How to test 3.5" floppy disks and drive?


  1. Posts : 16
    Win 7 Pro
       #1

    How to test 3.5" floppy disks and drive?


    My Windows 10 PC has a 3.5" floppy drive, and I have a few old boxes of disks here. I want to to a full format and verify on the floppy disks to verify that they are good, and that the floppy drive is working OK.

    Other than the built in formatter (does it verify?) are there any floppy disk testing programs out there that will work on a Window 10 or 7 machine?
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  2. Sven1458's Avatar
    Posts : 301
    windows 10
       #2

    Personally i would not trust floppies. they are not reliable. i would use a CD / DVD to store data, especially stuff i do not want to loose.
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  3. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 10,548
    Win10 Pro Versions 2004 and 2009/20H2, Win10 Pro IP_Dev, Win10 Home 1909
       #3

    With the 3.5" floppies and wanting to check for data on them first be sure to open the switch to prevent inadvertently writing to them or formatting. When assured nothing is to be saved close that switch and format. A couple three versions back of Windows just inserting the disk in the drive caused issues and disabling the process prevented issues.
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  4. Megahertz's Avatar
    Posts : 2,418
    Windows 7 HP 64 - Windows 10 Pro - Lubuntu
       #4

    Floppies are small in capacity (1.44M), they are slow an not reliable.
    On Dos era, I use to test the disk formatting with a surface test.
    Format the drive and run chkdsk x: /r
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  5. ArazelEternal's Avatar
    Posts : 355
    Windows 10 Pro x64
       #5

    I didnt think anyone even had floppy disks anymore, let alone a drive. If I were you, I would take everything important off those disks and erase them before getting rid of them.
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  6. Posts : 16
    Win 7 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #6

    They will be used on an Apple Quadra system, or Amiga or Atari ST. I just want to verify that they can still be used.

    At this point I'm just using the Format command in a CMD window to format them.
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  7. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 18,744
    10 Home x64 (20H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #7

    Calab said:
    They will be used on an Apple Quadra system, or Amiga or Atari ST. I just want to verify that they can still be used.
    At this point I'm just using the Format command in a CMD window to format them.
    As long as you don't use the /Q quick format option, then from the command line FORMAT should write zeros to every sector to test them. If you want a more thorough test, use the /P option to specify the number of passes to write.

    Code:
     /P:count        Zero every sector on the volume.  After that, the volume
                     will be overwritten "count" times using a different
                     random number each time.  If "count" is zero, no additional
                     overwrites are made after zeroing every sector.  This switch
                     is ignored when /Q is specified.
    (type FORMAT /? for more help)
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