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Mac Floppy Drive: A Real Unicorn?

14 January 2013 2,403 views One Comment

My last floppy drive went in a house sale around 2002. Thus, the question — does anyone sell a Mac floppy drive compatible with recent versions of OS X?

Like many folks over 30, I have boxes of old cassette tapes, LP albums and even a few 3.5-inch disks. That said, our cassette player died at least four years ago, my ancient ’80s era turntable lacks a power cord and the last Mac floppy drive went in a house sale sometime in 2005. Thus, the question — does anyone sell a Mac floppy drive that works with current versions of OS X?

The answer depends how “current” you want.

For example, you can get the SABRENT External USB 1.44 MB 2x Floppy Disk Drive SBT-UFDB on Amazon for $25 (Prime). However, although the company’s website features a video (below) of a Mac using this USB drive, the model shown is a PowerPC iBook (a.k.a. toilet seat) running OS X 10.3.9.

That’s not exactly modern.

Somewhat closer to the mark is a LaCie External Floppy Disk Drive for PC (B&H) that at least one MacBook Pro owner (OS X 10.5.8 Leopard) reports success using. The bad news here is that this device is no longer available.

There are a fair number floppy drives that work with Mac OS 7, 8 and 9 (Amazon, Google Shopping, etc.), which is OK if you have a working Classic Mac lurking in a closet.

So, is there a Mac floppy drive that is compatible with OS X 10.6, 10.7 or 10.8? Anyone out there with home brew drivers for a commercially available floppy drive?

Share your solutions below…

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One Comment »

  • Brandon Banfield said:

    I have a USB floppy drive that was compatible with OS X 10.10 Yosemite. Cheap one bought off eBay. P/N is 19308801-19. Interestingly enough, I can format floppies under Disk Utility with no problem. You may also be interested to know that USB zip drives still work on Yosemite as well. I am now running the beta of El Capitan and Disk Utility has changed and I can’t get the floppy USB drive to work. This could be that they’re finally dropping support or it could simply be because it’s a beta version of the OS. This drive also works with Parallels Desktop running on Yosemite, so you can open it in Windows or Mac. It also works just fine on my old PowerBook G3 running OS 9.2.2.

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