Word processor file recoverable?

By spkenny ยท 11 replies
Mar 6, 2009
  1. I have received several floppies from a customer of mine who would very much appreciate anything I can do to recover the files off of them. They contain parts of a book he was writing, on an old word processor. I can get more details on the specific processor he used if needed. Upon inserting the disc, they all obviously ask me if I would like to format the disc, and reads no data on them. I am wondering if there are any programs availiable to read the data, or if I should possibly install windows 98 onto one of my older towers I have stored away, see if they will read the info? Here is a link to an earlier thread reguarding this similar topic, and 'realblackstuff' speaks of a program called smartdisk that reads over 200 different types of files. Anyone know about this at all? Here is the link to the topic here in techspot


    I followed the whole thread, but came up empty. My only lead seems to be the smartdisk program mentioned, but I cannot seem to find it. Basically any alternative method would be greatly appreciated to get this data off the discs somehow.
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Look I'm not trying to spam or anything but try the TRIAL of http://www.jufsoft.com/badcopy/
    If this doesn't help on your floppy recovery then they may be toast

    If it does work (but obviously you cannot recover under trial) then we'll try to source some free alternatives ;)
  3. spkenny

    spkenny TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 57

    hey, awesome, and thanks kim. I'll try it, get back to you :)

    This looks like a very good program to have in my arsenal, thanx kim. It seems anything that was on the floppy's though, are not able to be read by the program. I'm doubting if anything will even come up on a system with win98 which is the earliest platform I have in my possession.
  4. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    I read all posts even if you edit and add more info ;)
    So no need to reply twice just edit next time :) Although now you can reply of course

    Also, you only have Windows 98 ? :confused: :suspiciou
    Oh, just read it again. That's your earliest OS, in your possession
    Well XP will do, for all recovery stuff, we don't need DOS or 98 or anything.

    Yes I liked that software too, I was a bit concerned on other freely available options, ie h e r e for a floppy disk
  5. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    Like kimsland said, you won't gain anything from an older OS. The issue is being able to read the floppies at all, and that doesn't matter what OS since the floppies are almost certainly FAT formatted. There is a tiny chance they aren't FAT formatted, that would likely be the case if the dude was using a Macintosh computer... If he was using a PC they'll be FAT.

    If you ever manage to get the files off, OpenOffice is very good at being able to open a huge range of formats (ones that aren't supported by MS Office anymore, or never were to begin with).
  6. spkenny

    spkenny TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 57

    Thanks for the info guys, but the point here seems to be that with a word processor that far back, I dont believe we're dealing with a normal format. I've searched several sites now that explain this, although I dont completely understand it all. Somehow it's dealing with a dos format that the old word processors used. There's a lot I dont know about this.
  7. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    try recuva..... its free from the same makers of CCleaner...

  8. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    That isn't the problem if you can't even read the disks. I tried to explain that above. FAT has been used for floppies since their existance (3.5" at least). So if you can't read the disks it is because the disks are bad, or they are Mac formatted (as I said, unlikely if you don't already know).
    Again, I covered this above too. OpenOffice will open it. But if you can't even read the disks they could all be in a straight Windows Notepad .txt file and it wouldn't matter. You have to be able to SEE the files on the disk before you have a chance of opening them regardless of whatever format the files themselves are in.
  9. Taff

    Taff TS Rookie Posts: 38

    Hmm, didn't CP/M use a different format? Can you get info on the word processor hardware used by your customer, spkenny?

    Alternatively, try more floppy drives to read these diskettes, newer drives don't seem to be as good as the old ones.
  10. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    I haven't heard of anyone using CP/M in at least 10 years!

    If you cannot physically access the data, then you won't be able to use a software recovery tool like recuva.

    The data may be indeed lost without sophisticated recovery techniques. You will need a professional company that can try to extract data. This may be costly and there is no guarantee it can be done.
  11. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    I don't know, but I imagine this would fall into the same category as Mac formatted disks, if they were that format the dude would know that. If he doesn't know, they are almost certainly FAT formatted. I probably shouldn't have even brought up the possibility of another format since it is such a low probability that it would be without him knowing.
    My bet is the disks are just bad, floppy disks don't have an infinite life time.
  12. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,138   +985

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