Home > Hardware > The End of a Floppy Era The End of a Floppy Era Submitted by Gsurface 2005-07-13 Hardware 87 Comments The floppy disk was well intended, but its usefulness is now gone. Now, over 30 years later, the floppy disk needs to go for good. About The Author Thom Holwerda Follow me on Twitter @thomholwerda 87 Comments 2005-07-13 2:09 pm Tanner Finally! With Memory Sticks/USB pens etc.. Floppies are useless. Especially if you consider how often they get damaged, unreadable… Strange is to see how many people here in Italy are still using them for work and important tasks. (and… unfortunately, for alternative OSes.. most of them fits in a floppy and require a floppy drive to boot… bad bad bad) 2005-07-13 3:14 pm > (and… unfortunately, for alternative OSes.. most of > them fits in a floppy and require a floppy drive to > boot… bad bad bad) If you’re not speaking about in-development _kernels_, you’re just talking about MenuetOS Cute and useless one [for me…] You can fir a real world OS in a 1GB usb flash instead _o/ 2005-07-13 2:10 pm facerw I’ve been using floppies since they were 5 1/4 160K disks. The era is over now. True they had a great run but now it’s long gone. Pen drives, CDRW and other technologies are replacing it. My next PC won’t even have a floppy. While it may be sad, time marches on. 2005-07-13 2:11 pm JrezIN I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want the end of floppies. I do use them just to recover and firmware updating these days. But someone has to make USB MSC devices a standard to make these jobs. Does anyone know the real problem about it? Is it real universal compatibility with USB controllers? or something else? Maybe a standard compatibility mode in BIOS/OS to make USB MSC devices looks like floppies could easy the transition? 2005-07-13 2:12 pm Well, I have two sub-questions under “is this an issue”: 1) Why does it “need to go for good”? If someone is using technology, and it suits their purposes, why can’t they just go ahead and continue using it? Who are we to decide, “Nope. It needs to go”? 2) Are there even people out there still using floppies? I’ve barely seen a floppy for several years. So, why does it “need to go for good” if it’s pretty much already gone? 2005-07-13 2:23 pm Budd Totally agree. I am still looking today for 3″ disks (not 3.5″ ones) to use them on my Schneider. I can’t find any of them 2005-07-13 2:30 pm Anonymous Penguin “Are there even people out there still using floppies? I’ve barely seen a floppy for several years” I have still quite a few “rescue” floppies, even if I have tried to put the majority of them on a CD. Typical example: Partion Magic (rubbish, I know) still refuses to create a rescue CD. So even if I own a legal licence, I had to download an iso so that I could make a rescue CD. Also floppies still seem to be the only way to make some operating systems bootable (a typical example was Slackware until 9.0, if I remember correctly). They are also necessary for older systems which can’t boot from CDs. 2005-07-14 11:56 am Arawn I also use 3.5″ floppies to transfer small files, do recovery, and update firmware. Other ways can sometimes be too quirky, and incompatible. 3.5″ floppies are still too ‘compatible’ to ignore. 2005-07-13 2:25 pm Well, to me, floppies are still extremely useful; I trust a floppy more than a CD-R or RW, which easily get scratched or, well, they die because you don’t use them (I have a whole stack of backups on CD that are useless, they lied tucked away in their cases for three years, and now they’re unreadable). There is nothing easier than to use a floppy to transfer files; many computers still do not have USB ports on the front (like two of mine), so a floppy is easier. As for backups, I have 5 ZIP drives. I prefer those over any other floppy or USB solution anytime. 2005-07-13 2:36 pm Totally agree, floppies are quite reliable if you take care of them while USB drives tend to fail with the time. The best investment I have made is my floppy drive, 12 years and still working like the very first day. 2005-07-13 3:14 pm Well, to me, floppies are still extremely useful; I trust a floppy more than a CD-R or RW, which easily get scratched or, well, they die because you don’t use them (I have a whole stack of backups on CD that are useless, they lied tucked away in their cases for three years, and now they’re unreadable). If you had CDs go bad in 3 years, you either had some defective media, or you were storing them improperly. Scratches… well, just be careful. Floppies, on the other hand, are completely unreliable. Sure, maybe the disks being built 20 years ago would last a while, but my experience since the mid ’90s has been that floppies have a failure rate of around 33% after the first year. After 3 years, don’t bother. That, to a large extent, was the reason I stopped using them. 2005-07-13 10:23 pm Ronald Vos If you had CDs go bad in 3 years, you either had some defective media, or you were storing them improperly.I This is a warning. I didn’t believe it either that cd-roms would go bad after just a few years, but it happens! Sure, pressed cds last 80 years, and I don’t know about DVD-roms, but cd-roms are unreliable in the end. Don’t store precious data on it long-term! (digital photography killed my dad’s photo-shop, but now people are finally printing their photos again once they’ve lost their babyphoto’s one time) —– BTW, there was this nifty program called 2M that turned 1.44m floppies into 1.9m floppies, and put the drivers for it into a bootable part so you could use it at friends’ places. I quickly got turned off it once it didn’t work on my friend’s comp (PCs being PCs in those days). It basically worked by utilising less redundancy on the floppy. 2005-07-14 12:03 pm Arawn My experiences: CD-Rs: They won’t last 3 to 4 years, they will start to have problems being read. You can get probably 6 to 8 years out of good media. Frankly, I trust more CD-RWs than CD-Rs. Completely different media substrate. Floppy: Completely unreliable. Good for quick transport and retrieval, but never, I repeat NEVER, trust only a floppy disk for important data. 2005-07-14 2:55 am I’ve found both floppies and zips to be pretty unreliable, personally. Plus you have to watch out for strong magnets with them… 2005-07-14 8:44 am hobgoblin and that is why i would love to see a mo based floppy replacement. in fact, the minidisc form is perfect for that, but i guess im repeating myself and sony will never see the light when it comes to that media… 2005-07-13 2:32 pm penguin7009 I still use floppies every day. Most BIOSes still boot to the floppy when nothing else will boot in a disaster situation. Until this is true of other devices, the floppy is not dead. 2005-07-13 2:45 pm This is why we need an alternative. BIOS flashing alone cannot warrant the need for a floppy drive. But unfortunately, it’s the only thing that forces me to buy one. 2005-07-13 2:56 pm Tyr. I still use floppies every day. Most BIOSes still boot to the floppy when nothing else will boot in a disaster situation. Until this is true of other devices, the floppy is not dead. If you have a recent mobo you should be able to boot from usb just fine. I boot from my usb stick all the time (into DOS) including to flash the BIOS. The BIOS itself needs to go though – preferably together with the floppy 🙂 2005-07-13 3:07 pm orestes The BIOS itself needs to go though – preferably together with the floppy 🙂 Agreed completely. 2005-07-14 11:59 am Arawn I also agree the common BIOSes need to go. But then, so does the x86 platform… We keep building on and using a 25 year old paltform. Yes, even with all the improvments, it’s quite ‘stale’. 2005-07-13 3:11 pm > If you have a recent mobo Well said Not every mb around has even usb ports… But of course: floppy disk, in 2005, in advanced countries, is *almost* obsolete 2005-07-14 8:57 am > If you have a recent mobo I have a 2004 year Athlon64 mb. Is it recent enough? Too sad, it can’t boot from USB =( Also i can’t install x64 preview _without floppy_ because windows doesn’t support neither 3114 chip nor my VIA SATA controller. But i’m not happy with the idea of using floppy drive and 2 of 3 of my PC-s doesn’t have it. 2005-07-14 1:14 am I agree! I have been in that kind of situation more than I care to admit. If it were not for the lowly floppy, my box would have be an overly large paper weight. 2005-07-13 2:47 pm 1) Why does it “need to go for good”? If someone is using technology, and it suits their purposes, why can’t they just go ahead and continue using it? Who are we to decide, “Nope. It needs to go”? If you really want, you can. Nobody is stopping you. The only benifit I can see to using floppies is that the per-piece media cost is low. Here are a few reasons why it is a good idea to stop using floppy media; * Faulty new media. The new stuff is not reliable. Blame the accountants if you want, though I wouldn’t trust floppies anymore. * Size. 1.44mb isn’t much these days. It wasn’t 10-15 years ago either. * Reliable, high volume, fast and practical replacements exist. For example, this; http://www.pqi.com.tw/product.asp?cate1=3 …or the even smaller Mini shown here; http://www.pqi.com.tw 2) Are there even people out there still using floppies? I’ve barely seen a floppy for several years. So, why does it “need to go for good” if it’s pretty much already gone? For new systems they still appear occasionally. I don’t consider a floppy drive to be a good thing these days and haven’t used one in a coupel years either. 2005-07-13 3:05 pm A floppy only costs abut $0.25, and it doesn’t take any special software to write to a floppy. I can probably put 100 text files on a floopy. A floppy is certainly not as useful as it used to be. But floppies are not quite dead yet. 2005-07-13 3:16 pm flypig Where I work, the only swappable medium that every computer is guaranteed to be able to read and write is the floppy disk. All of the machines can read CDs, but not all of them can write them. USB drives are clearly a sensible alternative, but they’re not cheap enough to just hand over to someone else when swapping data. So I think there’s still a place for the floppy drive. There’s nothing else that it’s reasonable to assume someone else has access to. The big surprise for me is that ‘the network’ isn’t yet seen as the real alternative that will replace all forms of removable media. 2005-07-13 3:19 pm I’d love to see someone reinstall XP on a machine that has a SATA drive without using a floppy to install the SATA drivers. 2005-07-13 3:24 pm orestes Slipstream the sata drivers into an install disk and you no longer have a problem. 2005-07-13 10:51 pm Little tough to do that without a computer because your hard drive crashed…. idiot… 2005-07-13 10:54 pm orestes Ever hear of proactive maintenance? 2005-07-14 12:07 pm Arawn You mean, reading the crystal ball?? if everyone could guess when a hard disk would go bad, you wouldn’t have so much need for RAID 5, etc. Proactive maintenance is only good to predict and prevent some problems, not all hardware failure. Of course, you’re completely right if you also include data backups. 2005-07-13 3:38 pm DonQ I remember big floppy disks (about 8″), well, they were old archives and I didn’t use them. I myself used 5″ floppies extensively; we had PC class with about 10 HDD-less XT computers (IBM compatibles:) in school. One floppy for DOS, one for apps, some for games. At some other time I often visited another PC class with 10 diskless MSX Yamaha computers. Master PC had 3″ floppy drive – this was cool and something new… Then it was 3″ floppy era. How many floppies takes full W95 installation? Or some MSOffice? Don’t remember exactly, but all my shelves and boxes were full of floppies… Last time I (and all my family) used floppy disks about year ago. You know, this magnetic media inside floppy is actually pretty good filter to watch solar eclipse 2005-07-13 3:45 pm harfooz Last summer when I was building my desktop, I thought I could get by without a floppy drive. My mobo is an ASUS A7V8X-X. I ran into serious problems, however, when I tried to install any current distribution. The only thing that would install was an old version of RH. Turns out the BIOS needed updating. How do I update the BIOS? With a floppy. Once I got the floppy installed, and the BIOS updated, any distro at all would install without problems. Until mobos can get their BIOS’ updated easily without a floppy, I guess I’ll need one laying around just for that. I also find saving a quick file to a floppy very fast compared to burning it to a CDRW. Of course, scp is just as quick, but for running a LaTeX file across the hall when the network is down, I find the floppy hard to beat. 2005-07-13 3:47 pm If you are writing your own bootloader, then you usually need a floppy to test your OS. Burning a CD is tedious. For 32-bit there are still many emulators available so you don’t need a real floppy drive and can do away with an image, but none on 64-bit so far except broken simics. In fact for this reason, i had to buy a floppy drive for 10$ 2005-07-13 3:53 pm Smartpatrol I would support total removal if it freed up the dedicated IRQ 6 for use for other devices or perhaps deicate IRQ6 to the USB controller? Now that i think about it who uses parrallel ports any more? I can do with out those too. Serial ports are still very useful though. Either way the whole IBM PC compatible design is outdated anyway it needs a complete redesign. 2005-07-13 3:57 pm My first computer was an Atari 800 and after working with cassette tape for a while I invested over $500 in a floppy disk that only held 88K. Now you can buy a whole computer for less than that! The first box of 10 3.5″ 1.44MB floppies I saw at Software Etc. was marked $75! The few folks who had 1.44MB drives learned that cheap 720K disks usually worked ok as 1.44M disks if they just cut a hole in them at the right place. After seeing some of these disks fail due to bits of plastic scratching the media I started using a soldering iron; I would just push the hot iron through the disk at the right place. There was even a program going around that let you format 1.7M on a 1.44M floppy and the floppy was readable on most computers. My second computer was an Amiga with no hard disk and a signle floppy drive. Instead of a hard drive I got a second floppy. Amiga programs and data files were generally small enough for this to work. It took a little juggling but I managed to run Pascal, C, and Modula 2 compilers on such a setup. My got my first desktop PC clone in 1990 and it included both 5-1/4″ and 3.5″ floppies. CDROM’s were available but quite expensive. When I started messing with Linux in the early 90’s I remember having to make 30 floppies to hold Linux, development tools, and TeX. I got a lifetime supply of 3.5″ floppies from IBM. We purchased a RS6000 520 and four 320’s. Whenever an OS update came out IBM sent us an 8mm tape for the 520 and 4 sets of AIX on floppies, one for each of the 320’s. All of them are stamped “Property of IBM” but IBM never asked for them back. Some of our NeXT computers had 2.88M 3.5″ floppies. That size never caught on anywhere else as far as I know. Over time floppy use has fallen off due to CDROM, flash memory, network storage, etc. The only time I used a floppy drive in the last few years was a bootable rescue/utilities disk. That is my experiences with floppies. Floppies are dead,long live floppies. 2005-07-14 8:32 am There was even a program going around that let you format 1.7M on a 1.44M floppy and the floppy was readable on most computers. You´re probably referring to the good old VGACopy, a tool developed by a nice German dude, I believe (since there was so much german text on its screens…). There were several others if I recall correctly, but VGACopy was regarded as one of the best. Ow, now I am felling a little bit nostalgic, too. 2005-07-13 4:00 pm I instruct 16+ students in computer repair and I require many lab reports and tests. Floppies are cheap. You wouldn’t hand over your USB drive. 2005-07-13 4:08 pm Lumbergh Can you boot off a USB stick, until then the floppy stays. People have been predicting the death of the floppy for years, and people eventually find a use for them 2005-07-13 4:19 pm Are you kidding ? What about the Mac platform ? 2005-07-14 2:57 am Sure, all my recent computers can. 2005-07-13 4:09 pm floppy, IDE drivers, LTP PORT, Serial Port, etc… 2005-07-13 4:19 pm I’ve been floppy disk free since about 1998. Most of us in the publishing industry laugh at their capacity and since Macs can boot from nearly any sort of medium, floppies have been obsolete for us for more than seven years. 2005-07-13 4:27 pm hobgoblin like everyone else is stating, the floppy have a flexibility unmatched even by cdrw media. they are fully rw, without the need for special software or drivers. they have unlimited rewrites. and you can delete something in the middle of the floppy and then reuse the space for something else. none of this can the cdrw match… then there is the cost issue. a box of 10 floppys cost allmost nothing compared to a box of 10 cdrws, let alone a single usb flash device. the only media that i think matches the floppy for flexibility is the sony hi-md minidisc. to bad that they are more or less killing it. i wonder what would happen if someone made a hi-md drive that would fit in a 3.5″ external slot and hook into the existing floppy connector magneto-optical storage (same as some backup solutions are using), 1GB storage and nice media size (those cd’s and dvd’s can be a bit big at times as you cant just put them in a pocket). 2005-07-13 6:18 pm mini-me Floppies have unlimited re-writes ? You;ve never used a floppy long enough for it to go bah eh? 2005-07-13 6:28 pm hobgoblin compared to a cdrw its unlimited yes. a cdrw uses a small area close to the hole to calibrate the laser. this area can only be written about 1000 time or so. a floppy dont need that. allso, i cant edit or remove files from a cdrw without eitehr burning it from scratch again or making sure there is room for extra writes. so while its not mathematicaly unlimited its praticaly unlimited 2005-07-13 6:46 pm oh ok, JUST a thousand times…. so you have used a floppy more than a thousand times and it was still working fine huh… watch that magnet, speaker, cellphone or any other magentic field with them magnificent floppies, dont bend them either, no ball point pen… no dust or dirt, not to mention the large size of them…. yea but you can burn a new disc in the time it takes a floppy to write a large file…. also a cd costs about what…. 20cent bulk…. probably cheaper than a floppy anymore…. plus the extra capacity of even the business card size cds make floppies go bye byue 2005-07-13 8:53 pm hobgoblin im not sure how many write sessions my most used floppy go but if you count every one it may well have have passed 1000 yes. and now im talking about say editing a config file and saving it again while trying to make a bootfloppy. doing that with a cd would either require me to leave many a redundant copy of the same file in multiple burn sessions on same cd and then when they have become full erase it and start over from scratch (alltho i would most likely copy the content to hdd before erase). the floppy isnt a eraseable worm (write ones read multiple) media that can be erased, its a fully random access media. just like a hdd. and about the only time i killed a floppy was when i put it in a pocket next to my mobile those card style cds would be nice but i dont recall them being available most of the places i can find normal cds. and i do think that i still can get a 10-pack of floppys for half of what i pay for a equal amount of cds. and thats for normal cdr’s, cdrw costs more… 2005-07-14 12:15 am last time i bought cds i paid about .15 each last time i bought floppies i paid about .50 each of course i didnt exactly comparison shop…. and yea, cdrw is more expensive but dvdrw is very cheap… i dont get it…. between burning a cd and useing a usb drive i practically never use a floppy…. cant stand to wait on it for a minute and a half to write a half a meg… blink of a eye on usb for a half meg and a card reader and 18meg stick is what about 10 bucks… ok i do use a floppy to install debian on my laptop which only has a floppy drive but thats it… i swear… 2005-07-13 4:29 pm Asus has this now where you can update in a windows environment. The board is a A8N-E or the sli ones. i’ve done it just to see works flawlessly and besides I changed the boot logo too. 2005-07-13 4:39 pm Bobmeister Well…I still NEED the floppy, for the most part. Still use it for ONE thing…transferring my flight plans to the airplane flight computer that only has a floppy drive. Until the come up with a USB thingy, which the computers on the airplane don’t support, I have to use a floppy…downloading them through the ACARS is not reliable as it is VHF and no available in every location on the ground. So..needless to say, I have an external floppy thingy for my laptop and a built-in for my big computer. Eventually…it will be completely dead…but it’s not yet! 2005-07-13 4:45 pm helf I, for one, still use floppies a lot. Of course my hobby is to mess around with older computer systems.. I generally need floppies for moving data around. 2005-07-13 4:59 pm Ever tried installing Windows or Linux with a brand new RAID Controller? Without a floppy, you won’t be able to install the drivers to see the hard drives. Without seeing the hard drives, you won’t be able to install the OS. Floppies are still a necessary evil until Microsoft and RedHat support USB keys from the installation. 2005-07-13 5:57 pm Tyr. Ever tried installing Windows or Linux with a brand new RAID Controller? Without a floppy, you won’t be able to install the drivers to see the hard drives. Without seeing the hard drives, you won’t be able to install the OS. Floppies are still a necessary evil until Microsoft and RedHat support USB keys from the installation. It’s a lot of work but it can be done. Follow the lin k for detailed instructions (the guy did it for a SATA controller but I’m sure the process is comparable.) http://www.msfn.org/board/index.php?showtopic=13173&hl=Si3112r 2005-07-13 5:41 pm smoke While I can’t speak for others I don’t miss floppies on my Mac. Neither do I miss serial or parallel ports. If I so happened to want a floppy I could get a USB floppy drive and bing, floppies. When I was going to college this past year I stored computer homework onine and retrieved it on my Mac at home. When I upgraded to Tiger I booted off the Tiger DVD. Floppies can be flexible I guess. But as far as I’m concerned they are unreliable. Like for example there was this one time I was trying to find a floppy to make a copy of my old applications from my old(est) computer (a Tandy) and also from my second oldest (Compaq). But I didn’t have the right type of disk and most of the ones I had didn’t work on the old computer (circa late 80’s computer). To add insult to injury I could not find any to buy. I ended up finding good copies of that software on abandonware sites instead. Back when I was in high school (Win 3.1 days) everybody in my classes floppy disk got infected with a virus because some guys discovered warez (gasp! the w word ). Needless to say we lost all our work. Anyway everything I said is just anecdotal and I can understand how others might still need to use floppies. 2005-07-13 6:03 pm linunx has support for USB during the install… no reason you cant turn any image you need into a bootable cd image and load what you need from that…. students need to turn something in… you do have a network correct? email? etc… i stopped bothering to install a floppy drive since I never use them… I use to think I might need it but I havent found a reason yet…. practically every bios will let you boot from cd and it is recognized and accessed just like a floppy if you wish so whats the point, really! I use a cd with a bootable floppy image burned onto it along with the install folders for win98, ME, and 2000 as well as some tools I need and have yet to need a floppy… of course USB is a cool way to go as well… 2005-07-13 6:06 pm mini-me huh ? floppies are still being used ? :p I stopped using floppies in 1996! 🙂 Floppies (and their drives) are unreliable. 2005-07-13 6:07 pm Virtual Floppy Device for NT/2K/XP for programs that absolutely want to write to a floppy drive. Image created can be burned to produce a bootable CD. http://chitchat.at.infoseek.co.jp/vmware/vfd.html Bâshrat the Sneaky driverpacks for slipstreaming into Windows installation disks. http://www.btsunattended.net/Projects/DriverPacks/ Probably best to leave a bootable DOS partition on your harddrive so that old bios code can be written and read from this partition. Right now for many going without a floppy is impossible. Bios flashers use DOS and DOS doesn’t natively support CD burning or USB so if you don’t have a FAT HDD partition or a floppy you are in for a difficult time. 2005-07-13 6:11 pm Like most people here state it seems that utility upgrades need a floppy. BIOS and hard-disks being one of them. I for one would love to see the floppy go by by 2005-07-13 6:19 pm uh i flashed my bios the other day…. windows based package… no floppy needed…. and most “floppy” based flashers can be run from a bootable cd the exact same way… 2005-07-13 6:38 pm Smartpatrol i wonder what would happen if someone made a hi-md drive that would fit in a 3.5″ external slot and hook into the existing floppy connector You would grow a beard waiting for that 1GB file to copy over the pathetically slow floppy bus. 2005-07-13 6:49 pm Press F6 for additional drivers. 2005-07-13 7:18 pm transputer_guy Well laddy, if you think Floppy disk was bad, in my day we used punched paper tape in high school then graduated to the punched card. We also lived in brown paper bag, ugh those were the good days. 2005-07-13 8:45 pm smashIt just bought a floppy drive last week I still need them for all my old games 2005-07-13 8:58 pm Sodapop SATA Drivers, the only thing I need a floppy for. No, I can’t Slipstream them, all the guides I read have something other than what I use, which would require me to manually edit a file which I have no idea how to do. Someone should make a simple program that does it automatically. Will Longhorn have them integrated on the cd? 2005-07-13 9:21 pm hobgoblin “Will Longhorn have them integrated on the cd?” most likely as by the time it comes out we will have moved on to the next big thing in storage connectors 2005-07-13 9:58 pm orestes try nlite http://www.nliteos.com/ 2005-07-13 10:12 pm I had to install a floppy in my computer to install windows XP there was no other way to use my raidcontroller. 2005-07-13 10:38 pm rabyte Well, I still have a floppy drive built in and use it regulary. Though I’ve to admit that the disks I use get unreadable quite often, so I think for important tasks, they simply are too unreliable. Nice to see someone finally pointing out that USB sticks are far better. Now if only I could bring myself to buy one… 2005-07-13 10:43 pm The floppy drive will NOT die until motherboard manufactures still put the floppy drive controller on the motherboard. Also, BIOS, firmware, and ROM updates must fully support loading updates from something other than a FLOPPY. In addition, Micro$oft must have the option to load storage controller drives during an OS install from other than a FLOPPY! Then this happens… LongHorn… maybe…. but until one of these happens…. the Floppy Drive will LIVE in INFAMMY. Whoever wrote this article must never… ever do system administration work… FLOPPY Drive DEAD…. Yeah RIGHT….. 2005-07-13 11:13 pm mini-me LOl – I am glad I have a mac then Motherboard, OS, internals – all apple assembled and supported hehehehe – kissed the floppy goodbye back in 1999 2005-07-13 11:39 pm MYOB Funny how I’ve flashed the BIOS on my HDD, CD-RW, motherboard; and flashed region cracked firmware to my DVD… all from CD. FreeDOS, dump the BIOS images, flasher, whatever onto the disc. Only problem is flashing the firmware on the drive you’re booting from – but all my desktops have two drives… 2005-07-14 12:27 am bwigginton The servers that I build require a floppy to install raid drivers during the os installation. The intel desktop board with sata raid provided a floppy for the raid drivers. Maybe its time for the floppy to go but we need to let MS and Intel in on it. 2005-07-14 12:28 am rx182 many of you are probably new comers 😉 i think that article is wrong: floppies aren’t dead and must not be! if you always like the latest and the greatest, sure floppies are dead for you, but not for everyone… to me, they are still valuable. i’m one of those guys that think that computers started to be boring after y2k. new operating systems aren’t really attractive as well as new games, new ways to use the internet, ect. floppies are an important part of the past. for the old skoolers, they are a must have. all my favorite games are still on floppies! and how would i reinstall my old ms-dos without my flopply drive? some old linux distribution? you might think that it’s sick to use so much old stuff these days but it’s not really. why? because it’s fun. waiting new geforce drivers, playing doom3, writing code in java and spending half my time reading hardware related news isn’t for me i guess and oh, bill once said 64K was enought. i think he was right 2005-07-14 12:33 am Over ? What can replace the floppy today ? What media can you have in dozen or even more quantity, where you can copy a file, rename it, delete it, then share (without the fear that it won’t come back to you as it doesn’t cost you anything !) it with some people you don’t know that much ? What media can you use to give your document to a professor ? .A CD ? with only 300kb documents ? .An USB key ? would you give it to your professor ? I’m ready to drop my floppy drive… when I’ll find something to replace it. Maybe in 30 years ? Leo. 2005-07-14 12:39 am email network share p2p etc… if a cd that cost me less than a floppy then why not…. professor implies school, implies network, implies email, implies web space…. 2005-07-14 12:34 am dumb ass sorry it slipped….. 2005-07-14 12:44 am I program and install pbx’s. We still back up the memory to floppy disk and leave a copy on the customer site. There are times when a CPU will default. Having the backup on floppy is a life saver. They store nicely in the cabinet. Can hold 3/4 images and so far have been ideal. Beyond that, I don’t have a need for them. I suppose we could back up to a usb drive and leave that in the switch. However, the floppy is a no theft item, the usb drive could sprout legs and walk. 2005-07-14 1:16 am Brad Floppies will be here until one very big thing happens. When Microsoft removes the need for the F6 option on install for windows to require things to be on floppies. You may be able to find a way around in some cases such as slipstreaming and such, but often thats a no go, and still involves more work then just having a floppy. Until MS makes this change, the floppy cannot be eliminated. You can feel how ever you want about MS. But they dictate the hardware, and have 90% of the OS market. Until they change, no Hardware company and so forth is going to budge. Also floppies work nice and are super durable, take no software, and nearly every computer has a floppy drive. Hard to beat that. 2005-07-14 1:55 am heh heh Ya know, 1. some of us still use floppys on a regular basis for old computers. 2.Some win98 computers dont work with pendrive 3.If someone wants a file or files from my computer, i dont have to worry about when i will get my pendrive back 4. if you dont like floppies, BAN them from your HOUSE!!! 2005-07-14 2:15 am i just dont see any uses for floppies…. yea, you may occasionally come across a need for one but it would have to next to never anymore…. 2005-07-14 2:35 am There have been many attempts to fix the problems this guy talks about. The LS120 and Zip Drives come to mind first, the LS120 being more on topic. Yes, the superdisk, those little 120MB floppies that had a reader that was even able to write to normal floppies faster. The problem is that people have always been too stupid/cheap to buy them? Or, if it’s a problem for you, get an LS240, for which you can buy a 240MB floppy for only $7, which is about 1/3 the cost of a memory stick? Again, the problem is not with floppies, the problem is with you being too lazy to look into it? LS120s work wonderfully on older systems, where flash drives do not (ever try to add USB/USB2 to a pre-mmx Pentium system?). Yeah, I could buy one of those weird combo MMC CompaqFlash Floppy drives and use MMCs, but they are still 4-5x the price? Floppies don’t need to go anywhere… but people who don’t understand computers or the fact that 90% of the world uses *old* computers need to be done away with… 2005-07-14 3:05 am What media can you use to give your document to a professor ? A CD ? with only 300kb documents ? An USB key ? would you give it to your professor ? I had a professor last year who required an assignment be turned in on a floppy. I had to go out and buy some–$5 for a 10-pack. Meanwhile I had a full spindle of 50 CD-Rs I’d gotten for $10. Did that make sense? And it’s not like the professor even returned the floppy… 2005-07-14 4:44 am i use to occasionally shock my professor by using administrative shares and stick my assignment on his desktop…. he never said much but I dont think he was happy not being able to figure out how I was able to get to his desktop….. 2005-07-14 6:20 am Celerate I realize as much as the next person that floppies are on their way out, but their end isn’t comming as quickly here in my little corner of Canada. Many of the brand new beige boxes (Windows + Intel/AMD) here still have floppy drives in them (I haven’t seen one person here yet that uses Macs), in fact there are several people and organizations still using computers from before 2000 that don’t have USB drives on the front, and only have two in the back. You can see the end of floppies in all the stores, right now there are boxes of 100 of the things going for $26 CAD, ($16 CAD on clearance) and the nifty binder sheets you could carry the things around in are all in the clearance bins now, but outside of the stores the story is very different. At schools the things are still widely used, they are cheap and if they get lost it’s no big deal. In fact the majority of computers I’ve seen in people’s homes and businesses right now still only have two hard to reach USB plugs on the back. Adoption of USB drives here is slow, I’m one of three people I’ve seen at school that have one of the things. I’m looking forward to when everyone’s computers have easy to reach USB ports on the front, people who don’t want to upgrade their computers just yet can achieve this by getting a simple USB hub that go for about CAD $35 in most stores’ discount areas. USB disks are a lot more reliable than today’s floppy disks, but I’ll miss the flat, tall, wide shape of floppy disks that makes them harder to lose and makes them fit so much nicer into those special binder sheets. If there’s one things I hope gets worked out with those USB drives, it’s where the lid goes when the thing is in use. I find it very annoying to have to keep track of a loose lid when I’m using my USB disks. Newer drives should have some sort of spring loaded lid like floppies had, except built better. Actually, do the things really need lids, because some of the newer ones I’m seeing don’t have any? 2005-07-14 9:47 am <quote> There was even a program going around that let you format 1.7M on a 1.44M floppy and the floppy was readable on most computers. </quote> That is SmartFormat? I used it and am still impressed. here is the link, http://members.tripod.com/ieeecrce/innovations99/tformat/ 2005-07-14 11:51 am antoszka I’m working as an admin for a company, and have to say that however we would love to get rid of floppy of floppies alltogether we can’t: When we were installing windows on rack-mounted floppy-less server machines we had to feed the installer a floppy with the SATA controller driver, or the installer would not recognize the disks. What bloody prehistoric measures to take when installing an apparently-modern OS. Not counting the trouble of ripping out and old floppy from some computer and sticking it into open cases of our servers. This is *sick*. There. My $0.02.