What is a Hard Drive?
The hard drive on your computer is a key element to ensuring that data is created and stored properly. A personal computer is made up of many different elements. The metal hard case, CPU (or processor), motherboard, and hard drive are just a few of the integral elements, and the hard drive is one of the most important. The hard drive is basically the part of the computer where data is stored, so it is the computer’s main memory. If the hard drive were to fail, or “crash,” the PC user could lose very valuable data that may not be able to be recovered, and would need to contact a data recovery company. The very first hard drive was created in 1965 by IBM and was developed for accounting purposes. Today, hard drives are not just part of every day computers. In fact, almost every electronic item from digital cameras and video recorders to cable TV boxes has some form of a hard drive in them.
The most important elements of a hard drive include magnetic plates that spin on an arm and each of the plates serve a different purpose. One plate is a read head and the other is a write head. One of the heads inside the hard drive allows the user to create and save information, while the other allows the user to read, or display the saved data at a later time. These heads are very close to the magnetic surface, allowing the data to be recorded or played back. A hard drive can hold anywhere from 120 GB to about 1 TB of information, depending on its capacity. In most cases, laptops and smaller items such as cell phones tend to have a lower capacity hard drive. This is mostly due to the demand for smaller electronic items, which force the drive to be smaller, and thus hold less information.
A hard drive was originally only used as the internal memory of a desktop computer. Today’s modern hard drives can be moved and transferred from computer to computer. Some of these hard drives are in the form of something called a memory stick, which can be plugged into a computer’s USB port. Once the memory stick is plugged in, new data can be either transferred onto, or viewed from the piece of hardware. Memory cards are also hard drives that can be found in items like cameras and cell phones. These small cards can hold anything from images to documents, and can be easily transferred from one piece of electronic equipment to another, so sharing of information is easier than ever.
The modern hard drive user expects their drive to run quietly and smoothly. Some larger capacity PCs require a fan to help keep the hard drive cool so it will not overheat. Most modern hard drives are able to store larger amounts of memory and run more quietly than ever before. It is important for people to back up the data stored on their hard drive just in case it fails. This essential step can help to prevent the loss of very important data such as photographs, financial information, or other pieces of data that some people might consider irreplaceable. Once hard drive and PC users understand the importance of their hard drive and how to maintain it, they should be able to store data and use it for quite a long time without any major failures or other issues.
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