Recover old floppy disks

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By jepmsx

Master (156)

jepmsx's picture

03-07-2022, 21:56

Hi:
I'm trying to recover my old floppy disks using a usb floppy drive under a Linux operating system. I've read in the forum that sometimes this usb drive can't work with DD, but I've been able to format one floppy using the command ufiformat and mkfs.msdos and copy some files in it.
I run the command ddrescue and many times it does not detect the floppy that I'm trying to recover.
I also have an old PC with an old floppy drive and a Linux operating system and it detects less floppies than the usb drive.
I wonder if I am doing the right commands or I have to do an extra configuration because of the MSX.
Any help is welcome to try to recover thee floppies that aren't detected

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By Manuel

Ascended (18872)

Manuel's picture

03-07-2022, 22:43

Are you doing double sided or single sided floppies?

By jepmsx

Master (156)

jepmsx's picture

04-07-2022, 05:57

Double sided floppies

By Manuel

Ascended (18872)

Manuel's picture

04-07-2022, 07:37

What do you mean exactly with "doesn't detect the floppy"?

I have been quite successful in backing up old floppies with ddrescue or just cat if they don't contain errors.

By RvS

Expert (80)

RvS's picture

04-07-2022, 08:04

The issue could be caused by the difference between ‘double density’ and ‘high density’ floppy’s (DD 720k vs HD 1.4MB).
Most modern usb floppy drives dropped support for the DD type (often without updating the specifications…) to save a few cents on parts (detecting the hole)
You can try to get that information from the supplier or (as I did) get an old one from eBay/Marktplaats/… from the era that DD support was common.

By jepmsx

Master (156)

jepmsx's picture

04-07-2022, 09:39

The model is an old IBM one, labeled MPF82E in the back of the device and printed as Y-E Data, Inc. FlashBuster-U Floppy in the command lsusb.

When I mean that is not detected is that when I run ddrescue, it prints the current status of the process all in 0s, as it was going to start, but immediately is written Finished and the process ends without making any noise from the device. When it detects the floppy it starts scratching it and filling the information of ipos, opos, rescued, etc.

By Manuel

Ascended (18872)

Manuel's picture

04-07-2022, 21:27

Strange, I can't remember having encountered such problems. I dumped more than 100 floppies with this method though, on my old PC with floppy drive on the motherboard.

By jepmsx

Master (156)

jepmsx's picture

05-07-2022, 07:21

Thanks for the information and the interest.

I think that my next step will be to install an old linux distribution in the old PC I've got. I think that the driver changed in recent kernel versions. I will try kernel 2.4 ó 2.6

By Manuel

Ascended (18872)

Manuel's picture

05-07-2022, 07:42

On my system I use a daily updated Debian testing, so I think I am using quite modern kernels. Last dumps were down about a year ago.

By AJSchat

Supporter (7)

AJSchat's picture

05-07-2022, 20:34

What arguments are you passing to ddrescue? There is a -d option that you can pass to ddrescue, which bypasses the kernel cache. This was very helpful for me when trying to recover older burned CDs from the 1990s era.

You then also need to specify the sector size though (with -b), which I believe is almost always 512 bytes for MSX, even for 5.25" floppies.

By jepmsx

Master (156)

jepmsx's picture

06-07-2022, 05:14

I've never used any parameters in ddrescue because I didn't understand what they were for. I will try what you've told me

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