Use 'virtual floppy drive' to mount floppy images

          'Virtual floppy drive' is a very small(140K) and handy utility that allows us to mount floppy disk images and access data available in them without writing on actual floppy diskettes. We can read, write and modify files on the images in 'RAW mode'.

What is place of floppy disk drive in 2009:
          Before 2000, you may have seen lots of PCs with floppy drives but today situation is different. Many hardware companies are withdrawing floppy drive support from their product to reduce the size and cost of their product. It is also crystal clear on software front. Ubuntu 8.10 kernel module for floppies is deactivated by default. Means OSs have also started to shed support to floppy drives.
          You may be thinking, where did those bulky computers with floppy drives and big CPU go. India is still developing and there is still big market in selling and buying PCs produced before 2000. I have seen many village students still use P3 or P4 for fulfilling their technical needs. They still need to use those floppy disks, full of drivers to install an OS in their PC.
          There are still many vendors who sell floppy drives with improved interface. You can get a USB floppy disk drive for Rs. 1500/-. Visit http://www.geek.com/laptop-floppy-drives to buy an USB floppy disk drive.

Benefits of using virtual floppies and virtual floppy imaging tools:

  1. Ability to boot certain applications - like a Linux virtual router/firewall on a floppy.
  2. Ability to transfer files between systems
  3. No Floppy media to storage, search or get damaged
Download and start virtual floppy drive:
  1. Download the Virtual floppy drive from this link
  2. Latest version is 'Virtual Floppy Drive 2.1' which is released on Feb. 6, 2008. No changes have been made since that release.
  3. Extract the zip 'vfd21-080206.zip'. It has vfd.exe which is a command line utility for installing, starting, stopping and uninstalling 'vfd.dll driver' and assigning drive letter for virtual drive. It also contains 'vfdwin.exe' which provides GUI to VFD control panel.
Uses of VFD:
  1. Create floppy image from data: To proceed, assign drive letter to Drive0. Click on 'open/create' button and click create on the next screen. Now go into the drive from windows explorer and copy files to it. Close the window and click save to save data as floppy image. You can burn this image file to actual floppy with winImage or RawImage.
  2. Modify a floppy image and save changes:Open a floppy image, modify it and again save it with another name.
More about VFD
  1. Windows 2000/XP Explorer's check disk does not work with VFD drives.
    Use command line CHKDSK.EXE instead.
  2. Some program does not recognize VFD drive as floppy drive if assigned a drive letter other than A or B.
  3. VFD is not compiled for 64 bit windows version. Although a binary provided on the official website may work in some cases. You can try it at your own risk.
  4. VFD can not create image from or save to actual floppy disk. To create image from a floppy, use WinImage (shareware).

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2 comments:

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