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Old 05 September 2016, 19:00   #1
dirkies
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Which brand of 3.5" floppies was the best in those days?

I was wondering. So many brands out there but there was certainly a difference in quality! Whether it was the magnetic disk itself, the shutter mechanism, the write protect tab, the glue holding the 2 plastic sides together or even the labels!
My best experiences were always with Nashua and 2nd place Maxell.
Worst were the C= labeled cream coloured ones, absolute rubbish in every aspect, broke down so often. And no-name blue ones with white label were also crap.
So in general the conclusion was you got what you paid for!
Any other opinions?
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Old 05 September 2016, 19:07   #2
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Verbatim - better plastic, shutter but I don't remember about life span. My most disks were no-name in different colors, even yellow.
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Old 05 September 2016, 19:09   #3
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Correct. Those were not bad either. I must go through my disks once to establish a hall of f/shame
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Old 05 September 2016, 23:06   #4
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whats the life span of a floppy disk?
 
Old 06 September 2016, 02:21   #5
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It's how long without read/write error. Sorry for my english if it wasn't clear.
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Old 06 September 2016, 03:10   #6
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From my personal experience, and checking my personal floppy archives, my best floppies - the ones that work perfectly up until now - are all top brands. These include:

Sony (these were the best, judging by how many have survived error-free until now)
SKC (also very good)
Philips
BASF
Norm
KAO
Olivetti
TDK
Mitsubishi
IBM
3M
Nashua
Memory
PRO Line

From my original disk archives (approximately 200 disks), those are the ones that seem to be more durable and reliable. There are also a few sturdy disks with no discernible brand proving that some third-party retailers were also of high-quality.

I don't know what was the median or average lifespan of a floppy disk, but from experience, I say that it depends VERY MUCH on the quality of the floppy disk. Some lasted no more than a couple of years while I have some that are over 25 years and counting, still working like a wonder.
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Old 06 September 2016, 09:40   #7
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For some irrational reason, I always like the models with plastic sliders. They felt more sturdy somehow..

I don't have a clear picture regarding which floppies survived the best in my collection. It seemed that the errors were pretty evenly distributed, although no-name disks might have been prevalent. About 80% of my floppies are no-name types though. I also noticed several problems reading several of my Sony floppies. But simply looking at my collection is not a proper statistic. I could just have a bad batch since most of them were probably bought together.

I remember that when buying brand new floppies in the 90s, it wasn't uncommon to encounter 1 bad amongst every 10, while this was not the case with brand name disks. So the ones that were bad from the factory should already have been discarded from my collection.

Part of the premium of paying for brands was probably that they tested the disks and offered a warranty. I think that the platter itself in no-name floppies might have come from the same production facilities as the brand name floppies so you might be lucky to get some good ones.

This is like buying cheap no-name wine in a box. It is a random mix of leftover wine, but you might get lucky and get a good mix, although it is a gamble that you normally lose.
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Old 06 September 2016, 14:30   #8
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went through my floppies and took a scan of each different brand. No-names were obviously not scanned. I must say the BASF and Nashua ones are a majority of branded disks, and the Nashua's still work FINE since 1988
The Commodore branded ones were all crap and most simply cannot be formatted anymore and make this rotating noise when inserted.

Maybe you will recognize some brands, just ignore the labels, it's old stuff
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Old 06 September 2016, 14:33   #9
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I see you have a single-sided disk. I've only ever seen one of those IRL, so not very common.
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Old 06 September 2016, 14:35   #10
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yeah noticed too there are 3 single density disks (can you spot them all? never paid attention to that back in the days!), although it did not seem to affect operation on the miggy.
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Old 06 September 2016, 15:17   #11
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So I guess perhaps it is like 5 1/4" floppies which often stated single-sided but were actually (always?) double-sided. The difference may be that the 2nd side is not guaranteed to not having defects.
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Old 07 September 2016, 09:14   #12
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TDK was the best for me. JVC/BASF among the worst. Sony didn't last that well in use either, even though they invented the damn 3.5" disk.
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Old 07 September 2016, 09:33   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirkies View Post
yeah noticed too there are 3 single density disks (can you spot them all?
One Konica, one BASF flexydisk and one Sony.
Although some of them does not specify SS/DS so they could be as well, like the C= ones. Don't think there's any way to spot the difference if they didn't print it on the disk.
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Old 07 September 2016, 09:54   #14
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Most of my disks were SKC, that were pretty valued at those days here. Verbatims were also good. TDKs were expensive and I also remember a brand "Precision", that was crappy.
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Old 09 September 2016, 05:26   #15
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Not sure of the exact brand, but were labelled as "Value Disks" IIRC, and sold by a chain of stores in NZ called DEKA. Sold in packs of 10 for anywhere between $10NZD to $20NZD. Bought so many of those, I felt like I was keeping them in business.... usually had a 90% hit rate with them.
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Old 09 September 2016, 11:12   #16
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I bought Select brand disks from Argos, generally pretty reliable and cheap
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Old 09 September 2016, 13:35   #17
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Rarely see them mentioned but I really, REALLY liked Fuji Film floppies, both 5.25" and 3.5". To this day they are probably the longer lasting ones I ever owned.
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Old 09 September 2016, 16:43   #18
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I always had the best results with the 3M/Imation.
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