Floppy Drive

Floppy disk drive helps in reading from and writing data to floppy disks. The floppy disks (3 ½") stores 1.44MB of data. Initially it was only a read-only device and later on settled down to have double sided i.e., double density. The first floppy disk drives were of size 5 ¼" (5.25"), later replaced by 3 ½" (3.5") floppy disk drives. Very small amount of personal data and small programs is stored in floppy disks due to its small storage capacity.

IBM as an alternative for hard disk created floppy disk drives. Data stored on floppy disk is write protected thereby preventing the data destruction easily. These days they are almost obsolete. Floppy drive is also referred as Diskette drives. The default keyword for specifying the floppy disk drive on the system is ‘A:’ and if there lies another floppy drive, it is specified as ‘B:’.

IBM as an alternative for hard disk created floppy disk drives. Data stored on floppy disk is write protected thereby preventing the data destruction easily. These days they are almost obsolete. Floppy drive is also referred as Diskette drives. The default keyword for specifying the floppy disk drive on the system is ‘A:’ and if there lies another floppy drive, it is specified as ‘B:’

Components

Floppy disk drives have components as follows:

  • Drive motor
  • Connectors
  • Head actuator assembly
  • Read-write head arm
  • Circuit board

Spindle holds the disk whilst it rotates. The drive motor rotates spindle. The power to the drive is provided through 4-pin and inline connectors. Stepper motor is used to drive magnetic head over the disk. The motor moves in increments of steps and each step covers one track. Read-write head is mounted on arms connecting to the head actuator assembly. The circuit board controls read-write head’s operation and electro-mechanical parts.

Speed

Floppy disk drive rotates at a speed of 300 rpm to 360 rpm. It stores the data on floppy disks magnetically. The magnetic head in the floppy disk drive sends electric pulses, which creates a magnetic field. Magnetic head has wires wrapped around it through which the magnetic pulses are sent thereby aligning the magnetic particles. The particles flow in the opposite direction to the direction of electric pulses. The computer determines the alternative patterns (1s or 0s).

Disadvantages

  • Prone to mechanical shocks more than the USB flash devices
  • Data transfer speeds are very less
  • Destroyed by magnetic field
  • Less storage capacity
  • Less durable
  • Floppy drives corrupt faster
  • Readability issues from one system to another
  • Head touches the floppy disk (wear and tear is more)

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