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Converting dBase iv disks from 5.25 to 3.5 media

Posted on 2013-06-08
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Last Modified: 2013-06-25
I still have my original dBase discs for version 4, but the discs are 5.25" floppies and I no longer have the drives capable of reading this format. I would like to resurrect the software but I need to know whether there is any way to transfer the files from the original 5.25" floppies to perhaps a 3 1/2 inch format floppy. I need to know whether it is possible to transfer those files somehow, and if they are transferred whether that will affect the installation from 3 1/2 inch floppies. I have some memories that the original floppies may have had some kind of copy protection built into them. If the copy protection is not an issue, how can I transfer the files from one format to another? Are there companies that do that? I do have some old 5.25" drives, but the systems that I have will probably not have a bios setting for that size drive. I could use some help in figuring this out; any help would be appreciated and points awarded. Thanks.
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Question by:mzimerman
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LVL 49

Assisted Solution

by:PortletPaul
PortletPaul earned 125 total points
ID: 39232901
wow, so you want 5.25 converted to 3.5 (aren't both considered 'old'?)

If you do some hunting there are services out there, e.g.
http://www.disktransfer.co.uk/floppy-disk-data-recovery-news.php

people who specialize in this would possibly be your best bet

regarding the copy protection - that indeed could be a problem - can't offer any advice on that - maybe if you find a good service provider they will know.
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LVL 95

Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 125 total points
ID: 39232925
Any half way modern computer will not accommodate a 5.25" floppy drive (I think I might have one in the basement). To the best of my knowledge there is no such thing as a USB 5.25" floppy drive.

There are all kinds of them below, but the trick will be to install them.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/Floppy-Zip-Jaz-Drives-/169/i.html?_kw=5.25+floppy+disk+drive

Here is another service that might be able to transfer the data.

http://www.floppydisk.com/

Might I suggest that 5.25" floppy drives are so old that the data may be useless anyway. They were of such limited capacity that starting over might be the best approach.

... Thinkpads_User
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LVL 83

Assisted Solution

by:Dave Baldwin
Dave Baldwin earned 125 total points
ID: 39233094
By the time of Dbase IV, the 5.25 disks were probably 1.2MB and would transfer just fine to 3.5 1.44MB disks.  But you do have to have a machine with both drives connected and working.  I do have a couple of such machines still.  I would clean the heads first though because the drive haven't been used in a long time and probably have dust on them.
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LVL 3

Accepted Solution

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Rincewindwizz earned 125 total points
ID: 39233341
As others have said, there should be no problem copying the files onto more modern media e.g.  3.5 'stiffies'.  But you can also copy the files onto your hard drive and install from there.

if the installation routine needs a drive letter, use the subst command to allocate a drive letter to the folder to which you have copied the files (see, for example,  http://www.labnol.org/software/assign-drive-letters-to-windows-folders/11434/ for more info.)

You may have to replicate the changing of installation discs by copying the next set of files to the install directory )(now labeled with a drive letter)

but an altogether easier solution can be had by simply downloading the dBase iv installation files from the www. You have a licence for the product so this should not upset anyone.

Google dbase iv and away you go. If that doesn't work let me know and I can email them to you (about 3Mb)
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Author Comment

by:mzimerman
ID: 39254395
I would really appreciate it if you could email those files to me at zimerman@mindspring.com
Thanks a lot.
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Author Closing Comment

by:mzimerman
ID: 39275073
Thanks for the helpful advice.
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LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 39275165
@mzimerman - Thank you, and I was happy to help. Good luck with your conversion.

.... Thinkpads_User
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