Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

What software is recommended to get data off old floppy disks? The disks are formatted in FAT.

The disks have word documents on them. The floppy disks are from around 2000. I am on windows 7 and ubuntu.

share|improve this question

It is less about software and more about hardware when recovering data from floppies. Considering the disks are 12 years old, though, it is unlikely that anything available to average users will be able to recover the data due to degradation, damage, proximity to magnetic or electrical sources, etc.

You need a drive sensitive enough to pick up the now-faint or garbled information from the disks, if they're even readable at all.

share|improve this answer
@jake The surface of the floppy itself can flake/smear off onto the readers heads. On the hardware side of the situation, get another floppy reader (that is clean and new and quality), and a cleaning disk for the reader. Chances of recovery, slim. – Psycogeek Feb 21 '12 at 23:36

If they contain important data give them to a professional data recovery service before shredding them in an old floppy drive.

If you just want to try, try to "ddrescue" ( them into a floppy image and repair the filesystem insinde the image file you mounted using a loop file ( to save the disc )

share|improve this answer

You don't need any special software.

IF you can read the floppies in whatever drive you have just make an image of them with dd. You can then mount that image and check out whatever was on there.

If you can't read them in your floppy drive though there is nothing you can do with software to fix that hardware problem. A "better" floppy drive might work, although you'll probably make the disk worse by trying over and over.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.