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floppy disk
density
disk
FDHD
floppy drive
HiFD
SuperDisk
Zip drive

A soft magnetic disk. It is called floppy because it flops if you wave it (at least, the 5¼-inch variety does). Unlike most hard disks, floppy disks (often called floppies or diskettes) are portable, because you can remove them from a disk drive. Disk drives for floppy disks are called floppy drives. Floppy disks are slower to access than hard disks and have less storage capacity, but they are much less expensive. And most importantly, they are portable.

Floppies come in two basic sizes:

  • 5¼-inch: The common size for PCs made before 1987. This type of floppy is generally capable of storing between 100K and 1.2MB (megabytes) of data. The most common sizes are 360K and 1.2MB.
  • 3½-inch: Floppy is something of a misnomer for these disks, as they are encased in a rigid envelope. Despite their small size, microfloppies have a larger storage capacity than their cousins -- from 400K to 1.4MB of data. The most common sizes for PCs are 720K (double-density) and 1.44MB (high-density). Macintoshes support disks of 400K, 800K, and 1.2MB.
  • Floppy Disk Densities

    5¼-inches
    SingleDouble High
    PC360K 720K1.2MB
    MacNA NANA
    3½-inch
    SingleDouble High
    PCNA 720K1.44MB
    Mac400K 800K1.2MB



    For internet.com pages about floppy disk, . Also, check out the following links!


    More Information

      Athana International
    Home page for Athana International, manufacturer of magnetic media products including 3.5, 5.25 & 8 inch floppy disks, data cartridges (QIC and helical scan), rigid disk, and disk cartridges. Updated on Jul 31, 1998

      Formatting 3.5 inch floppy disks
    Provides information on determining disk capacity, formatting procedures, and consequences of wrongly formatted disks. Updated on Apr 19, 1998

      PC Guide's floppy disk drive reference
    Covers the construction and operation of the drive, different sizes, media types and formats, logical structures, and interfacing and configuration.

      Troubleshooting Floppy Disk Drives
    Discusses troubleshooting problems related to the floppy disk drive. This page is from "The PC Guide."

      Using floppy disks on PC systems
    Provides an information sheet that describes floppy disks and disk drives on PC systems.

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