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Old 18 May 2008, 07:28   #1
Techx
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[RESOLVED] Horrible mistake with my Amiga Gear

Well this is a sad day for me.. I've been lugging around my a1200 and several hundreds of floppies with me since my Amiga was my primary computer back in the early 90's... Several years ago I did transfer all of the files off of my 245MB hard drive to a compact flash card and was happy that information was safe. So recently I started getting interested in a new project to look at all of my old Amiga floppies and to salvage as much as I could off of them. I figured that 15-20 years later that these disks may be fully corrupted but some of them should be ok since they were stored in a good environment. So I pulled out my boxes of Amiga disks from my closet and laid them next to my desk, where they sat for a week. After the week when I went back to start looking at them I realized a horrible thing. I had put them ON TOP of and right next to my new Logitech z-5500 subwoofer. AHHHH!!!!!!!! It's been so long since I have had to deal with such fragile magnetic media, I totally forgot that the very powerful magnet in that subwoofer was capable of wiping out all information on my floppies. And tonight I finally verified that it is true. Every disk I put in shows up 'DF0:????' .... So sad, I had lots and lots of games, apps, texts, and personally made graphics and music on them... I'm mad I make such a dumb mistake... anyway, thanks for listening.. by the way, I wonder if there is any amiga utility that can try to recover deleted data from disks, maybe I could salvage something from them.. I searched aminet but could not find anything
-Tim

Last edited by Techx; 27 May 2008 at 04:48.
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Old 18 May 2008, 12:17   #2
Boot_WB
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Gutted matey, it's so easy to forget.

A while back when I was tidying up my desk (papers, disks, bits of hardware piled everywhere) a quiet voice in the back of my mind said "Is that box of disks ok there?" Only then did I realise I'd put it right next to the phone. In these days of CDs and flash, the magnetic vulnerability of disks is easily forgotten.

I'm sorry to say it, but I doubt you'll be able to recover much (if anything) from the disks. Trouble is it's not just file allocation information which would have been deleted - the magnetic field will most likely have polarised the entire magnetic surface of the disks, such that they would need formatting again just to restore track and sector information to make it into a useable blank disk.

I do hope you prove me wrong and manage to recover some of your data through.

Sorry for your loss

On the other hand, it is worth checking every single disk just to be sure. Especially the ones with your personal data on - games can be replaced, documents/graphics/mods cannot.
Also, I'd try it with a couple of different disk drives (do you have an external one too?). Sometimes a worn floppy drive will be less effective at reading old disks than a cleaner, less used drive. This may also hold true in this case.
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Old 18 May 2008, 12:37   #3
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Old 18 May 2008, 14:03   #4
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the first thing you need to do is clean the floppy drive, especially the switch in the front bottom left? as this will give you DF0??? error`s
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Old 18 May 2008, 14:23   #5
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indeed i would agree with twizzle here,

before you consign these disks to oblivion, it might be worth investing in another working internal floppy drive.

this way, for about £10 not only can you validate the disks, but also should the internal one be or become dead you have a spare to use
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Old 18 May 2008, 19:06   #6
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twizzle/zetro: thanks for the idea but I just finished taking my entire amiga apart, I cleaned everything, even with 99% iso alcohol and qtips, this includes the floppy drive and the read/write heads.. everything in there was caked with dust but after i was done it looked fine.. unless there is another way to clean it? and i dont understand 'the switch in the front bottom left'

thanks

edit: i have an a500, would that floppy drive work on my a1200 if i swapped it out?

Last edited by Techx; 18 May 2008 at 20:02.
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Old 19 May 2008, 22:22   #7
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[quote=Techx;]and i dont understand 'the switch in the front bottom left'

this is the floppy read /write switch,
it has a tendancy to stick, giving the DF0??? error.
it has 2 plastic prongs sticking up from the switch,which tell`s the drive whether the floppy is write protected or not.
you spray the switch while gently pressing it up & down a few time`s to free it off.

you cant swap a 500 drive with a 1200 one

Last edited by twizzle; 18 April 2009 at 22:01.
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Old 19 May 2008, 22:37   #8
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Are you saying normal wb floppies are showing DF0:???? also. And its not disks that are games disks so on.

DF0:????, DF0:, DF): and NDOS disks worked similar, insert the disk then boot the amiga.

Cleaning is not much help if it's the drive at fault.

If with a new drive it is the same, see if you can recover the disks with disksalv (i'm sure disksalv was for this). For your normal dos disks, it could rebuild them from the directory contents.
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Old 20 May 2008, 04:12   #9
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thanks guys... although not having much luck finding a replacement floppy drive that is new..
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Old 20 May 2008, 04:27   #10
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You can in fact use the A500 drive to test...it'll plug in & work with your A1200...it's just too tall to fit inside the A1200 case

PZ.
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Old 20 May 2008, 10:47   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Techx View Post
thanks guys... although not having much luck finding a replacement floppy drive that is new..

AmigaKit has new drives for the A1200

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Old 20 May 2008, 18:18   #12
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Perhaps your memory is not what it was? Mine certainly wasn't when I went through a similar thing a couple of years ago...

My collection of non-essential but nostalic personal Amiga stuff extended to around 100 disks, which had been stored very poorly due to several house-moves and relocations over the past seventeen years. One day, during a period when I had a lot of time on my hands, I decided to buy an A1200 from eBay and finally transfer the contents of these disks.

However, when the Amiga arrived and I sat down prepared for a good ol' Amiga Explorer session, I was devastated to find that hardly any of my collection had survived. I was getting DF0:NDOS, DF0:????? and that chilling "clunk.. clunk.. clunk" sound that the drive makes when it can't read track 40. It was all becoming a tragic waste of time.

And I came close to writing off those disks, but thought, "they can't all be bad - there must be something I'm missing?" so I tried hard to recall the Amiga's idiosyncrasies and remember essential details that had been ravaged by time, and slowly but surely, I eventually managed to salvage most of the disks' contents.

Because:

* Many of my disks were formatted with the "DiskSpare" (is that correct?) file system, so they weren't recognised. Once this was installed, I copied every last file from them. I also used another similar system back in the day, but even after searching Aminet I couldn't remember, so these disks remain but have yet to be transferred

* Similarly, many of my Amiga disks were actually 720K MS-DOS formatted for transfer purposes. Of course, on a clean WB3 boot, they aren't recognised... I'd never thought to mark the disks as such..

* I was trying to boot from disks that had no bootblock installed (deceptive labels) so the HDD booted to Workbench

* I had to use Relokick to get at certain things from the OFS days

* Towards the end of my Amiga days I'd started using HD 1.44MB disks as they were cheaper and more plentiful but hardly any of these worked without persuasion. I covered the extra tab and slightly lifted the disk up using my hand whilst it was in the drive. I managed to coerce most of these in the end

On top of this, the drive in the A1200 was clearly bad - it made some awful noises: scraping, crunching, squeaking, grinding and clunking. But I got there in the end. To be honest, I even struggled to remember that checking "All Icons" was necessary to see the contents of the disks. I had to remember how to use CLI until I got my CUAMIGA Dopus4 disk working!

So, anyway, sorry for the ramble, but the moral of the story is - all may not be lost. If these things are important or precious, try to remember how they were created. It's all part of the nostalgia! In the past week, I've had to remember how to use "ED" on the Amiga just to edit a simple startup-sequence (which I initially saved to disk as "start-upsequence").

It's amazing what you forget...
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Old 20 May 2008, 22:39   #13
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Also, note that magnetic media are only affected by _changes_ in strong nearby magnetic fields. Not much chance of you not having played music on the subwoofer I guess, but yeah, you can put disks on top of magnets or in front of speakers.

So follow these guys' advice before giving up!
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Old 27 May 2008, 04:09   #14
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HUGE UPDATE:

Ok so I have been working on this problem since I last posted here. I opened my a1200 back up many times, re-cleaned the floppy drive heads with alcohol, drank much alcohol myself (mmm beer), and it turns out that many of my disks are just fine!!!!! Of couse I run into the occasional disk with bad sectors or some that are completely unreadable but so far I've recovered data from 50+ disks. What I'm doing is copying both all disk contents to seperately numbered folders on my PCMCIA/CF Card PLUS creating ADF's for each disk using TSGUI. The really really odd thing is my floppy drive only works when I have my a1200 disassembled and the top metal cage removed from the floppy drive. (Perhaps there is a short happening that I can not find?) I don't care though, whatever I have to do to get it to work, I'm fine with that. Thanks again to everyones help and ideas, I guess I jumped the gun with the whole subwoofer magnet thing, boy am I happy that I was wrong and it's something weird with the drive itself.

Cya,
Tim

Here's my messy setup



Here's my open miggy and my mouse, i have to use it like this and click on the actual buttons on the circuit board.. the top plastic housing of the mouse is so worn out you can't use the mouse buttons.. as bad as it looks it actually works great


Last edited by Techx; 27 May 2008 at 05:12.
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Old 27 May 2008, 09:54   #15
Boot_WB
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Excellent news!

I'm pleased that you managed to recover most of your data.

Regards



Rich
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Old 27 May 2008, 14:05   #16
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It is really great news that you managed to retrieve your information!!. I lost all my artwork back in about 1999, and was absolutely devastated!!!
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Old 28 May 2008, 21:48   #17
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glad you managed to get things working, albiet with the help of the heath robinson touch

thats a new one on me with the floppy drive though.
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