Floppy disk

floppy disk drivefloppy drivediskettefloppy disksfloppyfloppy discdiskdiskettesfloppy drives8-inch floppy disk
A floppy disk, also known as a floppy, diskette, or simply disk, is a type of disk storage composed of a disk of thin and flexible magnetic storage medium, sealed in a rectangular plastic enclosure lined with fabric that removes dust particles.wikipedia
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Disk storage

disk drivediskdisks
A floppy disk, also known as a floppy, diskette, or simply disk, is a type of disk storage composed of a disk of thin and flexible magnetic storage medium, sealed in a rectangular plastic enclosure lined with fabric that removes dust particles.
Notable types are the hard disk drive (HDD) containing a non-removable disk, the floppy disk drive (FDD) and its removable floppy disk, and various optical disc drives (ODD) and associated optical disc media.

USB flash drive

flash driveUSB flash drivesUSB drive
While floppy disk drives still have some limited uses, especially with legacy industrial computer equipment, they have been superseded by data storage methods with much greater capacity and transfer speeds, such as USB flash drives, flash storage cards, portable external hard disk drives, optical discs, and storage available through computer networks such as cloud storage.
Compared with floppy disks or CDs, they are smaller, faster, have significantly more capacity, and are more durable due to a lack of moving parts.

Magnetic storage

magnetic recordingmagnetic mediamagnetic disk
A floppy disk, also known as a floppy, diskette, or simply disk, is a type of disk storage composed of a disk of thin and flexible magnetic storage medium, sealed in a rectangular plastic enclosure lined with fabric that removes dust particles.
Other examples of magnetic storage media include floppy disks, magnetic recording tape, and magnetic stripes on credit cards.

IBM

International Business MachinesIBM CorporationInternational Business Machines Corporation
These disks and associated drives were produced and improved upon by IBM and other companies such as Memorex, Shugart Associates, and Burroughs Corporation.
Inventions by IBM include the automated teller machine (ATM), the floppy disk, the hard disk drive, the magnetic stripe card, the relational database, the SQL programming language, the UPC barcode, and dynamic random-access memory (DRAM).

Optical disc

optical mediaoptical data storageoptical discs
While floppy disk drives still have some limited uses, especially with legacy industrial computer equipment, they have been superseded by data storage methods with much greater capacity and transfer speeds, such as USB flash drives, flash storage cards, portable external hard disk drives, optical discs, and storage available through computer networks such as cloud storage.
Unlike the 31⁄2-inch floppy disk, most optical discs do not have an integrated protective casing and are therefore susceptible to data transfer problems due to scratches, fingerprints, and other environmental problems.

Floppy disk format

DSSoft sectoringdisk format
There were competing floppy disk formats, with hard- and soft-sector versions and encoding schemes such as FM, MFM, M 2 FM and GCR.
Floppy disk format and density refer to the logical and physical layout of data stored on a floppy disk.

Shugart Associates

ShugartShugart Associates SA1000
These disks and associated drives were produced and improved upon by IBM and other companies such as Memorex, Shugart Associates, and Burroughs Corporation.
Shugart Associates (later Shugart Corporation) was a computer peripheral manufacturer that dominated the floppy disk drive market in the late 1970s and is famous for introducing the 5 1⁄4-inch "Minifloppy" floppy disk drive.

Modified frequency modulation

MFMFMDelay encoding
There were competing floppy disk formats, with hard- and soft-sector versions and encoding schemes such as FM, MFM, M 2 FM and GCR.
Modified frequency modulation (MFM) is a run-length limited (RLL) coding scheme used to encode the actual data-bits on most floppy disks.

Hard disk drive

hard drivehard diskhard drives
While floppy disk drives still have some limited uses, especially with legacy industrial computer equipment, they have been superseded by data storage methods with much greater capacity and transfer speeds, such as USB flash drives, flash storage cards, portable external hard disk drives, optical discs, and storage available through computer networks such as cloud storage.
Drives with non-removable eight-inch platters appeared, and then drives that used a 5+1/4 in form factor (a mounting width equivalent to that used by contemporary floppy disk drives).

IBM PC Convertible

PC ConvertibleConvertibleIBM Convertible
IBM started using the 720 KB double-density 3 1⁄2-inch microfloppy disk on its Convertible laptop computer in 1986 and the 1.44 MB high-density version with the PS/2 line in 1987.
Released on April 3, 1986, the Convertible was also the first IBM computer to use the 3½-inch floppy disk format which went on to become the industry standard.

Disk density

double densityDDsingle density
IBM started using the 720 KB double-density 3 1⁄2-inch microfloppy disk on its Convertible laptop computer in 1986 and the 1.44 MB high-density version with the PS/2 line in 1987.
Disk density is a capacity designation on magnetic storage, usually floppy disks.

Sony

Sony CorporationSony ElectronicsSony Corp.
A number of solutions were developed, with drives at 2-, 2 1⁄2-, 3-, 3 1⁄4-, 3 1⁄2- and 4-inches (and Sony's 90.0 mm × 94.0 mm disk) offered by various companies.
Sony (either alone or with partners) has introduced several of the most popular recording formats, including the floppy disk, Compact Disc and Blu-ray Disc.

Zip drive

ZipZip diskIomega ZIP
In the mid 1990s, mechanically incompatible higher-density floppy disks were introduced, like the Iomega Zip disk.
However, it was never popular enough to replace the 3 1⁄2-inch floppy disk.

Sneakernet

borrowed diskettesdata courierfile-transfer
By 2002, most manufacturers still provided floppy disk drives as standard equipment to meet user demand for file-transfer and an emergency boot device, as well as for the general secure feeling of having the familiar device.
Sneakernet is an informal term for the transfer of electronic information by physically moving media such as magnetic tape, floppy disks, optical discs, USB flash drives or external hard drives between computers, rather than transmitting it over a computer network.

Write protection

write-protectwrite protectwrite protected
They all shared a number of advantages over the old format, including a rigid case with a sliding metal (or, later, sometimes plastic) shutter over the head slot, which helped protect the delicate magnetic medium from dust and damage, and a sliding write protection tab, which was far more convenient than the adhesive tabs used with earlier disks.

Floppy disk hardware emulator

Semi-virtual disketteHardware floppy disk emulators
Hardware floppy disk emulators can be made to interface floppy-disk controllers to a USB port that can be used for flash drives.
A floppy disk hardware emulator is a device that emulates a mechanical floppy disk drive with a solid state or network storage device that is plug compatible with the drive it replaces, similar to how solid-state drives replace mechanical hard disk drives.

Differential Manchester encoding

biphase mark codeFMBi-Phase
There were competing floppy disk formats, with hard- and soft-sector versions and encoding schemes such as FM, MFM, M 2 FM and GCR.
Differential Manchester is also the original "frequency modulation" (FM) used on "single-density" floppy disks, followed by "double-density" modified frequency modulation (MFM), which gets its name from its relation to FM, or Differential Manchester, encoding.

BIOS

ROM BIOSSystem BIOSBasic Input/Output System
Floppy disks are used for emergency boots in aging systems lacking support for other bootable media and for BIOS updates, since most BIOS and firmware programs can still be executed from bootable floppy disks.
When INT 19h is called, the BIOS attempts to locate boot loader software on a "boot device", such as a hard disk, a floppy disk, CD, or DVD.

CD-ROM

CDCD-ROM driveCD-ROM XA
Then, distribution of larger packages was gradually replaced by CD-ROMs, DVDs and online distribution.
The bootable CD specification was issued in January 1995, to make a CD emulate a hard disk or floppy disk, and is called El Torito.

Magneto-optical drive

magneto-opticalMagneto-optical discMagneto-optical discs
Other formats, such as Magneto-optical discs, had the flexibility of floppy disks combined with greater capacity but remained niche due to costs.
Using a magneto-optical disc is much more like using a diskette drive than a CD-RW drive.

Floppy-disk controller

floppy disk controllerFDCcontroller
Hardware floppy disk emulators can be made to interface floppy-disk controllers to a USB port that can be used for flash drives.
A floppy-disk controller (FDC) is a special-purpose chip and associated disk controller circuitry that directs and controls reading from and writing to a computer's floppy disk drive (FDD).

IMac

iMacsApple iMacApple iMacs
Apple introduced the iMac in 1998 with a CD-ROM drive but no floppy drive; this made USB-connected floppy drives popular accessories, as the iMac came without any writable removable media device.
It was the first Macintosh computer to have a USB port but no floppy disk drive.

SuperDrive

Super MultiApple SuperDrivefloppy disk drive
For example, the "SuperDrive" included from the Macintosh SE to the Power Macintosh G3 could read, write and format IBM PC format 3 1⁄2-inch disks, but few IBM-compatible computers had drives that did the reverse.
SuperDrive is a trademark used by Apple Inc. for two different storage drives: from 1988 to 1999 to refer to a high-density floppy disk drive capable of reading all major 3.5″ disk formats; and from 2001 onwards to refer to a CD/DVD reader/writer.

Floppy disk variants

flippy disksuperfloppiessuperfloppy
Punch devices were sold to convert read-only disks to writable ones and enable writing on the unused side of single sided disks; such modified disks became known as flippy disks.
The floppy disk is a data storage and transfer device which was ubiquitous from the mid-1970s well into the 2000s.

Boot disk

bootable USBboot mediaBootable
Floppy disks are used for emergency boots in aging systems lacking support for other bootable media and for BIOS updates, since most BIOS and firmware programs can still be executed from bootable floppy disks.
Bootable floppy disks ("boot floppies") for PCs usually contain DOS or miniature versions of Linux.