PC World stops stocking Floppy Disks

PC World, Britain's largest chain of computer superstores, will not reorder any more floppy disks after the current 10,000 are sold. With 155 stores across Britain and nearly 50 more elsewhere in Europe, spokesman Hamish Thompson said the final stock of floppies will be gone "in weeks, if not days." "It's had a good, long and productive life, but really, it's just too small to hold any real data. It just doesn't make sense any more," said Thompson.

The traditional 3.5-inch floppy disk has a storage capacity of 1.44 megabytes and has recently been rendered useless in favour of USB memory sticks and external hard drives. Floppy disks were the preferred storage device during the early home computing days of the 1980s and 1990s, but by the end of the century, software had moved to CDs. "The sound of a computer's floppy disk drive will be as closely associated with 20th-century computing as the sound of a computer dialing in to the Internet," said Bryan McGrath, the company's commercial director.

Link: Forum Discussion (Thanks Hum)
News source: MSNBC

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The sound of floppies and dial-up modems...?

...now I'm feeling sad. There was something really comfortable about those days, when for most of us the internet was just a feature added onto our online service.

Prodigy Classic!

*sobs*

/at least I still have my MadMaze

The problem with flash drives is that they're not 'disposable' as floppies were.

At even $5 or $2 each, you can't just pass them out and not worry about getting them back.

That's why SuperDisc and Zip eventually faltered, and burned CDs are succeeding. But rewritable sucks.

me personally i like re-writable cd's/dvd's as there good for testing since i dont like wasting cd-r's or dvd-r's ... as i aint a person who just burns 50MB to a 700MB cd-r... when i burn cd's/dvd's i tend up use up almost all the space, otherwise i dont even bother to burn a disc ... but after i got my dvd burner (sometime in 2005) i noticed i almost never burn "data" cd-r's anymore since it's to expensive compared to dvd's.... so (for me atleast) cd-r's are only good for an occasional audio cd... although i usually dont use standard audio cd's much anymore since i generally use mp3's.

although i think dvd's are more pickier on there quality as with cd's even if u get cheaper quality ones if u usually slow down burn speed it can improve overall burning quality quite noticeably... where as with cheap dvd's no matter what u do there crap.... so thats why it's best to stick with "quality" dvd's like taiyo yuden or verbatim (there are others out there but these are consistent quality if u want to be safe)

I just got my 4-GB USB stick today for $39 .... reminded me of those old days when the floppys were so expensive and the IN thing...

R.I.P!

i dont miss the floppy drive at all,they had a short life span and the flash drive is the replacement though floppy drives were the best thing in the old systems,well RIP floppy drive,you were good but time to kill you off(should have happened along while ago)my 3 flash drives are enuf for me.

I use an external floppy as I put my zip drive and fan controller in the two slots for floppy drives.

However, there will be a market for them still, PC worlds sister company Dixons declared a couple of years ago they would not sell VHS recorders anymore, thats strange as I purchased one from them a few months ago.

As Public Enemy would scream....... ''Don't believe the hype''.

Most floppy drives around the office and at friends houses don't even work anymore. The drives don't like dust, and not being used very much shortens their life quite a bit :(.

Anyway, I still haven't gotten myself a USB flash drive/key. Whats the point? Every computer is online these days and I can either email something to myself, or use an FTP server to transfer files around.

There goes the Floppy disks... the same fate as ISA connectors...
Next Stop : RS232 / PS2 and abit later PCI... :)

I like to strip all the old features. but somehow after reading this i started to remember the "tac tac tac wiii waaa wiii waaa" of a FDD unit and feel that i lost today a bit of my soul too many memories... oh... the past... im part of it too...

Used to hate the reliability, so i'm glad they are starting to be phased out !

I have a few floppies around for them just in case moments I need to update my BIOS.

But my board is old enough now, that it's highly unlikely that they will release another version for the BIOS - And newer boards can use USB, pre-boot... So I can't really see much more use for them.

When I read the title I thought wait didnt PC World magazine stop sending out floppies in the late 90's? *LOL* they use to send out every so often a "trial" disc

And here I thought PC World was just a crappy magazine.

I was wondering why anybody would care that they stopped stocking floppies. :P

good point... but i think this discussion is more about "floppies being obsolete" (reasons why people use and dont use them basically) then pcworld getting rid of em. lol

who in their right mind shops at pcworld anyway? all the pc's are rubbish and the prices are too high and the staff are thick as bricks.

What's really telling is that the company that introduced the world to 3.5" floppies (Apple) was also the first to get rid of floppy drives on their computers (9 years ago, in fact).

Its about time floppies are so unreliable! For all of you saying you need them to flash your bios, I use USB flash drives to do that all the time and it works fine.

Novaoblivion said,
... I use USB flash drives to do that all the time and it works fine.

That will work for you but it may be some time before all the other billions of computer users around the world other than yourself own computers with similar capabilities.

hvy said,

That will work for you but it may be some time before all the other billions of computer users around the world other than yourself own computers with similar capabilities.

As I said earlier, most computers made in the last 3 years or so can boot from USB. Yes, there are still older computers in use out there, but how many people using a 4 year old or older computer are likely to be updating the BIOS on it?

roadwarrior said,

As I said earlier, most computers made in the last 3 years or so can boot from USB. Yes, there are still older computers in use out there, but how many people using a 4 year old or older computer are likely to be updating the BIOS on it?

roadwarrior has a pretty good point ... although me personally i still use floppy discs from time to time... although i aint bought any since 1996 lol ... yep you heard that right im still using the same (TDK brand) floppy discs i bought back in 1996 to this day, a 50pack of em .. a few went bad over the years but most are still in good running order.... and i mostly just use them for stuff like flashing bios or booting up programs like norton ghost 2003 or partition magic etc... although i have made bootable cd's with these utilities on em.

and it's like some people said above... USB thumb drives are making floppy discs more and more useless lol... although the guy above who said floppy discs are better than using cd's/dvd's when it comes to quick access (writing/deleting) for real small files, i agree with that to... although like i was saying since USB thumb drives are pretty cheap/popular, so now floppys are getting alot more useless.

p.s. i have a new (i built it in march 2006) although i still got a floppy drive for it... even though i rarely use it, it's still nice to have... and it's cheap enough

It's only PC World, who cares?! There'll still be distributors around the world that continue to make floppy disks.

If they have a stock of over 10,000, and they will be gone in days or a week or so from what they are guessing.

Then wouldn't that signify there is still some sort of market out there.

I know floppies are pretty much worthless, cause you have CD and DVDRs, and USB memory sticks.

But the idea of not carrying them would have made more sense if the story said "We have not sold any floppies in days or weeks"

.... Money is Money.. right?

It's amazing they lasted so long, apart from the tiny capacity (that can be forgiven as it is an old technology), they were so incredibly slow and unreliable it is amazing they were ever used so much.

How many times have you known friends to lose hours of work when their floppy disk corrupted, or had a project that couldn't fit on a single disk.

Anyone else remember on the Amiga swapping the 4 Monkey Islands disks around all the time.

I never played Monkey Island, but Willie Beamish came on (I think) 6 disks, but at least it could be installed to the hard drive if you had one.

Yeah, I had a 60mb (yes 60 megabyte) harddisk and an external floppy drive, but it was still such a pain.

Then there was the generation of games for DOS/Windows just before CDs, Tie fighter came on many floppy disks, obviously only needed to install though, bloody good game as well. Seems crazy now.

winmoose said,
Yeah, I had a 60mb (yes 60 megabyte) harddisk and an external floppy drive, but it was still such a pain.

The hard drive I had for mine was only 50MB. I did have two external floppies though (for those that don't know, you could have up to 4 floppies on the Amiga).

Perhaps they ought to stop stocking (ex|in)ternal floppy drives as well, after all what you're going to put in it is now considered pointless, so why have them?

There is still no media equivalent which cost 30 cents and Rewritable in seconds (try to add a file on a (RW-)CDR in 5 seconds... you can't).

Right, 1,38MB is really low, but it's enouth to carry most people work

moua said,
There is still no media equivalent which cost 30 cents and Rewritable in seconds (try to add a file on a (RW-)CDR in 5 seconds... you can't).

Right, 1,38MB is really low, but it's enouth to carry most people work

I got my 512MB USB Key for 39 cents after rebate.


Our school finally rid of the floppy on the computers this year, not saying the dont have a few PCs with them still , but 99% of the kids wither have a USB drive or email it to themselves. much safer then trusting magnetic media which always broke in my backpack

If you were to break down the cost, a retail USB Key costs less per megabyte compared to a floppy disk.

My current motherboard also has a legacy floppy drive emulation option in which it will treat a USB key plugged in like a floppy.

"said the final stock of floppies will be gone "in weeks, if not days."

Obviously there is still quite a demand. This doesn't make any sense.

I don't really use them for storage anymore but for utilities they're still hard to beat. I have a PC diagnostic program that boots from a floppy disk to check systems, and I use them for installing XP (it searches the floppy for winnt.sif during setup, as well as additional storage drivers). As others said flashing your BIOS is still another use for them. They are also dirt cheap and still pretty much universally supported so you can use them to take files back and forth from class, work, etc. (though USB thumb drives are doing away with this need).

Yeah, maybe if your motherboard is 2 or 3 years old. I don't think I've seen a recent board that won't let you boot from a USB drive.

theyarecomingforyou said,
A lot of boards can be flashed from Windows... I know my can.

yes most of the new stuff can but i dont trust windows based flashers... i think dos is FAR more reliable since theres NO software that can conflict with it unlike windows where something could potentially screw up the flash etc.

i do prefer cd's to floppy!!! why?
1st. cd's here are €0.20 and floppys are €0.50? a box of 10 floppys is €5??
2nd. flash a board with floppys is very unreliable.. imagine a bad sectored floppy with the bios rom over it?...and another one with more bad sectors.. but this time the flasher got over the sectors baddly.... or the drive gonne nuts, writing obviously! [perhaps reading, who knows uh??]
3rd.[off topic] goto 1st and more: i dont have a floppy since 3 or 4 years... my pc is floppyless...
4th[off topic] you dont flash your board every week/month for a floppy job.. let them gooo!!!

Poor old floppy discs They had their uses and with the latest drives, the sound levels are quite low. Memory sticks can't replace floppy discs in one area though: Pre-boot envirnoment, because not all bioses load up the USB before windows starts loading.

To quote their own spokesman

"The final stock of floppies will be gone "in weeks, if not days."

Why get rid of a business resource worth more than £600,000 in sales to the business and going by his statement are a 'sure thing' in terms of sales, Agreed floppy drives are old but they are still a necessity with new computers.

Let us not forget the large proportion of motherboards that still require the use of a floppy disk to flash the bios. This could prove to be an issue for system builders who use PC World and those who wish to re-install their XP Operating systems using CD's made prior SP2.

Why get rid of discs if they are still selling? This one is easy. Profit margins. I would GUESS that the costs of buying and selling floppies is more expensive than the costs of blank CDs or DVDs.

Why carry floppies if the profit margin is less than that of the other media? After all, companies are not charities. For those who "need" floppies to deal with... well then they have to do the math on the values and costs of using older technologies. I havent seen anyone selling 8" floppies since the early 90's.

Forward, onward.

Peace,
James Rose
NEw York, NY

RIP. I will never forget the noise when a disk clicked into place.

With Vista you can use a USB device to install RAID drivers.

*io* said,
Does Vista still require a floppy disk to install RAID drivers during OS install as XP did?

No. An integrated XP SP2 disc doesn't either.

I'm a bit suprised that this didn't happen sooner. Well, it's happened now, and it's time to look to the future. Probably in a decade's time, they'll stop celling CD-ROMs.