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(Find a PDF of these tips HERE)

SAFE HANDLING AND WRITE PROTECTION FOR (BORN DIGITAL) PHYSICAL MATERIALS

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- These are easily damaged by dust or fingerprints. Never open or remove the protective "door" on a 3.5" floppy, and never hold a 5.25" floppy anywhere but the label area at the top.

 


Write Protection:

- Double check the disk case for indications about write-protection (such as a "locked" symbol or an arrow).

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- Avoid excessive moisture, heat, pressure, etc.

 


Write Protection:

- Most USB flash drives do not have a write-protection tab, though some do.

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- Avoid excessive moisture, heat, pressure, etc.

 


Write Protection:

- Double check the disk case/ jacket for indications about write-protection (such as a "lock" symbol, arrow, etc.).

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- Types: IDE/PATA/ATA/EIDE, SATA, SCSI, FibreChannel. IDE/PATA was used 1986-2003. SATA was used 2003-today. If you are working with other types, an adapter can be purchased for under $10. 

- Common sizes are: 2.5" (laptops) and 3.5" (desktops).

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- Internal and external hard drive housings will protect against most ESD, but a wrist cable and/or ESD protection mat should be used.

- Be sure to ground the computer from which the drive is being removed. This means plugging it into a grounded outlet (make sure the computer is turned off), or connecting it to the center screw of the outlet strikeplate.- Removal is usually straightforward: unplug the drive, press necessary tabs, and pull it out. However, be careful not to damage other computer components with ESD, and don't get scratched by internal parts.

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- Don't put labels on the "breathing" holes.

 


Write Protection:

- For internal hard drives, use a write-blocking device that is designed for hard drives. These will accommodate SATA and IDE/PATA. For other types, you may purchase an adapter for about $10.

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7. Audio and VHS Tapes

- Avoid magnetic fields. Keep tapes away from speakers, magnets, or any devices that produce an electromagnetic or magnetic field.

- Do not touch the tape. Prevent dust or humidity from accumulating on the tape by only using it in dust free, low-humidity environments.

- Adjust tape tension appropriately before inserting into any device.

- Always rewind tapes before storage. Store upright.

- Avoid excessive heat, moisture, pressure, etc.

- Magnetic tape works better under relatively dryer conditions.

- Baking: Some professional data recovery organizations will gradually dehydrate magnetic tape that has absorbed too much moisture in a controlled environment over the course of several hours. Do not attempt this with a regular oven or without undertaking serious research to determine how to dry the tape without damaging it.

 

Write Protection:

- These tapes have write-protection tabs, as part of the plastic case, which must be broken off to prevent accidental recording.

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LINKS, GUIDES, REFERENCE

 

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- This is a great site for trying to figure out how to access things that are on floppy discs.

 


http://www.atarimagazines.com/creative/v9n12/205_Floppy_disk_handling_and_.php

- This is just a quick overview of floppy disc care.

 


The UK National Archives has a Guide: Digital Preservation Guidance Note #3: Care, Handling, and Storage of Removable Media

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- This is a basic guide to all kinds of removable media.

 


http://www.itl.nist.gov/iad/894.05/docs/CDandDVDCareandHandlingGuide.pdf

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