Is floppy disk drive dead? Apparently not.

Do you think that a floppy drive is a relict from the past that you won’t need ever again? Think again:

Recently I found myself installing Windows XP 64bit edition on an Athlon 64 powered machine. The thing had also two 250Gb disks in RAID 0 and no floppy whatsoever (who needs a floppy these days anyway?). The RAID feature was provided by nForce 4 chipset. So I went installing new and shiny 64bit OS. The shock came soon: at setup boot time OS didn’t recognize nForce 4 RAID (I didn’t expect that it would) and required a floppy disk with drivers to be inserted. It won’t accept anything else than floppy. USB – no. CD – no. DVD – no. Nothing. It had to be a floppy. The same situation occurs with other Window OS flavours, including 2003. Again, who would need a floppy on a server machine? Obviously everybody that wants to install Windows with a RAID array not provided on installation CD. After googling around I found that there is an option to create an unattended setup which isn’t that easy to worth bother. So I went disassembling my kid’s computer, extracted dusty 3.5″ floppy and connected it to the thing I was installing Windows on. It took me 4 floppies to find a working one (without all sorts of errors) to copy nVidia RAID drivers. After that the install went smoothly.

The bottom line is: don’t throw away floppy drives as you might need one in the near future. Or, perhaps the hardware manufacturers might start producing floppy drives for one use only.

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