6.8 Our Picks

Here are the FDDs we recommend:

3.5-inch FDD

Any name-brand drive. These $15 drives are commodity items, and one is about as good as another. We use whatever make happens to be most readily available or cheapest, including (alphabetically) Mitsumi, NEC, Sony, Teac, Toshiba, and probably several others we've forgotten. We use Teac 235HF units by choice, but that's probably just from habit. If you have a choice, pick an FDD that uses a shrouded connector for the data cable.

5.25-inch FDD

None. Although we keep one or two around on general principles, the 5.25-inch FDD is obsolete except to read old 5.25-inch diskettes, most of which were written so long ago that they are now probably unreadable. As of July 2003, new 5.25-inch FDDs are still sold, but few vendors stock them and they are now very hard to find. If you need to read an old 5.25-inch diskette, contact your local computer store, which probably has a stack of 5.25-inch HD (1.2 MB) FDDs in the back room and will likely give you one for the asking.

For updated recommendations, visit http://www.hardwareguys.com/picks/fdd.html.