Updated: 04/30/2020 by Computer Hope

A floppy disk drive, also called FDD or FD for short, is a computer disk drive that enables users to save data to removable diskettes. Although 8" disk drives were first made available in 1971, the first drives widely 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. The data storage limit depend on two factors for both floppy disk sizes.

  • 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.

8 inch, 5 1/4 inch, and 3 1/2 inch computer floppy drives

What drive letter is the floppy disk drive?

If a floppy disk drive is installed in a computer, the drive letter associated with it is the A: drive. You can find the A: drive in My Computer or File Explorer.

Why does my computer not have a floppy drive?

Today's operating systems no longer support internal floppy drives and don't have enough space for what people need today. Because of these limitations, all modern computers no longer have a floppy drive. If you need to read an old floppy diskette, you can purchase a floppy drive that connects to a USB (universal serial bus) port and use it as an external drive.

What replaced floppy diskettes and floppy drives?

Today, computers no longer come equipped with floppy disk drives due to their minimal capacity. Few companies make floppy drives now. This technology has been replaced with CD-R (compact disc recordable), DVD-R (digital versatile disc recordable), and flash drives.

A:, B:, Berg connector, Computer acronyms, Eject, Floppy cable, Floppy diskette, Floppy drive terms, Obsolete, Storage device