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Floppy disks come in several different varieties and sizes, including the 5.25-inch and 3.5-inch diskettes that were common in the 1980s and the high-density 3.5-inch floppy disks that were prevalent in the ’90s. The easiest way to retrieve information off one of these disks is to use an old computer with the appropriate drive to read the disk, then copy the information onto a newer format, such as a flash drive. Alternatively, you can purchase special drives equipped with USB ports designed to interface with these older disks for as little as $20 to $60. For easier data collection, download readily available software that allows you to make a complete digital image of the disk and preserve as much of the original material—including deleted files—as possible. Once you have the information, though, you still have work to do. You’ll need the appropriate software to open the files—a text editor or photo editing program, for instance. As with most older technologies, using the original software is preferable and will generate the best results. Once you open the files, you can transfer the information to a current file type.
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