Advantages and Disadvantages of Floppy Disks | Pros & Cons

If you are aware of computers some or the other day you might have come with the term called “FLOPPY DISK”.

They were the most important external storage devices at that time when computer hard disks, pen drives CDs, DVDs, memory chips were not as popular as floppy disks.

As the days passed floppy disks were easily replaced with modern storage devices due to their exceptional data storing capacity and easy to use.

In this article, we are going to learn the advantages and disadvantages of floppy disks with the pros and cons of floppy disks, also the drawbacks and benefits of floppy.

What is Floppy Disk?

The floppy disks are considered as the external storage devices used to store data and information almost permanently.

In the year 1971, IBM launched a floppy disk.  At that time floppy disk was considered as one of the best inventions to boost the external data storing capacity.

Floppy disk was also called as “memory disk” which were 8-inch flexible plastic disk coated with magnetic iron oxide.

The floppy disk was invented by an engineer named Alan Shugart, who was working for IBM [International Business Machine].

This magnetic disk is coated with a plastic jacket and a small portion of this magnetic disk is left open on the disk surface so that data can easily access for reading and writing.

There were two types of floppy used at that time.

Mini Floppy
Micro Floppy


Mini Floppy is 5.25 inches in size.
Micro Floppy is 3.5 inches in size.

This floppy can be accessed with the help of a computer device which was called as “Floppy Drive”

Different Types of Floppy Disk

As modern technology developed the need to save more and more data| information was required and floppy disk lacked to handle huge data.

Therefore other means of storage mediums were introduced in the market and sooner they gain popularity over this old fashion floppy disk.

A medium like hard disk, pen drives, CDs, DVDs have easily replaced them due to their excellent data storing capacity which has made the use of floppy disk obsolete.

  • DSDD (Double Sided Double Density) – 360 KB
  • DSHD (Double Sided High Density) – 1.2 MB
  • DSDD (Double Sided Double Density) – 720 KB
  • DSHD (Double Sided High Density) – 1.44 MB
  • DSED (Double Sided Extra High Density) – 2.88 MB

Advantages and Disadvantages of Floppy Disk

In this section, we are going to learn about both the advantages and disadvantages of floppy disks.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Floppy Disks
Advantages and Disadvantages of Floppy Disks

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Advantages of Floppy Disk

Let us talk about some of the 6 advantages of a floppy disk in points which I have mentioned below with examples and easy explanation.

1. Cost

The floppy disks were very cheap to produce even in those days when floppy disks were manufactured in quantity.

As of now, nobody uses floppy disk as the other storage mediums like hard disk, pen drives, memory chips has replaced floppy disks easily.

The cost of floppy disks used to be very cheap to purchase because the manufacturing cost was quite low.

2. Portability

The floppy disk is small in size and can be easily carried from one location to another also the data present in the disk can be stored permanently until and unless there is no physical damage to the floppy disks.

Their size and protection around the disks made them popular in those days for external storage of data and information.

3. Reuse

The data and information present in the floppy disk can be edited, deleted, and updated whenever the user demands.

This feature of reusing the floppy disk made them hugely popular at that time this ability to reuse was considered as the major advantage of the floppy disk.

Even the data that would be copied from one location to another was considered a significant asset for users.

4. Read | Write Notch               

There was a tab available on the floppy disk to stop unauthorized access and to stop files and folders to be copied from one location to another.

This tab was very helpful to prevent the data from editing, updating, and deleting.

The data was not useable until and unless the user disabled that notch which is called a “security notch”

In the older days of computer generations, floppy disks were used to install operating system [OS] in the computer system which was the primary and most convenient source to install an operating system like Dos and Windows 3.1.

Later as the size of the updated and advanced operating system was introduced in the market which made this bootable floppy useless as their capacity was very low to store this operating system in the disks.

Therefore CDs, DVDs, and hard disks were available in the market for more storage requirements.

6. Software Installation

The computer software was used to be installed with the help of these floppy disks as they were the only popular and cheap means of external storage device.

The software installation process used to take long hours because the capacity of the floppy disks was very limited.

Disadvantages of Floppy Disk

Let us talk about some of the disadvantages of floppy disk in points which I have mentioned below with examples and easy explanation

1. Storage Space

This was considered as the major disadvantage of the floppy disk and one of the drawbacks of using floppy disk because the spaces available in the disk were very limited.

At that time floppy disk came into two sizes 1.44 MB and 1.22 MB which is quite low for data to be stored.

They were replaced by other storage devices which had the capacity and size to store a considerable amount of data.

Due to these drawbacks, the productions of floppy has been completely stopped as there are absolutely no requirements from users.

2. Accessing Issues

The data and information once stored in this disk were only accessed with the help of a computer hardware device named “Floppy Drive”.

Also, these floppy drives used to get damaged easily therefore users felt difficulties in reading their data from these disks.

3. Delicate to Handle

The floppy disk is coated with the plastic jacket and a small portion of this magnetic disk is left open on the disk surface so that data can easily access for reading and writing.

This jacket used to get damaged often henceforth the data present in them would be unable to access for further use.

4. Floppy Drives

In those days, not every computer system had floppy drives installed in them which were used to read the data present in the disk.

Therefore it made the life of users more challenging.

5. Speed

The data transfer rate is quite low. In simple words, the floppy disk used to take a long time to copy data from disk to computer.

Or vice versa.

6. Recovery Issues

There were very serious recovery issues with this disk the data once deleted could not be recovered by any data recovery software.

And hence this disk was used with lots of caution and precautions

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Get In Touch

I hope the 6 advantages and disadvantages of floppy disk have answered your entire questions regarding your issues about the uses of the floppy disks.

If you have any queries or questions related to the pros and cons of floppy disks.

Please feel to contact me and also if you need to add or remove something from the article which I may have forgotten to do so, please feel free to have chat with me in the comment section.

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