888.678.7282    Get SUPPORT

Strata Information Technology Blog

Tech Term of the Week: Hard Drives

Tech Term of the Week: Hard Drives

If there’s one piece of computer hardware that almost everyone knows about, it would have to be the hard drive. However, it is not so easy to say that everyone knows what it does, how it works, or even the differences between the two types. That’s why we’re exploring hard drives for this week’s Tech Term!

What Does the Hard Drive Do?
The hard drive is essential to the computer’s functionality. Without the secondary storage that a hard drive delivers, no data could be permanently stored on the machine. This includes the computer’s operating system and any hardware drivers that are installed. In addition to these key requirements for a computer’s functionality, any programs, data, or media you store is also kept on the hard drive. This is why it is usually a better idea to get as large a hard drive as you can.

Hard drives now come in two types: the traditional hard disk drive, abbreviated as HDD, and the solid-state drive, or SSD. These two varieties function very differently.

How Hard Drives Work
When discussing how hard drives store data, it is important to clarify if one is referring to HDD or SSD storage, as their disparate functionality requires their means of storage to rely on very different processes.

HDD - Hard disk drives rely on a few different internal components to function properly, including the disk controller, the platter, the read/write arm, and the actuator. The disk controller does exactly what its name suggests: by communicating with the rest of the computer, it instructs the rest of the drive on how to interact with data coming in and going out. Under this instruction, the actuator positions and maneuvers the read/write arm over the spinning platter. The platter contains all of the drive’s data, stored in binary codes based on the platter’s magnetic polarities. These polarities are rewritten and read by the read/write arm.

SSD - Unlike the reliance on moving parts of a HDD, a solid-state drive is constructed entirely on flash memory and has no moving parts whatsoever. This makes them less apt to malfunction, makes them quieter, and enables them to function with less of a power draw. As a result, they are a favorite memory device in laptops and other battery-operated (and battery-prone) portable devices. SSDs have traditionally been much more expensive on a capacity/dollar scale than HDDs have, although this price discrepancy has been shrinking considerably.

What Makes HDD and SSD Different?
Apart from the mechanical differences and their relative prices, there isn’t much that sets an HDD and an SSD apart. The primary difference is the age difference between the two formats. The first HDD available to the market was introduced in 1956 by IBM, while SSD was not developed until 1991 by SanDisk (with a storage capacity of 20MB), while flash-based SSD was created by M-Systems in 1995.

Additionally, there is also the relative fragility of each storage method, as alluded to above. Again, because one has moving parts and the other doesn’t, one is much easier to transport without the worry of causing damage to the drive itself.

Which Hard Drive is Better for Your Needs?
Depending on what kind of device you need the additional storage for, HDD and SSD each may be better suited to serve as a solution. Due to the HDD’s need of stability and its more affordable cost-per-gigabyte, the common practice is to use them to add to a desktop computer’s storage. SSDs are more commonly used in more mobile devices - like laptops - due to its relative durability, but it isn’t uncommon for them to be used in desktops, either.

We hope you now understand a bit more about the different kinds of hard drives and how they work. Call us at 888.678.7282 for more assistance with your hardware, and make sure you leave a comment suggesting any other Tech Terms you’d like to know more about!

Keep Security in Mind on Social Media
Building a Better Data Backup


No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Friday, February 15 2019
If you'd like to register, please fill in the username, password and name fields.

Captcha Image

Mobile? Grab this Article!

QR-Code dieser Seite

Tag Cloud

Tip of the Week Security Technology Business Computing Best Practices Managed IT Services Privacy Cloud Network Security Internet Malware Cybersecurity Hackers Communications User Tips Software Productivity Tech Term Ransomware Backup Smartphones Outsourced IT Efficiency VoIP Microsoft IT Support Passwords Business Management Business Hardware Email Productivity Data Alert Google Social Media Data Backup Windows 10 Communication Small Business Data Recovery Browser IT Services Innovation Network Save Money Hosted Solutions Mobile Device Smartphone Microsoft Office Cloud Computing Holiday Phishing Collaboration Users App Bandwidth Twitter Internet of Things Access Control Business Continuity Apps Data Breach Vulnerability Miscellaneous Android Saving Money Company Culture Politics Wireless Cybercrime Mobile Device Management Networking Government Mobile Devices Wi-Fi Computer Applications Compliance Facebook BDR Law Enforcement Workplace Tips Blockchain Patch Management Workers Office 365 Personal Information Employer-Employee Relationship Settings Remote Monitoring Scam Excel Vendor Management Automation Medical IT Managed IT Service SaaS Spam Dark Web Managing Stress Chrome Virus Information Windows Remote Monitoring and Management Word Virtual Assistant Connectivity How To Entertainment Antivirus Recovery Marketing Maintenance Password Retail Office Website Education BYOD Data Security Computers Yahoo Artificial Intelligence Trends Profitability WhatsApp Wireless Charging e-waste Gaming Console Knowledge VoIPSavings SSD Voice over Internet Protocol Analytics Proactive IT E-Commerce Remote Control IT budget PowerPoint Authentication Training Processors Hard Drives Digital Internet Explorer Scalability Phone System DDoS A.I. Eliminating Downtime Lead Generation disposal Video Games Google Maps GDPR Comparison IT Management Sports Worker Update Emergency Telephony Inventory IaaS Payment Two-factor Authentication Authorization Dark Data Dongle Television Information Technology Security Cameras Apple Avoiding Downtime Edge Threat Credit Cards Movies Smart Technology Wireless Internet News Spyware Value Staffing Storage Multi-Factor Security Specifications Tech Terms Printer Technology Efficiently Licensing Voice over IP Amazon HaaS Printer Server instant Messaging Tech Support Email Management Cortana Gadget Safety Unified Threat Management Bring Your Own Device Biometrics iPhone Data loss Business Intelligence Help Desk The Internet of Things Telephone System WannaCry Managed Service Provider Cost Management HP Error Streaming Media Outlook Travel Managed IT Cleaning Printers Regulation Gadgets Vulnerabilities Budget Sales Current Events Shortcut Troubleshooting Physical Security Botnet VPN Technology Tips Hybrid Cloud Leadership Access Healthcare WiFi Hiring/Firing Employer Employee Relationship Router Content Filtering Staff RAM Certification HIPAA Document Management Database Touchscreen Battery Data Management Downloads Managed Service Live Streaming Encryption Computer Care Reporting Tablet Net Neutrality CrashOverride VoIPMyths Files Backup and Disaster Recovery Cables Plug-In Telephone Systems Data Protection Automobile Microsoft Office 365 Gmail Synergy Websites Microsoft Teams Disaster Recovery Mobility Upgrade Remote Support Hard Drive Paperless Office Tactics Hosted Solution Domains Google Drive IT Support Autocorrect File Sharing Virtualization User Tip Machine Learning Copy Public Speaking Search Scheduling Windows 10 Presentation Spam Blocking User Security Server VoIP Lithium-ion battery Tip of the week Emoji G Suite Telecommute Paste Augmented Reality Instagram Samsung Wireless Technology 5G Money Mobile Security Business Technology Quick Tips Remote Computing Wearables IBM Laptop Printing Conferencing Unified Communications Managed IT Services Hacker Network Attached Storage eCommerce Operating System Competition Telecommuting Customer Relationship Management Paper IP Address Big Data Server Management Online Shopping Fun Environment Cryptocurrency Millennials Customer Service Ink Mobile Office

Newsletter Sign Up