5 1/4 inch Drives

Frank Gentges fgentges at mindspring.com
Tue Jan 15 19:55:35 CST 2008

Some of you are aware that I had problems reading 5 1/4 inch disks  
that contained some old software.

I tried  3 different drives and all of them failed  to  read either  
360k or 1.2m disks.  I got and error message to the effect that  no  
disk was detected.  2 drives were Teac drives and one was a dual 3 1/2  
and 5 1/4 drive.  The latter drive worked fine with  the  3 1/2 inch   
disks but would not read the 5 1/4.

Finally, I dug out an  old computer and harvested another 5 1/4 inch  
drive made by Fujitsu and it worked immediately for  both 360k and  
1.2m disks and took no fussing  with.

The failed drives were working fine a few years ago but somehow in  
the  intervening years have failed.  Perhaps some rubber parts have  
hardened or something to cause them  to fail.

The lesson is that if you have important software or  data on 5 1/4  
inch disks, you should get copies off on 3.5 inch  or CD  ROM disks.   
It is not assured how long these will remain  readable as are EEPROM  
USB drives.  This has  been a problem experienced by the  National  
Archives and others and now it has struck at my home.

Frank  K0BRA

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