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5-1/2 inch floppy diskette reader

I have a large collection of inherited 5-1/2 inch IBM floppy diskettes that were readable on the old 386 PCs. Where can I find a device that will allow me to read their contents into a current Mac (G4 type) computer, preferably via USB port?

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Good luck reading them at all ...
due to the media the data will go away after time specialy if they have been packed in boxes against one another.
that is just fact.
but you can find drives at flea markets ebay an df computer shows.

Posted on Jun 13, 2008

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Metal sleeve


3.5" FLOPPY DISKETTE
Below we have represented a picture of the now commonly used 3.5" floppy diskettes. The below representation is what the back of a floppy diskette looks like. As you can see there are four main visible parts:
floppyd.gif First, the top left of the back of the floppy there is a small tab. This tab enables the floppy disk to be switched from write protected and un-write protected. Move the tab to the top position, creating a hole, makes the disk write protected. This means that nothing can be written, erased or deleted from the diskette. Moving the tab to the bottom position allows the disk to be un-write protected, which means the diskette can be written too, erased, and or have information deleted from the diskette. Some diskettes, which are generally cheaper diskettes, will be missing this tab. To write information to the diskette you will have to place a piece of scotch tape over the hole.
Second, the top right hand of the back of the floppy you will notice a small hole. This tells the computer if the diskette within the computer is a High Density diskette.
Third, you will notice the circular metal disk in the middle of the floppy diskette. This is used to rotate the magnetic medium within the floppy disk casing.
Fourth, you will see a metal door which can be moved left and then will snap back to its original position. This door is used to allow the read/write head within the floppy drive to have the capability of accessing the magnetic medium within the casing. Once the diskette is removed, this door will snap back into position, helping to prevent anything from getting on the magnetic medium and destroying it.
5 1/4" FLOPPY DISKETTE
Below is a representation of a 5 1/4" floppy commonly used in 1980's and is generally no longer used today. The 5 1/4" floppy diskette was really floppy (flimsy) when compared to the 3.5" floppy diskette.
floppyd3.gif As you can notice in the above illustration, the 5 1/4" floppy does not have many involved components. First, you will notice the Write protection tab which would be present if the diskette allowed information to be written to it. Placing a piece of tape over the hole or if the hole was not present would make the diskette write protected.
Second, you should notice the large hole in the center of the floppy diskette. This hole allowed the platter within the floppy to be rotated allowing the information to be read from the write access hole.
Third, you should notice the Index hole, this hole was the computer's way of knowing where the starting point of the sector was on the diskette by physically having a hole punched in the film disc within the plastic casing.
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