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Old 10-07-2018, 11:16 AM   #1
ericlindellnyc
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External floppy -- Can't Read Superblock


Trying to read external 3.5” floppy drive turns on LED for a few seconds & then
“Can’t read superblock..”

Mac, linux & windows — all have same problem.
Some floppies are read successfully by all 3 OS's.
Some have superblock problem. I've read many forums, with these results ..

LINUX
I’ve tried to read floppies into gparted to fix partitioning problem (if there is one).
Gparted doesn’t show the floppy as a device — even after “refresh devices” & reboot.
Linux “Disks” utility shows the device — but smart-test is not an option.
Diskutil list doesn’t show the device.

MAC
Mac Disk Utility doesn’t show the device, so “First Aid” isn’t an option.

WINDOWS
Can’t run disk test.

HARDWARE
"Lock/unlock" switch on floppy doesn't help.
I have internal IDE floppy drive but no way to connect it.
IDE/SATA//USB connector doesn’t work for floppy drives (only for HDD’s).

Any help much appreciated !!

Last edited by ericlindellnyc; 10-07-2018 at 11:21 AM. Reason: lock floppy doesn't work
 
Old 10-07-2018, 11:29 AM   #2
jsbjsb001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericlindellnyc View Post
Trying to read external 3.5” floppy drive turns on LED for a few seconds & then
“Can’t read superblock..”

Mac, linux & windows — all have same problem.
Some floppies are read successfully by all 3 OS's.
Some have superblock problem. I've read many forums, with these results ..

LINUX
I’ve tried to read floppies into gparted to fix partitioning problem (if there is one).
Gparted doesn’t show the floppy as a device — even after “refresh devices” & reboot.
Linux “Disks” utility shows the device — but smart-test is not an option.
Diskutil list doesn’t show the device.

MAC
Mac Disk Utility doesn’t show the device, so “First Aid” isn’t an option.

WINDOWS
Can’t run disk test.

HARDWARE
"Lock/unlock" switch on floppy doesn't help.
I have internal IDE floppy drive but no way to connect it.
IDE/SATA//USB connector doesn’t work for floppy drives (only for HDD’s).

Any help much appreciated !!
While why anyone would still be using floppy disks I don't know, if more than one system is having problems reading it, then it would strongly suggest to me that the floppy disk's filesystem is corrupt. Particularly when at least 3 different systems are having the same trouble with it.

Re-format it with a new filesystem.
 
Old 10-07-2018, 11:38 AM   #3
average_user
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsbjsb001 View Post
While why anyone would still be using floppy disks I don't know, if more than one system is having problems reading it, then it would strongly suggest to me that the floppy disk's filesystem is corrupt. Particularly when at least 3 different systems are having the same trouble with it.

Re-format it with a new filesystem.
Is it also possible that floppy disk is dead and you can donate it to the local computer museum.
 
Old 10-07-2018, 11:41 AM   #4
jsbjsb001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by average_user View Post
Is it also possible that floppy disk is dead and you can donate it to the local computer museum.
Yeah, was just thinking that - it's certainly one of the mentioned possibilities. Although, would you still get any error message if it were dead? Maybe not.
 
Old 10-07-2018, 12:23 PM   #5
ericlindellnyc
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Thanks all for info. I'd like to retrieve data from these old floppies before tossing them.

If the disk is dead, Ubuntu Disks wouldn't recognize it, would it?
The drive can't be dead cuz LED goes on.

Perhaps there's a bash command to fix formatting, partitioning, sectors, or registry. (It's recognized by Disks but not gparted.)

Last edited by ericlindellnyc; 10-07-2018 at 12:29 PM. Reason: Add info.
 
Old 10-07-2018, 12:26 PM   #6
jsbjsb001
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Registered: Mar 2009
Location: Earth? I would say I hope so but I'm not so sure about that... I could just be a figment of your imagination too.
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You can try recovering the files from it with some recovery tools, but I don't like your chances. Floppy disks are just not reliable.

If the disk is dead, then no, as I said above, I wouldn't think it would even give you an error message either.
 
Old 10-07-2018, 12:54 PM   #7
fatmac
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Maybe try dd-rescue to create image files of your floppy disks, & see if you can loop mount the image files to recover your data.
 
Old 10-07-2018, 01:04 PM   #8
michaelk
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A floppy disk does not have a MBR or partitions so gparted is of no help.

You can copy the floppy to a file using the dd or ddrescue command. fsck may repair the disk and you can try file recovery tools but I suspect the floppy is bad.
 
Old 10-07-2018, 01:32 PM   #9
ericlindellnyc
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Thanks again to all .. currently trying recovery tools from Ubuntu software repository.
Also gonna try fsck & dd-rescue. will post results !!
 
  


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