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Is the floppy disk dead?


DigeratiPrime
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Missing the Poll, it may not be totally dead yet but it's life expectancy is extremely short.

I'm part of the support for over 4000 systems and I think I have pulled out a floppy 4 times in the last year.

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i think that floppies have lost their usage [compared to what they used to be], but its not gone, as most cases still come with bezels for them, and even if you don't use it, having one at least lying around can be the benefit of the doubt, BIOS flashing, boot disks..that sort of thing...windows still makes boot floppies, or at least has them available...the most recent one i know of for sure is boot disks for Windows XP Sp1.

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I think it's getting there but not quite.

I'm not seeing a universal way of creating a bootable flash drive yet (i.e Right click drive, format, create boot disk), in fact even when I make one the BIOS on one lab that I manage refuses to acknowledge it as a removable drive but instead a hard drive and as such makes it difficult to boot off as it's lumped underneath the main HDD in priority. So for me booting off one is rather finicky.

Floppy's are still used in our older labs for accessing the Imaging menu (no PXE on those NICs) and also have a few scripts etc on another that detects whether or not 2 drives are present in the machine, and of course memory tests. Simple things in other words, which can be shifted to be run from a PXE network boot but yeah it comes back to having that ability in the first place.

Sure you could use bootable CDs but in my opinion it's just not as quick and easy to pop a CD in like you can a floppy or USB

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Dead. I haven't used one in 2 years. None of my laptops have a floppy drive (that works) in them. My new laptop doesn't have one, and nor did my last one. I could put one in it, but it was 20 bucks to buy the drive, and thats 20 bucks more than I'd spend on something I'll never use :P

I still have all my floppies upstairs in my room though, big bin of em. But I never use em, so I'm contemplating donating them to my school or something. Maybe I'll keep 10 or so, but I don't know.

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Let's hope so, I lost a load of word docs on a floppy that gave up the gave up the ghost on me a few years back. Since then I shudder whenever I see one. There's no drive in my laptop and my pc has one in that's never been used. I might take it out and use it as a beer mat.

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If you're talking about older hardware, then this topic isn't even for you. Very few people today would disagree that ISA is "dead" but I'm sure one of you has a rig that has ISA slots and probably has an ISA card or two laying around. NOT DEAD TO ME I GOT MY AWE32 RIGHT HERE SEE?!

Floppies are "dead" in that Joe Consumer hasn't needed one in several years. Copying files to 1.44MB disks for transport purposes is outdated. If I want to move 1.44MB of data, Joe can upload it somewhere, then download it when he gets where he needs it. Heck, he can just email that much to himself. USB thumbdrives have made moving large amounts of data painless. CD-R and DVD-R have made archival easier and cheaper. Joe Consumer has better ways to move data than a floppy. Joe's data makes it near impossible anyway. To move a single mp3 would require spanning over several disks.

Floppies are now left simply for old computers (obsolescence by choice) and vertical applications. Really, the day they stop putting that stupid interface on motherboards will be a joyous one. It's just wasted space on the board. I haven't used a floppy drive in about 10 years. Don't miss it at all.

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S.SubZero: agreed 100%!

I still keep an old LS120 drive somewhere in a bin, just in case I ever need to use a floppy (or LS120 disk) again, but it's been a few years since I've used one. Haven't had one in any of my PCs for at least 5 years (probably closer to 10).

For carrying files over? No way! We've got networks everywhere and VPNs, email, USB flash memory sticks (including most mp3 players), optical media, etc. Why use tiny old media that's unreliable, a total waste of space and not cost effective? Besides, lots of PCs don't have floppy drives anymore (whereas you can pretty much take network access, optical drives, USB ports and all for granted - unless you're using very old stuff).

Flashing BIOS'es? More and more flashers can run right from windows. And you can use a USB flash memory stick or bootable CD as a floppy if you absolutely have to. Even as a last resort I wouldn't use floppies - too unreliable (even though it checks the CRC before flashing so not too risky). Any old PATA IDE HD formatted/bootable works great. Haven't used a floppy for this in ages.

Booting stuff? Even less of a reason. Boot floppies? Make a bootable CD out of it along with all the other images you might need (or go the lazy way and get your hands on one of the countless ones "out there"...) Even then I hardly use those anymore. And most people have or are moving to WinPE/BartPE instead nowadays. There's always PXE too.

Mass Storage Adapters? Not required anymore with Vista (nor will be with LH). Can be integrated on install CDs otherwise (from existing driver packs - very convenient).

They're unreliable (I've seen soooo much stuff being corrupted - bad sectors were all too common). Excruciatingly slow. Way too small to be useful for anything practical anymore. Not cost effective AT ALL (you can get several 4470MB DVDs for the price of a 1.44MB floppy). Most new PCs don't ship with those drives anymore. Haven't seen blank floppies for sale anywhere in quite a while (unlike say, optical media which is sold everywhere). Even 10 years ago they were already a real PITA. Ever head to install Win95 or Office using floppies? Now THAT took a very long time.

I can't possibly think of a reason why I'd want to use one. They've long been dead in my book (except for old legacy stuff - like most all old hardware). They're the new punch cards.

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  • 5 weeks later...

I HATE floppies... if they aren't dead yet, kill 'em, please!

1.44 mb? When my flash drive has 512mb? And I can get a flash drive with several gigs? Nope. Only thing I use those darn floppies for is transferring the odd file from an ancient windows 98 computer (soon to get USB support perhaps, thanks to MSFN). Oh, and they're cool to dissect. And then discard promptly.

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  • 2 weeks later...

legacy is all really, i started dropping the usage of them when i got a serial cable and than a network floppies are for occasional use like when im lazy.

i have some isa cards, i have an ibm etherjet and a soundblaster 16

anyway who uses 3.1 without a floppydrive

i couldnt install dos6.22 with a cd

Edited by awergh
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