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Dell dropping Floppy drives

By Julio Franco · 16 replies
Feb 5, 2003
  1. We all saw this one coming; after all, do you really use your floppies often? IMHO, the only reason they haven't been dropped already is because of the lack of a versatile replacement for them... 1.44mb is almost nothing, but works for a simple Word or Excel document and you can re-write on diskettes as much as you want.

    In the other hand floppies aren't reliable while CD's are, but I wouldn't consider those as versatile, then the rest of storage media isn't as widespread... quite a dilemma.

    And so, what’s your take on this? Post your comments here.
  2. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,704

    Floppies are still useful for booting to DOS to flash BIOSes and such, IMHO.

    Nothing beats a CD however.
  3. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    I don't feel that floppy's are very useful. It was only a matter of time before it finally happened. They are to the point now of the old 5.25 inch ones were a long time ago. I think ZIP drives have replaced them, but as you said they are not that widespread. In my house (about 40 comps) I think there are only a handful who have ZIP drives. So CD's are still the best option, but too big and breakable if misused to replace the floppy.
  4. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Posts: 2,244

    The problem with the ZIP drive replacing the floppy is the cost. Last time I bought a ZIP disk, the 100MB ones were still around $10 each, while CDs are much, much cheaper and hold more data. The CD however, as has already been pointed out is not as compact. The mini-CD would be a good replacement choice but isn't really cost effective when compared to the full size CD. A mini CD holds only 200MB, some 210MB and costs a little more than half what a full size CD costs. This is still cheaper than a ZIP disk and holds more data, it is also almost the same size as a floppy.
  5. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    re-writing to cds is still a pain though, nothing like the ease of adding and deleting files to a floppy drive.
  6. warr

    warr TS Rookie Posts: 67

    CD's good? u need software to write them. and not all OS support your CD writer. or u don't even have a driver for that OS.

    zip? too expensive.

    floppy? cheap and convenient for trouble shooting.

    so floppy still best.

    as said, it is because there is no replacement yet that floppy is still in use.
  7. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 7,411   +809

    I was thinking, perhaps if there were more companies supporting those USB small storage devices that use flash memory (the ones that are usually advertised to be as small as keychains)...

    Think about it, with some good software support (direct OS), slightly lower prices and no extra drive needed to read/write, ideally these would be very convenient.
  8. warr

    warr TS Rookie Posts: 67

    only if price is low.
  9. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    Yes, some people do that. It's not every day you have to flash your BIOS, however. I use a bootable CD for that - BIOS file being on a FAT partition.

    I'm planning to add a 5.25" floppy drive to this computer just for the heck of it. Not too many PCs these days have one :giddy:
  10. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Posts: 1,946   +200

    Many network cards comes with drivers on a floppy...

    Actually the last computer I built, I skipped the floppy on that, but since the NIC driver came on a floppy I couldn't get the network running.

    So I actually had to go and dig up an old floppy drive:blush:
  11. Snowy Commando

    Snowy Commando TS Rookie Posts: 148

    Those usb pendrives are quite cool, the space to store and the drive in one, you can buy a 256mb for less than the cost of a zip drive with no zip disks.

    "Plug and Play" boot device all in one, what a cool idea! :)
  12. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,977   +15

    I think floppys are simply convient ;)
  13. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 993

    I agree with you, sometimes floppy drives do become very handy.
  14. So what if you need software? nero isn't very difficult to use, and win xp has support, you can drag and drop. The only reason cds haven't replaced floppies is that they're too big. If the smaller cds were common, and rewritable they could replace floppies. And i don't know what you mean about not having a driver, they come with ones for most os's
  15. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    I guess he's refering to the different *nix flavours out there...

    As for the topic...
    I haven't had a floppy drive in my computer for about two years... Granted, there has been times I could have used one, but nothing I couldn't do with a cd or plain inet access...

    But I might just add one when I finally get around to moving my computer to my flat... With no inet access, it would be nice not to spend one cd per document I need to move...

    Intel tried to promote a legacy free computer a while ago, but it didnt' do too good... And I think the same would apply to Dell, considering how many people still use floppies...

  16. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,704

    Just buy 1 CD-RW :D

    I might start switching over to them...
  17. blacktip

    blacktip TS Rookie

    cd rw's all well and good, dont know about the rest of you but my workplace computers have never heard of a cdrw drive, most are still powered by pentium 2's (if ur lucky) floppys are still convenient to throw a couple of files on, pen drives would be nice... but many need drivers, again problems in a workplace where the it security people dont trust the average user to switch on the machine correctley.. LOL :) in an ideal world i would love to burn all floppys... may keep a few...just in case ;)
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