One of my floppy disks' shutter spring got lost. Now the shutter can't slide normally. Can I still use the floppy disk?

  • 4
    if you mean 3.5" floppy then yes but make sure its closed when you put it into FDD and not use too big force while inserting. If there is bigger resistance while inserting it means the shutter is in wrong position in respect to your FDD mechanism so remove floppy and adjust the shutter position and try again ...
    – Spektre
    Commented May 22, 2019 at 8:35
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    Pay attention so that the spring is actually missing, and not loose under the shutter. You don't want it to fall into the floppy drive mechanics.
    – SF.
    Commented May 23, 2019 at 6:06

4 Answers 4


The shutter spring in a 3.5” floppy forces the shutter back in its “closed” position when it’s opened. Losing it won’t have much impact on its day-to-day use, as long as there was no other damage to the shutter: when you insert the disk into a drive, the shutter is pulled open (which will be easier, without the spring), and when you eject the disk, the shutter will stay open.

Thus losing the shutter spring mostly means that you’ll have to close the shutter yourself when you eject the disk. You should however take care when inserting the disk, in case the shutter is slightly out-of-shape and thus harder to pull open — but that’s true of any disk really.


Alternatively, you can remove the shutter entirely, and take care of the ejected floppy as if it were a 5" one - ie. keep it in an envelope or cover.

This is perhaps not as safe for the diskette, but avoids issues with the drive mechanism.

In any case, I would plan to move the data and trash the diskette soon.

  • 3
    Agreed. I've lost the shutter in the drive before when it didn't have the spring. It just got caught as it was loose from the same damage where it lost the spring. Ever since then, I always remove the shutter if it is at all loose, just to be sure. (I've also lost tape being used to make a disk or memory card writable this way.)
    – trlkly
    Commented May 23, 2019 at 4:01

You really, really need to account for where that spring went.

If it stayed inside the diskette, it could scratch up the media. Even worse, if it came loose inside the floppy drive, it could cause all sorts of mischief. Just a few days ago I had one get loose inside the drive, and it shorted out the signal cable, causing the drive to misbehave. Fortunately, there seems to be no permanent damage, but there sure could've been!

Other than that, the drive won't care; it'll just shove the door open and it won't self-close.

  • 2
    The spring is on the outside of the plastic casing, so its unlikely to have sprung off and dived inside the case. Much more likely the spring has shot off in a random direction and is now hiding on the floor waiting for a casual bare or stockinged foot.
    – Criggie
    Commented May 23, 2019 at 0:26
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    The spring is not outside the plastic casing. It doesn't normally occupy the same area as the rotating disk, but it does sit inside the two halves of the plastic casing.
    – JPhi1618
    Commented May 23, 2019 at 20:58
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    Sage advice, and reminds me of when I heard something lose in my digital camera. Didn't think too much about it, until later that day when I was about to take a flash picture and as I raised the camera it made a loud noise and started smoking. Turns out the loose part was a metal screen, which happened to hit the charged capacitor for the flash. Oops. Flash never worked after that, and the retrieved screw as also a bit smaller than original. Commented May 24, 2019 at 0:47

That plastic front assembly can be easily replaced. It's just hooked into the metal chassis on the side - while the actual problem with the functionality is based upon the purpose of that lid: dust particles will enter the drive and from there can reach the magnetic surface of an inserted disk, when the disk's slider is opened, which will then accumulate at the R/W head and kill off the drive and/or a few floppies over time... while a "new" 3.5" floppy drive only costs around 10-15 USD/EUR/GBP.

If you mean the slider mechanism on the disk itself - it's about the same problem with the dust particles accumulating at the drive's R/W head (keeping such disks in a protective sleeve or creating a copy is suggested).

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