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floppy disk size

What is the capacity of a 5.25 floppy disk? What is the largest capacity floppy disk? How many bytes is a floppy disk? If you are interested in those questions, you can read this post, in which MiniTool Partition Wizard shows you how to calculate floppy disk size.

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What Is Floppy Disk?

Floppy disk is the earliest removable medium used in personal computers. It used to flourish for a while, and then gradually declined due to the appearance of CD, DVD, and U disk.

In 1967, IBM introduced the world's first floppy disk, which is 32 inches in diameter. Four years later, IBM introduced an 8-inch diameter plastic disk with metal oxide coated on the surface. In August 1976, a 5.25-inch floppy disk was released. In 1979, Sony introduced a 3.5-inch double-sided floppy disk with a capacity of 875KB.

By 1984, the capacity of the floppy disk reached 1MB, and by 1987, the capacity reached 1.44MB and 2.88MB. Since then, 3.5-inch, 1.44MB floppy disks have been used as the standard data transfer method for PCs.

floppy disk

Between 1994 and 1998, high-capacity floppy disks such as ZIP floppy disks, LS-120 floppy disk, etc. appeared with a maximum capacity of several hundred of MB, but they were short-lived and were quickly eliminated.

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About Floppy Disk Size

What is the capacity of a 5.25 floppy disk? What is the largest capacity floppy disk? How many bytes is a floppy disk? Some people who are curious about floppy disk size may ask those questions. In this part, I will explain them to you.

Just like HDDs, floppy disks use circle tracks and sectors to record information. Each sector is 512 bytes. Then, we can calculate a floppy disks' capacity. For example, if a 5.25 floppy disk has 80 tracks and 15 sectors on its two sides, respectively, then its capacity is 80*15*2*512bytes = 1200*1024bytes = 1200KB.

Then, manufacturers will divide 1200KB by 1000 (not 1024) for convenience. Therefore, such a 5.25 floppy disk has a capacity of 1.2MB. As for the common 1.44MB (80 tracks and 18 sectors on both sides) and 2.88MB (80 tracks and 36 sectors on both sides) floppy disks, their capacities are calculated in the same way.

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All the Things You Should Know about Floppy Disk VS Hard Disk

Floppy disk vs hard disk, which is more suitable for you? You should compare them from several aspects and then make a choice. Now, let’s begin.

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Now, let's answer the above questions one by one:

1. What is the capacity of a 5.25 floppy disk?

The 5.25 floppy disk was originally designed as a single-sided, low-density format with a storage capacity of 100 KB, but it underwent many enhancements, for example, using both sides of the disk and making more tracks and sectors on each side. Here is the list of capacities of common 5.25 floppy disks:

  • 160 KB: single-sided, 40 tracks, and 8 sectors.
  • 180 KB: single-sided, 40 tracks, and 9 sectors.
  • 320 KB: double-sided, 40 tracks, and 8 sectors.
  • 360 KB: double-sided, 40 tracks, and 9 sectors.
  • 2 MB: double-sided, 80 tracks, and 15 sectors.
Note: Some manufacturers released floppy disks whose sector wasn't 512 bytes. The bytes per sector may also be 128, 256, or 1024.

2. What is the largest capacity floppy disk?

When it comes to the largest capacity floppy disk, I must mention high-capacity ZIP floppy disk and Laser Servo floppy disk. Laser Servo floppy disk includes LS-120 (120MB) and LS-240 (240MB). ZIP floppy disk includes ZIP-100 (100MB), ZIP-250 (250MB), and ZIP-750 (750MB). ZIP-750 is the largest capacity floppy disk.

3. How many bytes is a floppy disk?

How many bytes is a floppy disk? This depends on how many bytes per sector, how many tracks and sectors on one side, and whether it is single sided or double-sided. If you want to know more details, List of floppy disk formats may help you.

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