Memorable Floppy Disk Data Recovery

It isn’t every day that I get a call about a floppy disk data recovery! I am always excited to try to recover important data that has aged to perfection. In this case, I was contacted by a gentleman who had a short story that he had written over 20 years ago that was on a 3.5″ floppy disk that wouldn’t mount on his computer.

Floppy Disk Data Recovery

I have recovered a couple of floppy disks in the past, so I told him to mail it in and that I would do my best to recover the data. I normally treat floppy disks the same as USB thumb drives or SD cards as far as the pricing tier is concerned, so it is pretty affordable to have me recover the data professionally.

Memorex Floppy Disk Data Recovery

Diagnosing the floppy disk

Once it arrived I inspected the media and it looked good with no visible damage… but after plugging it in, I found that it wasn’t responding and would freeze up the recovery software when I tried to access the first sectors on the media. I also noted the seek noises sounded repetitive (as if it was hitting the equivalent of bad sectors).

I attempted to access the last sector on the disk and found that I did have access to sectors on the media if I started at the end! I started a slow imaging scan in reverse and stopped the scan once it reached the beginning of the drive where it had issues. That initial scan got back about 90% of the sectors, but I slowly completed a few more passes in reverse allowing it to go further and further until I was sure had gotten all the sectors possible from the drive.

I ended up being able to recover more than 99% of the sectors, so I continued the process of scanning the recovery image for data.

Running recovery software

Once the imaging was complete on this floppy disk data recovery, I scanned the image with UFS Explorer Pro, and sure enough, there were the short stories! I was also able to recover some additional data that was stored on the floppy drive. Normally at this stage, I would move the data to a new hard drive and prepare to send everything back to the client, but for the first time in a very long time, I was able to email all the info to the customer. All 1.4MB of it. My client was very pleased with the results and was excited to have the data back.

Fun recoveries

I think there are two reasons I like working on an older floppy disk data recovery like this. 

  1. It is fun to remember the good old times. When I was growing up, floppies were standard, so working on one brought me way back. Basically, every part of the process is a shot of nostalgia.
  2. Getting the data back from old media is like opening a time capsule! There is something really fun about seeing the file types and even file sizes that we worked with back then.

Floppy disk data recovery options

If you have a floppy disk or other old media that you need to be recovered, please contact me by filling out my quote form or giving me a call. My phone number is (620) 615-6836. I don’t have the equipment necessary to recover from some older media types, but I would love to help you get the data back off of any media I am able to work with.

Floppy info: Memorex 2SHD, 1.44MB, 3.5″

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