External Floppy drive for Emac

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Erica Walker, Apr 24, 2011.

  1. Erica Walker

    Erica Walker Guest

    Hi guys
    I am wanting to get an external USB floppy drive for my eMac - would
    any USB external drive work for it, or does it need a specific Mac
    kind?
    Thanks
    Troy
    Erica Walker, Apr 24, 2011
    #1
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  2. Erica Walker

    David Empson Guest

    Erica Walker <> wrote:

    > Hi guys
    > I am wanting to get an external USB floppy drive for my eMac - would
    > any USB external drive work for it, or does it need a specific Mac
    > kind?


    As far as I know, any 3.5" USB floppy should be OK, as long as it
    doesn't require proprietary drivers, but I've only seen people using
    drives advertised for use with a Mac (or styled after the original iMac,
    at least visually implying compatibility).

    All USB floppy drives support 720K and 1440K formats: double sided,
    double or high density, using MFM coding. The Mac supported these
    formats from about 1988 with the introduction of the "Superdrive" with
    the Mac IIx (and as an upgrade for the Mac SE and Mac II). The file
    system used on Mac-specific floppies in these formats was HFS, but the
    Mac also had software to read/write floppies using the FAT (MS-DOS) file
    system and the same physical format.

    There are no USB floppy drives which support the older Mac-specific 400K
    and 800K formats: single sided or double sided, double density, using
    GCR coding and the file system was MFS (400K) or HFS (800K). These disks
    can only be accessed using older Macs with a built-in floppy drive
    running Mac OS 9.x or earlier (400K requires Mac OS 7.x or earlier), and
    only worked reliably with 1980s and early 1990s Mac models that had a
    Sony drive mechanism (characterised by its motorised disk insertion
    action, as distinct from later models which required manually pushing
    the disk into the drive).

    --
    David Empson
    David Empson, Apr 24, 2011
    #2
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