How to copy information to and from a floppy diskette or CD

Updated: 08/02/2020 by Computer Hope
Computer floppy

There are several ways to copy information to and from a floppy diskette or a CD. Click a link below for help and instructions.

Tip

Before reading or following any of the steps below, it's also a good idea to familiarize yourself with copying files, see: How to copy files.

Copying information from a floppy diskette

Microsoft Windows users

Microsoft Windows users can copy information from a floppy diskette by following the steps below.

  1. Insert the diskette containing the information you want to copy.
  2. Open My Computer
  3. In My Computer, double-click the 3 1/2 Floppy (A:) icon.
  4. If the computer can read the floppy diskette, you can see each of the files stored on the floppy diskette. Highlight each of the files you want to copy or click Edit and choose Select All to select all files on the floppy diskette.
  5. Once the file(s) are selected, click Edit and then Copy.
  6. Finally, move to the location of where you want to copy the files. Once in the folder you want to copy the files to, click Edit and select Paste.

MS-DOS and Windows command line users

If you're in an MS-DOS prompt, to copy files from the floppy diskette to another location, follow either set of steps below.

  1. Insert the diskette containing the information you want to copy.
  2. Change the drive letter to the A: drive by typing A: and pressing Enter.
  1. Once at the A:\> prompt, type dir to list the available files on the floppy diskette. Or, continue to the next step if you already know the name of the file you want to copy.
  2. Type a command similar to the following command. In the example below, the name of the file on the floppy diskette is myfile.txt. We are copying that file to the C:\Windows directory.
copy myfile.txt c:\windows

Or

  1. Insert the diskette containing the information you want to copy.
  2. Move to the directory you want to copy the file to using the cd command.
  3. Once in the directory, type a command similar to the following command. In the example below, the name of the file on the floppy diskette is myfile.txt. We are copying that file to the current directory.
copy a:\myfile.txt

Copying information to a floppy diskette

Microsoft Windows users

Microsoft Windows users can copy information to a floppy diskette by following either of the recommendations below.

If you're working on the file you want to save to the floppy diskette, you can use the program's Save As feature.

  1. Insert the blank diskette or a disk where you want to save the file.
  2. In the program you're working on the file in, click File at the top of the window and choose the Save As option.
  3. Click the down arrow on the Save In section of the window to list locations where the file can be saved. Click the 3 1/2 Floppy (A:) and specify the file name you want to use.
  4. Once done, click the Save button.

If the file has already been saved on your computer, you can also copy the file to the floppy diskette with the following steps.

  1. Insert the blank diskette or a disk where you want to save the file.
  2. Browse to the location containing the file you want to save to the floppy diskette using My Computer or Explorer.
  3. Once the file is located, highlight it, click Edit at the top of the window, and click Copy.
  4. Finally, open My Computer or This PC, click the 3 1/2 Floppy (A:), click Edit, then Paste to paste the file to the floppy diskette.

MS-DOS and Windows command line users

To copy files to a floppy diskette from MS-DOS, follow either set of steps below.

  1. Insert the blank diskette or a disk where you want to save the file.
  2. Use the cd command to move to the location of the directory containing the file you want to copy to the floppy diskette.
  3. If you don't know the name of the file or want to verify the file exists, use the dir command.
  4. Once in the directory containing the file you want to copy, type a command similar to the example below. In the example below, the file we're copying to the floppy diskette is myfile.txt.
copy mfile.txt a:\

Or

  1. Insert the blank diskette or a disk where you want to save the file.
  2. Change the drive letter to the A: drive by typing A: and pressing Enter.
  1. Once at the A:\> prompt, type a command similar to the example below. In the example below, we're copying the file myfile.txt in the Windows directory to the floppy diskette.
copy c:\windows\myfile.txt

Copying information from a CD

Microsoft Windows users

Microsoft Windows users can copy information from a CD by following the steps below.

  1. Insert the CD containing the information you want to copy.
  2. Open My Computer or This PC.
  3. In My Computer or This PC, right-click the CD name (D:) icon, where "CD name" is the name of the CD currently in the computer. Keep in mind that the CD is not always the D: drive. It may be E: or another drive letter. After you right-click the drive, click Explore. Exploring the CD allows you to view the files on the CD. Many Windows CDs have an AutoPlay feature so double-clicking the CD icon often runs the program.
  4. Locate the file you want to copy and click Edit and then Copy.
  5. Finally, move to the location of where you want to copy the files. Once in the folder you want to copy the files to, click Edit and select Paste.

MS-DOS and Windows command line users

If you're in an MS-DOS prompt, to copy files from a CD to another location, follow either set of steps below.

  1. Insert the CD containing the information you want to copy.
  2. Change the drive letter to the D: drive by typing D: and pressing Enter. Keep in mind that the CD drive is not always the D: drive, but is often the last drive letter.
  1. Once at the D:\> prompt, type dir to list the available files on the floppy diskette. Or, continue to the next step if you already know the name of the file you want to copy.
  2. Type a command similar to the following command. In the example below, the name of the file on the floppy diskette is myfile.txt. We are copying that file to the C:\Windows directory.
copy myfile.txt c:\windows

or

  1. Insert the CD containing the information you want to copy.
  2. Move to the directory you want to copy the file to using the cd command.
  3. Once in the directory, type a command similar to the command shown below. In the example below, the name of the file on the floppy diskette is myfile.txt. We are copying that file to the current directory.
copy d:\myfile.txt

Copying information to a CD

To copy files to a CD, you must have a drive and third-party program capable of doing so.

Copying information from a floppy to a CD

To copy information from a floppy diskette to a CD, follow the steps above for copying information from a floppy to the computer. Once the information is on the computer hard drive, you can copy the information to the CD.