After we found out about the fdrawcmd and the characteristics of the Nashua disk and its track 0, we hoped to reproduce it on the relevant disks. Unfortunately no success here. We had to rule out possible problems like:

  • The disks were not formatted at all (because of being backup disks – at least some labels imply this – and many people never check if their backup worked until they actually need it).
  • The disks might have been improperly stored before they were transferred into the University of Freiburg archive, thus losing most of the magnetic charge
  • The drive simply cannot interpret the actual recording

In parallel we are still trying to get in contact with people who either have old hardware running, some 8” disks to spare or deeper background knowledge to help us to better understand the problem and verify our hardware setup. In the meantime we are trying to get down to the lowest layer – the physical readings produced by the drive before interpretation and digitisation takes place. We hope to identify if the disks contains any recorded information at all using an oscilloscope connected to the analogue amplifier after the magnetic reading head.