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Floppy Data Loss w/1050 Drive?

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I pulled out of storage some Atari data disks formatted with DOS 2.5. The first few times I accessed the disks on my 800XL/1050 combo I was able to perform a directory listing and open any data files (print to screen). For some reason I now cannot access anything on these disks. No file list, nothing. I sometimes get an Error 138 when trying to read the directory on one of these disks with MyDos. I can access many other disks with no problem. I tried using Copymate to preform a sector copy, but it found no data. Any ideas what's going on here or what else I can try?

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The old disks may have shed crud onto the ceramic read/write head. Open up the drive and clean it back to a glassy shine with a cotton swab and isopropyl alcohol.

 

Also very closely inspect any disks you use for lines etched into the magnetic surface - that is a sign that the material is being literally scraped off the surface and if so you should minimize any use of the disks except for a 1-pass sector copy backup to a modern storage device.. An archiving effort like this often involves repeated head cleaning between disks as well...

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36 minutes ago, Nezgar said:

The old disks may have shed crud onto the ceramic read/write head. Open up the drive and clean it back to a glassy shine with a cotton swab and isopropyl alcohol.

Also very closely inspect any disks you use for lines etched into the magnetic surface - that is a sign that the material is being literally scraped off the surface and if so you should minimize any use of the disks except for a 1-pass sector copy backup to a modern storage device.. An archiving effort like this often involves repeated head cleaning between disks as well...

Thanks Nezgar. I'll open up the 1050 tomorrow and clean the read/write head as you suggested. The disks don't look like they lines etched in them, so hopefully things are not too bad. I'll report back.

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The insides of the disk jacket may gum up over time, particularly if they have been stored in a humid environment. This puts a lot of load on the spindle and may even stop the disk or slow it down. You need to watch the diskette as you close the drive latch. It may slow down or even stop. You can either cut the media out of the jacket and insert it into a 'good' one. Or, only close the latch far enough to get the diskette spinning (usually about half-way).

 

Bob

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2 hours ago, bob1200xl said:

The insides of the disk jacket may gum up over time, particularly if they have been stored in a humid environment. This puts a lot of load on the spindle and may even stop the disk or slow it down. You need to watch the diskette as you close the drive latch. It may slow down or even stop. You can either cut the media out of the jacket and insert it into a 'good' one. Or, only close the latch far enough to get the diskette spinning (usually about half-way).

Bob

Another great suggestion! Thanks!

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Thanks everyone. I cleaned the heads and every disk is being read without a problem.

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