HARD DISK  What is it? + Types and Operation ▷ 2020

A computer, like any system, including the human body is composed of different elements. The same they fulfill a certain function for the right functioning.

In this sense, there are essential components, without which the whole pc could not function properly. One of them is the hard drive. Surely the term is quite familiar to you. This is because we are in constant contact with him, at least virtually.

To advance in this computer science course, it is essential that you know what this hardware is about, how it works, how many types are there, how to take care of it among other things. You will find all the answers below.

What is a hard disk and what is this hardware for in computing?

A HDD, hard disk, hard disk, HDD Or simply disk is a device of digital file storage. They are saved through an engraving system magnetic and they remain available for the user, even if power is cut off. The latter differentiates it substantially from the RAM memories, which delete your information with every PC restart.

While it is not essential hardware for computer boot as you can boot without it, is in charge of preserving the operating system among other things. In this way we could not use our device in the way we are used to. Further, is in charge of preserving all the documents that we create, copy and download. Everything we interact with in the file explorer is stored on the hard drive.

History and Evolution How have hard drives changed over time?

History and Evolution How have hard drives changed over time?

Believe it or not, the first disk was removable, although not portable, since it weighed about a thousand kg. It was about the model Ramac I developed for IBM. Its size was enormous and it managed to store 5 MB of information. Worked with vacuum valves and metallic discs that were charged with magnetism in certain sectors. In this way, any of them could be accessed without having to go through the rest of the material (unlike magnetic tapes).

Thanks to the work of Albert Fert and Peter Grünberg on magnetic storage, the figured out how to save binary information in smaller spaces and more compactly. In this way the size and sensitivity of the discs were reduced and increased respectively. Over the years, the capacity of these devices was growing and IBM was again in charge of development. Thanks to your model IBM3380 released in the year 1980 the capacity of 2.52 GB storage.

However, the size of these was still large (similar to a family refrigerator). Until the arrival of Seagate ST-506 with significantly reduced dimensions. In the year 1988 Toshiba launches the model Tanba-1 2 and a half inches. Feature that is preserved even today in laptops. Had the ability to 20 MB and in 1991 rose to 63 MB storage.

More than ten years later, Seagate creates the Barracuda Serial ATA V Does the name sound familiar? He was the first to use the SATA system for information transfer. Offered 120 GB capacity at a price of less than $ 200. 2006 it was the year that Samsung launches the first modern solid state drive. With capacity of 32 GB they offered a speed superior to their magnetic competitors. Although inferior in storage, they served perfectly to save system files.

Classification of hard drives What are all the types that exist?

Classification of hard drives What are all the types that exist?

As you know, due to the speed of technological advances and the large number of researchers and manufacturers, there is a wide variety of devices.

For this reason it is necessary that we classify the types of discs that exist:

For its size

We refer to hardware physical dimensions. Currently they are used as 3.5 inch for computers desk and of 2.5 inch for laptops. This does not mean that there are other specials for other functions.

For its ability

Creating a list in this section would be very long and would never be updated. But in general and currently the majority surpassed the Terabyte storage, although 500GB are still being traded.

By the type of connection they use

The disk communicates with the motherboard or motherboard through different types of connectors. This depends on the model and how current it is.

It is usually one of these:

  • SDI. It is somewhat outdated, but until 2004 it was the main connector model. Very few discs and plates currently support this type of connection.
  • SATA. The most used in computers of home. It is more compact and efficient than the previous one and varies its transfer speed depending on whether it is of the type 1 (1510 MB / s), 2 (300 MB / s) or 3 (600 MB / s).
  • SCSI. It stands for Small Computer System Interface and they are large storage capacity. They were the most suitable for servers until the arrival of their successor, which we will describe below.
  • SAS. This type of discsIncreases the speed at which it transfers information as the number of devices connected to it increases. They are the most current and fast disks for servers.

By its location

We can define two classes. The internal and the external. The former are the most accessible and connect inside the cabinet to the motherboard. The seconds transmit information through USB cables to the external ports of the computer. Although they are more prone to accidents, they have become one of the best ways to move files between devices.

How do hard drives work to store information on a computer?

How do hard drives work to store information on a computer?

The operation of the HDD is similar to a turntable. If you never saw any, we can say it uses a head that magnetically charges a disc that constantly rotates at high revolutions. Every time you search for a file, the head read the plate until you find it. That is why it takes a few seconds to do it.

As you have noticed it is a mechanical processas it leads Mobile parts they interact with each other. This presents the main difference with SSD, What do they use logic blocks with your own processor. Finding a document in this type of storage takes considerably less time.

Tips to take care of your hard disk and extend its useful life so that they are not damaged

Tips to take care of your hard disk and extend its useful life so that they are not damaged

Often times, the information we store on our devices is worth more than the artifact itself. It is because of that taking care of them is very important. In this sense, there is none more valuable than the storage disk. It is because of that keeping this component healthy is essential.

To achieve this, follow these tips:

Delete unnecessary files

exist viruses and malwares that can impair the performance of a disc. Although many believe that it is a myth, the truth is that Using a good antivirus can protect your hardware and the documents you keep.

Defragment them regularly

When you press the key suppress about a file, it is not actually erased at all. That is, that space is not empty, but rather waiting for new data. This, added to Temporary files may slow down device operation. That is why operating systems offer the defragmentation tool. Which remove these unnecessary sectors and files.

Make virtual partitions

They create separate blocks within the disk. This prevents, for example, that the system “Read” the entire device performing a search. Thus restrict location to assigned space defined as partition. Inside the interface is named as a different disc. It is recommended that at least you have two partitions. The first for him OS plus a dedicated space and another for user documents and files.

Avoid bumps and magnetic elements

Like the high temperatures, shocks can damage the internal disk mechanism. In addition, being a magnetic device, it is susceptible to damage if exposed to high external magnetic forces. Some electrical appliances such as microwaves contain magnets capable of generating these levels harmful if they are nearby.


The best way to take extreme care of our files is also saving them on a second disk. In this way we will avoid any eventual loss with a security backup.

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, we will answer you as soon as possible, and it will surely be of great help to more members of the community. Thank you! 😉

You may be interested:

Rate this post

Leave a Comment