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How a Floppy Disk Drive Works

The floppy disk drive is a device that records data onto a removable storage disk called a floppy disk. Floppy disks, also called "floppies", are the most basic storage medium for data. However their limited capacity, typically 1.44 megabytes, makes them of limited use.

A floppy disk can be used to copy files from one PC to another PC or for making backup copies of files.

Replacing a floppy drive is very easy and inexpensive to do should the need arise.

PC based floppies only a hand few of years ago were 5.25 inches. Before the mainstream introduction of the home computer, floppies of 8 and 10 inches were in wide use. Now floppies have a more rigid outer shell and are 3.5 inches. However their low capacity make them of limited value.

Floppy capacities, in the PC era, started at 360KB, climbed to 1.2MB then the smaller 3.5 inch floppy was introduced. The new floppy could could hold 720KB of data and then doubled to 1.44MB in 1987. A 2.88MB disk was developed by Toshiba but it never caught on.

There are a couple of other removable media disk products on the market, such as the Iomega ZIP drive. These specialized drives use a proprietary disk media to record considerably more data than will fit on a conventional floppy.

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