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Dave's Disk Doctor Service

Was this a Unique Company?

This Company ceased trading and was formally wound up on 2nd July 2002. Alternative disk salvage and data conversion services are still provided by a number of companies. For a list of these, click here. Although I have passed on all my stock of equipment and 3" disks, I find I do still have a few dozen used DSDD 3.5" disks which are used in the AMSTRAD machines with a 3.5" disk drive fitted. These are fairly rare these days in the UK. If you need some, please contact me by clicking here.

The History of Dave's Disk Doctor Service:

In July 1987 Dave Smith began salvaging data from corrupted Amstrad 3" PCW floppy disks. The PCW range of machines were very popular personal computer/word processors. Around 2 million of these were sold in the UK and worldwide. Unfortunately, most people using these machines treated them like a typewriter and didn't "back up" their disks. When Dave started retrieving lost data, satisfied clients were asked to make a donation to the then aptly titled charity "BACUP" (the British Association of Cancer United Patients) later renamed Cancerbacup and now merged with Macmillan Cancer Support.

By March 1989 donations had topped over £7000. At that point, for legal and tax reasons, the operations were taken over by Dave's Disk Doctor Service Ltd. A covenant for 100% of Company profits was made to the Charities Aid Foundation. This allowed UK corporation tax to be recovered and payments to be made to any registered charity. Since that time, the Company raised nearly £180,000, benefiting a wide range of charities.

Dave has written a short history of the company, which you can read by clicking here. It is rather technical in places to fully document the very sophisticated tools which were specifically developed, but you can skip over these bits and enjoy the pioneering spirit and dedication of all those involved as well as the fascinating and sometimes very moving examples of those helped over the years. An Annex shows the wide publicity achieved by the company in both National and Local Press.

What the Company did:

The Company specialised in the salvage and transfer of data from all CP/M floppy disks, particularly those used on the Amstrad PCW, PcW and CPC ranges of computers and word processors . The former usually use the LocoScript family of products.

The Company also salvaged floppy disks for PCs and MACs and converted and transfered data between various disk and file formats, handling 3", 3½", 5¼" and even 8" disks! The Company did not salvage hard (internal) disks since these generally require expensive and specialist equipment.

Salvages and transfers were almost always completely successful, but they were undertaken on a 'no-fix no fee' basis. Usually the work was sent back by 'return of post'. Charities, handicapped persons, churches or church-related organisations and genuine hardship cases were often offered special rates by prior arrangement.

Thank you for visiting this site!


Dave's Disk Doctor Service Ltd was a Limited Company that traded from March 1989 until January 2001 during which it raised nearly £180,000 for many charities. We are grateful for the support of all those individuals and organisations who helped in various ways during this period. 

Last revised: 11th October 2012