When working with computers, it is vitally important to understand the basics of hard drives because many computer problems originate from issues with the hard drive. So today, Eio presents a 101 class on hard drives.
What is a hard drive?
A hard drive is similar to a human’s brain and memory: they both store necessary data. While not to be confused with computer memory, standard hard drives store and retrieve digital information through rigid (i.e., “hard”) rapidly rotating discs. These discs are coated with magnetic material and thus record, retrieve, and read data magnetically. It is a very similar magnetic recording technique as the cassette tape, for the data can be easily erased and rewritten. Hard drive technology, though, far surpasses the cassette tape in its data storage, speed, and durability.
What do hard drives do? What are they used for?
Internal hard drives are connected to the computer’s motherboard and are inside the computer case. These store vitally important information, such as the computer’s operating system and other essential software. Since modern operating systems hold around 50-100 gigabytes to run smoothly, your hard drive should have more than or equal to those amounts.
External hard drives are external to the computer and connect via USB cords, such as the picture. They are most commonly used as secondary storage devices to back up data from your computer. They can store personal data such as software, pictures, music, videos, and much much more.
Resources on caring for your hard drive
You want to take good care of your hard drive because they store your important information and they can be expensive. Amber Viescas gives this advice on taking the best care of hard drives:
Hard drives are sensitive to moisture, temperature, dust and strong magnetic fields. They should spend as much time as possible inside the computer or an external drive case. In addition, the filing system gradually becomes more disorganized over time, leading to a temporary “loss” of space. Users can fix this deterioration by running a disk defragmentation program, which reorganizes the extra space so the computer can store data there again.
For the time being, hard drives have been a rarity in the electronic industry. They’ve been out of stock for a while, but Eio hopes to get more in the near future to meet your hard drive needs.
Also in the near future, Eio will also discuss the differences between standard hard drives and solid state drives (SSD), and also how to determine which hard drive is right for you! (We even have Mac-specific hard drives for you Mac lovers out there!)
So stay tuned.
Here’s an awesome FYI video on how a hard drive works!