Characteristics of a Floppy Drive

By Ryan Casima

Floppy drives are a type of disk drive that can read and write to special disks called floppy diskettes, which are like CDs and DVDs in that they hold information. However, floppy diskettes hold a lot less information than CDs and DVDs. Floppy drives have been largely replaced by optical drives (CD/DVD) and are very rarely sold with new computers.

Size

A floppy drive is classified as a 3.5-inch drive, which means that it fits into a 3.5-inch drive bay in a computer case. However, the first floppy drives developed were up to 8 inches. They are shaped like a rectangular prism. For a picture, click on the link in the Resource section.

Function

The floppy drive uses floppy diskettes, which are shaped like thin squares (click on the link in the Resource section for a picture). The main function of the floppy drive is to read floppy diskettes and write data to them.

Uses

Computer users can still use floppy drives and diskettes for storing data that does not require a lot of space. For example, you can store many word processing documents and low-quality pictures, but you will not fit many video or music files onto a floppy diskette.