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Did my mobile Phone wipe tracks/sectors of my floppy disk?!?


Marius
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Hi all,

 

Since a few months I'm heavily concentrating on getting back to my original setup. Atari 800XL, 1050 diskdrive.

 

I have my favorite games and main tools on floppy disk.

 

Everything fine so far.

 

The last few days I have over 100 times rebooted my Dos 2.5 floppy disk without any problem. I didn't do any writings to that disk (that is something I'm 100% sure of).

 

Today I wanted to reboot the DOS 2.5 disk, but after reading a few sectors the 1050 kept retrying a certain sector and then a boot error followed.

 

My mobile phone was on my desk and near the stack of floppies. And... it was not on WIFI but on Mobile Network.

 

So I was wondering: is this the cause?

I this actually possible?

 

Thanks

Marius

 

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I'd doubt very much, the waves the phone puts out vary depending on who is saying phones are safe to use and those saying they radiate the brain, I don't have a mobile or a brain so I'm safe one way or another. I very much doubt unless you had a set of mobile speakers sat on top of the disks that the phone could have done the deed.

 

Awaiting other replies, could be interesting...

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Yes, it's very possible your phone blew out your disks!

 

I worked at a waterpark where people would place their game cards directly on top of their phone. Guess what? And it happened quite often... the magnetic swipe on the card became unusable. Only takes but a few minutes and zap!

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Vibrate function would probably create the moving type of magnetic field which is the enemy of magnetic media.

 

I have tried to repeat it, but so far my test disk still works. I have to write a tool that checks every sector (or perhaps is simply reading all sectors in a copy program already enough).

 

I have not tested with vibration function. Perhaps that is indeed the issue.

 

Are there any other common things in a household that have magnetism that might harmed this disk?

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Most likely you are just a victim of old magnetic media, old drive, or just time in general. It's lucky it still works at all after 30+ years.

 

This crossed my mind too, but I doubt it in this case. I haven't had any failing disk ever; and the disks I'm using now are brandnew (were still sealed), and they look also still fabulous ( I know you can not check this by eye, but the overall state of the disks is extremely good condition). Next to that: I created this disks only a few days ago. So I am pretty sure it is not the case of old age.

 

Edit: oh and yes, it is Double Sided, Double Density, 48TPI XEROX brand 5.25" floppy disks.

Edited by ProWizard
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Interesting topic.

 

Related question -- Does anyone have an idea of what that Samsung MST phone feature could do?

 

Reportedly, when the phone is near a point-of-sale card swipe it can broadcast a field strong enough that the magnetic stripe reader believes it read a physical card stripe. I would figure it must be pumping out a decent magnetic field to trick a read head from a distance without touching it.

 

Does anyone know how to evaluate how strong this field could be? Would it nuke old school floppies?

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Are there any other common things in a household that have magnetism that might harmed this disk?

My old cat once bit one of my disks, luckily it was on the corner :-D

 

I'd doubt very much, the waves the phone puts out vary depending on who is saying phones are safe to use and those saying they radiate the brain, I don't have a mobile or a brain so I'm safe one way or another. I very much doubt unless you had a set of mobile speakers sat on top of the disks that the phone could have done the deed.

 

Awaiting other replies, could be interesting...

World health authority: http://www.who.int/features/qa/30/en/

"Based on mixed epidemiological evidence on humans regarding an association between exposure to RF radiation from wireless phones and head cancers (glioma and acoustic neuroma), RF fields have been classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B)"

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Can the disk be reformatted If yes then reformat and then put the phone back on the disk as a test and if it goes bad then you can be sure it probably the fault of the phone..

This goes for any other disk you want to test it on.

Well the disk reformatted well, and the DOS is again on the disk booting as expected (error free).

 

I did call my mobile phone several times. Swiped the phone while connected to the caller a few times over the disk both sides. Much more intense than happened when I expected a problem caused by the phone, and the disk seems to be ok yet.

 

Probably it was an unlucky coincidence...

 

I must say I am not used to bad sectors on 5.25" disks. In my entire life I think I have seen 5.25" floppy disks with problems not more than 2 or 3 times (probably less). So I found it pretty hard to believe that I now suddenly had this -for me- weird issue.

 

But... I keep investigating, since I find this very interesting.

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depends on the cell phone.... My daughters phone kills disks... mine doesn't.... alot of things that used to be safe just aren't anymore... everything used to be shielded..... very little is shielded today.... a disk that is weak is easily affected by magnetic fields.... it could last forever in its weakened state... but is very susceptible to being corrupted by even weak fields now... best to make full backups of everything just in case... sector field density resembles a slightly blurry edge on old disks.... one drive might read it another may not.... and alignment is not always the case... it may come down to head sensitivity and signal amplification when dealing with ancient disks....

 

I blame both the phone and the disk.... it was the combination of the two....

Edited by _The Doctor__
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