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Magnetic floppy disk eraser

B

Ben Weaver

Jan 1, 1970
0
Hi all...

A bit off topic, this one. But hopefully someone will be able to help.

Problem is this: I have a very big box of second-hand floppy disks.
They're 3.5", mixed format and mixed density (720k/1.44Mb).

I'd like to erase all of them, or at least completely screw up what data
is on them. There's too many to format all of them individually, so I
need a bulk eraser.

Now I understand that bulk erasers are very costly. I'm on a budget of
almost zero. (I'm doing this for a non-profit computer recycling
organisation that I run.)

Has anyone ever constructed a home-made device for this kind of task?
I'm thinking of something like the degaussing coil out of a
telly/monitor, or a hard disk fixed magnet on a little motor or something...

Anyone?

Thanks,

Ben Weaver
~~~~~~~~~~
 
L

Lord Garth

Jan 1, 1970
0
Ben Weaver said:
Hi all...

A bit off topic, this one. But hopefully someone will be able to help.

Problem is this: I have a very big box of second-hand floppy disks.
They're 3.5", mixed format and mixed density (720k/1.44Mb).

I'd like to erase all of them, or at least completely screw up what data
is on them. There's too many to format all of them individually, so I
need a bulk eraser.

Now I understand that bulk erasers are very costly. I'm on a budget of
almost zero. (I'm doing this for a non-profit computer recycling
organisation that I run.)

Has anyone ever constructed a home-made device for this kind of task?
I'm thinking of something like the degaussing coil out of a
telly/monitor, or a hard disk fixed magnet on a little motor or something...

Anyone?


Ben, this is somewhat illogical since if you do bulk erase the disks, you
will
have to reformat them anyway. That having been said, I have had some disks
that needed to be bulk erased before they would work properly. I have never
met a bulk eraser that could be left on for an extended period of time, most
have a self resetting thermal interrupter to shut them down when they get
hot.

http://www.degaussers.net/Diskettes.htm
http://www.benjaminsweb.com/gscbenjamin/specs.htm
http://www.repairfaq.org/REPAIR/F_audiofaq2.html#AUDIOFAQ_006
 
J

JeffM

Jan 1, 1970
0
...box of second-hand floppy disks
...erase all of them, or at least completely screw up [the} data
Ben Weaver
illogical...you will have to reformat them anyway
Lord Garth

I'm with Garth on this one.

That being said,
an old filament transformer which has 1 easily-removable side (core)
is the cheap way, but as Garth also said:
most have a self resetting thermal interrupter
to shut them down when they get hot

(watch the heat).
 
N

Nick Hull

Jan 1, 1970
0
Ben Weaver said:
Hi all...

A bit off topic, this one. But hopefully someone will be able to help.

Problem is this: I have a very big box of second-hand floppy disks.
They're 3.5", mixed format and mixed density (720k/1.44Mb).

I'd like to erase all of them, or at least completely screw up what data
is on them. There's too many to format all of them individually, so I
need a bulk eraser.

If you just want to screw up the data (for privacy, etc) you could
probably do that by passing a powerful rare earth magnet over them
individually. The magnet would have to be powerful & close but RE
should work try it and see.
 
S

Steve

Jan 1, 1970
0
Lord Garth said:
this is somewhat illogical since if you do bulk erase the disks, you will
have to reformat them anyway.


....but at least the data can't be retrieved by the next person to use
the disk!

Also, rather than formatting every single disk solely to remove the
data, you can format the disks as you require them!

I had just this kind of problem last week. Luckily I work in a TV
studio and had access to a VCR tape bulk eraser. It did the job
nicely! Although, the disks are light enough to get stuck in the
machine due to the magnetisim! Just line them up so that the next
disk pushes the stuck one out the other side.

Perhaps you have a TV studio or video editing facility nearby?

nifty
 
L

Lord Garth

Jan 1, 1970
0
Steve said:
...but at least the data can't be retrieved by the next person to use
the disk!

Never do a 'quick format'...then there is no problem.
 
M

Michael Black

Jan 1, 1970
0
JeffM said:
...box of second-hand floppy disks
...erase all of them, or at least completely screw up [the} data
Ben Weaver
illogical...you will have to reformat them anyway
Lord Garth

I'm with Garth on this one.

That being said,
an old filament transformer which has 1 easily-removable side (core)
is the cheap way, but as Garth also said:
most have a self resetting thermal interrupter
to shut them down when they get hot

(watch the heat).

I thought the question was because they would be giving away, or selling,
the resulting blank disks. They don't want the present contents remaining,
so they want a simpler way of erasing it all. It may take the same total time
to reformat the disks later, but if they are done piecemeal it's not
nearly as noticeably significant a task as having one guy sitting there
reformattting hundreds of disks at one time.

For that matter, even if they are just using the disks within the
organization, they still may want to clear out old data before putting
them into circulation. Who knows when someone might take a few floppies
home for their own use? And again, realistic or not, it's perceived
that using a bulk eraser will be faster than the whole reformatting process.

One scheme I recall seeing was lining up a string of magnets in an
alternating format on a piece of metal, and using that as a bulk floppy
eraser. This was in a short lived computer magazine put out by the same
people that did The Audio Amateur. I couldn't give a date, or any more
specifics other than I think the magnets used were taken out of
refrigerators; the doors all have that flexible magnet under the
seal to hold it closed.

Michael
 
J

JeffM

Jan 1, 1970
0
At some point you must verify the integrity of the media.
(You wouldn't sell people junk would you?)

Since the disks must be fornatted to be used,
combine the 2 steps and sell them as "Formatted".

Saves youn grief on returns / bad reputation
and makes you look like an "added-touch" outfit.

If they're used in-house,
avoid having skilled staff analyzing bone-head problems (bad disks).
Put an unskilled somebody on a bank of computers during down-time
and have him batch-format the lot and destroy any failures.
 
M

Michael A. Terrell

Jan 1, 1970
0
Ben said:
Hi all...

A bit off topic, this one. But hopefully someone will be able to help.

Problem is this: I have a very big box of second-hand floppy disks.
They're 3.5", mixed format and mixed density (720k/1.44Mb).

I'd like to erase all of them, or at least completely screw up what data
is on them. There's too many to format all of them individually, so I
need a bulk eraser.

Now I understand that bulk erasers are very costly. I'm on a budget of
almost zero. (I'm doing this for a non-profit computer recycling
organisation that I run.)

Has anyone ever constructed a home-made device for this kind of task?
I'm thinking of something like the degaussing coil out of a
telly/monitor, or a hard disk fixed magnet on a little motor or something...

Anyone?

Thanks,

Ben Weaver
~~~~~~~~~~

Call a local radio station and explain what you are doing, and ask if
you can stop by with a box and erase them on their bulk eraser. You
might luck out and find they have an extra, older unit they would
donate.
 
B

Ben Weaver

Jan 1, 1970
0
Hello all.

Thanks for the great response!

Everyone is quite correct. Once they've been bulk erased, they'll need
formatting. This is okay, because I plan to give them away to people who
visit my recycling project workshop. As there's only me running it,
there's no chance of me sitting down to format each individual one. But
if someone picks up a handful of disks and takes them away, then it
won't be too hard for them to sit down and reformat say ten of them. And
if one or two are dud, then there's no worry because they were free
anyway. It would be nice to act as an "added-touch" outfit and ensure
that each one is formatted and working, but really my primary aim is to
just catch useful stuff that's heading towards the bin and find uses for it.

There seem to be several excellent suggestions for erasers, so I'll play
about a bit and see how I get on.

Ta once again.

Ben
~~~
 
S

Steve

Jan 1, 1970
0
this is somewhat illogical since if you do bulk erase the disks, you
will have to reformat them anyway.

Never do a 'quick format'...then there is no problem.

The OP said;
"There's too many to format all of them individually..."

Passing 200 floppies (for example) through a bulk eraser will take
about 5 minutes.

Doing a full format on 200 floppies will take HOURS!!

The OP won't be using the disks, he plans to give them away in small
bunches to his clients.
 
A

Ardent

Jan 1, 1970
0
X-No-Archive: yes

an old filament transformer which has 1 easily-removable side (core)
is the cheap way, but as Garth also said:

Just wipe with a magnet from an old hard disk and that will cook the
data for good!
 
M

Marty Casanova

Jan 1, 1970
0
"Ben Weaver" said:
Hi all...

A bit off topic, this one. But hopefully someone will be able to help.

Problem is this: I have a very big box of second-hand floppy disks.
They're 3.5", mixed format and mixed density (720k/1.44Mb).

I'd like to erase all of them, or at least completely screw up what data
is on them. There's too many to format all of them individually, so I
need a bulk eraser.

Now I understand that bulk erasers are very costly. I'm on a budget of
almost zero. (I'm doing this for a non-profit computer recycling
organisation that I run.)

Has anyone ever constructed a home-made device for this kind of task?
I'm thinking of something like the degaussing coil out of a
telly/monitor, or a hard disk fixed magnet on a little motor or
something...

Anyone?

Thanks,

Ben Weaver
~~~~~~~~~~


Try poring a coke or pepsi on them. The acid will eat the bytes away.
And the sugar will gum up the works. Of course this will destroy them.
 
T

Tim Kettring

Jan 1, 1970
0
Or use the magnet from a high-watt speaker.

tim
 
G

Gordon Youd

Jan 1, 1970
0
My dog can do 1000 in 5 minutes.

(Tongue in cheek)

Gordon.
-------------------------------------------
 
R

R. Steve Walz

Jan 1, 1970
0
Ben said:
Hi all...

A bit off topic, this one. But hopefully someone will be able to help.

Problem is this: I have a very big box of second-hand floppy disks.
They're 3.5", mixed format and mixed density (720k/1.44Mb).

I'd like to erase all of them, or at least completely screw up what data
is on them. There's too many to format all of them individually, so I
need a bulk eraser.

Now I understand that bulk erasers are very costly. I'm on a budget of
almost zero. (I'm doing this for a non-profit computer recycling
organisation that I run.)
 
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