Do you still use a floppy drive?

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If you still use floppies, what do you primarily use them for?

Bootable DOS and Linux utilities (e.g. DOS boot disk for hard drive maintenance)
24
20%
Cheap, disposable data distibution
1
1%
Unattended answer files (WINNT.SIF)
1
1%
F6 Textmode mass storage driver installs
17
14%
Quick and dirty backups
0
No votes
Data retrieval from old floppy disks
6
5%
DOS games
5
4%
Old OEM drivers that demand to be imaged to a floppy
11
9%
Nostalgia
4
3%
Floppies! We don't need no stinkin' floppies!
49
42%
 
Total votes : 118

Do you still use a floppy drive?

Postposted on Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:40 pm

I still use floppies for tons of mundane stuff such as bootable DOS utilities. This makes my techie friends circle me on their scooters, point their bootable USB thumbdrives at me and laugh.
Last edited by bdwilcox on Wed Feb 04, 2009 7:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Do you still use a floppy drive?

Postposted on Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:43 pm

I only use DOS when I re-flash my videocard or motherboard BIOS, and I don't do that often.
Even then, I have an image of Caldera DR-DOS that I can burn to a rewritable CD or DVD if there's need. Haven't used a floppy disk in a very long time.
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Re: Do you still use a floppy drive?

Postposted on Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:54 pm

I haven't had a floppy drive in my main pc for probably five years.
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Re: Do you still use a floppy drive?

Postposted on Wed Feb 04, 2009 7:44 pm

I just used it last night (NEC USB floppy drive)
for SATA AHCI driver (F6 method) during Windows XP x64 installation.
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Re: Do you still use a floppy drive?

Postposted on Wed Feb 04, 2009 7:48 pm

The last time I had a floppy drive installed in one of my computers was probably 6 or 7 years ago. I do have a USB floppy drive for emergencies but I don't think its been used in 4 or 5 years.
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Re: Do you still use a floppy drive?

Postposted on Wed Feb 04, 2009 7:51 pm

I still have a 5.25" floppy drive installed in one machine.

I also have an assortment of old Bernoulli drives (+ jaz & zip drives) in various sizes -- just so I can get at whatever some of my computer clients may have orphaned and suddenly found they couldn't live without . . . .
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Re: Do you still use a floppy drive?

Postposted on Wed Feb 04, 2009 7:57 pm

Bah! I went to add the F6 Mass Storage Driver (thanks, fpsduck, forgot about that one) and blew up the poll. Please re-vote. Sorry!
Last edited by bdwilcox on Wed Feb 04, 2009 8:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Do you still use a floppy drive?

Postposted on Wed Feb 04, 2009 8:04 pm

My last PC (built circa 2002) had one because (at the time) I always seemed to be making boot floppies for various things like Memtest, hard drive utilities, and BIOS flashing. Nowadays just about everything has bootable ISOs available and my mobo can be flashed via USB key in the BIOS itself, so I didn't move the floppy over for my new build. I just re-use some CD-RW discs to burn the ISOs as I need them. I figure I can always plug in a floppy temporarily if the need ever arises... but in the meantime I can keep my case ribbon-cable free.

I do still have my old 1.2MB 5 1/4" drive somewhere, a couple of ZIP drives (both IDE and SCSI), and a bunch of other random old computer junk. One of these days I'll go through it... maybe Starfalcon would take it off my hands :)
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Re: Do you still use a floppy drive?

Postposted on Wed Feb 04, 2009 8:09 pm

edh wrote:I still have a 5.25" floppy drive installed in one machine.

I also have an assortment of old Bernoulli drives (+ jaz & zip drives) in various sizes -- just so I can get at whatever some of my computer clients may have orphaned and suddenly found they couldn't live without . . . .

I hear ya' on the Jazz and Zip drives, but 5.25" and, cough, sputter, Bernoulli ?!?!? Man, that's a flashback. No Sparq, QIC-80, Avatar Shark, Commodore cassette, floptical or LS-120 drives?
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Re: Do you still use a floppy drive?

Postposted on Wed Feb 04, 2009 8:18 pm

I took the floppy disk out of my main PC back around 2000...and....3? I hated them and wanted nothing to do with them. A few years (2005 maybe? 2004?) when I built my family a new PC I left the floppy out as well. My sister didn't care, but my mom was sniffling over the loss (I don't know why, she never used it). I got into the practice of emailing myself anything I needed to back-up

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Re: Do you still use a floppy drive?

Postposted on Wed Feb 04, 2009 8:28 pm

Sargent Duck wrote:My sister didn't care, but my mom was sniffling over the loss (I don't know why, she never used it).

It's funny you should say that. I noticed a while ago that techies and people under 30 laugh at floppy drives, while most people over 30 will poke at a floppyless PC and ask, "So where's the floppy?" That's usually just before they reveal their floppy version of the Library of Congress holding every document they ever wrote.
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Re: Do you still use a floppy drive?

Postposted on Thu Feb 05, 2009 10:46 am

I still have a drive in the drawer for an emergency. I don't see it getting much use any time soon. I tend to use bootable CDs for stuff.
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Re: Do you still use a floppy drive?

Postposted on Thu Feb 05, 2009 10:57 am

I have a USB FDD I got with my Latitude D410. It works quite well actually.
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Re: Do you still use a floppy drive?

Postposted on Thu Feb 05, 2009 11:06 am

DrDillyBar wrote:I have a USB FDD I got with my Latitude D410. It works quite well actually.

None of my computers have floppy drives in them any more. I kept one as a backup "just in case" and I have a USB floppy drive that works quite well for those installs of XP that require a driver disk. None of my computers actually need a driver disk for an install though. It mostly just sits and collects dust. And since Vista no longer requires a floppy for drivers it makes a floppy drive even more useless than it ever was.
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Re: Do you still use a floppy drive?

Postposted on Thu Feb 05, 2009 11:25 am

Taddeusz wrote:
DrDillyBar wrote:I have a USB FDD I got with my Latitude D410. It works quite well actually.

None of my computers have floppy drives in them any more. I kept one as a backup "just in case" and I have a USB floppy drive that works quite well for those installs of XP that require a driver disk. None of my computers actually need a driver disk for an install though. It mostly just sits and collects dust. And since Vista no longer requires a floppy for drivers it makes a floppy drive even more useless than it ever was.

In the last two years, I've used it to flash my BIOS twice (processor support on my 975 creaps forward), and lent it to my uncle so he could backup a stack of floppies to CD.
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Re: Do you still use a floppy drive?

Postposted on Thu Feb 05, 2009 11:34 am

DrDillyBar wrote:
Taddeusz wrote:
DrDillyBar wrote:I have a USB FDD I got with my Latitude D410. It works quite well actually.

None of my computers have floppy drives in them any more. I kept one as a backup "just in case" and I have a USB floppy drive that works quite well for those installs of XP that require a driver disk. None of my computers actually need a driver disk for an install though. It mostly just sits and collects dust. And since Vista no longer requires a floppy for drivers it makes a floppy drive even more useless than it ever was.

In the last two years, I've used it to flash my BIOS twice (processor support on my 975 creaps forward), and lent it to my uncle so he could backup a stack of floppies to CD.

All my systems are either legacy and have no more BIOS updates or can be done easily through Windows. I like the way Intel does their BIOS updates. Works quite well from Windows.
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Re: Do you still use a floppy drive?

Postposted on Thu Feb 05, 2009 11:46 am

On my Win98 gaming box for the occasional DOS game that needs a boot disk. Creating those things back in the day was quite the chore if you couldn't get a game to run. Fun times. :D
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Re: Do you still use a floppy drive?

Postposted on Thu Feb 05, 2009 11:56 am

NeXus 6 wrote:On my Win98 gaming box for the occasional DOS game that needs a boot disk. Creating those things back in the day was quite the chore if you couldn't get a game to run. Fun times. :D

Meh, that's what DOSBox is for. :P
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Re: Do you still use a floppy drive?

Postposted on Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:11 pm

Taddeusz wrote:
NeXus 6 wrote:On my Win98 gaming box for the occasional DOS game that needs a boot disk. Creating those things back in the day was quite the chore if you couldn't get a game to run. Fun times. :D

Meh, that's what DOSBox is for. :P

Ahh...but it's not as nostalgic as firing up your old computer. :)
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Re: Do you still use a floppy drive?

Postposted on Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:32 pm

I don't use floppies anymore, but a departmentful of my users does. They run scientific instruments with these ancient computers, and the only reliable way to transfer data around is with the old 1.44MB floppy, because some of the machines don't have USB ports, some run NT4, others run Windows 9x. Thankfully those machines are off my network. 8)
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Re: Do you still use a floppy drive?

Postposted on Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:52 pm

think i finally removed my floppy drive back in 2005ish and just left it under the desk(basically right under my case, along with the fdd cable attached to it) incase it ever comes to be needed again by something.
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Re: Do you still use a floppy drive?

Postposted on Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:53 pm

I don't use a physical floppy anymore, but I do pack Bios FLASH packages into them and program an autoexec function when loaded. These floppys get packed up into nice little IMG files that are then burned off to a CD running isolinux in a custom little boot appy. Looks similar to "Ultimate Boot CD" if you have ever used that.
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Re: Do you still use a floppy drive?

Postposted on Thu Feb 05, 2009 1:24 pm

I do have a USB floppy drive on my machine. I use floppies regually on my older machines, they would be lost without floppies, but with networking setup, I use that as I can transfer larger files (like openwatcom's installer). I do also have a 5.25" drive on one machine.
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Re: Do you still use a floppy drive?

Postposted on Thu Feb 05, 2009 1:53 pm

I haven't used a floppy since probably 2002. Good riddance!
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Re: Do you still use a floppy drive?

Postposted on Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:12 pm

Another question would be if anyone still uses a ZIP drive? I had an external one, but never found much use for it.
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Re: Do you still use a floppy drive?

Postposted on Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:16 pm

NeXus 6 wrote:Another question would be if anyone still uses a ZIP drive? I had an external one, but never found much use for it.

I used to use it when I had would download files at school and then take them home, since pay-per-use dial-up overseas sucks. I did use it for carying stuff to and from school as well (such as the media files (like illustrator or flash or director or photoshop) I was doing in class).
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Re: Do you still use a floppy drive?

Postposted on Thu Feb 05, 2009 3:22 pm

Master Kenobi wrote:I don't use a physical floppy anymore, but I do pack Bios FLASH packages into them and program an autoexec function when loaded. These floppys get packed up into nice little IMG files that are then burned off to a CD running isolinux in a custom little boot appy. Looks similar to "Ultimate Boot CD" if you have ever used that.

Very interesting Master Kenobi. Can you point me to some instructions on how to do that? My brother just acquired an old nForce4 mobo and he needs to flash the BIOS on it to get dual-core support, but he doesn't have a floppy drive. This sounds like it would solve the problem perfectly :)
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Re: Do you still use a floppy drive?

Postposted on Thu Feb 05, 2009 4:52 pm

Easier said than done I'm afraid. It's easy once you set it all up, but out of the box is difficult. Here's what you can do though.

Virtual Floppy Drive. I use this to create an MS-DOS boot disk or Caldera Dos boot disk and customize from there.
http://vmblog.com/archive/2007/03/14/vi ... eedom.aspx

If the vendor supplies a floppy image, then simply mount the virtual floppy drive and write to that, without having to pull out the flash file and cram it into a copy of MS-DOS.

Once the floppy files reside on said floppy, you need to use RAWREAD/RAWRITE from here to pack it all up into an ISO (The VFD doesn't work so well at this part)
http://www.pamarsystems.com/raw.html

Now with IMG file in hand, you need to load it on a working copy of ISOLinux, or add it to the Ultimate Boot CD if your really lazy. Providing exact instructions for doing either of those would be very long and require screenshots though.

Once you have your custom CD, the first 2 steps work great for any sort of bootable flash floppy you need to create. Simply load em all into the CD, and customize the menu to load any of them as needed and your golden.

I have 14 laptops and 4 desktops in my environment here (Different models that is) and its quite handy.

For the sake of time, I'd say run out and get a USB Floppy drive real fast. Since the CD method is not quick if you've never built one.
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Re: Do you still use a floppy drive?

Postposted on Thu Feb 12, 2009 7:36 pm

For anyone who doesn't need no stinkin' floppies but has OEM drivers that demand to be imaged to a floppy, a handy little utility is Virtual Floppy 2.1*. It will allow you to create a virtual floppy drive as A: and image to it (it will also mount floppy images that have already been created):
http://chitchat.at.infoseek.co.jp/vmware/vfd.html

*The official version only works on 32-bit OS's. There are two hacks for 64-bit OS's listed on the main page, though.
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Re: Do you still use a floppy drive?

Postposted on Thu Feb 12, 2009 9:16 pm

It's been so long that I can't remember at all when I last used a floppy. At least six years since I had a unit in my own computer, probably just as long as I used one for any purpose.
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