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atarialoha

Curious about status of 5.25 floppy disks nowadays

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So, I have seen some New Old Stock (NOS) for sale.

 

Assume NOBODY is making new ones today? (Unlike "compact cassette" which has made a comeback alongside vinyl records; ah, the new generation finally understands the advantages of analog electronics).

 

What about 3.5 disks?

 

How long would these last anyway? Both types.

 

I am actually surprised it seems some of them still work after so many decades.

Edited by atarialoha

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Over 90% of my 5.25" disks are still working which I think is pretty amazing.

I've not had as much luck with 3.5" disks but tbh I don't use my ST much.

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same as above! most of my old collection is still loadable from 5.25" floppy! back then i wouldnt have thought they would stand the test of time so well....

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Well,

 

DD disks (both 5,25" and 3,5") last several decades, HD disks (both 5,25" and 3,5") do not last very long. So, simply avoid HD disks whenever possible...

 

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I've had more success with my older 5 1/4" disks for my 8 bit's than the 3 1/2" ST ones, maybe

the earlier disks were made with more resilient material.

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My 5.25” Atari disks from the 80’s still work, despite decades of haphazard storage in a box, moved from house to apartment to house etc. and being tossed in my non-climate controlled garage for 14 years. They will probably last longer than me at this point. 

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I (regret now) sold practically all my old 3.5" Amiga floppies.  So my personal stocks of 3.5 vs 5 is probably in the order of 1 to 3 (not counting ED ones with the 2 holes since they're practically useless when formatted for 720K)

 

In terms of reliability I'd probably rate the 5" as better despite mostly being older.  I'd put that down partially due to the fact that they're hardly being asked to do much when formatted to around half their rated capacity.

My oldest 5" is probably from around 1982-3 and I'd have plenty from 1984-7.  Probably very few after 1989.

 

I don't think anyone makes either type anymore?  Sort of sad.  NOS has it's attractions but would be a lottery.  I've seen 3.5" 10 packs a couple of times in op shops over the last year but they're the ED ones so not really interested.

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I have 100s of 5.25 floppies.  Only a few of the commercial ones have failed.  The blank disks have never failed me, and I am using them almost daily for data from a few apps that I still use. Then again, my cassettes and 8-tracks still work as well. I think most will outlive me. 

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4 hours ago, atarialoha said:

So, I have seen some New Old Stock (NOS) for sale.

 

Assume NOBODY is making new ones today? (Unlike "compact cassette" which has made a comeback alongside vinyl records; ah, the new generation finally understands the advantages of analog electronics).

The folks at FloppyDisk.com used to have a source for new disk and would have a new batch made when necessary. Their supplier retired the equipment for this and new disk are no longer available. When the current supply is gone there will be no more new disk. The were looking for another supplier, but during the last conversation I had with them they had not yet found a new source.

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47 minutes ago, mdivancic said:

The folks at FloppyDisk.com used to have a source for new disk and would have a new batch made when necessary. Their supplier retired the equipment for this and new disk are no longer available. When the current supply is gone there will be no more new disk. The were looking for another supplier, but during the last conversation I had with them they had not yet found a new source.

I would absolutely buy a batch of these if you anticipate working with floppy disks into the future and store them well. 

 

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3 hours ago, CharlieChaplin said:

Well,

 

DD disks (both 5,25" and 3,5") last several decades, HD disks (both 5,25" and 3,5") do not last very long. So, simply avoid HD disks whenever possible...

 

I have recently tried to read some 25+ old DOS HD floppies. All 100% error free. Also acquired several packs of 3M 1.2MB. All formatted error free.

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I have found about half of my 5.25" disks from the 80s don't work,  but I don't know if that's the disk or a drive problem

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Ordered some.  The hoarder in me couldn't resist.  They cost about a buck a piece.  Not too bad considering how long they have been out of fashion. 

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Out of the roughly 500 5.25" disks I have, less than 10 of them have become unreadable over the years.  And all but one or two of the disks that have gone bad were commercially released disks.

 

The NOS Maxell and 3M 5.25" disks I bought in the early 2000's have all worked without issues as I've been opening and using them.

 

 

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Similar experience here. 3 1/2 not very good. 5 1/4 floppies mostly work. The ones failing are usually the following brands: Precision, Elephant, Platinum (these are all non-working). Instead, Sony, TDK, SKC (very good brand from Korea), Verbatim and Maxell are all behaving mostly perfectly.
 

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1 hour ago, manterola said:

Elephant

This is funny, as I remember their ad-slogan "Elephant never forgets". (I don't had/have them.)

 

-

 

Someone could ask "The 8-Bit Guy" where his source of disks is originating:

 

 

Nowadays such stack of new disks looks quite impressing...

 

(Edit: BTW: Is there any interest in an A8 port of PETSCII Robots?)

Edited by Irgendwer
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I've ordered 40 5.35" disks off of Amazon over the past year, the last 20 just a month ago. I've had one that wouldn't format so far out of about half I used. I've no idea if anyone makes 5.25" floppies anymore, I know that there are a couple of cassette manufacturers, I ordered some for my 1010 a couple of years ago. Anyway, these seem to just be generic (the sleeve says 'Advance' in the description, but they were all white sleeves with no name when I got them), 10 in sleeves in a plastic bag for $10. They been selling them for a year now that I know, and are still selling them. Apparently they just recently raised prices to $16 for 10.

 

Notice the orientation of the floppy disk in the sleeve...LOL!

 

https://www.amazon.com/Floppy-Disks-Density-Formatted-Sleeves/dp/B01K58FPFG/ref=sxts_rp_s1_0?cv_ct_cx=floppy+disks&dchild=1&keywords=floppy+disks&pd_rd_i=B01K58FPFG&pd_rd_r=e94f60c6-561e-479a-9eee-4a4270d46f1f&pd_rd_w=9lN1V&pd_rd_wg=6W9aU&pf_rd_p=e64e557a-9088-4af1-8992-8ddbd7854c7f&pf_rd_r=8VBE95DJA4EZA7VF4155&psc=1&qid=1622157626&sr=1-1-f0029781-b79b-4b60-9cb0-eeda4dea34d6

 

 

Edited by Gunstar
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From my experience, 3.5" HD disks are the worst (not working most of the time), 5.25" HD (1.2MB) also not that reliable.

 

3.5" DD are OKish, 5,25" DD are 95% good, and 8" are 98% good (so estimated 'pi times thumb').

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Haha this is an amazing collection of anecdotal comments about floppies.

 

It is funny to see the Elephants didn't last. I also remember those huge print ads in the magazines. (On a sad note, they are also being hunted to extinction but that's another discussion.)

 

How about Dysan? I remember it was (reputed) almost like the super best 5.25 floppy brand you could buy.

 

There was a brand, I think it was Dysan, that sold SINGLES disks. One thin box, of one 5.25 floppy disk. I thought it was both wasteful and also awesome at the time.

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I still have a couple hundred that still work on my C64. They likely work better than I still do, lol

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I use floppy disks almost exclusively. Anything I download (ATR, XEX, etc) gets tested first with my APE setup. If it works then I write the file or image to a disk. I backup each working floppy to an ATR file.

 

I keep my eye open for floppy disks on eBay. $1/ea if new, $0.25/each to $0.50/each if used. That includes shipping. Be patient. Bargains, especially in bulk, can be had.

 

I once bought a huge bulk lot of floppies with Atari s/w for cheap. Many disks did not have sleeves. Labels were dried up and falling off. Some disks were in vert poor shape. Most are readable. Those that aren't can be reformatted with any problems.

 

It's really surprising how durable those 5.25" floppies can be! Maybe it's a combination of the materials and the lower density (compared to high density 1.2MB and 1.44MB).

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I find it quite fun that the 5.25's seem more reliable that the newer 3.5's..

 

Almost all of my own disks have gone with only 30 in 10's boxes of unused 5.25 and one sealed Maxell box of 3.5 HD's left..

 

Many of my old disks gave up the ghost ages ago before they went so I rely only on digital images, at least I know they won't corrupt from age at any time. I know using digital images is sacrilege to some but I wonder if a device had come out in the day that used images on an electronic media (yes, totally unlikely I know) whether people would still hold the idea that real drives are best or adopted the newer more reliable device?

 

Anyway, all this is off topic to be fair as the real question was if anyone still makes old disks..Surely someone must?  I can't imagine these disks can be repurposed?

Edited by Mclaneinc

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I bought some NOS 5.25" disks a couple of years ago, recently I discovered they've started failing.

 

I still have FDD's, but I'm using them less and less in favour of solid state alternatives. However I'll never remove the FDD's from either my Amiga 500 or my Amiga 1200 and replace them with Gotek's, that's sacrilege IMO.

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