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I'm about to attempt something odd, and before I wasted time going down the wrong paths, I thought I'd see if anyone here has done this before. I have a zip file created in DOS (in 1997?) with pkzip that is spanning several old floppy disks. As expected, some of these disks aren't in the best shape, and I get read errors when trying to copy contents off some of the disks. Is there a pkzipfix equivalent that I can use to restore some of the content of this zip file?

Here's what I'm going to attempt first, but I don't know if this will be fruitful:

  1. Connect a floppy disk drive to my Linux box.
  2. Create disk images of the floppies on my hard drive like this: cat /dev/fd0 > floppyxx.img
  3. See if someone has ported PKZIP to Linux and see if I can use these disk images. If not, look for Windows port (and maybe connect a floppy drive to that Windows box).

Has anybody here embarked in this type of adventure before and successfully restored an ancient archive like this?

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I think your biggest hurdle will be getting useful data off of the old floppies. –  Moab Mar 20 '11 at 20:09
That's my worry as well. I remember pkzipfix being able to "repair" zip files on flaky floppies (by skipping bad files), but I don't know how it does so. –  Jacob Mar 20 '11 at 21:37
Floppy disk drives often had alignment issues (which I'm sure you remember, but not fondly). Sometimes you can read a particular disk better on some drives than others. You may have some luck with reading the disks on another drive. Perhaps the alignment (or misalignment) of another will align better with your old disks. Good luck. Old disks often have just lost the data and there's nothing you can do about it. –  Wayne Johnston Mar 21 '11 at 0:51

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I had some partial success and was able to get some files out of the archive. First, I created an "fd" directory to mount those floppy images, then for each floppy image, I did the following:

sudo mount -o loop floppyxx.img fd
cat fd/myzip.zip >> combined.zip
sudo umount fd

Once I had a combined archive, I did this:

unzip -FF combined.zip

There are fewer files I was able to extract than I'd hoped. I'm still open for seeing if there's a more effective method of repairing a multi-disk zip archive.

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