Floppy Disk Drives & Removable Drives

You must also decide on how many and what type drives you will need in your computer.
We recommend at least one standard 3.5" 1.44 MB drive minimum. Because millions of computers have 3.5" floppies. Teac, Toshiba, Mitsumi, Chinon, and Nec are the most common. They all work great.
We don't encourage installing one 5.25" 1.2 MB drive, unless you have a lot of old data on 5.25" disks. Programs that ship in that format are very old and out of date... generally will have difficulty under Windows 95/98 and are ancient technology. It is your money.
Also available is a 3.5" 2.88 MB Floppy Disk Drive, this drive may require special controller circuits, so before purchasing one be sure your disk electronics are up to the task. I don't suggest it, recommend it... and refuse to sell them. The disks are also both difficult to get and expensive.
There is also a "SuperDisk" - a 3.5" 120 MB Floppy Disk Drive, which supposedly will READ (allegedly not write) 720K, (can read & write) 1.44 MB and (read only) 2.88 floppy disks. As the cost and availability of the disks get more common, then this would be an incredible hit... and worth a reasonable amount of money. It was released in 1997/98 and still isn't real popular, because of the inability to get the disks easily.
Iomega's Zip Drives - There is a 100MB and a 250MB capacity version. Not supper fast, but faster than a "normal" floppy. These drives can be internal or external, SCSI-2 (proprietary connector on the external drives, standard on the internal drive), IDE (to daisy chain off a standard hard drive or CD ROM), and lastly Parallel (external version only). These drives have been in the world for a couple years, and a few hundred thousand users... but appear to be the most popular amongst graphic artists and architectural firms. Using DriveSpace 3 (which ships with Windows95/98) I have had no problems stuffing nearly twice the stated information on these disks.
Iomega's Jaz Drives - There are 1 and 2 Gigabyte capacity versions. At present the disks made for this drive will ONLY work in these drive (the 2 Gig version will read & write both versions, the 1 Gig version will ONLY read/write the 1 Gig disks). The disks, like mini hard drives without "heads" to chatter against the hard platters, which adds safety and reduces problems. Using DriveSpace 3 (which ships with Windows95/98) I have had no problems stuffing twice the information on these disks.
Removable Drive Chassis - IDE, EIDE, SCSI, or SCSI-2 - Internal 5.25" drive bay open (so the drive can be physically removed in seconds, without opening the case). There are two primary types, under a variety of brand names.
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Type 1 (the original and least expensive) doesn't have a fan in it, and generally no drive access light. This type of chassis has worked great, as long as the size of the drive is 1.6 Gigabytes or smaller, and if you are careful and aware of the drives temperature. Larger drives will technically work... for a while. Problem, they tend to get too hot and physically burn up. Most drive manufacturers and resellers don't like honoring warranties on drives that "burn-up" as their drive wasn't designed for that type of use.
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Anyhow, Type 2 (in hopes of solving the problems of Type 1 units) has a fan, and a drive access led, and a power led on the front. These chassis seem to work great, and are thus far solid. I have multiple units - containing drives from 1.6 Gig to 30 Gigabytes and have yet to have a problem.
Positives: virtually any 3.5" IDE and EIDE drive can easily fit and work in these chassis, which makes backing up, sharing data, mirroring drives, and accessing friends or customers drives a breeze. With two of these chassis, you can quickly and easily transfer a complete drive from work to home, between offices, etc. Making mirror images of your hard drive is fast and easy, using these chassis.
Negatives: The system MUST be powered off to initialize the "new" drive inserted, and unless you have the latest BIOS version, which allows complete AUTO drive recognition, you will need to manually set the BIOS in your computer each time the drive(s) have changed, each time you insert or remove a drive. The drives jumpers MUST be set correctly and appropriately for where you are "plugging" them in.
I personally swear by these "removables," as well as the Jaz drives... and find benefit from both on a weekly basis (if not daily).

 

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