Floppy Disks

Floppy disks are data storage devices that consist of a thin magnetic storage medium encased in a square plastic shell.  They can hold a rather small amount of data when compared with CDs and flash drives. Floppy disks need to be handled with care.  They are vulnerable to damage from mishandling, examples of include: magnetic fields, flexing or bending, excessive temperature, touching the magnetic surface, removing the disk while in use, and excessive amounts of dust or smoke.

Formatting a floppy disk for use

Floppy disks need to be formatted before use.  Formatting prepares the disk to store information.  While some are formatted already when you purchase them others will require you to format them yourself.

Warning! - Formatting a floppy disk that already contains data will erase that data essentially making it a "blank" disk again.

Step 1) Insert the disk into the floppy drive (also referred to as the A: drive)

Step 2) Click "Start" and then click "My Computer".

  

Step 3) Click once on the 3 1/2 Floppy drive (A:) to highlight it.  Then click "File" and choose "Format" from the list of commands.

Step 4) A format dialog box similar to the one below should appear. Typically you'll want to leave the options (capacity, file system) on their default settings.  Click "Start" to continue.

    

Remember - You will lose any data that is on the disk after it's formatted!  Click "OK" to continue.   

Step 5) Once the computer has finished formatting the disk the message below will appear, click "OK".  Your disk is now formatted.

 

Saving data on a floppy disk

Now that your disk is formatted it is ready for use and you can begin saving data to it.

Step 1) Insert your disk into the floppy drive.

Step 2) Click "File" and choose "Save As".

Step 3) Select "3 1/2 Floppy (A:)" from the drop down menu.

Step 4) Type a name for your file in the "File Name" box and click "Save".

 

 

Back to Technology Tips