Last modified 01/27/2024

tips about hard disks, characteristics of hard disks, hard drive, what is a hard drive, use of a hard drive, tips about hard drives, characteristics of hard drivesMeet the Hard Disk or Hard Drive

The hard drive or hard disk is a magnetic disk in charge of the storage of all available information on a computer. It is permanently stored files and programs, making the hard drive one of the most important parts of the computer. In this article we will know a little more about computers and we will find out some important details about the hard drive.

The information in the hard disk is encoded by ones and zeros, which is decoded by means of a magnetic disc surface that rotates at high speeds. The term hard was assigned to make a difference with the widely used at that time floppy disk or diskette.

Currently the capacity of hard drives is measured in gigabytes (GB), but when they first became to the market its available storage capacity was not much compared to diskettes.

The hard drive is the only element that can be considered simultaneously mechanical and electronic. This is connected to the motherboard.

It is considered an electronic element because it uses a magnetic system to digitally preserve the information, in addition to a circuit that controls the proper functioning of the system. It is said that the hard drive is also a mechanical part, because it has the following parts:

Magnetic surface dishes for recording data.
Read-write head.
Motor for rotation of dishes.
Electromagnet for head movement.
Dust Protector and air filter.

In the hard drive or HD Hard Disk, because of its mass storage function, can be distinguished certain areas or parts like:

Plate: They are each of the discs into a hard drive.
Face: each of the two faces that has a plate.
Heads: total read-write heads
Tracks: circles that are inscribed on one face. The track zero is located more toward the outer end face.
Cylinder: Multi-track set, taking into account a cross section of the stacked discs. That is, a different track faces.
Sector: is each of the divisions of each track minimum. Although the total size is not fixed, taken 512 byte sectors (smallest memory unit).

As stated above, the hard drive must be connected with the operating system through the motherboard. To make this possible it uses various connection types. The most used are:

Interface IDE / PATA
SATA Interface
USB Interface

Furthermore, because it is a high-tech product, in which there is a high investment, hard drives production is concentrated in few companies globally. The best known are:

Western Digital, Hitachi bought the manufacturer.
Seagate Technology, which owns brands like Quantum, Maxtor and division of Samsung hard drives.
Toshiba, owner of the hard disk unit of Fujitsu corporation.
ExcelStor, Chinese producer.

Finally, technological advances in the production of Hard Disks have been accelerated both in design and development. The first hard drive was created in 1956, it was called RAMAC I. Its capacity was only 5 MB (megabyte).

Today, hard drives are available in capacities of more than 3 terabytes (about 300 000 Megabytes). The rapid technological advances can give us an idea of what we would acquire in a near future. For example, as PMR, which would provide greater storage capacity.


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