|Home > Misc > Random Thoughts > No More Floppy Drives...This Is A Bad Thing|
Below is the random thought titled "No More Floppy Drives...This Is A Bad Thing". Be aware that these thoughts may be based on opinion, and my opinion might not agree with yours. Also, the thought below may be based on mood, time of day, or any number of other factors. Please keep this in mind.
I have just read an article at The Register stating that Dell is soon to make floppy drives "optional equipment". This means that by default, new PCs from Dell will not come with a 3.5" floppy drive. Other manufacturers are expected to follow. And truthfully, I have been hearing rumours of this for quite some time.
This is a bad thing. Why? Well, for one thing, troubleshooting a system is going to be a lot harder if I can't use boot discs. Boot CDs are very annoying as you can't write to them, and 7 out of 10 times the CDROM drive is damaged and won't read them properly. Plus, booting from CD has always been flaky. This means that now, I must carry both a boot CD and a floppy drive + cable everytime I go out on a service call. And if I need to use the floppy, I have to pop the case and install it. This translates to more cost to the customer, and more annoyance on my part.
Floppies are also great for moving small files around, such as drivers and such. Often, email or other means (such as USB keys) cannot be used because the system doesn't have access, or the USB ports don't work, or any number of other reasons.
And how about software that uses a floppy disc as a key? Or systems that don't even have CDROMs (in offices where we don't like the users to install stuff)? How the heck am I going to load DOS CDROM drivers without a floppy drive? Or quickly move files from one machine to another in an emergency?
It looks like the whole thing is going to be a pain in the ass, since the manufacturer is really only doing this to save money. What, you thought they would deduct the price of the floppy from the price of the system now that it is no longer included?
|I've never used a floppy disk before because I don't have a reader for them or even a floppy disk itself. :( (October 2012)|
|I love my floppy drive! I have an external USB floppy drive and an abacus glued to the side of my computer.|
|I use floppy disk only for my excel spreadsheets, it is fast as hell and easy to save an access when I need them. Hop from my multiple computers, it is just sensible. It takes a second to pop it in an open it on the PC, I put in a cd and it takes longer for the fucking thing to load the cd.|
|I use CD-Rs when I need to transfer something large, but most of the time I still use 3.5" floppies. An advantage of floppy disks is that there isn't all that much data or monetary value to be lost in each disk. I've heard of people losing huge amounts of information (and a substantial amount of money they spent on it - a lot more than a floppy disk, anyway) because their flash/pen/jump/etc. drives were broken or lost. You can leave a floppy disk in a computer by accident and come back to find it still there, but a USB storage device is likely to be stolen. I will not buy any computer that lacks a floppy drive, this is just another step toward making computers less compatible with each other and pressures people to buy yet another thing they don't need.|
|as far as file transferring usb flashdrives are the way to go but boot problems are the floppys job. take it my ibm think pad a20m i got for free was win 98 upgraded it to win2000 added 64mb of ram and wifi. i had the wifi for about 1 day when i try to boot when it says its missing a file in the registry i have no other win 2000 computers within 3 hours of my house there is 2 brand new Dells in the house oh how wonderful no floppydrives.bootable cdroms dont work i need a win 2000 disk but they are still $60.i just know somepeople that can fix it for free im getting it fixed in early December its November 16 im going to the everglades soon i cant go anywhere without my laptop due getting bored very easily.but it really stinks to high heaven that i cant fix my lapyop from home in 5-10mins ill have it fixed soon|
|i liked floppy drives, i used em to carry fragments of viruses and install them on my "friends" computers and i used them for my batch files|
|I've been building and repairing PCs now for over 20 years and the floppy drive is one of the most important bits of kit any PC can have. I have tried USB drives, they dont always work. Older or cheap cd drives may not be able to read my boot cd ( I write all my boot CDs on Plextor drives at slow speed on good quality disks but some cheap CD/DVDs wont read them) but a good quality floppy disk properly formatted ( from Dos not Windows) should be read in most drives. Who ever came up with the idea of no more floppy drives needs to be put in a deep hole along with the guy that put the components on PCI cards on the bottom, thus loosing a PCI slot and causing heat problems. And if you need to install a 3rd party driver on a new XP install how you going to do that without a floppy. Sometimes you can install it later when XP is installed, but there are times that the driver has to be installed as XP is setting up and that means from floppy, so that means, in the case of some new machines, taking it to bits to plug a floppy in. If you moan about the cost of getting your computer fixed next time, get one with a floppy and be engineer friendly. Save the floppy|
|Floppies are obsolete technolgy that should have died with gas cars. Well now that G. Bush is making millions, killing thousands and holding every true American as hostage by their financials were still stuck with crap to drive. Terrorism some G Bush is doing to the American Tax Payer. Our fore fathers would have gathered the troops and dismantled this idiot. Back to Floppy issue kill that old crap, get a USB Flash drive and the boot software. Give me a 4gb Floppy not some piece of crap 1mb plastice disk that is by far the most insecure and easist media to corrupt.
(Editor's note: Um, OK...Clearly you don't do any computer service otherwise your opinion on floppy disks might differ a little...)
|Can someone recommend a good laptop that still has a built in floppy drive? I need one asap to ship out of the country within a week. Thanks|
|I got a computer without a floppy drive, Now i need to load a dose program (Quick Basic) to check a old program, and I can not find a way to load the program becase it keep asking me to put a disk in the A Drive.|
|I agree this is a bad thing. I just set up a new Dell computer for my friend (w/o a floppy drive), and find out he has job specific software on floppy disks!!
Does anyone know if I can just copy the files on the 6 floppy disks onto a cd and load the software from the cd? Or do I need to find a usb floppy drive to load it.
Thanks for any input.
(Editor's note: You can probably just copy them to CD, or email them, or put them on a USB key, etc.)
|I have some floppy disc that have music is it possible to transver the music into the computer the same as a c.d ?
(Editor's note: Find a computer with both a floppy drive and a CD burner, then copy it onto the CD using that computer.)
|I completely agree that no flopyy drives is a bad thing. Especially for the computer inept like myself. I'm banging my head against a wall right now because I have a computer with internet access, usb, floppy & all the rest - plus a computer without any internet acces, a usb port with no usb jump drive drivers, a cd/rom, but no floppy drive & I can't for the life of me figure out how to get the stupid driver for my usb jump driver from one system to the other - because there is no common way to transfer the information. If both systems had a floppy drive, the problem would have been taken care of easily, even by computer illiterate me...aargh|
|just like to say, as a service engineer, im finding it more convenient to boot from a usb pendrive when i have problems, agreed they dont always work, i.e issues with usb driver support, but i can soon see this becoming the future. Floppy drives bye bye my good and trusted friend|
|floppy drives are the best|
|This is the biggest freakin pain in my butt I've ever dealt with. Just got a brand new dell PowerEdge 2850, didn't get it preinstalled and Raid setup. Go into winblows 2k3 setup, it doesn't recognize the Raid Array of course and now the motherboard has no place to even hookup a floppy drive to and on top of that, nor will winblows accept anything but a floppy for the drivers to be on!! This is good how?|
|i agree no more floppy drives is a verry bad thing when your computer crashes the basic programing that you may need to reboot your computers is on floppys and the scratching thing it is realy a bg company scandel to save more money and to make more of s prophet on cds they sell because you cant use them over and over they need to enginger a new type of floppy you can use that holds more information so we can have more avalibility in data files and no worries about scratching the disk....on another note why in the hell do people create viruses if we didnt have any out computer development could increse drasticly and we wouldnt half to worry about up to date viruses and things when we could be doing outher things mainly i think people create viruses to sell their virus protection items like nortons and McAfee dosent that seem wrong
(Editor's note: Neither Symantec nor McAfee write viruses to sell their products. There are plenty of other idiots in the world writing viruses, so why would they even bother? Also, both Norton AntiVirus and McAfee AntiVirus totally suck...nothing but problems.)
|Here are main reasons why manufacturers want to phase out floppy drives: -- less clutter in computer case = better cooling -- freeing up extra IRQ... yes, there's IRQ sharing but try telling that to sound card companies, like Creative Labs, where a shared IRQ equals problems, especially when you make music. -- Mount Rainer is on its way -- Newer Dual BIOS that automatically checks for bootable CDs. I agree that with a lot of older computers, some of which don't even support bootable CDs, a floppy can be a life-saver. And if you know you have one of those older computers without a newer BIOS, by all means, do yourself a favor and keep that floppy drive! (I do for one of my older computers) However, that doesn't mean that it shouldn't be phased out eventually... And if a tech is going to charge you an arm and a leg for extra "time" in getting a floppy drive, find a different tech or a friend with computer knowledge. ;-)|
|Floppy disks are slow and unreliable. I once put a small file on a disk to bring to my friend's house only a block away. What happens when I put the disk in his PC? The file is corrupt. Took forever just to copy 500 kb also. So I decided to just copy it onto my MP3 player. It copied instantly, had no problems when I brought it to his house. I think floppies are basically only good for troubleshooting in DOS. But hey, with NTFS becoming the standard file system, you can't access hard drives in DOS on most new computers with XP anyways.
(Editor's note: NTFSDOS. Enough said.)
|As a roving PC troubleshooter I use FDs all the time. Life without them would be like trying to write a book on a computer without a keyboard ;>} Anyway, I've started researching USB floppy drives and USB thumb drives. But if it's an old PC sans USB ports and the CD is stuffed (happens so often) then opening a vein could be a viable option. A former Australian Prime Minister, Malcom Fraser, once remarked that "life isn't meant to be easy..."|
|I have 3 computers, one of them, a laptop with no floppy. I don't think we're they're with software yet. I have a floppy on my computer which, by the way, I use all of the time. I basically find the floppy drive AND floppies a LOT more resilient and dependable than CD drives and CDs themselves. They corrupt very easily. I can't ghost my laptop, which really sucks; I read the review that Ghost 2003 is horrible. I love Ghost (2002) but unfortunatly can' use it on my laptop. I think these companies need "to get with the program" and create software out there so it doesn't drive the techs nuts. I know technology has really changed - but.. I still believe there's a place for a floppy UNTIL the software developers can come up with a "one click" button to create a bootable CD. I wrote to Norton and said they should develop their GHOST CD to be able to read your computer and copy the appropriate files onto a CD-RW to automatically boot the way it should. I have YET to be able to create a DEPENDABLE, BOOTABLE CD. Bootable Floppies can be used in just about any computer with a floppy..... not so with the CDs.......My computer's still good for another couple of years - but hopefully technology will be even better.|
|Oh my god find a way around useing a floppy. Take bill gates hostage untill he agrees to make a windows installer that will never again ask for a floppy disk and will be able to seach/brows any acsessable drive for any required files. And any usb storage device should always be supported by any os with any bios. There. No ned for floppys any more. Any kind of data acsess needs should be able to be fullfilled by any usb storage device as long as it has the required storage compasity. This is final and had better happen soon or I will totaly lose it.|
|there's this beautiful thing called knoppix that comes in a bootable live-cd version. that only "rescue disk" you should ever need to use, if you know what you're doing.
(Editor's note: What about the machines that can't boot from CD? What about when I need to transfer a file off that machine in DOS to repair it? WIndows IDE/RAID/SCIS "F6" drivers?)
|i havent used floppies for past 5 years now.. i have relied on CDRW, bootable cd's and for past 2 years... flash drives..and usb hard disk.. serves all my purpose and i am a system / network admin..reinstalling windows and formatting is something which forms the basics of my jobs!!
(Editor's note: Just last week a job had to take an hour longer because the machine didn't have a floppy drive. I could not Ghost without booting to DOS, and the CDROM drive wouldn't boot. I had to hunt around the office for a spare machine, swap both drives in, boot, Ghost, then go back to the original machine...Guess who got screwed by this? The customer. They had to pay for an hour more of my time then if the machine had been equipped with a $7 floppy drive.)
|I agree - there's still a place for floppies - I just got a newer laptop which I wanted to ghost..... guess what.... no floppy. Tried to create a bootable CD (from the 98SE floppy I use on my desktop to ghost) - won't boot....."boot failure".... DOH. I have a USB drive but don't even know if it would boot.... why should I spend the money not even knowing if it would boot from it. It's really a shame the computer cos are chinzing out. I also find transferring files by floppy very easy. They're great for small files. Those of you who think they're fragile don't use them - because I find CDs a LOT MORE fragile than a floppy. They're sturdy and dependable.|
|If Ghost can find a better way of making boot cd's & Windows for installing SATA, SCSI, RAID. Then Legacy Free all the way. Until then, keep the floppy drive. You could always BUG those companys by email every day.|
|umm.. have you guys ever thought that macs dont really need floppes? the os cd is bootable and it has everything you need to fix all the problems a mac could have. macs dont crash.. then burn, so no need to format or reinstall every couple of months. (well.. thats how long my PC lasts :P)
Ohh... and win 98se was the most stable windows before 2k and xp, and bill bought that os for 50 grand after they made the deal with ibm..stupid billionare
|Listen Aaron; I was looking to see how much to charge for the disk (98se) which is being sold with a pile of junk AMD on an AT MSI board. Good riddance to bad rubbish!|
|Interesting that the last poster condems Win98, when he found this page through a Google search for "price+win98se+windows+98+se". Ah, the beauty of HTTP_REFERER.|
|I have memory testers on floppy, low level format utils, lots of drivers still come on floppies, my resume, my IE favorites just to name a few. Anti virus progs require floppies for emergency detection and sweep (you can't burn new virus definitions to the store bought cd, huh?). My vote is the floppy should stay around until the cd burning process is as simple as working with floppies. Aside from that, you dinks that are still using win98, 95 or 3.x SHOULD BE SHOT! What a buggy piece of crap running on top of DOS which started out as QDOS (Qick and Dirty Operating System which Bill bought for 5 grand, now he is a billionare...don't get me started!). There will be 64 bit OS on the market soon for pete sakes! Personally, I love win2k (xp without the ms spyware and built in mediocre garbage). Have a nice day!|
|I bought a new Thinkpad and I didn't really think that I would miss a floppy drive until I wanted to ghost the hard drive.|
|fdisk u`ll find in the win98 directory|
|Ugh Apples suck! My PC will never give up its floppy drive!
NEVER! haha. I use my floppy drive when things get ugly. Its just a bad idea to get rid of them. If something is functional why get rid of it?
|I started out thinking that floppies were over with too. I heard the Dell announcement and thought good who needs them. Then about a month ago I decided to build a new machine...Decided to go with SATA. Guess what...no SATA drivers loaded in WinXP setup on its own. You have to load the 3rd party drivers before installation and they have to come from a FLOPPY! I had to go all the way to CompUSA to pay $20 for something I will never use again. I decided to keep my flopppy but inside the box so that its not really visible.|
|I am a High School Student and floppy drives conldn't possibly be replaced because puting a Word or Exel document on most other data medium is expensive or impractical.
|This is horrible. I deal with thansferring dara between (really) old computers and new ones, and, of course, the old computer doesn't have CD burner and can't get hooked up to a network. Anyway, its a huge waste of time (and money, in the case if CD-R) burning a tiny file to a CD. Also, at my school, those stupid new Macs have no floppy drive AND no CD burner. We have to make due with a very small amount of really crappy USB floppy drives if we want to work on something at home. Floppy drives should stay on computers. (And I must add, there is nothing wrong with 5 1/4" floppies either when transferring small homewritten programs/games to friends, and they're really cheap if you know where to look)|
|err.. i dont use floppies.. but when there is school.. to burn a cd for a 1 meg file......, i know what you are thinking.. E-mail.... so much hassle.. floppies should stay they save lots of time.. ohh.. and i didnt put a floppy in my sisters computer.. then when i had to reinstall it took me 3 hours tolook for a bootable cd on the net.. cause i didnt have any floppies around.. stupid..|
|This is in my opinion, a not so bad thing.. they're ugly, and require more space than a USB or Parallel port does (which are normally present anyways)...
Most, if not all new computers have USB devices as bootable, therefor you can plug in any USB Floppy drive or Ext. USB HDD and away you go. As for companies that would be so naive as to remove a CDROM in the belief that this will stop people from installing software.. have they never heard of the internet? and besides, they are going to be shippign NEW systems without floppies, NOT REMOVING THEM FROM ALREADY SOLD UNITS! As always, you can run out and purchase USB Floppy drives and/or USB flash drives.
BTW, Win98SE CD has all tools that are on any bootable CD: fdisk, format, .... 'dir fdisk*.* /s' would have proven it.
for those of you who wish to remain stuck in the past using out-dated devices.. go buy a parallel floppy drive.
|Floppies are a very unstable and delacate media to use, but they are easily written and re-written at a moments notice. my cd burner is also a piece of crap. it freezes up my computer ect. anyway, it is very impractical to only use a couple hundred kilobytes of a 650 megabyte, read only disk, that can only written once. anybody see a problem??!?! i know there are re-writable cds on the market, and that is fine, for large files that get used alot, but it is still a hassle to burn, erase, and re-burn. especially for small, less important files. at least provide zip disks, or flash media as a standard. long live magnetic media!!|
|It is true that floppys are usfeull to the geeks (myself included), but to the average consumer they are barely used. I myself only ever use them for installations and boot problems, and it is about time we phased out these old drives. Most people can afford a CD Writer, and CD R's are only about 2 pence each at most; floppy disks can be upwards of 70p each - and a CD R can hold more date. Just imagine if we were still using 5 1/4 " Floppies!
The only problem i have is that these kick-ass mini pc's may only have a CD/DVD bay and a power button, but yet they still have a floppy I/O connector on the motherboard even though there is no space for a floppy!
Floppyless and mini is the way to go!
|I get a phone call from a friend, his computer is crapped out and needs it to be reinstalled. I walk for 25 min to get to his place. I am carrying my small tool kit. A windows 98 SE install cd and my custom boot disk. As an after thought I grabbed a boot CD with Norton Ghost and an Win98 image file. So I get there and this is what I find, his computer has no floppy drive, and is giving the imfamous warning that tells me that his partition is most likely been damaged in some way. So I boot off my CD, but the CD does not have FDISK on it, so I can't see whats happened to his partition, I have no clue at this stage how I may be able to recover is HD. So I tell my friend the bad news that his nearly full 80GB is goin be wiped. He understands. So the image gets written and his old partition is toast. Now I have to use the tools now on his HD prepare his computer to install Win98, because the image is really flaky and cannot be trusted. So now I reinstall Win98 and get it setup. Total time, probally about 2-3 Hours, if the computer had a floppy drive, maybe 15-30 min with the help of the tools on that disk.|
|I never use my floppy drive, I usually use email to send files, but I dont think they should stop putting A drives into computers. Not everyone has email or CD-roms but every computer I have seen has a floppy. It is the easiest way to commonly send files. I guess these computer manufacturers are more than happy to save what...$15 dollars?|
Do you agree? Disagree? Feel free to leave a comment by filling out the form at the bottom of the page. All comments are sent to me for approval, so hostile and pointless comments will be discarded. I will not discard comments that disagree with me, and I will certainly not edit comments. The only reason I am screening them is to keep the goof-balls under control. Email addresses will be hidden. If you wish to remain anonymous, simply enter "anonymous" for both your email and name.
Back To Thoughts Page | Mail Me | Search