[rescue] floppy disc drives

Lionel Peterson lionel4287 at verizon.net
Fri Aug 22 10:37:05 CDT 2008

>From: "Geoffrey S. Mendelson" <gsm at mendelson.com>
>Date: 2008/08/22 Fri AM 02:02:09 EDT
>To: The Rescue List <rescue at sunhelp.org>
>Subject: Re: [rescue] Parallel ports [was Re: Slightly OT: ?Bad Cap  Saga]


>At this point IMHO, the only real use the average user has for a 
>floppy drive is to recover old data. You can buy a USB memory stick
>for less than I bought floppies at one time.  Blank CD's cost pennies,
>and are almost indestructable compared to floppies.

I agree with you, but I want to point out that older hardware (P3 and early P4 hardware has BIOS that can only be updated from a bootable floppy, and older (yet still in production in the vast majority of Windows datacenters) Windows Server 2003 can only load drivers for bootable RAID cards via floppies (short of slipstreaming drivers into the install media, as previous discussions noted).

At $WORK we are cleaning out closets and I came a cross a small box of brand-new 3.5" floppies, in never-been-opened boxes, and while my first reaction was to pitch them, I thought about it for a few seconds and realized they still had a purpose in our datacenter (we still have P3 and early Xeon servers in use that have floppy drives, and while revised BIOS for these systems are very unlikely, we have machines with older BIOS and we plan on staying with Server 2003 for at least another year).

But, back to your point, the average user, who swaps out their machine every three years or so not only has no use for a floppy, but most likely their machine doesn't ship with a floppy drive - though it likely supports a USB floopy... Why? I have no idea, beyond reading older floppy files.


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