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External 3.5 disk drive recommendation?

+2 votes
I can find very inexpensive 3.5" USB floppy disk drives on Amazon.  I'm wondering if these low prices means poor quality.  Does anyone have a recommendation?
asked Sep 23, 2014 by Matt Gorzalski (140 points)
edited Jul 2, 2015 by nkrabben
It's not clear from your question. Are you asking about 3.5" floppy disk drives (1.4mb) or 3.5" hard disk drives (1tb and larger)?
Sorry about that.  I was talking about 3.5 floppy disk drives to read obsolete media.

2 Answers

0 votes
I have found a few drives are hit and miss. Some name branded drives from Dell or Sony work well, but every so often the off brand drive can read a disk the others could not. I always test a drive a few times with a disk that is not critical before putting production disks through the drive.
answered May 19, 2015 by thorsted (590 points)
0 votes

I recently bought one of these:


This is a refurbished drive (i.e. they took an old drive, cleaned it, added a USB connector and then put it in an enclosure).

First impression after limited testing is good. My Linux Mint machine even recognised it right away (no drivers or special software needed), which surprised me. It's really cheap as well.

On a side note, from what I understand some of the more 'modern' 3.5" floppy drives only support High Density (HD, 1.44 MB) floppies and can't read Double Density (DD, 720 KB) disks. So this may be something to watch out for (specs aren't always clear about this; my cheapo Basetech is able to read DD disks, BTW). 


answered Aug 26, 2015 by johanvanderknijff (2,070 points)