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Thread: disaster - computer stuff

  1. #1
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    disaster - computer stuff



    I have had a request for a copy of a magazine article I wrote about 15 years ago. When I wrote it, I thought I was being very careful saving it. I put it on a floppy disk.
    Well.....I now have need for that article and retrieved the floppy from where it was carefully stored. Put on my external 'A' drive and....nuttin'.
    Went through some 'puter gymnastics to open "any file" and, voila, got.....just a little garbage and a few words. The article is several thousand words.
    Dunno wats wrong.
    Does stuff fade from floppies or wat?
    I'll probably have to write to publisher and hope they will send me a copy.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails bad floppy.jpg  
    "Folks is funny critters."

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  2. #2
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    Yup. Floppies are notorious for that kind of thing. There are companies though that specialize in data retrieval. Don't know if they work with floppies, but it might be worth a shot. It's probably expensive though...
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  3. #3
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    Sorry, Frank, happens to the best of us. I try to always have TWO copies of important files. And really, hard drives are so big these days, you might as well just keep it on your main HD as well. (unless you store terabytes of video)

    On the other hand, OCR+scanning software is really quite good these days. So you should be able to scan it in and convert it to text.
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
    www.wordsnwood.com ........ facebook.com/wordsnwood

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Dowell View Post
    Yup. Floppies are notorious for that kind of thing. There are companies though that specialize in data retrieval. Don't know if they work with floppies, but it might be worth a shot. It's probably expensive though...
    Yep, I know about those but would like to exhaust other possibilities first. Most importantly, is anything left to restore. Hate to pay for nothing.
    I found another with some family history on it, dated 1994, that only brought up a message that the disk must be formatted before it can be used. I know that would erase everything, so I didn't do it. Another (yes, I'm doing some 'puter archeology today) had a photo on it dated 2003 and it opened just fine.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  5. #5
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    I had an 'incident' last year when a computer drive died. Really annoyed me.

    So I've got a two pronged approach to backups now.

    1) I use an online backup service. Relatively cheap peace of mind, since it constantly updates itself with any new or changed files I have on my hard drive. I only use it for backing up the 'my documents' folder, which, has all my photos and important documents and stuff.

    2) I bought a networked drive. Called a NAS. Basically, it has two 1 terabyte drives in it that are mirrored. If one drive fails, I can pull it out and replace it without losing anything. A couple of times a week I use something called 'synctoy' to update that with the documents off of my computer.

    My work PC gets the same basic treatment as well.

    That gives me some local redundancy in case of something happening locally, and offsite peace of mind if something worse happens..
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  6. #6
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    The way I understand floppies is that they are coated with iron oxide and putting information on them is a process of passing a portion of the disc through a magnetic field which aligns the particles in a specific order that can be read as "information". This "permanence" is due to the iron oxide maintaining the magnetic state imparted to it as it passes through the before mentioned magnetic field. Problem is, it's not permanent. Many factors can cause the iron oxide to lose it's orientation. Time alone can do it but certain environmental factors can speed it up. I would say take it to a professional. FYI storage on CDs is not permanent either. Different reasons, same result.
    We're not happy 'til you're not happy.

  7. #7
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    Floppy storage is definitely not permanent storage; the magnetic patterns have a finite life. Same goes for tape, or for any other storage medium. Microfilm has shown itself to be about as long-lived as anything high-tech so far, when it's stored EXTREMELY carefully, but still can't be regarded as permanent. The longest-lived LOW-tech storage medium in common use is low-acid paper.

    Not only do the magnetic fields on floppies degrade with age, the floppy drives themselves can't be counted on to be there to read 'em. All electronic equipment has a pretty finite life.

    If ya want to keep something you think of as important, your best bet is... hardcopy.
    -- Tim --

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Hofstetter View Post
    Floppy storage is definitely not permanent storage; the magnetic patterns have a finite life. Same goes for tape, or for any other storage medium. Microfilm has shown itself to be about as long-lived as anything high-tech so far, when it's stored EXTREMELY carefully, but still can't be regarded as permanent. The longest-lived LOW-tech storage medium in common use is low-acid paper.

    Not only do the magnetic fields on floppies degrade with age, the floppy drives themselves can't be counted on to be there to read 'em. All electronic equipment has a pretty finite life.

    If ya want to keep something you think of as important, your best bet is... hardcopy.
    you got that right.. the only semi sure way of hanging on to it, is the online approach that brent mentioned but even that can have a oops but its usually covered elsewhere as well so they cover there own mishaps..
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
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  9. #9
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    When I got this new laptop, LOML insisted I get the extended 3 year warrantee. It came with 3 years of online backup. Total cost $50. for 3 years. Cheap insurance.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  10. #10
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    Several years ago - I added a second hard drive to my computer - just for data storage.

    I store ALL my data on a secone hard drive.

    I copied ALL the floppy stuff I had onto the second hard drive.

    If I need to change computers - or reformat the operating system I can do all of that and still have my "other hard drive"

    Now of course - a hard drive can bite the dust. Soooooo.

    I also have a seagate "external hard drive" that I back up my internal data hard drive to. In essence - I mirror the data drive.

    I use Outlook for email. It the calender, I set a reminder to do my backup to my external drive.

    I thought about and considered all sorts of backup measures. I don't think anything is totally foolproof, but I think, I am pretty safe for data backup.

    I used to have a couple of hundred floppys - now I think I have a couple of empty ones hanging around somewhere.

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