A floppy disk drive, also called FDD or FD for short, is a computer disk drive that enables a user to save data to removable diskettes. Although 8" disk drives were first made available in 1971, the first real disk drives used were the 5 1/4" floppy disk drives, which were later replaced with the 3 1/2" floppy disk drives.
A 5 1/4" floppy disk was capable of storing between 360 KB and 1.2 MB of data, and the 3 1/2" floppy disk was capable of storing between 360 KB and 1.44 MB of data. For both floppy disk sizes, the data storage limit was dependent on two factors.
- Single or double-sided disk
- Regular or high-density disk
An example of each of the different floppy drives is pictured below. As shown, the size of the floppy drive and the diskettes they use have decreased over time.
What drive letter is the floppy disk drive?
Why does my computer not have a floppy drive?
Internal floppy drives are no longer supported by today's operating systems and don't have enough space for what people would need today. Because of these limitations, all modern computers no longer come with a floppy drive. If you need to read an old floppy diskette, you can purchase a floppy drive that connects to a USB port and use it as an external drive.
What replaced floppy diskettes and floppy drives?
Today, due to their minimal capacity, computers no longer come equipped with floppy disk drives. Few companies make floppy drives now. This technology has been replaced with CD-R, DVD-R, and flash drives.