Solved: Trying to read a 720K 3.5" floppy

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Alex Ethridge

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I have a stack of a few hundred floppies here, all 3.5" 720K and I can't get any of the twenty or so floppy disk drives to read any of them. It's been many moons since I handled a 3.5" 720K floppy; but, I do remember all the floppy disk drives I ever had would read 720's and 1.44's without any special help. Just put 'em in and click on them or type a DOS command and they ran.

To be clear, these drives all read 1.44's just fine.

I've tried on a DOS 6 system, a Windows 98 System and a Windows 2000 system. And, yes, the drives are set up in the BIOS.

Any suggestions?
 
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I don't understand why tyou can't read them. My 2 most commonly used drives read them fine, and in fact, I've formatted all my floppies to hold 1.68 MB's in Vista and they read those perfectly, too. But before I did that, I formatted them as 720's just to see if it would work. I can also read some old Radio Shack 720's that are kicking around.

Are you sure those floppies don't have some unusual format?

I suppose you could try a file recovery program, like BadCopy Pro, or [email protected] Floppy Recovery.
 

Alex Ethridge

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I found the cause of the problem. It was a bad cable; but, the strange thing about this was that they would read, write and format a 1.44 but not a 720K. I might have figured it out sooner if it weren't for this strange behavior.

Thanks.
 
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There must be a dedicated conductor for just 720's or some combination that must be present. What was wrong with the cable? Were you able to determine exactly?
 

Alex Ethridge

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No, I just swapped it and everything worked after. I needed to be sure so I swapped it back and it quit again.

I blame the failure on age (pre 1995 vintage running Windows 3.1) and the fact I had to replace her floppy and had been pulling on it.
 
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LOL. There also seem to be quite a few floppy cables that differ from one another in crossovers, etc. Thanks for the info.
 
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