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When and How Did the 3.5 Floppy Drive Become Dispensable?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Arthur S, Aug 13, 2005.

  1. Arthur S

    Arthur S Well-Known Member

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    Low price desktops don't come with floppy drives anymore. Admittedly, I don't use mine often, but are they obsolete or is this just a way to make the cheapest possible computers?

    Thanks
     
  2. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Well-Known Member

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    It's not an either/or; they are pretty much obsolete, and it does make the computers cheaper. Apple stopped including them a long time ago. I built a Windows box without one a few years back, and missed having the floppy only once or twice.

    People use networking and email to send files to others. To carry files yourself, USB thumb drives have much more capacity, don't go bad like floppies do, and are very cheap. About the only thing floppies are good for now is creating boot diskettes to flash the BIOS. Once booting from USB thumb drives is commonplace, floppies will be dead (for new computers).
     
  3. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Well-Known Member

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    Not even that! I have flashed my bios from my hard drive.

    Glenn
     
  4. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Well-Known Member

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    some motherboard manufacturers still require a floppy drive to flash your bios. it's the only reason i have one.

    CJ
     
  5. Tekara

    Tekara Well-Known Member

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    you can flash your bios from a bootable cdrom, just copy the "floppy's" contents to a bootable cd and your good. It's how I handle all my flashing nowadays.
     
  6. Bob Graz

    Bob Graz Well-Known Member

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    The basic problem with floppies is that their capacity became a gating issue given the large size of files today. 1.44 meg isn't enough to do much with. So why should manufacturers invest dollars in a PC with a legacy device that has very little value now. There's very little margin in desktops or laptops these days. Better to let customers use their USB port to plug their own devices in, such as a USB drive.
     
  7. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Well-Known Member

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    If you really need access to a 3.5" floppy you can purchase an outboard drive that plugs into your USB 2.0 port for around $35.00 at CompUSA :

    http://www.compusa.com/products/prod...95056&pfp=cat3

    The nice thing about this drive is that it can be carried from computer to computer and doesn't even require an AC source (it derives all the power that it needs from the USB port).
     
  8. StevenFC

    StevenFC Well-Known Member

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    Though I rarely use mine, I like to have it in case someone gives me a file on a floppy. Plus I never know when I might need one to work on an older PC. But they won't be around for much longer, I think.
     
  9. David Williams

    David Williams Well-Known Member

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    Does this happen often?!? I can't remember the last time this happened to me.

    The truth is that the Zip et al drive long ago eclipsed the meager floppy in the era of the multi-megabyte file and even the Zip/Jaz is outré.

    Welcome to the Age of USB drive. No moving parts, reliable and easily portable.
     
  10. Kyle McKnight

    Kyle McKnight Well-Known Member

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    I haven't had a floppy drive for the past 3 years and don't plan on buying one again heh! USB drives rock.
     
  11. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Well-Known Member

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    I build a computer for my parents which only had a single SATA hard drive. I had to copy some drivers onto a floppy in order for Windows XP to recognize the SATA drive.
     
  12. Diallo B

    Diallo B Well-Known Member

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    floppies are obsolete and i hate them. that 1.44 mb of space is insulting. i try to avoid including them with my builds at all costs but some people are stuck on this old technology.

    i have collected a million of them over the years and they are very unreliable. one will work in one system and not the other one. that dangone metal slider will stick and jack up the drive or get stuck in the drive. they are really SLOW.

    install a flash memory reader or get a usb drive. this is some of the best technology ever and it is reliable and fast.
     
  13. DaveBB

    DaveBB Well-Known Member

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    But can you flash motherboard BIOS from that since it's USB?
     
  14. Ken Chui

    Ken Chui Well-Known Member

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    Same here. Some optical drive manufacturers also require a FD for flashing firmware upgrades.
     
  15. Francois Caron

    Francois Caron Well-Known Member

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    I keep a floppy drive handy just in case I need it for BIOS updates, but it's not installed in the computer. I haven't used it in over a year now.
     
  16. Chris Bardon

    Chris Bardon Well-Known Member

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    The only reason I still have a floppy drive in my machine is to fill the hole in the case. Can't even remember the last time I used it (probably 3 years now at least).

    CDR made a dent in floppies, but it's been the USB drive that has (will be) what finally kills the floppy drive.

    Is it really that much more expensive though? Last time I checked, they were 20 bucks or less at most computer stores.
     
  17. Holadem

    Holadem Well-Known Member

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    I helped a friend buy a laptop last year and it took a really long time to convince her that she didn't need a floppy drive - it was one of her requirements and she just wouldn't let go.

    More than year later, she hasn't needed it once.

    I have always hated the darn things myself and don't have one.

    --
    H
     
  18. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Well-Known Member

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    This is the only reason I had one. I removed it once I got my computer built and in Windows.
     
  19. Al.Anderson

    Al.Anderson Well-Known Member

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    Not dead yet. I have kids in 5th and 7th grade who are required to use them in school for transfering files.
     
  20. Scott L

    Scott L Well-Known Member

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    Hah, I remember we had to buy those 5.25" disks labeled Tandy brand for school. [​IMG]

    I either use networking, email, or my ipod to transfer files around. It takes much less time to hook up an ipod as a removable drive than to sit there and wait while a floppy is being read/writed on.

    For BIOS flashing I do what Rob mentioned and follow the directions on bootdisk.com to create a bootable CD-R.
     

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