3.5" Floppy Disk

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3.5" Floppy Disk
Basic Information
Type(s)
Storage Media
5.25" Floppy Disk
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The 3.5" Floppy Disk was a magnetic storage medium introduced in the 1980s as a replacement for the 5.25" Floppy Disk. Initial capacity for the 3.5" floppy disk standard was 360 KB, later expanding to so-called "Double Density" floppy disks that supported 720 KB. High Density disks supported 1.44 MB of storage space using the FAT12 file system, altough Extended Density disks were available for high-end machines that supported 2.88 MB of storage space. Due to their high cost, 2.88 MB 3.5" floppy disks never gained widespread acceptance; 1.44 MB 3.5" floppy disks instead became the standard due to the low cost of the disk drive and the floppy disks themselves.

Due to the emergence of Zip Disks and the rise in popularity of optical storage, floppy disks as a storage medium started being phased out in the late 1990s, and had completely disappeared several years later when motherboards began to phase out floppy disk controllers. However, USB floppy disks drives exist, and have been used for legacy purposes; on Microsoft Windows, USB floppy drives were supported up until Windows 7. However, 3.5" floppy disks can be still be virtualized.