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In this section, fill in the information below about each method of storage. Include relevant diagrams under each
heading. Delete this red text when youre done.

Magnetic Storage
Definition/Characteristics: Magnetic storage devices store data in the form of small magnetised dots.
How it works: The dots are manipulated using magnetic fields created my microscopic electromagnets.
Examples of Devices/Media: - Hard Drive Portable/ external hard drive disk Magnetic Tapes

Solid State
Definition/Characteristics: Data stored on non-volatile memory chips. This specific kind is called Flash Memory.
How it works: It doesnt have any moving parts, so its simple to use. Information stored on flash memory chips.
Examples of Devices/Media: Memory Sticks, Flash Cards, Solid State Drives

Definition/Characteristics: A method of reading a signal through a laser beam.
How it works: It saves data as patterns of dots that can be read through light, the laser beam is a key part in how it
Examples of Devices/Media: CDS- DVDS

Advantages and Disadvantages

Fill in the table below. Use the internet to help you. Delete this red text when youre done.
Type of Storage

Hard Disk Drive

Typical Size




3-4 TB

Its the computers

main storage, can
connect to

Large Storage

They eventually
fail after a period
of time.

Stores and
retrieves data

Cannot be easily
transferred from
one computer to
the other.

3-5 TB

Storage of
personal data and

Very large


Used to backup
files from the
hard disk.

They are small,

robust and

They are slow to

write and read.


To save data and

import them to
another machine.

Small, extremely
handy, and allow
you to transport
documents in a
quick succession.

They can take


Used to store
text, images,
videos and audio.

Requires no
power to operate

The price is high

and there are

Portable HDD

Magnetic Tape

Memory Stick

Flash memory


They are slow and

have moving
parts which can
be damaged.

Can be quite

Storage Methods
Youve looked a lot at storage methods and what storage devices are used for. But you havent looked at how the
data is actually stored and accessed on a device.
Answer the following questions:
1. What is SEQUENTIAL storage/Access? It is a ordering process, they access information or data in order.
Sequence on a media.
2. Give one storage device/media that uses the sequential method of file storage- Hard Disks, Magnetic Tape &
3. Give one advantage and one disadvantage of sequential method of file storage- Disadvantage cant directly
access files. Advantage is its high performance.

1. What is Random Access? The process of transferring information to or from memory

4. Give one storage device/media that uses the Random Access method of storage Most computer use
random access. Hard drive, memory card, RAM
5. Give one advantage and one disadvantage of the Random Access method of storage It is the fastest
storage. Random Access memory is volatile, needs more computing power.

What is the definition of Backup? It is a copy of a file made in case the original is lost. It is saved externally.

What is the difference between Backup and Backing Storage? Backing storage would be a USB drive for example.

Give two reasons why backups should be used/made They are vital as they have a large storage capacity. You can
copy documents or photos, which are important yet backup simply keeps a copy of the file. Or accidental deletion of