How do I tell if my diskette drive is bad?

The main reason I use diskettes is to support backup CDs.  These are Win2K setup diskettes plus the backup program's support diskettes.  So they're generally pretty full.

For the past several months, I have noticed that after I create a set of diskettes, about 1 in 10 (or more) are bad (cannot read, data error).

I've used different brands of diskettes (Sony, Imation, Memorex), so I don't think it's a specific brand.

But should I expect a "bad diskette" rate of 10%, or is my drive doing something wrong?  And how can I tell?

Thanks!
LVL 1
vknowlesAsked:
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

CrazyOneCommented:
>>> "bad diskette" rate of 10%

I would say so. I think that is close to what happens to me.
0
☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
I'd tend to agree but it's worth swapping the drive over with another one if you have one handy & see if you improve your hit rate.
0
LucFEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
Hi vknowles,

This is also happening to me when using old diskettes. Have you tried using new ones?

Greetings,

LucF
0
ON-DEMAND: 10 Easy Ways to Lose a Password

Learn about the methods that hackers use to lift real, working credentials from even the most security-savvy employees in this on-demand webinar. We cover the importance of multi-factor authentication and how these solutions can better protect your business!

vknowlesAuthor Commented:
LucF, thanks for the idea.  But, no, I'm using them new out of the box.

-Van
0
CallandorCommented:
Possibly a failing diskette drive?  Have you tried writing/reading those bad diskettes in another machine?
0
vknowlesAuthor Commented:
Callandor, when I read them in another machine, they still have data errors.

What I need to do, I think, is try re-formatting them in another machine to see if the problem is a bad surface or just a bad write.

But, suppose I do that and find that the diskette is just fine after formatting (the surface is okay).  What does that say about my original drive?

-Van
0
LucFEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
>What does that say about my original drive?
that you should try to replace it with a new one.
0
CrazyOneCommented:
Or cleaned. Most computer shops have CD cleaning kits.
0
CallandorCommented:
CrazyOne,

CD cleaning kits for diskette drives?
0
LucFEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
lol! vknowles, you should be looking for disk drive cleaning kits ;-)
0
☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
The cost of a brand new (floppy) drive is pretty low, I'd go for that or my earlier suggestion of pulling one from another machine, if the drive has failing hardware cleaning it is only going to give you cleaner failing hardware.
0

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
vknowlesAuthor Commented:
Uh, CrazyOne, we _are_ talking about diskettes, aren't we?

At least, my problem is with the old-fashioned 3.5" not-so-floppies.

:)

-Van
0
CrazyOneCommented:
Ooops I mis posted. LOL
0
vknowlesAuthor Commented:
I may actually have an old 3.5" drive floating around in a box, trouble is finding it.

I'll try to perform the check I mentioned and let you know what happens.

-Van
0
LucFEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
Ok, keep us informed....
0
AuriclusCommented:
By the way, Vknowles, it's easy to check the ingretity of you floppy disks if you have access to a Win 98/Me machine.  Pop the disk you want to check into the machine and run Scandisk.  Select the A: drive and scandisk which check the structure and ingretity of the floppy.  If you want to be through, run a surface scan as well.

As Masquerraid said above, floppy drives are cheap ($10-15), so don't waste any time with one which isn't working.

Auriclus
0
buckeyes33Commented:
Here is the things that I have noticed over several years.

1.  As stated above floppy disk that are older seem to have a higher percentage of bad disk.

2.  The older the drive the more bad disk that I seem to have.  i think that this is a dust problem.

I recently, when building a computer, went to a local computer store to get a floppy drive.  It was a name brand sony and it cost 13 bucks.  So drives are really cheap.
0
vknowlesAuthor Commented:
Thanks, folks.

I pulled out an old floppy and diskcopied it to itself several times.  After about the 16th time, it got an error.  I put it into another machine and the other machine was unable to correct the problem after reformatting, so I have to assume it was damage to the surface.

So, I think the drive might be bad (after all, it was a good floppy to begin with), although a sample of one does not a great experiment make.

Anyway, I guess I'll get a new drive, because I haven't been able to dig up my other one, and a new one is probably a better bet than a used one anyway.

There were so many good (and overlapping) comments that I'm going to be hard-pressed to distribute points on this one...

-Van
0
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Hardware

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.