Posted 04 October 2006 - 08:33 PM
you got my curiosity fired up so I went looking and here is what I found:
I've had this problem a couple of times in the past, and would suggest trying the following. Firstly, however, a disclaimer: anyone who tries this does so at their own risk, and I take absolutely no responsibility for damaging your disks or computer, or for losing your data, if you try it.
I would strongly suggest trying this first with a floppy on which there is not any important data and which you don't mind throwing away afterwards. Might also be worth using an old computer (rather than your main office one) in case the disk subsequently becomes stuck in the machine (shouldn't do, but it's worth noting).
Firstly, you need to remove the bent metal sleeve. You should be able to do this by bending one of the wings/sides outwards until it's at about 90 degress to the disk itself. I would recommend bending the side on the back of the disc (where the metal circle can be seen) as there are a couple of "runners" on that side which hold the sleeve in place and guide it backwards and forwards. When you're bending the sleeve (and you need to be quite brutal, it's worth supporting the disk by clamping it between thumb and finger so that the disk itself doesn't bend.
When you've removed the sleeve then you'll see a little spring. Examine the inside of the sleeve and you'll see that there's a little catch onto which this spring sits. You can try and get the spring back onto there when you replace the sleeve, but it's a tricky job.
Now either straighten the metal sleeve, or remove a less bent sleeve from another unwanted disk (the latter probably being the best idea in this case since you've said it's bent). Get the sleeve as straight and as thin as possible (i.e. back to it's original shape). The reason being that when you replace it and put the disk into your computer, then you want to be able to get it out of the computer again. If's not flush against the side of the disk then it might get stuck (can still be retrieved though, but that's another story).
Try slipping the sleeve back over the disk, getting the spring back in place. If you can't do this after a few tries, then don't worry as it doesn't really matter. Pull the spring out and just put the sleeve back on without it.
Now slide the sleeve manually (since you probably won't have a spring) so that the window shows the flimsy disk below. Then insert into your computer and access the data as normal. Probably best to immediately copy the data onto your hard disk and bin the floppy disk.
I've just tried all of the above with a couple of old floppies here and it worked fine. I could get the sleeve off, back on again (without the spring - too fiddley), move the sleeve to the 'open' position, put it into my computer (yes, my main office one, fool that I am) and read the data off it. So, it shouldn't be too much of a problem for you.
“Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded and the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics...you are all stardust.”― Lawrence M. Krauss
A 1792 U.S. penny, designed in part by Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, reads “Liberty Parent of Science & Industry.”