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Significant progress and guidance has been produced in data recovery for 3.5-inch and 5.25-inch floppy disks, but similar recovery steps for 8-inch floppy disks remains less documented, while also requiring more setup and configuration. The authors present three use cases centering on different collections of 8-inch floppies at the University of Colorado Boulder, the Harry Ransom Center, and an independent collection of Datapoint 1800 floppies. Strategies and methods are presented for acquiring the necessary hardware, connecting and powering the devices, and preliminary steps in data acquisition. The authors describe specific impediments to data recovery and present the gaps in producing value out of the raw data acquisition. The authors conclude that encoding and format analysis, file extraction and older machine and software emulation are all areas for further exploration in the interest of bringing older 8-inch floppy media content to researchers.
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