How to read a floppy disk formatted to 240Kb?

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by ~misfit~, Sep 5, 2003.

  1. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    I have a friend who, years ago, used a Brother Word Processor, Model WP-80.
    It got put in the shed when she left home and is now very much the worse for
    wear. (It got wet). The thing is, she still has some disks that she used
    with it with stuff on that she would like to access.

    The machine seems like it would use any 3.5" floppy but formatted them to
    240KB. Is there any way I can access the data on a PC? And, (why not ask for
    the moon?) is there a program around that I could read the files with
    *assuming* I can access them?

    This is quite important to her, the disks contain some poetry she wrote when
    she was a student and no longer has hard-copies of. Real sentimental value.
    I've promised to do my best, which hasn't turned up any results yet, even
    through my friend google.

    Can anyone help me. When I put a floppy in my PC it tells me it isn't
    formatted. Maybe if I change the floppy format from 1.44MB in BIOS? (I'll
    probably try that anyway, it just came to me).

    Any help would be very much appreciated. I have the machine itself in the
    hot-water cupboard but don't hold out much hope for it, it's been getting
    wet for a while.

    Huge thanks in advance,
    --
    ~misfit~



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    ~misfit~, Sep 5, 2003
    #1
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  2. ~misfit~

    mnm snr Guest

    chances are the floppies are no good unless they have been stored in a
    controlled environment. mould likes to grow on them.

    if you are prepared to risk damage to your fdd try
    (in a 1.44mb drive ms environment);
    xcopy a: b: /e /s /h

    and swap to a good floppy when prompted.

    but you would probably have better luck with linux;
    mount /dev/fd0 /mnt/floppy

    if you are successful copying the data you will probably find the files
    are wordstar format which can be stripped with any editor.




    On Fri, 05 Sep 2003 22:20:57 +1200, ~misfit~ wrote:

    > I have a friend who, years ago, used a Brother Word Processor, Model
    > WP-80. It got put in the shed when she left home and is now very much the
    > worse for wear. (It got wet). The thing is, she still has some disks that
    > she used with it with stuff on that she would like to access.
    >
    > The machine seems like it would use any 3.5" floppy but formatted them to
    > 240KB. Is there any way I can access the data on a PC? And, (why not ask
    > for the moon?) is there a program around that I could read the files with
    > *assuming* I can access them?
    >
    > This is quite important to her, the disks contain some poetry she wrote
    > when she was a student and no longer has hard-copies of. Real sentimental
    > value. I've promised to do my best, which hasn't turned up any results
    > yet, even through my friend google.
    >
    > Can anyone help me. When I put a floppy in my PC it tells me it isn't
    > formatted. Maybe if I change the floppy format from 1.44MB in BIOS? (I'll
    > probably try that anyway, it just came to me).
    >
    > Any help would be very much appreciated. I have the machine itself in the
    > hot-water cupboard but don't hold out much hope for it, it's been getting
    > wet for a while.
    >
    > Huge thanks in advance,
    > --
    > ~misfit~
    >
    >
    >
    > ---
    > Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free. Checked by AVG anti-virus system
    > (http://www.grisoft.com). Version: 6.0.515 / Virus Database: 313 - Release
    > Date: 1/09/2003
     
    mnm snr, Sep 5, 2003
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. On Fri, 05 Sep 2003 22:20:57 +1200, ~misfit~ wrote:

    > The machine seems like it would use any 3.5" floppy but formatted them to
    > 240KB. Is there any way I can access the data on a PC? And, (why not ask for
    > the moon?) is there a program around that I could read the files with
    > *assuming* I can access them?


    Look for a DOS program called "alien" which should be able to read the
    discs.

    The problem after then will be decoding whatever file format was used
     
    Uncle StoatWarbler, Sep 5, 2003
    #3
  4. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    "Uncle StoatWarbler" <> wrote in message
    news:p...
    > On Fri, 05 Sep 2003 22:20:57 +1200, ~misfit~ wrote:
    >
    > > The machine seems like it would use any 3.5" floppy but formatted them

    to
    > > 240KB. Is there any way I can access the data on a PC? And, (why not ask

    for
    > > the moon?) is there a program around that I could read the files with
    > > *assuming* I can access them?

    >
    > Look for a DOS program called "alien" which should be able to read the
    > discs.
    >
    > The problem after then will be decoding whatever file format was used


    And then will I have to run in pure DOS? Or what? (sorry, it's late and I'm
    off to bed in a mo and don't have time to check now) I could throw an old
    HDD in and install DOS 6.2 if my disks are still good. I don't have a
    machine that has pure DOS installed at the moment. I will set one up tough
    if needed and my install discs still work.

    Thanks my friend.
    --
    ~misfit~



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    ~misfit~, Sep 5, 2003
    #4
  5. ~misfit~

    mnm snr Guest

    in linux from kde open a terminal (konsole) and su to root (if you arent
    already root)

    mount /dev/fd0 /mnt/floppy
    ls -la /mnt/floppy
    if you get a positive result
    md /wp80
    cd /wp80
    md one
    cd one
    cp -r /mnt/floppy/* .
    when thats done
    umount /mnt/floppy (or you could try eject /mnt/floppy )
    ls -la *

    pick any file of substance and try

    cat filename

    to see its content. hmm, student poetry, read at own risk...

    mount a new floppy copy the files onto it and move onto the next old
    floppy. be aware that the old floppies may well contain an identical
    directory structure and file names, although the file content may be
    different, so you may want to create new subdirectories for each floppy

    md ../two

    etcetera


    if you find some floppies dont work dis-assemble them, clean them with
    air in a can and re-assemble them, things like the sliding cover
    generally dont matter when you are putting them back together. keep your
    finger prints off them.
     
    mnm snr, Sep 5, 2003
    #5
  6. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    "~misfit~" <misfit@'SPAMTRAP'orcon.net.nz> wrote in message
    news:bsZ5b.138096$...
    > I have a friend who, years ago, used a Brother Word Processor, Model

    WP-80.

    On another note, anyone have any idea where I can find a manual for this
    beast? Google came up empty for me. I think it's from the mid to late
    eighties. Has a 5" by 9" CRT built-in.

    Thank you kind sirs (and ladies)
    --
    ~misfit~



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    ~misfit~, Sep 6, 2003
    #6
  7. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    "~misfit~" <misfit@'SPAMTRAP'orcon.net.nz> wrote in message
    news:zb16b.138251$...
    >
    > "mnm snr" <> wrote in message
    > news:p...
    > > chances are the floppies are no good unless they have been stored in a
    > > controlled environment. mould likes to grow on them.
    > >
    > > if you are prepared to risk damage to your fdd try
    > > (in a 1.44mb drive ms environment);
    > > xcopy a: b: /e /s /h

    >
    > I have a half-dozen spare floppy frives so I'm not worried about wrecking
    > one or two. Will this work in XP or should I boot to 98SE? I presume I

    click
    > 'start - run'? Or do I do it differently? Go to a dos prompt maybe?
    >
    > > and swap to a good floppy when prompted.


    I've tried this several times on machines running XP and 98SE with no luck.
    Bugger.
    --
    ~misfit~



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    ~misfit~, Sep 6, 2003
    #7
  8. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    "mnm snr" <> wrote in message
    news:p...
    > in linux from kde open a terminal (konsole) and su to root (if you arent
    > already root)
    >
    > mount /dev/fd0 /mnt/floppy
    > ls -la /mnt/floppy
    > if you get a positive result
    > md /wp80
    > cd /wp80
    > md one
    > cd one
    > cp -r /mnt/floppy/* .
    > when thats done
    > umount /mnt/floppy (or you could try eject /mnt/floppy )
    > ls -la *
    >
    > pick any file of substance and try
    >
    > cat filename
    >
    > to see its content.


    I know jack about Linux, these commands are a little like a foriegn language
    to me. i.e. I don't know exactly to go about it, I may try to fumble my way
    though it if all else fails.

    > hmm, student poetry, read at own risk...


    She is actually an excellent poet, this is some of her early work that is
    (for now) lost. She's not actually sure that any of it is still on the disks
    as her younger brother has played with the machine since she moved to
    Sydney. We're hoping he just used it in it's typewritter function and didn't
    touch her disks. They still have the wee tab in the 'write-protect' position
    so that's a good sign.

    > mount a new floppy copy the files onto it and move onto the next old
    > floppy. be aware that the old floppies may well contain an identical
    > directory structure and file names, although the file content may be
    > different, so you may want to create new subdirectories for each floppy
    >
    > md ../two
    >
    > etcetera
    >
    >
    > if you find some floppies dont work dis-assemble them, clean them with
    > air in a can and re-assemble them, things like the sliding cover
    > generally dont matter when you are putting them back together. keep your
    > finger prints off them.


    All good advice, thanks. I'll see how I go with an OS I'm more familiar with
    first. I'm considering dis-assembling the word processor (if it doesn't work
    after a few days of drying out, it was only wet for a few days) and trying
    to mount the floppy drive from it in a PC if that's at all possible.
    Probably not though.

    I tried to set my PCs BIOS to 260kb floppy but it only goes down to 360kb.

    Incidently, one of these disks is a 3M HD disk that came pre-formatted to
    1.44Mb, she must have re-formatted it. She's currently in Syndey and doesn't
    have internet acces at present so I'm unable to talk to her about it. I was
    just given the task as I'm supposed to be 'good with computers'. :)
    --
    ~misfit~



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    ~misfit~, Sep 6, 2003
    #8
  9. ~misfit~

    Gordon Guest

    On Fri, 05 Sep 2003 22:20:57 +1200, ~misfit~ wrote:

    > I have a friend who, years ago, used a Brother Word Processor, Model WP-80.


    As a thought how about a programme which reads the disk sector by sector?
    Might not work if it is a funny format.

    The first task it appears is to Read the Disk. Then we can start reading
    the files.


    --
    Gordon

    Google knows where to find things, ask at http://www.google.com
    Works for me, will work for you, so be it.
     
    Gordon, Sep 6, 2003
    #9
  10. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    "Gordon" <> wrote in message
    news:p...
    > On Fri, 05 Sep 2003 22:20:57 +1200, ~misfit~ wrote:
    >
    > > I have a friend who, years ago, used a Brother Word Processor, Model

    WP-80.
    >
    > As a thought how about a programme which reads the disk sector by sector?
    > Might not work if it is a funny format.
    >
    > The first task it appears is to Read the Disk. Then we can start reading
    > the files.


    Sounds like a good plan Gordon. The trouble is that's a bit beyond my
    knowledge at the moment. I wouldn't know how to go about it. Windows insists
    the disk(s) is/are unformatted.
    --
    ~misfit~



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    ~misfit~, Sep 6, 2003
    #10
  11. ~misfit~

    Invisible Guest

    On Sat, 6 Sep 2003 18:21:47 +1200, "~misfit~" <misfit@'SPAMTRAP'orcon.net.nz>
    wrote:

    >
    >"Gordon" <> wrote in message
    >news:p...
    >> On Fri, 05 Sep 2003 22:20:57 +1200, ~misfit~ wrote:
    >>
    >> > I have a friend who, years ago, used a Brother Word Processor, Model

    >WP-80.
    >>
    >> As a thought how about a programme which reads the disk sector by sector?
    >> Might not work if it is a funny format.
    >>
    >> The first task it appears is to Read the Disk. Then we can start reading
    >> the files.

    >
    >Sounds like a good plan Gordon. The trouble is that's a bit beyond my
    >knowledge at the moment. I wouldn't know how to go about it. Windows insists
    >the disk(s) is/are unformatted.



    Found this link, but they charge like wounded wogers:

    http://www.acii.com/topic017.htm
     
    Invisible, Sep 6, 2003
    #11
  12. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Answered in-line:


    "mnm snr" <> wrote in message
    news:p...
    > in linux from kde open a terminal (konsole) and su to root (if you arent
    > already root)
    >
    > mount /dev/fd0 /mnt/floppy


    Result: /dev/fd0: input/output error

    So I tried this next line anyway

    > ls -la /mnt/floppy


    Result: you must specify a file system type

    Both commands resulted in about 5 minutes of floppy access (green light on).

    If, by some remote chance I get this to work, where will I find the files if
    it extracts them? (I told you, I know next-to-nothing about Linux)

    Thanks,
    --
    ~misfit~


    > if you get a positive result
    > md /wp80
    > cd /wp80
    > md one
    > cd one
    > cp -r /mnt/floppy/* .
    > when thats done
    > umount /mnt/floppy (or you could try eject /mnt/floppy )
    > ls -la *
    >
    > pick any file of substance and try
    >
    > cat filename
    >
    > to see its content. hmm, student poetry, read at own risk...
    >
    > mount a new floppy copy the files onto it and move onto the next old
    > floppy. be aware that the old floppies may well contain an identical
    > directory structure and file names, although the file content may be
    > different, so you may want to create new subdirectories for each floppy
    >
    > md ../two
    >
    > etcetera
    >
    >
    > if you find some floppies dont work dis-assemble them, clean them with
    > air in a can and re-assemble them, things like the sliding cover
    > generally dont matter when you are putting them back together. keep your
    > finger prints off them.
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >



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    ~misfit~, Sep 6, 2003
    #12
  13. ~misfit~

    Invisible Guest

    On Sat, 6 Sep 2003 19:40:38 +1200, "~misfit~" <misfit@'SPAMTRAP'orcon.net.nz>
    wrote:

    >
    >"Invisible" <> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >> On Sat, 6 Sep 2003 18:21:47 +1200, "~misfit~"

    ><misfit@'SPAMTRAP'orcon.net.nz>
    >> wrote:
    >>
    >> >
    >> >"Gordon" <> wrote in message
    >> >news:p...
    >> >> On Fri, 05 Sep 2003 22:20:57 +1200, ~misfit~ wrote:
    >> >>
    >> >> > I have a friend who, years ago, used a Brother Word Processor, Model
    >> >WP-80.
    >> >>
    >> >> As a thought how about a programme which reads the disk sector by

    >sector?
    >> >> Might not work if it is a funny format.
    >> >>
    >> >> The first task it appears is to Read the Disk. Then we can start

    >reading
    >> >> the files.
    >> >
    >> >Sounds like a good plan Gordon. The trouble is that's a bit beyond my
    >> >knowledge at the moment. I wouldn't know how to go about it. Windows

    >insists
    >> >the disk(s) is/are unformatted.

    >>
    >>
    >> Found this link, but they charge like wounded wogers:
    >>
    >> http://www.acii.com/topic017.htm

    >
    >God, do they what!!! They don't mention if it will extract the files from a
    >floppy though. That's my biggest problem. I don't give a shit about
    >preserving formatting of files etc. I'm downloading the (severely) crippled
    >evaluation version now.
    >
    >Thanks for that. How did you find it? I'm having no luck finding anything at
    >all about Brother word processors other than companies who want to sell
    >ribbons for the printer part of it. I'd like to see if I can resurect the
    >machine. It's been in the hot water cupboard for a wee while now so I might
    >just try opening it up and assessing any damage and running a hair-dryer on
    >it.
    >
    >Thanks.



    I think I googled for Brother word processor emulator, or similar. Hope
    something will work for you :)
     
    Invisible, Sep 6, 2003
    #13
  14. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    "Invisible" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Sat, 6 Sep 2003 19:40:38 +1200, "~misfit~"

    <misfit@'SPAMTRAP'orcon.net.nz>
    > wrote:
    >
    > >
    > >"Invisible" <> wrote in message
    > >news:...
    > >> On Sat, 6 Sep 2003 18:21:47 +1200, "~misfit~"

    > ><misfit@'SPAMTRAP'orcon.net.nz>
    > >> wrote:
    > >>
    > >> >
    > >> >"Gordon" <> wrote in message
    > >> >news:p...
    > >> >> On Fri, 05 Sep 2003 22:20:57 +1200, ~misfit~ wrote:
    > >> >>
    > >> >> > I have a friend who, years ago, used a Brother Word Processor,

    Model
    > >> >WP-80.
    > >> >>
    > >> >> As a thought how about a programme which reads the disk sector by

    > >sector?
    > >> >> Might not work if it is a funny format.
    > >> >>
    > >> >> The first task it appears is to Read the Disk. Then we can start

    > >reading
    > >> >> the files.
    > >> >
    > >> >Sounds like a good plan Gordon. The trouble is that's a bit beyond my
    > >> >knowledge at the moment. I wouldn't know how to go about it. Windows

    > >insists
    > >> >the disk(s) is/are unformatted.
    > >>
    > >>
    > >> Found this link, but they charge like wounded wogers:
    > >>
    > >> http://www.acii.com/topic017.htm

    > >
    > >God, do they what!!! They don't mention if it will extract the files from

    a
    > >floppy though. That's my biggest problem. I don't give a shit about
    > >preserving formatting of files etc. I'm downloading the (severely)

    crippled
    > >evaluation version now.
    > >
    > >Thanks for that. How did you find it? I'm having no luck finding anything

    at
    > >all about Brother word processors other than companies who want to sell
    > >ribbons for the printer part of it. I'd like to see if I can resurect the
    > >machine. It's been in the hot water cupboard for a wee while now so I

    might
    > >just try opening it up and assessing any damage and running a hair-dryer

    on
    > >it.
    > >
    > >Thanks.

    >
    >
    > I think I googled for Brother word processor emulator, or similar. Hope
    > something will work for you :)


    Thanks for that. The free trial version didn't find anything on the floppy
    but then I guess that's a windows limitation.

    Anyway, I got the Brother machine working! And it can't find anything on the
    disks :-(

    The disks were wet as well. God only knows what else happened to them in
    storage. The thing is though, the magnetic surface looked good on them. I'm
    thinking (hoping) maybe I just don't know how to access them on the WP and
    the files are still there. I can't find a manual for the thing to d/l, only
    to order a hard-copy from the states. It's not exactly intuitive to use and
    I've played with it a bit but no luck. I've emailed helpdesk at brother NZ
    and asked them if they know of a copy available for d/l. I bet they just
    tell me they (or their US branch) can sell me a copy for $350 or so :).

    It's a neat little machine for something made it 1985, 5" X 9" orange CRT,
    star-wheel printer, 64k of on-board memory (then it prompts you to save to
    disk). Or you can just use it in typewriter mode. I'm gonna see if I can get
    a ribbon cartridge for it and try it out. It's in surprisingly good nick for
    something of it's age, still has the showroom sticker on it telling you how
    to run a demo.

    LOL, I'll probably just park it in the cupboard in the spare room for a few
    years anf then dump it. Unless I find out it's a collectors item or
    something equally unlikely. It only got wet for a day or so of showers. The
    shed it was stored in was being cleaned out and it was left on the back
    steps overnight. I'm leaving it running for a few hours hoping the heat it
    generates will remove any remaining moisture.

    Cheers,
    --
    ~misfit~



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    ~misfit~, Sep 6, 2003
    #14
  15. ~misfit~

    mnm snr Guest

    cover the extra hole on the hd floppy with tape.

    linux by default tries to autodetect a floppy disk format when you mount
    it, unless you specifically nominate format type(s) or tell it not to use
    a type.

    that it cant detect any format implies the disks are probably damaged.

    if you get more than a year out of a floppy diskette of any type you are
    living dangerously.

    you could try emulation software, but will need to read the documentation.
    start here. (you will need to try emulation software if you are thinking
    of putting the fdd in your pc) a catweasel controller may help, if you can
    find one!

    this type of thing might also help with linux
    http://www.tim-mann.org/trs80/xtrs-4.9.tar.gz
     
    mnm snr, Sep 6, 2003
    #15
  16. ~misfit~

    bt Guest

    On Fri, 5 Sep 2003 22:20:57 +1200, "~misfit~"
    <misfit@'SPAMTRAP'orcon.net.nz> wrote:

    >Any help would be very much appreciated. I have the machine itself in the
    >hot-water cupboard but don't hold out much hope for it, it's been getting
    >wet for a while.


    If the machine does work, or you can borrow another, print the stuff
    out from it and OCR it back in on your computer.


    Brendan (Avatar)

    --
    ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸

    Check out my cool Water Cooling Project! http://www.computerman.orcon.net.nz/WaterCooling1.html

    Email: corum.usenet@myrealbox (dot com). No Timewasters. No UCE.
    My comments are IMHO, IIRC, FYI, and Copyright.
     
    bt, Sep 6, 2003
    #16
  17. Thus spake ~misfit~:
    >
    > "mnm snr" <> wrote in message
    > news:p...
    > > in linux from kde open a terminal (konsole) and su to root (if you arent
    > > already root)
    > >
    > > mount /dev/fd0 /mnt/floppy
    > > ls -la /mnt/floppy
    > > if you get a positive result
    > > md /wp80
    > > cd /wp80
    > > md one
    > > cd one
    > > cp -r /mnt/floppy/* .
    > > when thats done
    > > umount /mnt/floppy (or you could try eject /mnt/floppy )
    > > ls -la *
    > >
    > > pick any file of substance and try
    > >
    > > cat filename
    > >
    > > to see its content.

    >
    > I know jack about Linux, these commands are a little like a foriegn language
    > to me. i.e. I don't know exactly to go about it, I may try to fumble my way
    > though it if all else fails.


    Ehm.... how about typing them in exactly as he said? Assuming you can
    get to a prompt...

    --
    aaronl at consultant dot com
    For every expert, there is an equal and
    opposite expert. - Arthur C. Clarke
     
    Aaron Lawrence, Sep 6, 2003
    #17
  18. [WOGER] Re: How to read a floppy disk formatted to 240Kb?

    Thus spake Big :
    Thanks for changing your posting name again, asshat

    --
    aaronl at consultant dot com
    For every expert, there is an equal and
    opposite expert. - Arthur C. Clarke
     
    Aaron Lawrence, Sep 6, 2003
    #18
  19. Thus spake ~misfit~:
    > The disks were wet as well. God only knows what else happened to them in
    > storage. The thing is though, the magnetic surface looked good on them.


    Yeah, but they could have been sitting on a speaker or whatever... even
    "modern" floppies seem to get corrupted over time quite easily... sounds
    like time for commercial data recovery, ie. reading the disk with custom
    tools ie. expensive

    --
    aaronl at consultant dot com
    For every expert, there is an equal and
    opposite expert. - Arthur C. Clarke
     
    Aaron Lawrence, Sep 6, 2003
    #19
  20. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    "Gavin Tunney" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Fri, 5 Sep 2003 22:20:57 +1200, "~misfit~"
    > <misfit@'SPAMTRAP'orcon.net.nz> wrote:
    >
    > >I have a friend who, years ago, used a Brother Word Processor, Model

    WP-80.
    > >It got put in the shed when she left home and is now very much the worse

    for
    > >wear. (It got wet). The thing is, she still has some disks that she used
    > >with it with stuff on that she would like to access.
    > >
    > >The machine seems like it would use any 3.5" floppy but formatted them to
    > >240KB. Is there any way I can access the data on a PC? And, (why not ask

    for
    > >the moon?) is there a program around that I could read the files with
    > >*assuming* I can access them?
    > >
    > >This is quite important to her, the disks contain some poetry she wrote

    when
    > >she was a student and no longer has hard-copies of. Real sentimental

    value.
    > >I've promised to do my best, which hasn't turned up any results yet, even
    > >through my friend google.
    > >
    > >Can anyone help me. When I put a floppy in my PC it tells me it isn't
    > >formatted. Maybe if I change the floppy format from 1.44MB in BIOS? (I'll
    > >probably try that anyway, it just came to me).
    > >
    > >Any help would be very much appreciated. I have the machine itself in the
    > >hot-water cupboard but don't hold out much hope for it, it's been getting
    > >wet for a while.
    > >
    > >Huge thanks in advance,

    >
    > One thing you can try Shaun, is to download one of the many freebie
    > disk utilities & see if you can copy the entire 1.44mb floppy image to
    > a file on your hard drive. Most of them are Dos based & will probably
    > need to do it on a machine that can boot to Dos, need direct access to
    > the floppy drive & XP won't normally allow that. Then open up the
    > image in Wordpad or any text viewer & see if you've got any legible
    > text. Never tried imaging a non-standard floppy but it should work ok.
    >
    > If you can find the relevant information on the file format of the
    > disk, and 256k is actually compatible with a modern floppy drive in
    > the manner the tracks are laid out, I'll write something that will
    > recover the data....is easy enough. If you can't get that info then it
    > might be possible to extract the data from a disk image... so long as
    > it's ASCII & in a logical format on the disk. I'd expect a unit like
    > that to be pretty simple, probably just saves the data in plain text.


    Thanks Gav. I'm sure now it's the disks themselves. I got the old
    wordpocessor working, it's going fine. I can put a normal floppy in and it
    asks it I want to 'initialise' it (which I think is Brother-speak for
    format) and if I click yes it takes about five minutes and then reports
    240kb free. I can type and save to this disk just fine. If I remove the
    disk from the drive, re-insert it and then hit 'file' it reads the contents
    of the disk.

    However, when I put one of the older disks in (and some of them are 3M
    1.44MB, just re-formatted I guess) it spins noisilly for a while and then
    asks if I want to initialise it. I think that, because they got wet, the
    bits of protective papery stuff each side of the substrate inside the disk
    package have swollen and, if they weren't stuffed before they probably are
    now. Either that or her brother has wiped them. I see a bit of paper in the
    printer part of it with his name on it and a bit of mumbo-jumbo. Even the
    system disks that came with it are unreadable. (Spreadsheet and thesarus).

    I did find a web-page that said this model's disks (there were two others in
    the series) are not compatible with PCs

    I've got them back in the hot-water cupboard but I don't hold out much hope
    now. I think the data, even if it hadn't previously been erased, is history.
    The disks were write-protected though. Now the machine itself is working
    fine I don't think I need to worry about a PC-based answer.

    Cheers mate, thanks for the offer.
    --
    ~misfit~



    ---
    Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
    Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
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    ~misfit~, Sep 7, 2003
    #20
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