Floppy Reader to USB Recommendations

Anyone recommend any good brands or types? I don't want to go El Cheapo just in case it actually destroys the floppys rather than read them lmao

Comments

  • What exactly are you planning to do with this floppy drive? If you are planning to do any kind of serious archival, USB floppy drives are simply the wrong tool for the job.

    Specifically, USB floppy drives, are limited to standard 1.44mb, 720k, and Japanese "mode 3" floppy disk formats. You won't be able to read copy protected disks, Microsoft DMF disks, or other oddball formats. Many USB drives even fail to support 720k and mode 3 disks, even though that is in the USB spec.

    In practice, most USB floppy drives are cheap and have completely random internals. So it is impossible to be sure what you are really getting.

    Now, if you are just looking for something to use as a convenience to get standard data disks to or from a floppy based system, then a USB floppy drive might just be adequate.

    So, if you really need a USB floppy drive, I would suggest sticking to something that is at least branded with a big brand name. I would also strongly suggest rejecting any drive that does not support 720k and mode 3. The only problem is most sellers have no idea.

    If you are looking to do any kind of serious archival, I would suggest a flux level device like a Kryoflux, SuperCard Pro, or Greaseweazel. Then get a standard 3.5" floppy drive (Teacs are usually a good bet). This gives you the power to read almost any odd format, including Macintosh GCR VBR encoded 400k/800k disks. These devices attach to a computer via USB.
  • The drive I recommend for casual USB transfers would be a Dell MPF82E. It is a removable internal laptop floppy drive, but it has a female USB Mini-B 5 pin connector on the drive itself for easy connection to a modern PC. As well, it supports 720k diskettes.
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