So I’ve been talking with Frank Sapone about recovering old data and how I’ve had the worst luck with old 3 1/2″ disks. Even sealed stuff like the MS-DOS client components of SQL Server 4.21a which Microsoft chose not to put on the CD-ROM, but rather on floppy diskette … which are not readable.
What is surprising is that not only has he had the same luck with 10-15 year old 3 1/2″ disks, but with 26 year old 5 1/4″ disks is that he can read them fine.
That is right, 26 year old disks work fine with a good Panisonic 5 1/4″ drive mechanism, including a box of random disks he bought on e-bay that went through the old fashioned metal scanners, that he thought at best was a bulk lot of junk, he could read 100% of them with no errors.
I can only wonder how many people are sitting on ‘good media’ still factory sealed to only find out they are completely worthless.
If you’ve got old stuff, you better read it NOW… Otherwise it’ll probably never work, esp if it is 3 1/2″.