Windows: Cannot open the ... file. Make sure a disk is in the drive you specified

Windows question time! On a W2K machine, I saved all the Outlook contact info as a txt file and saved it to a floppy disk. Now that txt file, though it shows up in the A: as “contacts.txt”, 7kb, will not open. If I click it to open it in Notepad either in 98 or W2K), I get the error “Cannot open the A:\contacts.txt file. Make sure a disk is in the drive you specified.” nor Google have turned up any help, so I turn to you, my genius brothers and sisters. If you have any ideas, I could certain use them by this afternoon. Thanks!

I’m just winging it here, but how, exactly, did you create the file? What I’m thinking is that perhaps, despite the “.txt” extension, it’s not actually a text file, and Notepad doesn’t have a clue about how to open it. (Weak possibility, since text editors will usually open a file, even if it’s a binary and displays as a bunch of garbage characters on the screen!)

Another possibility: if you’re trying to open the file on a different machine from the one on which you created it, you may have floppy drives that simply don’t play well together. These days, floppy drives are very cheaply made, and if these two have significantly different head alignments, one may not be able to read files created on the other.

Yet another stab in the dark: bad sectors on the floppy disk. The file shows up in the index table, but can’t actually be read.

Even wilder: when you entered the name for the file, you might have inadvertently included a non-displaying character in the name. I have vague memories of this kind of thing causing weird problems on some systems.

Most likely, it’s caused by a bad floppy. You’d need something like Norton Disk Doctor to try to retrieve it.