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Hard Disk Drive

A hard disk drive (HDD), hard
disk, hard drive, or fixed disk, is an
electromechanical data storage
device that uses magnetic storage to
store and retrieve digital information
using one or more rigid rapidly
rotating disks (platters) coated with
magnetic material.
• A Hard Drive is the workhorse of
thecomputer system.
• The platters are paired with magnetic heads,
usually arranged on a moving actuator arm,
which read and write data to the platter
• HDDs are a type of non-volatile storage,
retaining stored data even when powered
• HDDs dominate the volume of storage
produced (exabytes per year) for servers.
• Most hard drives also have jumper settings on
the back end that define how the
motherboard is to recognize the drive when
more than one is present.
The platters are the circular
discs inside the hard drive
where the 1s and 0s that
make up your files are
stored. Platters are made
out of aluminum, glass or
ceramic and have a
magnetic surface in order
to permanently
store data.
The spindle keeps the platters in position and rotates
them as required. The revolutions-per-minute rating
determines how fast data can be written to and read
from the hard drive. A typical internal desktop drive
runs at 7,200 RPM, though faster and slower speeds are
Read/Write Arm
The read/write arm
controls the movement of
the read/write heads,
which do the actual
reading and writing on
the disk platters by
converting the magnetic
surface into an electric
current. The arm makes
sure the heads are in the
right position based on the
data that needs to be
accessed or written; it's
also known as the head
arm or actuator arm.
The actuator or
head actuator is a
small motor that
takes instructions
from the drive's
circuit board to
control the
movement of the
read/write arm and
supervise the
transfer of data to
and from the
Parallel Advanced Technology
Attachment (PATA)
• These were the first types of hard disk drives
and they made use of the Parallel ATA
interface standard to connect to computers
• These PATA drives were introduced by
Western Digital back in 1986.
• Data transfer rate can go up to 133MB/s and a
maximum of 2 devices can be connected to a
drive channel.
• They make use of a 40 or 80 wire ribbon cable
transferring multiple bits of data simultaneously
in parallel.
• These drives store data by the use of
Serial ATA
• SATA drives can transfer data faster than PATA
types by using serial signaling technology.
• SATA cables are thinner and more flexible than
PATA cables.
• They have a 7-pin data connection, with cable
limit of 1 meter.
• Disks do not share bandwidth because there is
only one disk drive allowed per SATA controller
chip on the computer motherboard.
• They consume less power. They only require 250
mV as opposed to 5V for PATA.
Small Computer System
Interface (SCSI)
 SCSI drives can be connected internally or
 Devices that are connected in a SCSI have to
be terminated at the end.
• They are faster.
• They are very reliable.
• Good for 24/7 operations.
• Have a better scalability and flexibility in
• Well-adapted for storing and moving large
amounts of data.
Solid State Drive (SSD)
 These are the latest in drive technology
that we have in the computer industry.
 They make use of integrated circuits or
semiconductor devices to store data
permanently, at least until they are
• Faster data access.
• Less susceptible to shock.
• Lower access times and latency.
• Durability.
• Less power usage.
Two types of hard drives
HDD: HDD stands for hard disk drive, the version
that IBM invented as a form of magnetic storage.
It uses a magnetic disk that can hold information
inscribed in very tiny tracks (again, a bit like a
record player). This requires moving parts,
specifically heads to read and write data to the
disk as needed, and propulsion to spin the disk.
It’s a simple method, and so HDDs have become
very inexpensive to purchase, especially when
creating very large storage setups. For this reason,
they are popular in certain databanks and server
SSD: SSD stands for solid-state drive.
There are no moving parts here:
Instead, these hard drives use
semiconductors that store information
by changing the electrical state of very
tiny capacitors. They are much faster
than HDDs, and can storage
information more easily without
worrying about parts wearing out.
Speeds of Hard Disk Drives
Rotate at 7,200 or 10,000 revolutions per
minute (RPM) and have a sequential media
transfer rate of over 80 MB/s. The fastest
enterprise HDDs spin at 15,000 rpm, and can
achieve sequential media transfer speeds above
110 MB/s. Mobile, i.e., Laptop HDDs, which are
physically smaller than their desktop and
enterprise counterparts, tend to be slower and
have less capacity.
How Hard Disk Drives Perform
• They usually would read and write data. They are
basically thought by many people to be an object
that stores data. There are quite a few ways how
to measure and discuss performance rate. It
depends how the person uses the computer.
• Something called a performance factor is used to
determine how good the hard drive is when it
comes to performance.
• The higher the factor, the better. To get a good one
is to buy it at a fair price, or sacrifice it for
diversities such as storage/capacity limit, flexibility.
• Most HDD’s tend to perform much better than
older models, so you are much better off
purchasing a new one, if your old one is about 5
years old.
• Things like loading speed, applications, reading
data and overwriting data are times when the
HDD is used in processing power.
Capacities of Hard Disk Drives
• In modern times, there are many
different sized hard drives. There are
may different types of capacities for
both internal and external.
• External Hard Drives can consist of
up to 80GB, 120GB, 160GB, 250GB,
400GB and 500.
What is the
purpose of the
hard drive in a
Why is a
hard drive so
important to
a computer?
Should I say
"hard disk
drive" or
"hard drive"?