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Wabash floppy disks?

smp

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In the past, I had the good opportunity to pick up a small pile of floppy disks for my Northstar disk interface in my IMSAI system.

I have been going through these floppy disks slowly, to determine if there is software on them that is useful to me, or if the floppy disk could become a good used scratch disk.

As you might expect, there are a variety of makers, from blank no-name floppies, to Dysan, Inmac, Verbatim, Opus, Athana, Scotch, BASF. and... Wabash.

I recall at least a little bit of discussion about the (poor) quality of Wabash floppy disks at some time in the past.

Can anyone offer me an opinion on the Wabash floppy disks? Are they worth the risk, or should I simply set them aside and not use them at all?

Thanks, in advance, for your thoughts and comments.

smp
 

krebizfan

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Tap them on a table and see if the envelope shows dirt as the media flakes off. Any disk that is losing material should be thrown away immediately unless there is a file on it you need to save. Test every disk before inserting it into a drive, even the ones from generally trusted manufacturers.

I would pass on Wabash disks unless I have no other disk available and I have cleaning equipment for the inevitable clogged read/write heads.
 

SomeGuy

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I recently had the pleasure of reading in some (mostly unimportant) 8" disks, including some Wabash media. All disks have a risk of falling apart, especially if they were stored poorly, but mine had been stored indoors in a cool dark location for their entire life and yet they all still exhibited nasty problems.

I don't know the precise reasons, but even though they looked in good condition, placing a disk in the drive "as is" would cause a loud shrieking sound from the head. This will eventually rip the disk up and could potentially damage the head. And apparently I had already done just that with a couple of the Wabash disks on my first attempt to read them back in the early 1990s. So these things were already crap when they were not that old.

On some disks the jacket liner was sticking to the disk surface. There would be a ripped pattern of dots, the same pattern as the liner, on the disk surface. I'm not sure was exactly caused the sticking (disintegrated disk binder? the adhesive that hold the liner on?)

Since mine had not totally turned to dust, I experimented with some techniques involving rinsing the disks with warm water and carefully drying them. For most of them that eliminated the screeching sound and let me read much of the contents.

If you want to be professional about recovering data, Chuck has a method that involves removing the "cookie" from the jacket, cleaning it, baking the cookie (yummie!), placing it a known good jacket and then reading it.
 

Chuck(G)

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If you want to recover data from Wabash floppies, be ready to clean the drive heads several times and bake those cookies. You might have some luck. The problem with Wabash (and they were never that good) is that the binder is deteriorating. It was doing that 15 years ago.

Oddly, I've had decent luck with Wabash half-inch tape. Go figure.
 

smp

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Bedford, NH, USA
Thanks very much for your thoughts and comments, guys.

No, happily, I do not have any data that I must recover from these floppy disks. I just wanted to re-confirm what I thought I'd heard earlier, that Wabash floppy disks are to be avoided if at all possible. I'll set these aside. Sadly, my stash of used 5.25 inch 10 sector hard sector floppy disks has now been cut in half.

smp
 
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