Floppy Drive - Introduction

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g_floppy.gif (771 bytes)The Floppy Drive

The Tired Ole Floppy

-The ole floppy has been around for a while and is considered removable storage. The floppy has seen a few changes over the years and will fade away someday only falling to the Super Disk which will hold 120MB. The floppy is pretty much equipped on all PC's. This item is especially important to the first time PC builder and the rest of us. The floppy is vital to loading you operating system software an is much needed in the upgrading process.

-The modern floppy is composed of a 3.5" disk which is from the Apples success and now used on the PC. Most of us remember the big floppies that were of the 5.25" taste. I thought this was cutting edge at the time and there are a few still around. The newer 3.5" incorporated 1.44 MB of space per disk and referred to as High Density. The funny thing is High Density is a little more than 1.44 MB in comparison to the new hard drives. The floppy drive itself utilizes magnetic based recording similar to the hard drive. What are the parts of the floppy drive and what do they do? More of this is covered in Hard Drive's section if you want to get into the cylinders,sectors,read/write heads in depth visit this section.

The Insides

-The floppy three major parts that make it tick these are the read/write heads,head actuator, and the spindle motor.

-Read/Write head, these are magnetic heads that read data from the surface of the disk itself.Something to take note of with the heads is that they are spring loaded and actually grips the disk from both sides. This over time does cause much wear on a disk. A good idea is not to use a diskette that is old or overused.

-Head Actuator, the actuator moves the read/write head across the disk.

-Spindle Motor, spins the disk so that tracks/sectors can be read by the read/write head.

-The floppy is fairly boring and most manufacturers are done with it and the improvement of disk density. There are bigger and better drive technologies that are up and coming. Keep an eye out for the Superdisk.

-Even with new stuff out everyday the idea of changing out the floppy is hard on some people. The floppy has been around longer than most devices and has served well over the years.


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