Internal Hard Drives for Beginners

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For a computer system, the processor is the most important component. The next in line is your ‘internal hard drive’, the place where all your data is stored.

Internal Hard Drives for Beginners

The operating system is also stored on the computer’s hard drive, making it pivotal to your system’s functionality.

Therefore, it is important to get a hard drive that is not just fast but also provides security against data malfunction, corruption, system crashes, et all. However, storage must not be confused with memory, which people are often prone to do.

DIFFERENTIATING BETWEEN STORAGE AND MEMORY

Storage is nonvolatile, meaning that the data is permanently stored on the system, regardless of it being powered on or off. It is hard-coded on the internal hard drive and is easily retrievable once the computer is turned on. Audio and video files, word documents, and even the operating system is permanently stored in the system.

Memory, or Random Access Memory, shortened into RAM, is where the information is processed and interpreted. RAM’s data is volatile, meaning that it is lost once the computer is shut down or in the case of a power outage. Anything that is being used on a system, a Word document for instance, is part of the RAM. But once the document is closed, it becomes storage.

INTERNAL HARD DRIVES

Internal hard drives are part of the system, residing inside your laptop or PC. While much smaller in size due to the remarkable developments in nanotechnology, today’s hard drives follow the same principles as the storage devices of yore.

It’s contained in a box with magnetic disks, also known as platters, attached to a spindle, which is extremely similar to the spindles in optical media like DVDs and CDs. These spindles have a head at the top, which can read and write data. As soon as the computer is booted, or any software opened, the spindle starts its rotations, reading and writing data from across the surface of the magnetic disk, called ‘data tracks’. This reading and retrieving of information is referred to as ‘random access memory’ whereas when you save and exit, the data is engraved and becomes ‘storage’.

SATA INTERNAL HARD DISKS

In line with technological developments, Serial ATA (SATA) hard disk drives are expected to become the industry standard, with motherboard manufacturers already including SATA connectors in their boards in addition to the standard EIDE board. Just like external hard drives use USB ports to connect to your system, internal hard drives use IDE or SATA connectors.

SATA drives transfer data at a minimum of 150MB/second with a frequency of 10,000 RPM. This means that SATA drives can transfer and access data faster than EIDE drives or standard internal disk drives. Further enhancements make SATA drives the preferred choice for internal hard disk drives in PCs and Laptops.

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