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Disk Drives

  1. Jan 6, 2005 #1
    How come floppy drives and hard disk don't need any drivers whereas CD-ROMs and other peripherals do?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 6, 2005 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Check your device manager: hard drives and floppies do require drivers, its just that since they are so important to booting, they are all the same. CD-Roms have made the jump to that level of standardization and now no longer require special drivers to operate - they all use the same drivers in windows and all are capable of being booted from.
  4. Jan 6, 2005 #3
    My question was more specific to the boot up. Like why floppy drives could read when you turn on the computer but cd-roms needed special drivers. Anyway, you answered my question.

    However why have floppy drives never been bigger than 1.44 MB?
  5. Jan 6, 2005 #4
    I had seen Sony floppy with 2.8 MB in singapore, but it was not popular.
    Now all people are using thumbdrive, floppy is only usefull for boot up.
  6. Jan 6, 2005 #5
    There have been floppy drives bigger than 1.44 MB. They just never really caught on. Initially they didn't often that much of a size advantage over 1.44 MB disks, and they usually cost more per byte than just buying the equivalent amount of 1.44 MB disks.
  7. Jan 6, 2005 #6
    Windows OS comes loaded with many generic drivers that it can use if an official driver isn't present.
  8. Jan 6, 2005 #7
    Windows OS is not present at system power-on.
  9. Jan 7, 2005 #8
    No. A system without an operating system can still access disk drives (floppy, cd-rom, etc). Device drivers are not needed for basic I/O functions such as floppys, cd-roms, keyboard, moniter, etc. This is done through the BIOs which is why you have access to these drives during system power-on even if an operating system isn't present.

    After the BIOs loads and finishes POST it looks for the MBR (Master Boot Record) to see if a operating system is present on the HDD. If it finds one, it begins to load the OS. If it doesn't, it nags.

    However, through my experience, some devices (cd-rom's usually) can be a royal pain in the arse without drivers.


    Edit: And I don't know why I said 'No'. But I'm leaving it there for personal reasons. :)
  10. Jan 10, 2005 #9
    Your ethernet card (some manufs.) will work also without an OS. Check your card if it is PXE compliant then you can boot from the network. Really handy for doing remote OS refreshes or installs
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2005
  11. Jan 10, 2005 #10


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    Staff: Mentor

    And USB too - as time goes by, more and more devices get standardized and written into bios.
  12. Jan 12, 2005 #11
    i just bought a seagate 250 GB. Huge!
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