Perfect looking disks may still be gunked

Just a little reminder that even perfect looking floppy disks may be ready to fall apart, or have residue or gunk on them that can damage the disk and/or foul a drive.

I had just opened a set of disks that were still enclosed in multiple layers of shrinkwrap and looked almost brand new. I was so sure they would be fine, I made the mistake of just plopping one in to the floppy drive. Fortunately I did start with a less important disk, was watching the Kryoflux output, and noticed the signal had suddenly turned noisy. I immediately stopped it, and took a closer look.

There was a thin nasty layer of residue all over the disk surfaces that was only clearly visible under good light from just the right angle. I tried giving a couple of the disks my usual cleaning, and they still needed touch up with a q-tip afterwards. But even after getting all of the gunk I could see, the heads were still cutting grooves in to the surface. At that point I decided it wasn't worth it to keep the disks intact, so I opened up the jacket, cleaned the cookies directly, and placed them in to a known clean jacket.

Surprisingly, managed to get a good dump from all of the disks in the set, even though they continued to deteriorate.

So the point is, even perfect looking disks in sealed plastic wrapping can be ready to fall apart. Always inspect carefully.
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