floppy-diskIf you are reading this it is because you are still to some degree or other using floppy disks. These original floppy disks came in 5 1/4 and 3 1/2 inch sizes. A double density 3 1/2 inch floppy disk holds 1.44 MB of data. Because these floppy disks relied on a thin piece of magnetic material to spin within a plastic container, they were very susceptible to data being lost. Moisture problems and poor quality construction often resulted in files on floppy disks being damaged. As with most damaged or deleted file problems, the data presumed missing is as usual still in place on the disk. Our objective is therefore to find those files and copy them to more stable and the somewhat more modern digital storage media such as a USB flash drive or DVD.

What to look for when searching through floppy disks
Very often when attempting floppy disk data recovery you will notice that the file types used on your floppies seem almost foreign to you. This is because when floppy disks were in their preeminence most of the programs we use today for such things as word processing and digital photography did not exist. While the predecessor of Microsoft word documents was around 15 years ago, that being RTF files, most other popular application files and proprietary extensions we use today had not yet been created. The importance of this knowledge is that many programs used for floppy disk data recovery are designed to only recognize file types that had been in use for the last seven years. In comparison File Finder was created to recognize file structures and from those structures recreate files regardless of the file extension. Basically what this means is that very few data recovery programs other than File Finder are capable of locating lost or deleted files on floppy disks.

File Finder’s versatility in file recovery
file-finder-screenFile Finder is also a great general purpose data recovery tool. It is so versatile that you can use File Finder to do everything from rescue thousands of files on a large external book drive or find and retrieve a single file on a floppy disk. To use File Finder for floppy disk data recovery, load the File Finder recovery disk into your computer’s CD disc drive and load the floppy disk into its drive. Once File Finder starts, you will be able to select the floppy disk drive from the drop down menu and direct File Finder to scan every file on the floppy disk. Not only will File Finder locate and recover any existing files, it will also present to you any partially complete or damaged files. File Finder will restore these to their original condition so that you can move them to a new file location.

Remember that floppy disks are very simple mechanical devices. The magnetic material inside spins very loosely. Just as when accessing data on a floppy disk we sometimes have to make several attempts, when attempting floppy disk data recovery several tries may also be needed. Consider also that the specific storage size of a floppy disk being set at 1.44 MB makes it very easy to know whether or not you have found all of the files on that disk.

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