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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
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    Re: Floppy Corrupted?

    A couple of ideas spring to mind with the diskettes.
    The FDD (floppy disk drive) is dirty. You can buy a cleaning disk from most computer shops.
    The heads are out of alignment.
    The heads have been wrecked.

    In the last 2 cases a replacement drive would be my choice.

    The first option is most likely as I have seen it many times. As for "Cyclic redundancy" I'll just bow out.
    Granville

  2. #2
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    Floppy Corrupted?

    I'm not sure if this is hardware or software. My college daughter has had a strange problem--if she takes a floppy that was "created" on another pc and tries to open it on her pc, she gets an "Unable to access...." error. When she takes the disk back to the original pc and tries to open, she gets a "Not formatted, do you want to format now" message. I have taken disks from my pc to hers, and they worked fine. This is intermittent. She also gets a "Cyclic redundancy" error. As I recall from MSKB, that error is involved with program installation and some sort of hardware problem. She is running Win2000.
    David Carter

  3. #3
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    Re: Floppy Corrupted?

    Daughter and her room mate have been switching the floppy back and forth with no problem. Then suddenly, the Unable to access error popped up. Then, when she tried the disk on the original pc, she got the Disk not formatted, do you want to format it message. Naturally, the disk had the only copy of the room mate's project; it seems she didn't think it was necessary to save to the HDD.
    This happened once last year when the drive was brand new, and had not happened since. I guess I'll go over and swap out the drive. I have a cleaning disk, but it might be best in this case to just replace.
    Just found MSKB article Q247858...CRC Error on FAT Media Causes Kernel Stack Overflow. Hmmmm.
    David Carter

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: Floppy Corrupted?

    Two possiblities:

    1]Floppy drive failure.
    Although we consistently buy the same manufacturer (Dell) I am never surprised if the drives pack in or become incompatible with other machines after a year.
    I put it mainly down to the fact that the norm when building a pc seems to be to put the floppy drive at the front and the the power supply at the back. The fan on the psu creates a negative pressure within the case and one of the inlets happens to be the floppy opening so it is hardly surprising they fill up with dust etc.

    2] Corrupt disk
    It is too easy these days to corrupt the data on a floppy disk that makes it unreadable. Any electromagnet source can instantly damage them, including speakers, old telephones, power cables, doorbells, plug-top power supplies, electric motors found in anything from fans to mobile telephones, etc. The list is endless - I'm not saying that any or all of these could be the source, just saying that I would consider a floppy disk as being one of the most unreliable mediums for storing data in this day and age.

    I'm afraid I have no experience in recovering data from floppies (other than trawling from machine to machine in the hope one will eventually be able to read it) but a search on Google throws up a variety of solutions.
    Good luck!

  5. #5
    4 Star Lounger SteveH's Avatar
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    Re: Floppy Corrupted?

    I've seen this problem several times at College with our students.
    They are working on something - they save to A:
    - They swap disks without refreshing the disk drive
    - They hit Save again.
    The system does not know that they've changed disks so it trashes the FAT and overwrites some wrong sectors.

    Norton Disk Doctor seems to cure it sometimes.

    I've only seen it on NT-based systems so it may have something to do with the way it reads removable disks. Someone else <img src=/S/clever.gif border=0 alt=clever width=15 height=15> may have a better handle on the technical reasons than me! <img src=/S/shrug.gif border=0 alt=shrug width=39 height=15>

    Hope that gives a pointer or two to prevention in the future.
    Steve H
    IT Lecturer/Access Developer
    O2K SR3/O2010; Win7Pro

  6. #6
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Floppy Corrupted?

    I think everyone has hit on at least one of the possiblities of the problem. I favor the one regarding poor read/write heads on the floppy. With the price of replacement floppies these days, it's not much of a problem to replace them.
    So far as CRC checks, this is one of the most used error checking systems, that goes WAY back in data proc time. It's a reliable method to make sure that the data is in decent shape to be used. I include an excerpt from a definition of CRC:

    The CRC is a very powerful but easily implemented technique to obtain data reliability. The CRC technique is used to protect blocks of data called Frames. Using this technique, the transmitter appends an extra n- bit sequence to every frame called Frame Check Sequence (FCS). The FCS holds redundant information about the frame that helps the transmitter detect errors in the frame. The CRC is one of the most used techniques for error detection in data communications. The technique gained its popularity because it combines three advantages:

    Extreme error detection capabilities.
    Little overhead.
    Ease of implementation

    In a nutshell, a CRC error says that you have some unuseable data in that particular file.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Floppy Corrupted?

    MSKB Article Q247858 mentions a Fastfat.sys problem for NT4. I would think that Win2K SP2 would not have the same issues. I told my daughter that had they saved to the hard drive AND to the floppy, they would not have had the problem, and there would be a copy "somewhere". NT 4 had a "supported fix"...where it is and how to get it without paying $$$ is beyond me. But a swap of the physical drive is not a big problem, so I might start there. A wrench, a hammer...gasoline...
    I did tell her to save the floppy so I could try Norton Disk Doctor.
    Great pointers! Thank you!
    David Carter

  8. #8
    5 Star Lounger
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    Re: Floppy Corrupted?

    Your note on "Corrupt disk" brought back an old memeory.

    We have a remote site, actually on an island. At the time of this story there was no WAN link to this site so files were moved by copying to and from a floppy.

    On a regular basis the disks would be corrupted, in fact twice a week (7 days not a 5 day working week). All sorts of tests and checks were done, which boats were used, stray radio emission, new disks used every time, etc, etc. I even traveled both ways with the various people who carried the diskettes.

    Nothing.

    Everyone followed the same route, carried the diskette in their top left-hand button-down pocket, various boats were used. The only common factor was that the same person carried the diskettes when the corruptions happened. <img src=/S/confused.gif border=0 alt=confused width=15 height=20> Plenty of jokes at this time about magnetic personalities and such but nothing helpful.

    Then...

    I fronted one day and we had some different person "filling in for" my prime suspect. The person just happened to be off having their pacemaker checked. When the suspect returned I suggested the diskette not be carried in the breast pocket and hey! presto! no more problem!
    Granville

  9. #9
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    Re: Floppy Corrupted?

    <img src=/S/rofl.gif border=0 alt=rofl width=15 height=15> I must remember to suggest that as a possible cause next time someone calls me with a disk read error!! How cool would it be if you were right?

  10. #10
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    Re: Floppy Corrupted?

    Morning -

    How does one refresh the disk drive, with Shift+F5? Thank you.

  11. #11
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: Floppy Corrupted?

    Afternoon <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15> -

    Just plain old F5 refreshes Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer

    (or the hard way - View > Refresh)

  12. #12
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    Re: Floppy Corrupted?

    I wouldn't waste too much time on this. A new floppy drive costs about $10. Better yet, ditch the floppy drive and go with a Zip drive. 100MB units are cheap now that the 250MB units are in more widespread use, and would likely take care of your requirements.

  13. #13
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    Re: Floppy Corrupted?

    For the A: (floppy) drive, you must have a disk in, or you get the A: is not accessible message.
    If you are viewing the contents of a disk, and want to view a second disk, just insert the new disk; then you can right-click in an open space on the drive screen and select Refresh from the Drop-down menu; or from the Menu bar at top, click View, and the Refresh.
    HTH
    David Carter

  14. #14
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    Re: Floppy Corrupted?

    Also: I'm teaching my users NOT to open Office files from the floppy but copy them to the hard drive first. Otherwise when document size exceeds approximately 500 kb they will stuck with "Unable to save

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