Write protect your floppies!

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mrpijey
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Write protect your floppies!

Post by mrpijey »

An increasing amount of offers and uploads come with scans of floppies with write protection set to off.

Write protect all your floppies at all times!

Especially before scanning and dumping the floppies. So many floppies come with the dreaded IHC tag (what did you think Microsoft?) which could have been prevented with properly write protected floppies. And it's also a major pain to request rescans because you didn't bother write protecting. You always put the discs back into your covers? Then please always write protect your floppies.

Thanks.
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AlphaBeta
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Re: Write protect your floppies!

Post by AlphaBeta »

I feel that it's a bit late for such a warning, as the damage such as the infamous IHC tag has most likely been already done years ago when the respective floppies were in active use. Not to disagree though.
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DiskingRound
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Re: Write protect your floppies!

Post by DiskingRound »

Imagine if there was a flyer back in the late 80's or early 90's that said "WRITE PROTECT YOUR DISKS!". Probably not. Look at what happened to that Windows 1.00 beta. All mucked up. Only 1 disk works.

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Re: Write protect your floppies!

Post by qazmko1029 »

I think mrpijey warn this now because Windows 10 can easily corrupt an original floppy media. It creates System Volume Information automatically to EVERY writable media including floppies, which is really annoying.

Overdoze
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Re: Write protect your floppies!

Post by Overdoze »

DiskingRound wrote:Imagine if there was a flyer back in the late 80's or early 90's that said "WRITE PROTECT YOUR DISKS!". Probably not. Look at what happened to that Windows 1.00 beta. All mucked up. Only 1 disk works.
That was likely overwritten on purpose, whereas this topic warns primarily about accidental writes, such as the IHC tag.
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Re: Write protect your floppies!

Post by Darkstar »

I'm using a KryoFlux to dump my floppies, so the whole "IHC" fiasco doesn't apply to me. It's mainly a "all scans should look the same" type of thing, which I basically agree with completely, but if I happen to forget to set the WP on some floppies, it does not make any difference for my dumps :)
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Re: Write protect your floppies!

Post by AS95678 »

what is an IHC Tag? I'm a little out of the loop so some info would be nice

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Re: Write protect your floppies!

Post by Edness »

AS95678 wrote:what is an IHC Tag? I'm a little out of the loop so some info would be nice
This should give you a pretty decent explanation
http://www.os2museum.com/wp/the-ihc-damage/
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mrpijey
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Re: Write protect your floppies!

Post by mrpijey »

Darkstar wrote:I'm using a KryoFlux to dump my floppies, so the whole "IHC" fiasco doesn't apply to me. It's mainly a "all scans should look the same" type of thing, which I basically agree with completely, but if I happen to forget to set the WP on some floppies, it does not make any difference for my dumps :)
It does apply to you in a sense, if you don't write protect your floppies before you scan them then you will call down the wrath of the FTP admin :).

Either way it's always good to have write protection set, regardless where you use the floppies. If the software can write back data then every means should be taken to make sure that the software can't write it in case something goes wrong.
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Re: Write protect your floppies!

Post by xelloss »

DiskingRound wrote:Imagine if there was a flyer back in the late 80's or early 90's that said "WRITE PROTECT YOUR DISKS!". Probably not. Look at what happened to that Windows 1.00 beta. All mucked up. Only 1 disk works.
Actually well-informed people used to write protect their disks in the early 90's due to how common DOS viruses were.
However you needed to be alert all of the time because when you bought new software, the disks were usually delivered with writing enabled.

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Re: Write protect your floppies!

Post by JimOlive »

Why would you need to write protect when scanning? I know floppy diskettes use magnetic material, but it seems odd normal light would affect it. Besides, the material won't be exposed anyways, at least on a standard 3.5" floppy. Also, when your dumping a floppy disk, you're reading data, not writing.

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Re: Write protect your floppies!

Post by xelloss »

JimOlive wrote:Why would you need to write protect when scanning? I know floppy diskettes use magnetic material, but it seems odd normal light would affect it. Besides, the material won't be exposed anyways, at least on a standard 3.5" floppy. Also, when your dumping a floppy disk, you're reading data, not writing.
As was recalled in this thread, your system can easily write to disk even when it is only supposed to read from it (unless a write blocking device is used).
But the question should really be reversed: why on earth would anybody want to write-enable a disk on which they don't intend to save anything?

Source: I have made this mistake in the past and I regret it.

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Re: Write protect your floppies!

Post by Overdoze »

JimOlive wrote:Also, when your dumping a floppy disk, you're reading data, not writing.
Never assume something does only what it was intended to do. The IHC tag is a good example where software went out of its way to do something it was not told to do by the user.
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Re: Write protect your floppies!

Post by DanielOosterhuis »

JimOlive wrote:Why would you need to write protect when scanning? I know floppy diskettes use magnetic material, but it seems odd normal light would affect it.
And if it did, it still would affect it. I mean, a magnet would ruin a floppy too, a plastic tab isn't going to change that. Neither would light be stopped by the tab. I think the real reason to having to have the tab set to write protect while scanning, is simply so the floppy scans are all consistent. BetaArchive has a bunch of logical rules for naming and scanning, so that all the releases in the FTP are consistent and easy to find, so it would make sense if the write protect tab having to be enabled while scanning is simply as an addition to that.
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mrpijey
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Re: Write protect your floppies!

Post by mrpijey »

Why argue if a floppy should be write protected or not? Unless you intend to write something onto it (which i hope you don't if you want to preserve its original state) it should always be write protected by default.

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Re: Write protect your floppies!

Post by Darkstar »

DanielOosterhuis wrote:I mean, a magnet would ruin a floppy too
I found this to be one of the many urban myths floating around in the internet. I once tried rubbing a regular magnet over a 5.25'' floppy and it had absolutely zero impact on the data. It was not a rare earth magnet though (they didn't exist back then in the quantities they do now), I would have to re-do the calculations I did back then for these, but I guess the result is practically the same.

It's not the strength of the magnet (measured in Gauss or Tesla) but the field intensity (measured in Oersted) that matters.

This is also why so many companies successfully built computers where the floppy drives were integrated just below a (rather big) CRT tube or near the power supply, both of which are known to contain large solenoids that build up large magnetic fields.

Nevertheless it is probably still a good idea to keep magnets away from floppies :)
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Re: Write protect your floppies!

Post by mrpijey »

Not to mention that most people don't even know how a floppy drive works. It's not like it just shoves an active magnet (regardless of size) over the disk and hope for the best. The power is controlled depending on if it reads or writes and a floppy drive doesn't do that randomly, so unless there's a very specific power surge or error in the controller it should never "accidently" write anything to a drive. And unless you somehow reprogram the floppy controller software it's more or less hardwired to not allow the OS or sorrounding hardware to write even if the write protection tab is open.

Just write protect your original floppies and stop arguing :). Unless you deliberately have a reason to destroy your originals, but then this entire community is pointless for you :).
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Re: Write protect your floppies!

Post by Videogamer555 »

I don't think Windows XP does that to the floppies though. I dumped an IMA disk image from a game once on my XP box a while ago, and uploaded it to an abandonware website. Just now I downloaded that disk image from the site to verify it after reading thread, and I looked at it in a hex editor. There is no string "IHC" anywhere in the disk image. It seems to be completely unaffected by this Windows9x bug.

Good thing too, as I never assumed that Windows would write data when I tried to read data, so I never had write protected the floppy.

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