Floppy Disks: Do you know what Floppy Disk is? There was a time when floppy disk drive (FDD) was the primary means to add data to a computer only until the CD-ROM drive became more popular. Like this, these FDDs were very key components for personal computers for about 20 years. A floppy disk was a storage medium that contained a thin and flexible magnetic disk within a plastic carrier. It was used a lot in the 1970s, while by early 2000 it replaced other storage devices which have more capacity, slowly.
These floppy disks are a type of magnetic storage medium of computer systems. To read and write data in these floppy disks, there must be a floppy disk drive (FDD) in your computer system. In earlier times floppy disks were used to store the operating system of the computer. So today I thought why not give all the information about the definition of the floppy disk to you. With which you will get to know something about this old storing device. So let’s start without delay and know that Floppy Disk.
What is Floppy Disk
Floppy Disk is a kind of data storage device. It was first created in 1969, the same year that the Internet was launched. It is part of Secondary or External Memory. These magnetic disks are very thin and flexible so they are called floppy disks or diskettes. It is made of a plastic sheet called mailer and both its and magnetic material is glued.
The magnetic disk is sealed in another plastic jacket and a small portion of the magnetic disk is kept open. The floppy disk used in the computer is 5.25 inches (also called mini floppy) or 3.5 inches (also called micro floppy) in size.The floppy disk can store a very small amount of data. Earlier it used to be more in a computer but after the arrival of CD, it ceased to exist because it had more storage capacity. All the data in the floppy disk is stored in a circular magnetic plate and from there all the data is read.
The data stored in the floppy disk could only be accessed with the help of the floppy disk drive. This drive is the part of computer hardware that reads data from the floppy disk and then displays it on the computer. Let us know in detail about the part, capacity etc. of the floppy disk.
Definition of a floppy disk
Let’s know about some of its technical terms: –
1. Track (Tracks)
The area of the disk is divided into several circles and numbers are given to them. These shells are called tracks. The number of the outermost circle is 0 and it increases inwards. This track is just a logical area, not a physical one.
2. TPI (Tracks Per Inch)
It is the number of tracks per inch that shows the density of the data. The larger the TPI, the more data it will hold.
3. Sector (Sectors)
It is the smallest storage unit on the disk. A track has many sectors. Each sector is assigned a number. The index hole is used to identify the first sector. Sectors are given numbers in two ways –
- Soft sectoring: In this, sectors are created by the software. These disks are called soft-sector disks. They are more reliable.
- Hard sectoring: It has a hole for its identity. Such disks are called hard-sector disks.
4. Clusters (Clusters)
It is the smallest unit of a disk that can be given to a file. It consists of one or more simultaneous sectors. It is a group of sectors for a specific file and the sectors depend on the type of disk.
5. FAT (File Allocation Table)
This table is managed by the operating system which contains information on all available clusters. The FAT contains information about the location of each cluster and whether it is in use or not. A disk cannot be used without FAT. The computer also cannot access it because it contains file addresses.
What are the Major Parts of Floppy Disk Drive?
Let’s know about the important parts of this Disk Drive.
They are located in both the parts of a diskette, they move simultaneously in the same assembly. Their heads are not directly opposite to each other, due to which there is a reason that it protects the write operation in every media surface from happening simultaneously. In this, the same head is used for reading and writing, while another wider head is used to erase the track. This allows it to write data into a wider “clean slate”, with the adjacent track of analog data without any interfering.
A very small spindle motor engages the metal hub in the center of the diskette, which makes it spinning in 300 or 360 rotations per minute (RPM).
This motor assesses the stepped revolutions of a precise number so that read/write head assembly can move in proper track position. This read/write head assembly is fastened (fastened) with the stepper motor shaft.
This is a system of levers that open little protective window in a diskette, which allows read/write heads to touch the dual-sided diskette media. An external button allows the diskette to be eject, to a point where the spring-loaded protective window is close to the diskette.
These Contain does is use to read or write to the electronics, which used data in Diskette, with these things handle also. In addition, it also controls stepper-motor control circuits, which are used to move read/write heads into each track.
What are the different parts of Floppy Disk?
(A). Color plastic jacket (Square Plastic Jacket): – floppies to avoid side effects of the environment.
(B). Hub ring (Hub Ring): – holes in the middle of the disk, which keeps holding spindles ring of metal on the inside of the disc.
(C). Index holes (Index Hole): – other small holes that keep the number of sectors. The soft sector disk has only one index hole but the hard sector has a separate hole for each sector.
(D). Read / Write window (Read / Write Window): – It is the act of reading with the help of head and writing.
(E). Write Protect Notch (Write Protect Notch): – When this tab is a safe store of information that went so close, no one can remove it or change.
(F). Stress Relief Notch (Stress Relief Notch): – When the inserted disc drives they become fixed in their appropriate part for alignment of floppies and disk drive plane and reduce the related problems of alignment.
Floppy disk Example
Let’s know about the different types of Floppy.
1. 8-inch floppy
The first floppy disk was designed by IBM in the late 1960s and was then used as the first Read-Only format and the Read-Write format in 1970. Typical Desktop / Laptop, Computers do not use 8-inch floppy disks. Its initial capacity was 100K Bytes (100000 characters).
2. 5.25-inch floppy (mini floppy)
In this floppy, the magnetic surface is covered by a thin vinyl gasket. It was built for PCs of common size before 1987 and is also called the predecessor of the 8-inch floppy disk.
Storage Capacity of Floppy 5.25 Storage Capacity of Floppy It can be both a single side or double side. It holds the density record. It is of two types –
- DSDD (Double-Sided Double Density) – 360 KB
- DSHD (Double-Sided High Density) – 1.2 MB
Storage Capacity of Floppy 5.25 Storage Capacity
- DSDD (Double-Sided Double Density) – 720 KB
- DSHD (Double-Sided High Density) – 1.44 MB
- DSED (Double-Sided Extra High Density) – 2.88 MB
3. 3½-inch Floppy :
The size of this Floppy is very small, as they can be easily encashed in a rigid envelope. Despite its small size, microfloppies have a much larger storage capacity, compared to the first type – 400K to 1.4MB of data. PCs of the most common sizes were 720K (double-density) and 1.44MB (high-density). Macintoshes supported disks that were 400K, 800K, and 1.2MB in size.
Floppy disk capacity
File transfer: These 3.5-inch floppy disk drives used to be a universal standard for file transfers between computers. Due to compression utilities, they helped in compressing files. Since 3.5-inch floppy disk drives used to be standardized, data could be easily transferred that too efficiently and reliably. Due to their efficiency and increasing popularity, this technology was integrated into Apple and UNIX-based systems, which made it possible to have file transfers within two separate platforms.
Data Storage: Floppy disks were used to back up important information according to data storage. At that time this was the best way to retain data. This medium was considered very efficient as it had the highest capacity at that time which was 1.44 MB, with it having cross-platform compatibility.
Software and Drivers: One of the very important applications was the 3.5-inch floppy disks, which were the main ones in the distribution of programs and services in which software and driver updates were easily done through the Floppy Disk. By the way, this method is not used anymore because now only the necessary things can be downloaded from the Internet.