. When I try to format these
diskettes I get quite a few of them that give me a message " Windows is unable to format --- The file system is RAW ".

I know there is a way to format these diskettes by going to the command prompt c:\ and typing: Format a:\ and a set of parameters... but I have misplaced the instructions. Can you help me with this problem please?

I know the diskette drives are wotking OK.There is nothing wrong with
them,because they work well otherwise.

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Re: formatting

In reply to: formatting 3 1/2" diskettes ( HD 1.44 Mb & DD 720KB)

Like all well-behaved command-line commands format shows its parameters if you add /? to the command: format /?

This particular error, together with a copy of that parameters, is treated in

I understand RAW to mean "unformatted". Nothing wrong with that.

Hope this helps.


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My question is why 720?

In reply to: formatting 3 1/2" diskettes ( HD 1.44 Mb & DD 720KB)

I am not sure if you can still get 720 media from the store or not but a 1.44 floppy drive can be had for under $10.\; and I think 1.44 media are still available in the store.

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Indeed ...

In reply to: My question is why 720?

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re: formatting diskettes:

In reply to: Indeed ...

Thanks ever so much for the help! Tried it all but still no dice. Even got myself a new floppy drive!

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Probably defective diskettes then.

In reply to: re: formatting diskettes:

1. Try them on another PC. If they give the same error there, throw them away. Old soldiers never die, but old diskettes surely do!
2. Buy a package of new diskettes, format them on another PC. What happens if you reformat them on your PC?


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To tell you the truth, I don't think we understand ..

In reply to: re: formatting diskettes:

your problem/s.

The only time you need a 720 floppy is when your floppy drive is 720 because a 1.44 drive will read 720 with no problem.

I got a feeling that these floppy might be written with a different file system.

One other thing which thrown me off is you only talk about reformating and not about reading the informations on the floppy. That's why we suggest just get some new floppys.

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If the message is that the type is RAW...

In reply to: formatting 3 1/2" diskettes ( HD 1.44 Mb & DD 720KB)

if means that the floppy boot sector is corrupt.

If you are conversant with disk probe (Dskprobe.exe), a utility that comes with resource kits, you could copy the boot sector from another floppy that you KNOW was formatted the same as the one reporting problems and write it to the damaged floppy.

That would give you access again IF the boot sector is only corrupt and not physically damaged (which can easily happen with floppies).

You could also try it (the bad floppy) in another drive to see if possibly the problem is simply track alignment.

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