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Hard Disk and Storage Devices

I sometimes find people confuse the harddrive, with computer memory (RAM). If you purchase a computer today, you will most likely see specifications referring to Hard Drive.

There are two basic types of storage medium disks:
  • Magnetic disks (e.g., hard disk, zip disk, 3 1/2 inch diskette)
  • Optical disks(e.g., CD-ROM, CD-ReWritable)

The common personal computer has an internal magnetic hard disk on which is stored the operating system, programs, and information data.

The device that spins a disk is called a disk drive. Within the disk drive are one or more heads that actually read and write data to the disk.

The term hard is used to distinguish the hard disk from a diskette or floppy disk. Hard disks hold more data and are faster accessing information than diskettes.

Hard disks on current personal computers have a storage capacity termed as gigabytes GB, whereas most 3 1/2 inch diskettes have a maximum storage capacity of 1.44 megabytes MB.

Generally, hard disks are less portable than diskettes, although it is possible to buy external hard drives with removable hard disks.

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