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How To Save Your Computer Software That Is On Floppy Disks

Updated on June 9, 2010
Figure 1  All the software shown in their own folders.
Figure 1 All the software shown in their own folders.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Figure 3, Each folder contains the files that were on the original three floppy disks.
Figure 3, Each folder contains the files that were on the original three floppy disks.
Figure 4, FinalWriter is ready to be installed on a Windows machine.
Figure 4, FinalWriter is ready to be installed on a Windows machine.
Figure 5, FinalWriter is now installed.
Figure 5, FinalWriter is now installed.
Figure 6, The word processor is now up and running.
Figure 6, The word processor is now up and running.
Figure 7, The Amiga Assign command
Figure 7, The Amiga Assign command

It could be too late now that the computer industry has moved away from the floppy disk. I myself have tried some of my own disks, and yes, some of them are now unreadable. However, if your floppies are still good, there is a way to save them. Obviously you can simply back up personal files on your hard drive or burn them to a CD or DVD, but what about software. What if you have that particular application or game that you still want to use. I know, most software would be obsolete by now but maybe you still need or like to use some application or game.

For example, I wrote a thesis many years ago with Wordperfect5.1. This is the version that didn't need Windows and was launched from DOS. Even though I had a couple of paper copies on hand, I wanted a pdf version. Instead of buying more software I was able to reinstall Wordperfect and then use a Windows pdf plugin. If I would not have saved the software on CD I never would have been able to get my pdf copy because when I tried to use the disks, one of them was unreadable.

As shown in Figure 1, this is how I set up saving software. Most of it is actually Amiga software with a few DOS folders shown. There was a very good Amiga writing program called FinalWriter. Since then, the company Softwood has gone out of business. Before they went under they managed to port FinalWriter over to Windows. To this day I still use FinalWriter once in awhile. Figure 2 shows what is inside the DOS folder. There you can see the FinalWriter folder. If you open this folder you will see three folders named; Disk1, Disk2, and Disk3, see Figure3. The software can be installed in two ways. The contents of the three folders can be copied to three floppies and then installed or the CD can be inserted and then you will have to direct where Windows can find the necessary files. Figure 4 shows the CD inserted in a Windows computer with the FinalWriter disk 1 open. Simply clicking on the SETUP.EXE file will install the program. Figure 5 shows it installed. Clicking on Finlw32.exe launches the program and Figure 6 finally shows FinalWriter running.

The Amiga had a nice command called, Assign. By using this command you can redirect the computer to look for certain volumes. In Figure 7 you can see how the command works so a public domain Star Trek game can be played. This game originally ran on a two floppy disk drive computer without a hard drive. If you copy it to a hard drive and try to play the game, it will not work. It will ask that you insert the disk STGame. To correct this, you use the Assign command to tell the computer that the STGame disk is now in a folder located on the WinHD_D drive. Only one command is needed to play the game but if you now try to save a game it will then ask that you insert the STData disk. Again, you can remedy this by redirecting to the volume on the WinHD_D drive.

For some time computers have not been shipping with floppy disk drives, but you can buy a usb floppy drive at major online retailers for roughly 20 dollars.

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    • gramsmith profile image

      gramsmith 8 years ago

      Very helpful tips.Thanks.........

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