Fixing File System On Retail Floppy Game Disk

Using TestDisk to repair the filesystem
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Fixing File System On Retail Floppy Game Disk

#1 Post by mikeabson » 23 Jun 2012, 05:57

Hi all,

Long story first, please bare with me here so I can my explain situation. (I'm using Windows 7 64-Bit Home Premium here).

I recently purchased FIFA International Soccer on eBay. I've got the box with manual and registration card, along with the original 3 floppy disks. I had inserted the first disk in to my USB floppy drive and the disk was recognised without a problem, so I ended up installing the game in to DOSBox and all went well.

I decided at this point I was going to back-up all 3 disks using WinImage, since the disks are 14 years old (1994). I was able to back-up disks 2 and 3, but for an unknown reason, disk 1 appears to have become corrupted somehow, where Windows 7 tells me I need to "Format the disk".

Needless to say I was pretty mad when this happened. I had originally downloaded BadCopy Pro to see if the files could be recovered, and according to the trial version, they could be, but before I invested in $40 for it to recover the files, not even knowing if this would be successful, I decided I'll look around for some other software, and ended up coming across TestDisk.

To cut the story short here, I was able to get TestDisk to copy the files from the floppy disk in to a folder of my choice, then copy the files over in to a new WinImage file and save it, which worked perfectly, so a big thank you to the software developer for allowing me to recover the data and save me $40!

Now on to my problem.

The disk was being detected as FAT12, however the geometry was basically being detected as a 11482 TB / 10443 TiB disk instead of a 1474 KB / 1440 KiB disk. I was able to change the geometry, and TestDisk saw the size of the disk correctly, not sure if this is a bug?

What I was hoping to do was to get TestDisk to "fix" the floppy so that Windows and WinImage would see the disk correctly as it did the first time I had inserted the disk in to the floppy drive, but I have a feeling I may have made the situation worse.

I had gone in to Boot / Rebuild BS and in there (from memory) was
  • and [Write]. List wasn't showing anything, however [undelete] was showing all the files I needed. I selected [write] thinking this would repair the disk, however it appears to have re-written the file system as FAT 32, (the disk is now being detected as Intel/PC instead of None like before.

    I cannot get TestDisk to "see" the files on the disk any more, I get a message telling me the File System may be damaged , however I know they are still there because I can tell by the disk size as being by reported by TestDisk. BadCopy Pro also still sees the files as being recoverable.

    What I wanted to know is, is there a way I can covert the file system back to FAT12 and repair the disk so that Windows and other programs such as WinImage can see the disk properly? The files aren't damaged from what I can tell, it's just the file system I think.

    Any help would greatly appreciated!


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Re: Fixing File System On Retail Floppy Game Disk

#2 Post by Fiona » 23 Jun 2012, 16:51

Don't change anything to your floppy anymore.
Did you mount your floppy using this way; ... g_TestDisk
Floppies normally using no partition table, that's why you shouldn't write any.
You could try to mount your floppy using testdisk, choose partition table type "None" and go Advanced / Boot.
Might be possible that your floppy ist listed under advanced as "Unknown".
In case go to type and add your FAT12 partition type.
Confirm at "Boot" and run "Rebuild BS".
Afterwards you should have a try to list your files using the menu "List".


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Re: Fixing File System On Retail Floppy Game Disk

#3 Post by mikeabson » 24 Jun 2012, 12:10

Hi Fiona,

Thanks for the reply. I did initially mount the floppy the way you suggested, and was able to at that time "undelete" the files because using "list" wasn't displaying them. In my attempts to fix the disk, I had gone to "write" and realise I shouldn't have done that!

I did what you suggested:

- Select None (Non Partitioned Media)
- Geometry (Being detected as 1.44TB if I don't change it)
- Advanced (showing up as partition "P Unknown")
- Type: FAT12
- Boot
- Rebuild BS

After that, I end up with this:

FAT : 12
cluster_size 1
reserved 1
sectors 2880
fat_length 9
dir_entries 0
Extrapolated boot sector and current boot sector are identical.

When I select List, I get: No file found, filesystem may be damaged.

If I exit TestDisk and run it again, the filesystem has not been saved as FAT 12.

Worse case scenario is I could format the disk and copy over the file recovered files and leave it at that if it works, but I'm trying to save the originality of the disk and the volume serial number before going that far. There isn't a way for TestDisk to display the volume serial number is there? I haven't found a way. If I can get that, I can use VolumeID to set it back to what it was before I formatted the disk.


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Re: Fixing File System On Retail Floppy Game Disk

#4 Post by ACard » 05 Dec 2012, 20:15

There is a utility on the Microsoft website for changing volume serial number (ID) - VolumeID v2.0 ( ... s/bb897436). You could get a new disk (your current one is likely damaged), apply the relevant ID and copy over the files. The command line syntax is Volumeid x: xxxx-xxxx, where x: is the drive letter.

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Re: Fixing File System On Retail Floppy Game Disk

#5 Post by cgrenier » 24 Dec 2012, 08:07

If you want, run TestDisk, partition type None, Advanced, Image creation, zip the file and send it via email.
I will see what it is possible to do.

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