Planning new build, are floppies relevant any more?

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psyopper
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Planning new build, are floppies relevant any more?

Post by psyopper » Thu Apr 03, 2008 8:26 pm

I can't honestly seem to recall the last time I used a floppy disk, either as a boot/recovery or just for plain old storage. Are floppies even relevant anymore?

In planning a new buil din a mATX case where space is at a premium I am thinking I will leave it out and for the rare occasion I need one I'll crack the case and plug in in, in true "floppy" fashion. Otherwise I always have a copy of an Ubuntu LiveCD for emergency purposes.

What's everyone else's opinion on this? Do we dare call the venerable 3.5 inch floppy dead yet?

Vicotnik
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Post by Vicotnik » Thu Apr 03, 2008 8:52 pm

I finally got rid of mine when I relaced my P180 with a P182 not long ago. I kept mine for that long since I sometimes tinker with some really old boxes (pre-USB types). But since I don't do that very often anymore...

For my own modern system I have had no problem removing the floppy. Booting from USB is really easy today, when you need something like a system floppy.

So yeah, the 3.5" floppy is dead. :)

xan_user
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Post by xan_user » Thu Apr 03, 2008 9:21 pm

Recently I had to re update my bios to prove to ASUS my mobos bios was good before they would rma a defective board.

I was happy my floppy was still attached... other than that its been many many years since its seen use...

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Post by frostedflakes » Thu Apr 03, 2008 9:21 pm

Usually it seems to involve more work, but I don't think I've encountered a situation yet where I couldn't use a thumb drive instead of a floppy (or CD for that matter, flash drive is how I installed XP on my laptop). Sounds like you can get by without one, and worse-case scenario if you need it, just plug one in temporarily.

xan_user: Doesn't ASUS have Windows software to flash BIOS? This is what I've used on my boards for the last few years at least.

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Post by tehcrazybob » Thu Apr 03, 2008 9:35 pm

I dumped mine four years ago when a laptop with no floppy became my only computer. I've since gotten back to desktops, but have just stuck with flash drives and been totally content. Floppies are still useful if you need to load a RAID driver while installing Windows XP, and for almost nothing else.

Dutchmm
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Bought a flash card reader with an integrated diskette drive

Post by Dutchmm » Fri Apr 04, 2008 1:24 am

One of the most frequent uses for my computer is photo editing and storage. So I had to buy a flash reader. I used to have an external USB reader, from Apacer, but it died the death. And anyway, I hated the way it would hide under the papers on my desk when I needed it. So when I built my new system, I included a combo reader/writer and diskette unit from TEAC. Seven different card types:

Smart Media, MMC, SD Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, CompactFlash I/II and Micro Drive media

Only disadvantage is that you have two cable connections. One to the diskette connector on your MOBO - when the vendors stop putting those on, we shall have to give up diskettes - as well as the USB.

But it all takes up a single 3.5" position.

HTH

Mike

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Post by Bluefront » Fri Apr 04, 2008 1:57 am

Heh...I must be the only person left who uses a floppy frequently. I have two Sony Mavica cameras that use floppies. These have the best lens of any digital camera I have. So they get used a lot.

I have several internal card reader/floppy combos that work ok. But for most of my newer setups, I use a USB floppy. I have a few boards that will boot a USB floppy......not too many. Floppy media is not dead yet, but getting there.

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Re: Bought a flash card reader with an integrated diskette d

Post by psiu » Fri Apr 04, 2008 1:59 am

Dutchmm wrote:One of the most frequent uses for my computer is photo editing and storage. So I had to buy a flash reader. I used to have an external USB reader, from Apacer, but it died the death. And anyway, I hated the way it would hide under the papers on my desk when I needed it. So when I built my new system, I included a combo reader/writer and diskette unit from TEAC. Seven different card types:

Smart Media, MMC, SD Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, CompactFlash I/II and Micro Drive media

Only disadvantage is that you have two cable connections. One to the diskette connector on your MOBO - when the vendors stop putting those on, we shall have to give up diskettes - as well as the USB.

But it all takes up a single 3.5" position.

HTH

Mike
I put that sucker in for the most part now, although it's usually a Mitsumi part for me. Floppy if I ever need it and a card reader handy for my camera.

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Post by nitram_tpr » Fri Apr 04, 2008 2:12 am

I got rid of my Floppy drive ages ago, but I do have a USB floppy drive just in case.
Last edited by nitram_tpr on Fri Apr 04, 2008 3:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by shadestalker » Fri Apr 04, 2008 2:50 am

I forgot to plug mine in last rebuild, two years ago. Apart from forgetting to blacklist the 'floppy' module in linux, no issues. :) The next (current) rebuild will have no floppy physically in the box.

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Post by xan_user » Fri Apr 04, 2008 3:10 am

frostedflakes wrote: xan_user: Doesn't ASUS have Windows software to flash BIOS? This is what I've used on my boards for the last few years at least.
Yes, and I would have used that, but tough to use windows when the mobo won't post...

BF-I thought my parents are the only ones still using the floppy drive sony digis..
8)

kel
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Re: Bought a flash card reader with an integrated diskette d

Post by kel » Fri Apr 04, 2008 3:35 am

Dutchmm wrote: Only disadvantage is that you have two cable connections. One to the diskette connector on your MOBO - when the vendors stop putting those on, we shall have to give up diskettes - as well as the USB.
They've already started - my intel dp35dpm mb doesn't have a floppy connector anymore - not that I miss it, I think I ditched floppies already around 8 years ago or so ;-)

jhhoffma
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Post by jhhoffma » Fri Apr 04, 2008 4:29 am

My last two builds were floppy-less. I have the ubiquitous Sony USB floppy if I need to boot to a floppy for BIOS updates or low level testing. It's not a hassle at all and makes cable management much easier.

cotswoldcs
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Post by cotswoldcs » Fri Apr 04, 2008 4:56 am

I was repairing a Windows 95 machine the other day and so I still have to use floppies occasionally . :cry:

I worked on an old IBM 8086 a few years ago. It was used solely to run a specialist accounts package. It had an 8Mhz (or was it 12Mhz) CPU and 20Mb hard drive!!! Yup that was Mb nor Gb, Ghz, or Tb!

However I certainly wouldn't bother with floppies in a new system any more. You can always open the case and plug one in for the odd occasion. Or go USB but that seems a waste of money TBH.

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Post by thejamppa » Fri Apr 04, 2008 5:20 am

In new build floppies really aren't necessary. But few occasion: in WinXP installation if you need to instal 3rd party raid drivers, disk is needed. And sometimes when something goes wrong, you need to flash bios in Dos-mode using floppy for a reason or another. Those however are really rare occasions.

jhhoffma
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Post by jhhoffma » Fri Apr 04, 2008 6:45 am

cotswoldcs wrote:Or go USB but that seems a waste of money TBH.
If you need it, you need it. And considering you can get one for less than a Slipstream, they're not that expensive.

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Post by NeilBlanchard » Fri Apr 04, 2008 9:00 am

Hello,
thejamppa wrote:In new build floppies really aren't necessary. But few occasion: in WinXP installation if you need to instal 3rd party raid drivers, disk is needed. And sometimes when something goes wrong, you need to flash bios in Dos-mode using floppy for a reason or another. Those however are really rare occasions.
I do a temporary installation of the floppy drive, in these situations.

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Post by Das_Saunamies » Fri Apr 04, 2008 12:17 pm


Plekto
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Post by Plekto » Fri Apr 04, 2008 1:56 pm

I just put one in my case on the floor, amongst the myriad of cables and fan controllers. Not connected or anything - just there in case I need it.

NyteOwl
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Post by NyteOwl » Fri Apr 04, 2008 3:31 pm

So when I built my new system, I included a combo reader/writer and diskette unit from TEAC.
As one of those who still use floppies, could you tell me the part number for this? Or where you got it? I have always had good success with TEAC drives.

Cerb
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Post by Cerb » Fri Apr 04, 2008 10:04 pm

IMO, it's good to keep a floppy handy, but it's wasting space and an extra ribbon cable to install one in a new PC.

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Post by sjoukew » Sat Apr 05, 2008 6:37 am

I do have an (old) floppy drive in a drawer somewhere, I do never use them, but I do probably need one if I throw away this one, therefore I keep it ;)

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Post by FartingBob » Sat Apr 05, 2008 7:03 am

Like others i have an old one somewhwre, but i havnt had one actually installed in my system for about 3 years. The only time ive needed one has been when re-installing XP (Its annoying that they didnt include SATA drivers by default, and more annoying that they never bothered to update it in future copies of XP even as SATA became the standard).
Other than that, totally useless to me.

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Post by D Incorporated » Sat Apr 05, 2008 7:10 am

They're always necessary to get new machines booted and up and running when all the new-and-amazingly-simple install proceedures miraculously fail and you have to resort to tried-and-true instead.

Once that's done, though, you can probably disconnect the drive, and do the "temporary installations" Neil mentioned whenever they're required for important updates like BIOS or other special drivers.

ntavlas
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Post by ntavlas » Sat Apr 05, 2008 7:31 am

Been floppy-less for 7 years :)

I don`t know if a usb stick works when you want to install windows but you can run your sata controlers in ide mode or even better include the drivers on the windows cd like Das_Saunamies does.

If you want to update your bios a bootable cd will always work.

mbetea
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Post by mbetea » Sat Apr 05, 2008 1:05 pm

Yeah it's been about 7 years for me too, running floppyless. If you run the SATA controller in IDE mode, I don't believe you need to do any (F6) during setup. But if you do any kind of slipstream setup, it's not hard to add the SATA drivers.

And for flashing BIOS, a thumb drive formatted using HP's thumb drive utility works great. It might have been a little gamble back then because not all motherboards would boot from a USB device. Now-a-days, I don't know of a motherboard that can't.

Though I would rather burn a bootable cd for something rather than use a floppy. During the time I did have/use one, they were the most unreliable piece of hardware I ever seen.

Plekto
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Post by Plekto » Mon Apr 07, 2008 2:08 pm

I forgot to mention that a strip of Velcro is all you need. attach to the case walls somewhere for future use and forget about it.

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