Dear Computer Lady,
I borrowed a floppy drive to open some archived disks made in Windows 98 (?), which were in storage for years.
My computer refuses to recognize the contents and wants to reformat them and destroy the data.
What software can I use to read these disks? My computer runs Win 7. The disk contents are from 1998 to 2004.
I don’t have a software solution to your problem because it is probably a hardware problem that is preventing your computer from accessing the files on the floppy disks.
This inability to read the disks can be the result of one of two problems. Either the drive that was used to write the contents of the disk was slightly off track, or the years of storage has degraded the disk.
If your problem is that the floppy drive that was used to create the disks was slightly off track, the only thing you can try is to use the original floppy drive to get your files. What used to happen with floppy drives is that as they got older, the read/write heads would drift away from their original position, and write your data in a slightly different location. This didn’t cause a problem as long as you are using the same drive to both read and write your disks.
If your data is extremely important, you can try sending them away to a data recovery company. Just go to Google and search for “Data Recovery”.
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Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
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