Non-current, Rare Portable Magnetic Media


 Practically Extinct small

Materials saved to uncommon storage devices where the media is out of warranty, reader devices may no longer be supported or integrated into hardware infrastructure, and reader devices are extremely hard to acquire due to rarity: typically, more than five years old.

Digital Species: Portable Media

New Rescoped Entry

Consensus Decision

Imminence of Action

Action is recommended within three years, detailed assessment within one year.

Significance of Loss

The loss of tools, data or services within this group would impact on people and sectors around the world.

Effort to Preserve | Inevitability

Loss seems likely: by the time tools or techniques have been developed the material will likely have been lost.


Bernoulli, Canon Diskfile, Superdisk, Jaz, MiniDisc, and similar

‘Critically Endangered’ in the Presence of Good Practice

Data can be preserved only with the ability to acquire drives and make them functional; media items must be in good working condition; original documentation can be difficult to locate and drivers or other dependencies may be impossible to acquire; much specialized work is necessary to make drives work and transfer data.

2023 Review

The 2023 Council added this as a new, split entry related to the ‘Non-current, Portable Magnetic Media’ entry to highlight the increased risk for more unusual and less common formats associated with the media. They also noted that it is likely that more current formats will fall into this category over time, there will remain a need for use and development of forensic tools and techniques. The Council also recommended that an effort to create a comprehensive list of formats that may qualify for this category be undertaken.

Additional Comments

The 2023 Council additionally recommend there be an open call and encouragement to the community to contribute examples to add to the entry for the next major review of the Bit List, as by their nature they are harder to identify and by addressing those not as common, there can be further development and cross-referencing across resources (e.g. registries, technology watch, etc.).

It is important to distinguish these materials from the floppy, hard drive, and other common formats for which there are still a large number of readers available and tools have been developed (FC5025, KryoFlux). These less typical, unusual or ‘weird’ formats were momentary and ephemeral and weren't very popular, but archival data exist on them and there are very few readers available and very few tools, if any, exist to support them. There is an overall lower impact because there are few collections on these media, relatively.

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