Definition: Floppy Disk


Archived Historical Data: Not Actively Maintained.

"A floppy disk is a storage medium that consists of a thin and flexible magnetic disk inside a plastic carrier. Widely used since the 1970s until the early 2000s, they have gradually been replaced by other storage devices with greater capacity.  floppy disk is magnetic storage medium for computer systems. The floppy disk is composed of a thin and flexible magnetic disk sealed in a square plastic carrier. In order to read and write data from a floppy disk, a computer system must have a floppy disk drive (FDD). A floppy disk is also referred to simply as a ‘floppy.’ Since the early days of personal computing, floppy disks were widely used to distribute software, transfer files and create back-up copies of data. When hard drives were still very expensive, floppy disks were also used to store the operating system of a computer. A number of different types of floppy disks have been developed; the size of the floppy got smaller, and the storage capacity increased; however, in the 1990s, other media, including hard disk drives, ZIP drives, optical drives and USB flash drives, started to replace floppy disks as the primary storage medium. The first floppy disks that came on the market were 8 inches (200 mm) in diameter. The disk was protected by a flexible plastic jacket. An 8-inch disk back in the late 1970s could store about 1 MB of data. This was quickly followed by a smaller version of the same design, the 5 ¼ inch (133 mm) floppy, which could store about the same amount of information using higher-density media and recording techniques. In the early 1980s, the 3 ½ inch (90 mm) floppy or ‘micro floppy’ came on the market, and this type became the dominant storage medium for personal computers for many years."

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4/11/2016 12:50:16 PM