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4 Storage Devices
Q.1: Complete the following st~ements.
(i) A by~ ~~ group of ::i.
(ii) ~\ B,;\ \
is a volatile memory. ,-
(iii) Storage capacity of a sector on floppy 1s a multiple of _ _"J____
(iv) SIM Ms provide :('{' '\ · 0 1 memory capacity as compared to DIM Ms.
(v) The capacity of a CD of 700MB is equivalent to '-'~ ( 6 floppies .
(i) 8 (ii) RAM (iii)512
(iv) smaller (v) 500

Q.2: Tick the following statements either True or False.

(i) ROM is a part of computer·s internal memory. t /True/False
(ii)" A DIMM contains many ROM chips. True/Fa se
(iii) Hard disk a sequential access storage. True/False
(iv) Number of tracks on a CD is greater than a floppy . rue/False
(v) A pit on a CD reflects laser light while a land scatters. True/ ~ · se

(i) True (ii) False (iii) False
(iv) True (v) False

Q.3: Encircle one choice A, B, C or D in each case.

(i) As ,compared to the main 111emory~ secondary memory of a computer
V has faster access _
b. has smaller capacity
c. is cheaper
d. resides in CPU
(ii) The data from RAM can be access at a speed close to

~ supersonic speed
J~ speed of light
c. ·speed of sound
d. speed of ultrasonic
(iii) The number of read/write heads for a hard disk of four platters is
a. 4

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b. 6
-- . ~ 8
d. 16
(iv) The number of tracks in one cylinder of hard disk with two platter 1s
b. 8
c. 16 www.ratta.pk
d. 32
(v) A hard di sk is also called a
a. compact disk
/. winchester disk
c. system disk
d. changeable disk

a (ii) b (iii) c
( v) a (v) b

Q.4: Match the items given in Column I with those given in Column II.
Column I Column II
i) Nibble
c a) peed
ii) Word {l . b) La er
iii ) 16 MB RAM l.~ c) Memory uni t
iv) 128 MB RAM €__ d) IM Ms
v) CD- ROM ~ e) DIM Ms
(i) c (ii) a (iii) d
(iv) e (v) b

Q.5: What is meant by computer storage? How will you classify it?
torag i a major factor in computer power. More p we rf'ul c mputer to re
more data and proces large amount of data . Co mputer toragc gas two maj or
div isions. These are: -
• Main m m r or Intern al mem ory
• eco nd ary memory or Back ing storage
The main re aso n for the di tincti on G>etween main rn ern orv and ·ccondary
rnernor is the cost in relation to their performa nce in handling data and . toral',t:
ca pac ity. CPU has quick access to main mem ory. Ma in memor ca n store and supply
data and in stru cti on at a ve ry hi gh peed. But it is very co tl y. Seco ndar ' mcm ry i ~
muc h sloVver and cannot c mmunicate data and in tru cti n at speed at v\hich C PL

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processes data. However secondary memory is much cheaper ·than main memory and
provides very high storage capacity.
&. What is smallest unit of memory in digital computers?
The smallest and basic unit of a digital computer is BIT, which stands for
Binary digit. A BIT is binary number and ~as va lue 1 or 0 representing ON or OFF
state. In microprocessor, bits are grouped into set of eight, called a byte.

/ /. ..7/
·:~ Name four memory units if:1 which memory of storage device is
measured. .
Four memory units in which memory of storage device is measured are as
Byte= 8bit, Kilo Byte (KB)= 1024Bytes, Mega Byte (MB) = 1024KB
Giga Byte (GB)= 1024MB
. I

,. Q.8: / What is the significance of byte? How other memory units are
_// related with byte?
- Answer:
A group of four bits is called a nibble and that of eight bits is called a byte. A
byte is generally used to express the memory of a computer. Here are some other
rne1nory units, which are related with byte.
l nibble = 22 bits - 4 bits
I byte =2 bits - 8 bits
I kilobytes (Kbytes) = 2 bytes - 1024 bytes
I megabytes (Mbytes) = 2 bytes - 1024 kilobytes
1 gigabytes (Gbytes) = 2 bytes - 1024 megabytes
1 terabytes (Tbytes) =2 bytes - 1024 gigabytes
Name some of the computer's primary and secondary storage
1 devices.
The names of some computer's primary storage devices are as follows:
1. Random Access Memory (RAM)
2 Read Only Memory (ROM)
3. Memory
4 Cache Me1nory
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The names or' some computer's secondary storage devices are .as follows:
I. Floppy Disk
2. Hard Disk
3. CD-ROM (Compact Disc ~ead Only Memory)

Q.10: What do you know about RAM? ,,...

Answer: . / ,
RAM is that part of main memory in which data and instructions are held
temporarily. RAM provides a working area to the user to enter and pr?cess data. In
RAM each data element has its own add~ess (location). Any data element can be read
easily and quickly by using that address. It is also called as Read-And-Write Memory
(RAM) since the computer can store or write data at any selected location (address)
and can retrieve or read data when needed. Jt is a temporary memory of a computer
used to store data and instructions when the computer is on. Everything that is stored
in RAM is lost when the computer is turned off. For this reason it is also called
volatile memory. Large RAM sizes provide larger data that computer can hold and
process. Additional RAM chips can be installed in a computer simply by plugging
them on motherboard. This increases the storage capacity of RAM of computer.

Fig: Random Access Mei111ory (RAM)

RAM is a semiconductor memory with no moving part. Data can be accessed

from RAM at very high speed very close to the speed of light. A memory chip less
than one-fourth size of a postage stamp can store more than 5.00,000 bytes equivalent
to the printed matter on a popular daily newspaper.

Q.11: In what ways RAM and ROM differ?

Everything that is stored in RAM is lost when the computer is turned off. For
this reason it is called volatile memory.
In contrast the Read-Only Memory (ROM) is non-volatile memory. Instructions can
only be read from ROM. Instructions once written on ROM chip cannot be changed .
It is a permanent memory of a computer, i.e. the contents of this type of memo'ry are
not lost when the computer is turned off. As soon as the computer is turned on, a

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progra1n that resides in ROM automatically makes the computer ready for u e. ROM
is a semiconductor rnemory generally programmed by the manufacturer.

Q.12: What is ROM? How do PROM and EPROM differ from each other?
I Answer:
ROM stands for Read Only Memory. Th e in tructions \ ritten in ROM can
L)nly be read but cannot be changed or deleted . Th ROM i , therefore, also called
non-volatile memory. It i not possible to \.\'l'ite ne\ informati on or in structions into
the ROM. This is the ,re n wh_ ' It is called Read Onl Memory.
ROM stores data a , in structions permanently. When the power is turned off,
the instructions stered in ROM are not lost. The in tru tion s are written into the ROM
chips at the time of its manufacturing. \Yhen the computer is switched on, the
instructions in the ROM are automatically loaded into the mem ory of the computer.
These inst~uctions prepare the computer system tor use an j di ·pl ay the initial
operating system screen.
A variation of ROM is programmable read onl y memory (PR OM). PROl\1 is a
ROM into .which you can load read onl y programs and data. Some mi croco mpukr
software packages, such as electronic spreadsheets are ava ilablc as PR M unit · a
well as on interchangeable disks. ROt\~ and PROM are used in a var iety of
capabi Iities within a computer system.

~' •
Fig: Read Only Memory (ROM)
-~ · ~ j
Q.13: Differentiate between SIMMs and DIMMs.
Ans er:
', The capacity of RAM jn a computer affects computer 's power More RAM
can make computer run faster. The computer do~ not necessari I ha e t load li
complete program into its nrnin ' memory to run it. However grea ter i th e pa rt of a
program it can fit into memory, the faster the program will run.
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Many RAM chips are installed. on a small circuit board. These RAM chips are
wired together to fonn a single module of large memory called s·ingle In-line
Memory Modules (SIMMs) SIMM has contact termin;Ils ·on it one side f lt can easily
be plugged into the mothe oar~ . SIM Ms had different capacities such as 1Mbyte. 4
Mbytes, 16 Mbytes with varying speed. ·
SlMMs were popular by PC users in f980s but has now ·been replaced by
DlMMs. Like SIMMs, Dual Jn-Line Memory .Modules (DIMMs) have been
developed installing many RAM chips. DIMMs provide larger capacity as compared
to SIMMs DIMMs have wider.data bus and thus have higher rate_ Qf data transfer.
DIM Ms a e available in several configurations having_ different capacities and_speeds.
You can expand RAM capacity of your computer by simply plugging in 1nore

Q.14: Nerne the types in which magnetic disks can be divided.

A magnetic disk is a metal or plastic disk coated with magnetic material. Data
is recorded into the magnetic material in machine code. Disks have become popular
due to their random access. These di~k spin in the disk drives. Read/Writi.! heads
moving on the disk along its radius can read data at any location under the heads
Different types of disk drives and magnetic disks are in use. The most popular
types of magnetic disks are interchangeable disks called the floppy disks and fixed
disks called the hard disks.
Generally PCs are configured with at least one hard disk drive and on floppy
disk drive. Hard Disk provided a very big storage capacity and are very fast but these
are not inter changeable. Floppy disk are smaller than the hard disk. because the y
always consist of only one platter. Floppies are available in size of 3.5" and 5.25''
inches. Both of them are available in double density and high-density storage
capacities. The storage capacities of these diskettes used for IBM cornpatible
Floppy Disk, although slower than a hard disk, are inexpensive and can easily
n1oved from computer to computer. They are comparatively fragile and n1ust be
handled with care.

. . :

-~ !

•.;:_ 11 ·

Fig: Cutaway of 3 inches floppy Fig: Showing concentric tracks and sector on a
floppy disk

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Q.15: How data can be written on or retrieved from a floppy
Microcomputer disks use sector .orga nization to tore and retrieve dJ ta. In
sector organization, the recording surface i divided into pie- haped ectors. ~I h.e
number of sectors depends on the den ity or the di sk. Each secto r i as igned a unique
number. The sector number and track number are all th at are need d for addre s on a
particular disk-face surface . The di k addre ·s represent th e ph y ical I cati n f a
particular file or set of data. An acce s arm ntainin g the r ad/write head i m ved
under program control to the appr priatc track . Data are r ad r wr itten hen a sect r
containing the desired data pa. se. under th e read/write head.

,,,,,..· ··· ....._




'<'.\..... /,/ "

Disk ~-/
Fig: Cutaway of 3 ' inches floppy Fig: Sh \\jug conce ntri c track a11d ector n
a fl op py di k
J ;:..---
r-_, ,;·

' Q~16:Why the capacity of a Hard Disk is very large as compared to

1 floppy disk?
A hard disk contain~ se eral di sk platter stacked on a sin gle r tatin g pindle .
Data are stored on all recordin g urfaces_ or a di k \Vit h f ur platte rs, th~re arc eight
recording surfac es on.which data ca n be tored. A flopp di k ha. nl y one pie tt r on
which data is written, that is why th e torage capac ity of a har i disk i;) more a
con1pared to the floppy di k. Hard di ks or .fix ed di ks are aLo called Winchc tcr disk
are permanently installed or fi xed with in the tern unit.
.17; ' Describe various features of a Hard Disk.
~RS'vier: .
· I During the last few years, the rap id de ve lopment in appl icati n so ftv.,'arc
packages has made the users work much easy and _irnple. But at th e ·ame ti m1.: the se
packages has increased the need of large storages. Hard disks have been d ' eloped to
meet the growing ~emand for secondary st rages. The c arc high -peed. larLc
capacity disks and are referred as ma ss- torage magneti c medium lard di . k.-
available now-a-days have memory up to ten r Giga byte s.
Hard disks are coated with magneti c material on th eir surface and pr ide th e
syste1n with ability to access or save information sequentially or ra ndomly' A harJ
disk, also called Winchester disk, consists ol one or more rigid metall ic d.' , pl' tt ~ r :
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and their a oc iated read/write heads encased in a sealed chamber. All the disk
platters are tacked on a common rotating spi die. Data and the instructions are
recorded on both the surfaces of a platter. ·
Fo r a hard disk with four platters, there are eight recording surfaces on which
data can be stored with _eight read/write heads as shown in figure below. As all the
heads mo ve t gether so all are at the ame track umber on their respective recording
surfaces at the same time.

Hc ~H


Fig: Fixed Hard Disk with platters and recording surfaces

A.· ct of simila rl y numb red concentric track , one on each surface forms a
ylindcr. T'n1 , for a hard disk containing four platters, a computer can access a
cylinder of.eight tracks in a single movement. In the illustration , the read/write heads
are po ~· i ti o n eu ove r cy linder 0012 at the position; the data on any one of the eight
tr k numbered 0012 are acces ible to the computer on each revolution . of the disk.
The disks spin co ntinuously at a high speed (from 3600 rpm to 15000 rpm within a
~ al ed chamber) . The chamber keeps the di ·k surfaces free from dust and smoke.

Q.18'- ~ is a CD-ROM? How does it differ from Hard Disk?

( .'
C -ROM stands for compact disc read only mem.ory. These disks are
popular now days especially for use with microcomputers. Ttt am
·~~,-M.~u:~licatieR Once inserted into the CD-ROM drive, the text, video

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images l111d s on can he read into RA rvl for processing or display ~ lowever the data
on the disk ~n:· Ii xed and cannot be a Itcred Lh is is in contrast to r au/write capabi Iity
or harJ Jisks .
( D-R( Ms have tremendous torage .capacity. The capacity of a single CD-
RO:V1 is ur to 680 Mbytcs equivalent to 500 lloppies. Data are recorded on the ROMs
rellective surface in the form of pits and lands. The pits or depressions are tiny
re!lcctivc bumps that have been burned in with a laser beam. The pits are flat areas
separating the pits. A land reflects the laser 1ight into the ensor and a pit scatters the
light. A ·pot that reflects the Iight into_ ensor is interpreted as a 1, and the absence of
a rellection i interpreted as a 0. Together they record read · only binary information
that can be interpreted hy the computer as text. audio, images and so on.

_..-..... -

; .
r• ,/ •.•,.

Fig: Compact Disc

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