Do you need to read floppy disks in modern PCs? In this case, you should buy a proper floppy disk reader that can make the PC recognize the floppy disk. After that, you should transfer the data locked in old formats into readable data. In this post, MiniTool Partition Wizard shows you how to pick a right floppy disk reader.
Can You Still Read Floppy Disks?
A floppy disk is a type of disk storage. The first commercial floppy disk was developed in the late 1960s. Until around 2000s, floppy disks start to be deprecated in PCs. In the nearly 40 years, the most common forms of floppy disks are 5.25" and 3.5" floppy disks.
Some people may want to know whether the floppy disk can be still read in modern PCs. Actually, whether you can read data from a floppy disk depends on the following two points:
- Modern PCs have deleted floppy disk drivers, so that they can't recognize these floppy disks.
- Data in floppy disks are coded in earlier formats that may be not supported by modern PCs. To decode the data, you may need the help from third-party software.
How to Read Floppy Disk on Modern PCs?
If you have an old PC, you can read a floppy disk easily. But nowadays, seldom people have old PCs still. You may need to read floppy disks on modern PCs. To do that, you can use USB floppy disk readers. But there are a bit of differences between 5.25" and 3.5" floppy disks.
If you browse Amazon, Newegg, or eBay, you’ll find many inexpensive modern 3.5-inch USB floppy disk readers, just like the following picture.
You just need to plug your floppy disk into the floppy disk reader and connect the USB cable to PC. Then, the PC can read the floppy disk. However, when you purchase such a floppy disk reader, you should pay attention to the following points:
- Does the floppy disk reader support your floppy drive? In general, a floppy disk reader product will tell you what floppy disk it supports, for example, it can read 1.44mb / 2HD floppy disks.
- Can it be used on your PC? The floppy disk reader will tell you what OS it supports. Please make sure your PC meets the requirements.
- Read through some reviews of the product and make sure this reader is reliable.
If you want to read 5.25" floppy disks, it may be more difficult. 5.25" floppy disks are much older than 3.5" floppy disks. Therefore, 5.25" floppy disk readers are much fewer than 3.5" floppy disk readers.
There are still some floppy-to-USB adapters for 5.25" floppy disks, for example, FC5025 produced by Device Side Data and Kryoflux. But to use them, you may also need all the necessary cables, a power supply with a Molex connector for the drive, and, possibly, an enclosure.
The last but not least, due to long-term storage, the floppy disk may be damaged. When reading the floppy disk, you will be prompted to format the floppy disk, and the floppy disk cannot be read and removed. This is a normal phenomenon. It is recommended that professional data recovery personnel transfer the files to other devices.