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The Future of Floppies

Wednesday, November 10th, 2004 by | Filed Under: File & Disk Management, Hardware & Peripherals

I heard that floppy drives are being phased out. Is there a way to copy my floppies to cd?

Most new computers don’t even come with a floppy drive anymore. Many options for data storage are on the market that have larger capacity than our familiar little disk: CD-R/RW, DVD, Flash Memory, portable hard drives, and USB keys (aka “thumb drives”). While a lot of us still have floppy drives in our computers, now might be a good time to transfer them onto CD or one of the aforementioned data solutions.


Here is the easiest way I found to copy your floppies to CD-R/RW:

1. Create a folder on your desktop (right-click and select New>Folder). Click the folder and hit F2 to rename (give it a name that will remind you what is in the folder).

2. Open the floppy in your drive and hit Ctrl+A to select all. NOTE: Make sure that your folder option view is set to show hidden files,otherwise you might not copy all the files from the floppy. There’s a tip on how to Show Hidden Files available here.


3. Copy (Ctrl+C) the files then Paste (Ctrl+V) into the folder you created on your desktop. This is also a great time to “prune” any files you don’t want to keep – do you REALLY need to keep that book report you wrote in 10th grade? If you create several folders, you could also sort the contents before you burn.

4. Now you are ready to burn your files to CD. In most cases it is as simple as dragging the folders into a frame in your CD burning program. For detailed generic information (kinda sounds like an oxymoron) on CD Burning, head on over to our How to Burn a CD tutorial.

The great thing is that the average floppy holds 1.44 MB of data, while a CD-R can hold 700 MB—that means you can fit about 486 floppies on 1 CD-R!

For XP users: after you select the files you want to transfer (or Ctrl+A), you can click “Copy the selected items” in the left hand column which opens a window where you can select where you want the files to go. From there you can send them to the new folder you created in step 1.

You can also substitute a thumb drive in place of a CD-R, thus bypassing the need for burning altogether! Just copy the files from your floppy and paste into a new folder on your thumb drive!

~ David

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