View Full Version : Floppy? Really?

May 2nd, 2011, 01:04 PM
Just upgraded to 11.04 from 10.10. Had been away in Mint land for some time after a failed Ubuntu upgrade.

Anyway I am enjoying Unity. I had started to organise my Windows workspace in this way a couple of years ago (task bar on right to optimize widescreen real estate).

Just playing around and learning the new items. I'm not so familiar with Grub 2 (new Grub one pretty well) so I had installed startup manager in 10.10.

I'm dual booting Win 7 which is at the end of the OS list. So I wanted to move this into the number 2 position behind Ubuntu. I could not find an option to do this in startup manager so I went to the advanced tab.

There is a big button on this tab stating "create rescue floppy".



There is a whole generation that does not know what a floppy is (other than a hinderence to horizontal fun).

This is not a rant or complaint just an observation.

May 2nd, 2011, 01:20 PM
The rescue floppy is usually used to repair your MBR (IE: GRUB or Windows.)

Windows will have it still as floppy for ages to come, sadly. You can't use Ubuntu's USB Startup Creator with the floppy img though, as it will become either corrupt, or it will reject it.

Lots of Motherboards still require floppies today to flash the BIOS to a new version if you can't do it from Windows. (Some step it up and do a CD nowadays.) It's also unfortunate that some motherboard's can never be flashed without using the BIOS utilities via Windows.

May 2nd, 2011, 01:28 PM
I'm amazed floppies are still in use even for BIOS update. Many machines do not include floppy drives any more and the media itself must be getting hard to find.

CD or USB FLASH drive would surely be more logical these days.

May 2nd, 2011, 01:37 PM
I can update my motherboard's BIOS using a Windows utility supplied by the manufacturer but I do not have Windows. So, I cannot do it that way. I can use a DOS utility on a DOS start up floppy disk. I do have both the floppy disc drive and a DOS startup floppy. So, that is the method I would choose. There is also a utility on the supplied support CD that will replace a corrupted BIOS file either from the CD or from a USB flash drive. It cannot be used to update or flash the BIOS. I have a DVD drive. Why should I be forced to buy USB memory sticks just to update the BIOS? What we need is a Linux rescue CD that can also be used to flash the BIOS.


May 2nd, 2011, 02:07 PM
What we need is a Linux rescue CD that can also be used to flash the BIOS.

That's not up to developers in Linux.

May 2nd, 2011, 02:09 PM
What we need is a Linux rescue CD that can also be used to flash the BIOS.


Quite a bit of reverse engineering for (Currently) little gain.

EDIT: Floppies are cheap and rewritable, buy one case, then never another.

May 2nd, 2011, 02:09 PM
Honestly I still like having a Floppy drive on all my desktop systems if for no other reason then to access the MANY floppy disks I've collected over the years. Granted 1.44 MB isn't much, and it doesn't take long for even a smaller spreadsheet or image to pass this, but for saving PGP keys, password files, config files, etc it's still a great way to go. Throw the content on a disk, slip it in a cabinet, and there ya go. I'd hate to keep a 8 Gig or 16 Gig thumb drive on hand for small bits of info like this.

May 2nd, 2011, 02:21 PM
any motherboard i bought since the last 5 years (probably longer) can update the Bios via USB. Its more troublesome if you bought a Laptop or full system I guess.
For those that wont work with USB you can burn a CD with "floppy-emulation", its a feature of Nero but I would be surprised if other burning apps couldnt manage the same thing.

May 2nd, 2011, 02:54 PM
EDIT: Floppies are cheap and rewritable, buy one case, then never another.

I used to have a ton of floppies laying around. However, 80% of the entire case I bought was corrupted. It's possible that this happened because they were sitting in the sunlight for hours (still wrapped in package though) on a day where local shops would go out on the street selling stuff for reduced prices.