How-To Geek

If Windows 7 Was Distributed on Floppy Disks

Ever wondered how many floppy disks it would take to install Windows 7? Here’s your answer.

So I did some calculating… [Tiepedia via @edbott]

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 08/20/10

Comments (22)

  1. Msidiiq

    Can’t even imagine!!!

  2. bf

    What Operating System was last distributed via floppy disks, if ever?

  3. Shawn

    I have copy of Windows XP on floppy. 4 or 5 disks if I remember right. You could get up to XP SP3 on floppy but you had to order it from Microsoft directly.

  4. Joshua

    Windows 95 was the last one I had

  5. john

    Eh those XP floppies were only boot discs, the OS was still on a CD, the floppies were just for machines that couldnt boot to cdrom.

    I’d think the same for 95, but cant be 100% certain

  6. depp

    what is windows 7..!!!!!!!!

    is windows 7 a new os..?

  7. Mike-RaWare

    I wonder how many punch cards are needed for Windows 7.

  8. REdsnappa

    or how many miles of paper punch tape would be needed for Windows 7 64 bit??

  9. John Shelton

    I think I still have a copy of Windows 3.11 (which installed over DOS 6.22) on 3.5″ floppy. I believe there are about 12 discs total. I don’t remember how many discs were required for DOS. Prior to that I had a DOS 3.x OS that was on a single 5.25″ floppy disc. The computer that DOS3 was used on didn’t have a hard drive at all. It had two 5.25″ floppy drives, and you put the OS in one and then put your application floppy in the other. Then you swapped floppies if you wanted to save your work.

  10. John Shelton

    p.s. If memory serves me correct, Windows 3 was the last Windoes OS that was routinely distributed on floppy disc. It is possible that one could special order Windows 95 on floppy discs, but it would have been quite a stack of discs.

  11. John Shelton

    Mike-RaWare, it would require hundreds of thousands of punch cards if not millions. Each punch card held one line (one command) of code.

  12. Steve

    For the 3.11 I had, it rquired 35disks, and another 18 for back-up.

  13. Garybeafl

    In a night class at the local High School I installed W95 on a computer and it took 13 disks.

  14. PJ

    Murphy says; at disk 2083 the drive would die.

  15. harris

    i have a question…the picture shows a 5 1/4 inch floppy…the first floppies i used (1980) had a capacity of 360 kb and these were followed by HD 5 1/4 floppies which had a capacity of 1.2 mb. is the figure of 2084 determined by using the 360 kb or the 1.2 mb…or did your calculation come from using 3 1/2 inch floppies which if my memory serves me came in sizes of 720 kb and then evolved to 1.44 mb….of course, i am being facetious….thanks….harris

  16. Dixie Meyers

    I used to do punch cards, In a College Class I took early, in High School, in the early 1970’s. So that’s what I was doing. I always was puzzled. Computers were as big as a room then, and it was all new to me, and over whelming. I should have stuck with it, I’d be a wiz at it by now.

  17. dgdfhf

    You must agree in order to use the site to the fullest extent.

  18. Keith

    How many disks would the legal disclaimer take up?

  19. UUUnicorn


  20. Clinton Blade

    Aw man, you all are cracking me up! I dont feel so lost now! It seems no one remembers the OLD way, they just know the new way…

  21. stupot

    windows floppy disks for operating systems and software were of a higher capacity than 1.44 MB.

    I have WIN95 on 23 black floppy discs thats without DOS

  22. mark

    I have a old Lap top which runs on Windows 95 and I wanted to transfer some data to another laptop which runs on Windows XP, but I find that the XP will not recognise the Floppy disc as formatted, even if it is preformatted on the XP laptop. It seems that the data down loaded from the 95 system is not recognised by the XP. Is there any way to transfer data between the 2 laptops?

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