back to article Man cracks open floppy disk, inserts USB Flash drive

The pictures say it all, really. Hardware hacker Charles Mangin this weekend posted the results of his attempt to slot the innards from a USB Flash drive into an old 3.5in floppy disk case - well, two of them, to be precise, the original casing not being quite thick enough for the cable and connector. Charles Mangin Floppy …


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  1. Pirate Dave


    I can't believe he ruined an official IBM reference disk for this project. What's he going to do if he NEEDS that disk one day to boot his 386? He'll be sorry then, he will.

    1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      It's worse than that...

      What if he wants to add another micro-channel card to the system. It is necessary to have the reference disk to add the ADF file for the new adapter!

      1. David Mery

        A portable with a really good keyboard

        The P70 was a really nice portable^Wluggable computer. I bought a rucksack just the right size so I could carry it on my motorbike. Another advantage of the P70 (being an IBM machine), was that it was the first portable supported by OS/2 right back from version 1.0 (with none of this GUI nonsense) . Some versions of OS/2 eventually them came on as many as 20 or 30 floppies.

  2. Lottie


    That is awesome! As far as novelty USB drives go, this is one of the best I've seen yet. Dude should market them!

  3. stucs201

    Is that... IBM disc and an Apple keyboard?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    He could have used a slim USB connector (do a google image search for "slim usb" to see what I mean) to make it slim enough to sit in one FD, though I imagine they are hard to get in cable form.

    Good work though.

  5. Anonymous Coward



    1. C Yates

      It's a bit of fun!

      Lighten up for christ's sake!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Down


        ...but as far as hacks go, this is a pretty poor attempt.

        With just a *little* more effort and imagination, he could have come up with something more impressive.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I'm sure I've already seen someone slot a USB flash drive into a single floppy disk.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Post of the day

      EPIC WIN, SIR!

    2. Wize

      All you'd need is to butcher a 3.5 inch drive... put a USB connector in the right place.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Ummm doh!

    Pico USB flash drive would have fitted without the cludge.

  8. tanj666

    Anyone gone all floppy over this?

    Hmmm, very clever. Now can it be done with a 5+1/4" or an 8"?

    The very essence of portable data storage, at last!

    1. My Alter Ego

      Nope, but a South African may have got a stiffy

    2. Swarthy


      Even better, a Bernoulli cartridge. Could even use a full-sized USB port/plug.

      ...I think I need to find one of my old ones, and a sacrificial flash drive.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Ahh memories

        You could fit a whole bloody PC in a Bernoulli disk

    3. Andus McCoatover


      I'd love to see someone put Linux on a 12" 31/3 RPM vinyl disk..

      Now that'd be neat. Need the accuracy of a Linn Sondek to decode (I still own one), but as retro goes...neat trick!!!


  9. Aaron Harris
    Thumb Down


    No that's it why...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    It should be noted that I love these stories. I think it tickles the techie in all of us.

    It would have scored higher though, if:

    - it had been a single media

    - it actually outwardly worked and appeared as a floppy drive (drive and media)

    - it booted OS2/Warp or NeXT or something equally bizzare

  11. Anonymous Coward


    Slow news day, eh?

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Seems rather pointless

    when it won't work in a floppy drive. You'd just have this huge slab hanging off the side of your computer from the USB port.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Slowest news day EVAR.

    "Man fits small thing inside larger thing".

    1. C Yates



    2. Some Beggar
      Paris Hilton

      While I agree with your sentiments ...

      I can't believe you passed up the opportunity for a crass Paris Hilton joke here.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not really all that impressive...

    I was more impressed by the vesrion of this available about 7 years ago that was a memory device built into a floppy disk that actually worked via the floppy disk drive.

    This thing won't go into the drive, let alone work once it is in.

  15. Ragarath

    I may be reading wrong but...

    Isn't this just pulling apart a USB drive and gluing the bits in a floppy case?

  16. Alan 6

    Just because you can do something

    Doesn't mean you should...

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Pah. Unoriginal...

    Has been done many times before - without the lame sticking together of two floppies either!

    ooo--err missus. Paris as I'm sure she objects to floppies too...

  18. Tigra 07
    Thumb Down

    No Tit Required

    I've been using those old floppy disks as drink matts for years.

    They can't hold any data to be remotely useful nowadays, they're too big, and new computers don't even have floppy drives.

    1. stucs201

      New computers don't even have floppy drives

      My core i7 system is about 10 months old (so not exactly ancient). I'm sure that 3.5" hole is a floppy drive, certainly I ended up at an A> prompt the other day when I shoved a DOS boot disk in it.

      (OK, this being a system I built myself is something of an exception. My previous PC even had a 5.25" drive since it took less room installed in the case than stored in the parts drawer).

  19. bluesxman

    If only...

    ... he'd managed to do it in such a way that it didn't look... hmmm... now what's the word I'm looking for? It'll come to me in a moment... oh, yes here we go: shit.

  20. Chris Dupont
    Thumb Up

    Good work that man.

    Fitting the activity-LED into the write protect tab - smooth. That put a smile on my face today.

  21. Valerion


    I mean really - why? Of all the things he could possibly have done that day - that was the best thing he could do?

    It's not even a single disk! I've got a tiny little USB flash drive that would easily fit inside a single floppy casing. If I were to take a disk apart and glue it in could I get published all the internet too?

    When I saw the title I thought he'd found a way to do it and interface with a floppy controller so it was actually readable when you put it into a drive. My first thought was that'd be a) cool but b) pointless. Instead it turned out that it's just b) pointless.

    If he wanted to put a thing inside another thing there's plenty of more fun ways to achieve that, if you get my drift....

  22. Jess--

    done well over 10 years ago

    fitting flash memory inside a 3.5 floppy was done well over 10 years ago with the flashpath from smartdisk

    it used to take a smartmedia card and was identical in size / shape to a 3.5 floppy. it used to transfer its data using a magnetic head inside the disk to communicate with the head inside the floppy drive

  23. Matthew 25

    What would be cool is

    if he bodged the innards of a SSD into a floppy case.....then bodged the floppy drive to act as a socket. eSATA or something like that.

  24. TheRealRoland
    Thumb Up

    But one must crawl before..

    attempting to walk -- and walk before trying to run.

    I'm sure the esteemed commentards above, slagging off a perfectly good attempt of combining old tech with new tech, immediately jumped to the challenge and created what they professed was an even better idea.

    And of course they all managed to do so, but forgot to send in the pictures of their successful attempts.

    Ah well... I for one welcome the floppy-disk-combining-with-usb-sticks overlords.

    1. Gav

      Here's an even better idea

      I have an even better idea. It's a USB Flash drive that looks exactly like a USB Flash drive. I can't claim credit for this, I bought it like this, but someone has somehow managed to get a USB Flash drive to fit inside a USB Flash drive. Not only does it look neat, but it also has all the size advantages and memory capacity of a USB Flash drive! Perfect!

      Another better idea; use sellotape to stick a USB Flash drive onto the middle page of a foolscap accountancy ledger. Hey, kewl!! It's like 21st century technology married with 19th century!! It's totally pointless and impractical! It looks like crap! More junk that you'll never, ever, use to fill up your desk drawer with!

      1. TheRealRoland
        Thumb Up


        Or else it didn't happen!

  25. Captain DaFt

    Meh, I've seen better

    How about a floppy that reads SD cards, and fits in a modified floppy drive?

    (I just hope no one ever puts an unmodified floppy in that drive though!)

  26. Columbus


    I have a syquest disk and a 2.5" usb powered remote hard drive - if only I could make sure it kept the same 'twang' noise when you put it down.

  27. Alex Taylor

    I've done this already...

    I work in a school and so far I've found a couple of 1GB flash drives left in classrooms after someone's snapped the USB plug off while plugged in to a computer. So I gutted them, soldered short USB cables cut from dead keyboards to the pads left by the snapped-off connectors, and glued them into SD card cases. I use one of them quite frequently as it's got a bootable image of UBCD on it.

    I own a couple of Microchannel PS/2s as well (a 286 and a 486) and I wouldn't hack up the reference diskettes either. You can download images and make copies but the original disk holds more retro value.

    Oh, mine's the one with the MCA-16 10Base2 Ethernet adapter in the inside pocket.

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