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Commodore produced a number of different floppy diskette drive units, both 8" and 5.25", over the course of its history. Can someone provide a chronological list of the drives, their release dates, brief specifications, and ideally links to further information for each drive? I'm particularly interested in drive units predating the 1541.

2 Answers 2

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You can get a relative ordering by looking at DOS versions for the drives.

IEEE-488 drives

  • 2040 - first drive, 5.25"x2@170K, 1979, DOS 1.0
  • 3040 - 5.25"x2@170k in Europe, 1979, DOS 1.2
  • 4040 - 5.25"x2@170k, 1980, DOS 2.0
  • 2031 - 5.25"x1@170k, 1980, DOS 2.0
  • 4031 - 5.25"x2@170k, 1980, DOS 2.0
  • 8050 - 5.25"x2@521k, 1980, DOS 2.5
  • 8250 - 5.25"x2@1042k (double-sided), 1981, DOS 2.7
  • 8060 - 8"x1@750k, 1984, DOS 2.7
  • 8061 - 8"x2@800k, 1984, DOS 2.7
  • 8062 - 8"[email protected], 1984, DOS 2.7
  • SFD-1001 - 5.25"x1@1M, 1984, DOS 2.7
  • 8280 - 8"x2@1M, 1984, DOS 3.0

Serial drives

  • 1540 - 5.25"x1@170k, 1980, DOS 2.6
  • 1541 - 5.25"x1@170k, 1982 as VIC-1541 with VIC colors, DOS 2.6
  • 1551 - 5.25"x1@170k, 1984, DOS 2.6
  • 1570 - 5.25"x1@170k, 1985, DOS 3.0
  • 1571 - 5.25"x1@340k (double-sided), 1985, DOS 3.0
  • 1572 - 5.25"x1@340k, 1985, DOS 3.0
  • 1541C - 5.25"x1@170k, 1986, DOS 2.6
  • 1581 - 3.5"x1@800k, 1987, DOS 10.0
  • 1541-II - 5.25"x1@170k, 1988, DOS 2.6

There were also other compatible drives like the MSD-2.

Some useful pages:

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  • Are you sure about the 1541 and the 1541C? Wikipedia (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodore_1541) gives the release years as 1982 and 1986, which is also (a) what I remember, and which (b) also ligns up with the C-64C being released in 1986. Commented Mar 20, 2020 at 17:50
  • I think you're right. Corrected. Commented Mar 20, 2020 at 19:01
  • Didn't the Vic-20 come out in 1981? If so then I imagine the 1540 did too; it's the first machine with the Commodore serial bus unless I'm mistaken.
    – Tommy
    Commented Mar 20, 2020 at 19:24
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    I'm pretty sure the VIC supported the C2N tape drive only at first (not much need for a disk with 3.5k) - which agrees with cbmmuseum.kuto.de/floppy_vc1540.html Commented Mar 20, 2020 at 22:54
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    I didn't include the 1572 because it was never released. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodore_1571 - "Commodore announced at the 1985 Consumer Electronics Show a dual-drive version of the 1571, to be called the Commodore 1572, but quickly canceled it...." There were quite a few drives that got announced but never made it into production. Commented Apr 18, 2020 at 4:31
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In addition, here are the Amiga external floppy drives:

  • 1010 - 3.5"x1 @ 880k, 1985
  • 1020 - 5.25"x1 @ 440k, 1986
  • 1011 - 3.5"x1 @ 880k, 1989
  • 1411 - 3.5"x1 @ 880k, 1991

Note that although the 1020 was capable of reading and writing 440k on a single-sided floppy, it was intended to work with IBM-formatted disks up to 360k.

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  • Didn't the Amiga launch in 1985? If so then 1984 for the 1010 probably isn't right?
    – Tommy
    Commented Apr 28, 2020 at 20:59
  • Yeah. It may have been announced in 1984 but release was obviously in 1985. Good catch. Commented Apr 29, 2020 at 16:30
  • I seem to remember the 1020 being available in 85, as we got one with our first 1000, which was an "as soon as we can!" buy. Commented Apr 29, 2021 at 15:48
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    I have read elsewhere that the Amiga 1020 was 440k for Amiga and 360k for PC format disks.
    – Geo...
    Commented Jan 30 at 23:50
  • @Geo... Good catch, it appears to have been possible but it also sounds like it was rarely used that way. Commented Feb 1 at 4:33

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