How to make a floppy drive head cleaner

Mac Format - - LOVE YOUR MAC -

1 Dirty

The read/write heads on a floppy drive col­lect dirt and metal ox­ide par­ti­cles. This will even­tu­ally stop them read­ing re­li­ably. Com­mer­cial clean­ers are ex­pen­sive now, due to lit­tle de­mand, but you can make a sin­gle-use stand-in.

2 Thrifty

Crack open a 3.5-inch diskette from the end fur­thest from its shut­ter. Slide out the flex­i­ble disk and pop out and keep the metal hub the drive uses to spin it. Trace the disk’s in­ner and outer edges on some thin card and cut it out.

3 Boozy

Glue felt or cot­ton to one side of the card and glue the metal hub in place. Lightly wet the disc’s cloth face with iso­propyl al­co­hol; oth­er­wise, vodka will do, or even gin – you want a good sol­vent that won’t leave sticky residue.

4 Clean

While it’s wet, put your clean­ing disk back in its case. In­sert into the drive. Mac OS will com­plain it isn’t read­able, but the heads still rub against the clean­ing pad while it looks for a valid disk. Try for­mat­ting 10 times or so for best re­sults.

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