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Bad Sectors on floppy discs... Possible Repair?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by PaulW, 5 May 2004.

  1. PaulW

    PaulW What's a Dremel?

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    Ok I'm not too sure where this should go, so thought it be best in here, but if not please move it to somewhere else...


    Right, at work, we go through quite a few floppy discs (I work in a school), and the amount of times kids come up saying there discs are fudged is crazy, must be atleast 10 a week! Always bad sectors...

    I recover what I can by running scandisk about a million times & then copying what I can to another disc, but the problem remains there is alot of waste through these faulty discs, which we normally just throw out...

    Idea then comes to mind, as I'm not 100% sure about this (correct me if wrong) but the tracks on a floppy discs are only recorded once during its first format, if its re-formatted again, it only erases the data held in the tracks & so blanking the disk, but nomatter what the tracks remain? I don't know, but if I formatted a faulty disc, it would always keep the bad sectors, but if I wiped the FAT table completely, it would say there are none, but running format or scandisk would pick them all up again :( so still we have dead discs...

    I then decided to try a little 'torture' test, purely experimental.

    We have a fairly-powerful electro-magnet in science, so I thought lets plonk the disc on his thing, and turn it on, so erasing everything, tracks, the lot... So it did, the disc was now just completely empty, nothing on it.

    When trying to format the disc, it now took it about a minuite to determine the size of the disc, and then began formatting ok. Running scandisk after that then revealed that the amount of bad sectors had DRAMATICALLY decreased, or completely disapeared! Genius I thought! So I got about 10 other disks covered in bad sectors, 2 which said bad track 0 & wouldnt even format, and did the same to all these. Every 1 formatted, and there must of only been 2 disks now which still recorded bad sectors, but only about 2-3 per disk, the rest were absolutely perfect!

    I've now been copying files too-and-from these disks for most of the morning & there seems to be no problems at all, no bad sectors still, and discs in good working order!

    Think I may be onto something... but I need loads more duff discs to test this on, but if it works, it should cut waste & also costs down a hell of alot!


    Wonder if this would also work with old hard-disks too, if I remove the controller-board so it doesnt fry it... hmmmmmmm


    Sorry for the lecture though!

    Paul
     
  2. Manitowic999

    Manitowic999 What's a Dremel?

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    There's a memmory effect to floppys. It may work now, but I don't think it will work for long. I've seen people format a floppy to hold 5mb, but it only lasts a day at most.
     
  3. TMM

    TMM Modder

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    nice idea! :rock:

    you might need a very powerful magnet for a hdd tho :)
     
  4. buzzby

    buzzby What's a Dremel?

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    Erm i don;t mean to sound rude but why bother. I suspect the reason these disks are getting busted in the first place is cos they are in kids school bags fixed in the bottom with all of the crums and pencil shavings, my old school bag anyway. The best way i found to stop disks f*cking up was to buy the high quality ones. Fair enough this may not be possiable on school money.

    Better still get the kids to keep all there work on the network drive and then the disks are the backup/mean to take it home.

    Or get some CD-RW's i have started using these for stupidly small file just cos i have lost so much work and time over the years with b*ggered floppy disks I HATE THEM.

    Or get the kids to buy a 32MB USB disk, solid state so will take the pain of a school bag. The school could even buy them and make a small profit which would go back to improve computers in the school or what ever.

    Nice idea tho just seems to much effort when the kids will break them again

    Buzz
     
  5. Lorquis

    Lorquis lorquisSpamCount++;

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    just network the machines and buy a server.... so much hastle gone in the blink of an eye...
     
  6. 486hawk

    486hawk What's a Dremel?

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    There is a possibility that some kid will try and mess with it.
     
  7. smoguzbenjamin

    smoguzbenjamin "That guy"

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    My school has 2 servers. One for students and one for teachers, both with different access rights and whatnot. I asked the systems admin why they needed two and he responded saying that the head teacher wanted faster internet for teachers. There's inequality for you.

    But in any case I believe that the teacher/staff server has been hacked multiple times :D Serves them right for giving us slower internet (pardon the pun :hehe: )

    We get 50MB a student for personal files etc, which is way more than you need. The school even has its own webmail for some stupid reason :eyebrow:
     
  8. alastor

    alastor Minimodder

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    Holy thread revival batman!

    Worth writing anything before this is closed?
     
  9. smoguzbenjamin

    smoguzbenjamin "That guy"

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    I really have to start looking at post dates :duh:
     

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