Bad Distribution Disks

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comradesean
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2014 5:25 pm

Bad Distribution Disks

Post by comradesean »

I'm having an issue with a particular expansion pack, The Secret Missions for Wing Commander, which I think is due to them being distributed on a cheap batch of floppies. I've gone through three copies of the game so far and each one scratched up real badly in my drive.

I've attempted to release some stress on the spring of the drive and also cleaning the disks themselves (Which has worked before on other games, but these ones aren't actually that dirty. Just fragile. Hell, one disk was stored in a box with a perfectly preserved copy of WC1).

They're not super expensive or rare so I'm going to try and find another copy on eBay. Does anyone have any hints or tips? Is there some kind of "sealant" or just a solution I could use to protect the magnetic disk?

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IFW
Posts: 3079
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 2:42 pm

Re: Bad Distribution Disks

Post by IFW »

Are these 5.25 disks?
I had the same problem with many c64 disks released by Domark; most of them had very thin disk jackets.
You can try to replace the jacket.

Alternatively, you can try changing the friction, by e.g. spraying a very little IPA on the disk surface through the head window on both sides of the disk and dump it instantly afterwards.
You CAN damage the drive head this way - so not recommended for expensive flippy modded drives :lol:

Both worked for me... but YMMV.

SomeGuy
Posts: 252
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:18 pm

Re: Bad Distribution Disks

Post by SomeGuy »

What method did you use to clean them?

comradesean
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2014 5:25 pm

Re: Bad Distribution Disks

Post by comradesean »

IFW, yeah they're 5.25''. I don't think I see much of a size difference between the jackets, but I'll try swapping it and using IPA when my next one comes in. I've got a spare drive I don't care too much about sitting around here.


SomeGuy wrote:What method did you use to clean them?
I wouldn't recommend it to anyone, but I started by using q-tips with rubbing alcohol. I really only do this when there's obvious signs of dried liquids or something growing on them and my success rate has actually been pretty good.

I actually removed the last one from the jacket and wiped it down with a cloth as a last resort and it lasted a bit longer, but it still fell apart before giving me a good read.

I have a few other "methods", but they're my last resorts and kinda reckless like drenching the entire disk in water and spinning it to clean against the inner cloth. So easy to ruin 3.5'' disks this way.

SomeGuy
Posts: 252
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:18 pm

Re: Bad Distribution Disks

Post by SomeGuy »

Right, don't spin a disk in a drive while it is still visibly wet. More friction. Did you re-insert the cookie in to a known good jacket? The liner in old jackets can hold on to dirt, residue from the air, and also degrade over time.

Here is a description of a cleaning method I often use that works well for me:
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=1135#p10491

Here ChuckG describes a more professional method of "baking" cookies to deal with shedding:
http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum ... 42663.html

You might actually test those on your old damaged copies and observe if the disks continues to shed.

That actually sort of reminds me of one disk I did ages ago that may have been wabash media used for a factory original boxed program. As I recall I used the q-tip/alcohol method at first and it started to rip itself up badly. But then I backtracked and tried the above washing method. I observed it was not damaging itself any further, and surprisingly despite visible damage was able to get a good (or good enough) read from that disk after that.

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