Black 3.5" Floppy Disks last longer than coloured disks

While doing some spring cleaning, we came across 160 3.5" floppy disks and various accessories. As no doubt some have personal data, I decided to check any that were clearly not driver or equipment disks.

To my surprise, around 80% of them were fully readable despite most containing data before the millennium! This includes 7 Windows 3.1 disks that came with a PC my uncle bought in 1992, all which fully read. Some of the rest just had one or two unreadable files.

As there is still a small demand for them (e.g. retro PC hobbyists, old floppy driven electronics and industrial equipment), I decided to auction them off.

I spent a full day formatting disks one by one until I reached 100 disks that fully formatted without bad sectors. I put the rejects in a separate stack. I can now see why most used disks sold on eBay are untested as it took about 3 minutes to format each floppy disk, despite the disks only having a puny capacity of 1.44MB.

These are the 100 disks that formatted with no bad sectors reported:
100 Good Floppy Disks

These are the 24 rejects, including a few with bad doors:
24 Defective Floppy Disks

Spot the difference… :grinning:

Of the 100 good disks, 99 have black plastic and the remaining one is blue, across various brands.

Of the 24 defective disks, there are 11 black, 4 blue, 2 grey, 2 red, 2 beige, 1 green, 1 white and 1 yellow, also across various brands.

The floppy disks were all stored in a dark loft, so they certainly were not affected by light. It makes me wonder whether coloured plastic affects other media such as memory cards and USB flash drives.


All 2HD?

You should be lucky to have functional drives :slight_smile:

I guess I have still some Panasonic (internal) drives and some external. Dunno if it works, I had enough bad Floppy-Disks in the time I use em for boot DOS 6.22 or Partition Magic from Powerquest

All 100 tested successfully have a second notch and I checked that they reported 1.44MB during the formatting process. 3 of the defective disks don’t have the second notch, which I presume are 720KB. These three are blue and have no branding that I can see.

The two floppy drives I also put on eBay are functioning. One is a Freecom USB floppy drive, which I used to format the disks. The other is an internal Teac Corp 2.5" drive, which I tested with multiple disks in my brother’s old PC that still has a floppy connector on its motherboard. To my surprise, Windows 10 works fine with both the USB and internal floppy drives, showing up as an ‘A:’ drive.

I even had an old Linux boot CD handy in anticipation that Windows wouldn’t recognise it, especially since Windows 10 no longer supports most old USB printers. For example, I have a HP 1100a laser printer that has outlasted many colour inkjets, but quite tricky to get working in Windows 10. Windows 2000 and I think XP had built-in drivers as I recall it just a matter of plugging it in after a fresh Windows installation.

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TBH, never tried a floppy in W10.

I had some old 720KB-disks which were very reliable, even it was a cheap brand called Microspot.

Still to find on Ebay Germany :wink:

XP and later don´t support format DD-disks from GUI, but read/write should work.

In the past I installed many newer Laserjet printers without W98(DOS)/XP-support whilst I used built-in-drivers from older laserjet-models. Some restrictions could be, like only printing from one or two trays, but it worked. Maybe an older printer works with newer drivers?

Floppy-Art :wink:

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The 100 floppy disks finally sold for just €28 after a week long auction on eBay. With €23 postage to the UK and additional eBay/Paypal fees, I just broke even. So ended up being a waste of a day formatting them all just to say 100 fully tested disks in the title. The pair of floppy drives and 36 disks I had in a separate bundle auction sold for €18 including delivery to an Irish seller, so made about €5 on it after fees and €11 postage…

On the positive side, at least there’s less clutter now in the cupboard and the drives and disks were given a new home rather than scrapped, as what happened to a large stack of 5.25" floppy disks I saw cut up in the rubbish bin by the time I found out my Dad was clearing out some of his old junk.

I found some some old routers and access points that I’ll try auctioning off. I initially thought these were worthless, but from checking through past sold listings, I see most sold for €20-€30, more than the floppy disks/drives and will be a lot lighter to mail. UK postage is incredibly expensive from Ireland. Even the cheapest courier starts at €20 and that’s with a 40 minute drive to their drop-off point.

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So I hope the Flopply´s will find a nice new home :slight_smile:

Have also some old routers, but I thin all are wortless. It have old german ADSL-standard and won´t work with 25Mbit and above or “IP-Anschluss” which is standard in (almost?) all telephone nets.

On a more general tangent.

Nowadays I don’t bother selling or even giving away old electronic/computer equipment. In practice I’ve found that every time I sold or gave away my old electronic/computer stuff to someone, they almost always expect “tech support” from me whenever there’s problems.

Easier to just throw out old computer/electronic junk to the garbage, than to deal with the headaches of friends/family asking me to fix technical problems of stuff I give them for free.

For similar reasons and headaches, I don’t even bother giving away my old cars anymore to younger relatives. They go straight to the garbage dump once all the paperwork is done.