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macsonny's picture
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Joined: 2021 Mar 4
an odd disk type?...

not sure if this is the right kind of place to ask but anyhow I was wondering why one disk won't either read or soft-eject and after a while I finally figured to unplug both cables on the LS120 drive and only plug the power one back in alone, that was thankfully enough to make it willingly eject the disk

and when I looked at the shutter it said '3.5, DS' followed by '1.0MB' .. has anyone here ever heard of such a disk formatting before?

at least since its an user disk (rather than retail disk) and the label is blank I'm not going to worry about if there was anything still on it but I just had to wonder if its worth giving this oddball disk away to someone else (together with the usual heap of 1.44's) or just crush it

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SkyCapt's picture
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Joined: 2017 Jan 11

I don't have much useful to say about it. But love to comment in irony anyway that the "1.44 MB" version of disk while most popular was actually the industry's oddball if in name only.

MegaByte is 1024 x 1024 bytes. The drive industry used to be critisized for selling drives in which their MegaByte was 1000 x 1000 bytes. They were short changing us. The "1.44 MB" disk historically is where and when they first started crossing that dumbness line. The name comes from "1440 KB" so the "MB" of the 1.44 disk is a MegaByte that equals 1024 x 1000 bytes, a hybrid of the other TWO nomenclature systems, the only one of its kind.

And about the "1.0 MB" disk you found. I hope the makers know theyre not supposed to write "1.0" in polite company unless it is exactly "1.0000..." otherwise if it's not (known to be) precise it's to be written simply "1" not 1.0

Maybe the 1.0 disk can be a functioning 800KB or 720KB.

sstaylor's picture
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Joined: 2016 Aug 26

Yes, the 1Mb disk is functionally a 720k (for PCs) or 800k (for Macs). I think part of the discrepancy is from the 1024 vs 1000 byte thing and part of it is space set aside for directory information, volume labels, boot sectors, etc.
Also, you will sometimes see 1.44Mb disks labelled as "2Mb" for the same reasons.

macsonny's picture
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Joined: 2021 Mar 4

thanks for mentioning that sstaylor, after having to 'cold reboot' the external drive quite a few times (a few disks with blank shutters turned out to be likely non-1.44mb ones) I was a little hesitant at first to to put the separated pile of 2mb disks into the drive too but now it sounds like I probably didn't have to worry! soon going start going through these

macsonny's picture
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Joined: 2021 Mar 4

720/800k? hmm thanks, I guess I'll let the person that gets the heap of discs&disks have it just in case he/she would have an equally vintage disk drive around to use it with!
(footnote: from some small tidbits I had found elsewhere the LS120 can't handle pre-1.44 medias so thats apparently why it got hung up on this one disk till I "cold-rebooted" it)

sfp1954's picture
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Joined: 2013 Dec 29

True. 1.44 only.

MikeTomTom's picture
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Joined: 2009 Dec 7

I had found elsewhere the LS120 can't handle pre-1.44 medias

This is the case for every USB external drive that read/writes floppy media. It's not just a "feature" of the LS120.

Additionally, all USB floppy disk drives can read/write 720k DOS FAT12 formatted floppies, but none can read/write 800k Mac HFS formatted floppies or write 800k Mac disk image files back to 800k floppy media.

See article: Working with Macintosh Floppy Disks in the New Millennium