Yesterday I decided to start the process of converting some of my old Amiga floppy disks to the .ADF format. It is a time-consuming job, but thanks to the wonderful EasyADF application from AmigaKit, it’s not very hard to accomplish.
My main reason for doing this, is that I want to share some old and rare stuff with the Amiga community. As an example, I’ve got several demo-packs that I haven’t found available for download anywhere on the Internet. It would be a shame if no one decided to save these productions for the future. 🙂 Another reason is that I want to preserve some of my old disks in virtual form as a backup. Then I don’t have to worry about loosing precious software anymore. 🙂
I’ve already mentioned the EasyADF application from AmigaKit. Just have to say that this piece of software is brilliant if you want to do some hassle-free conversion of floppies to the .ADF format. It’s very easy to use and even if you are a complete beginner, you should be up and running in no time. Below is a picture of the main screen. Everything is pretty straight-forward as you can see.. Just click on “Make ADF from floppy”, insert disk and Bob’s your uncle.
Everything went well with the conversion of the first floppies, but then I suddenly encountered the dreaded “read-error”.. the disk couldn’t be read properly! Since my floppies are now very old, I should have seen this coming. It doesn’t help that quite a few of them have travelled all over the world due to mailtrading/swapping.. Before the emergence of the Internet, we exchanged floppies by regular post. 😀 Sadly I haven’t paid enough attention to them during the last decade and now I’ve got to pay the price. I had to put the faulty disk aside. The same thing did, unfortunately, happen with others as well. The majority of the disks were OK, but I got a pile of non-functioning ones after a while. It was very sad and I hope I haven’t lost the stuff that is stored on them forever.
I’ve now posted a thread on AmiBay (since they have an “oracle-section” there) requesting some help and tips for salvaging what’s on these old disks. I’ve received several helpful pointers already and will try them out as soon as possible. Since faulty disks are a problem many will encounter these days, I thought I’d post the suggestions here. 🙂
- Use a 3.5″ floppy disk cleaner between every one or two disks, since old disks make the floppy-drive dirty (thanks to Mjnurney)
- Use an application called Disksalv from Dave Haynie (thanks to Phantom)
- Try the disks in a different drive. I’ve got an Amiga 500 here, but still no TV-modulator. I Can test the disks when it is up and running (thanks to Moijk).
Hopefully this will help me salvage some of the lost data. Fingers crossed it will work! The first thing I’ll try is to use a cleaning disk.. I’ve got one around here somewhere.. 😉
Have any of you tried your old disks and found them full of errors? I don’t think I’m alone in this situation. It’s great that we can convert them to files though.. that will help us saving precious stuff for the future.