These pages provide basic information about how hard disk drives work.
How A Hard Disk Drive Works
The fundamental purpose of any storage medium inside a personal computer is to keep data secure and files intact when there's no power running through a machine. A hard drive also stores data in files and folders. When an operating system or application calls upon a particular file it the hard drive organizes these elements into sectors within the hard disk. A sector is broken down into multiple areas called clusters. Each part of a cluster represents a particular area in the file being accessed.
A hard drive is comprised of numerous components precisely manufactured within a small three dimensional rectangular box comprised of a metal aluminum material.
No bigger than six inches long, four inches wide, and three inches high, this complex box can house a large quantity of binary data. The amount of data it can actually store varies depending on the specifications of the drive. A hard drive with a forty gigabyte (GB) capacity is capable of storing rougly forty billion bytes of data.
Some hard drives (such as the ones manufactured with serial ATA (SATA) connectors or Small Computer System Interface (SCSI) components are equipped with better specifications and larger capacities better suited for server computers and high end workstations.
Other hard drives are designed and best suited for desktop workstations when they are just above what the end user actually needs or wants. Whatever the amount of choices available to end-users, the hard drive will remain the best method for the mass storage and retrieval operations of data. And with prices of hard disk drives falling just under $0.40 per gigabyte adding a supplemental disk for extra storage is a very inexpensive upgrade.
class="TableHeader" >Current Standards and Trends
Current standards implement hard disk drives as either EIDE (Enhanced Integrated Drives Electronic) or SATA Serial Attachment Technology Architecture (pronounced Saytah) drives.
SATA is the latest generation and a considerably faster technology while IDE drives are still predominate in the computer industry and slightly cheaper then SATA drives.
If you are purchasing a computer you can save some money by getting a laptop or desktop with an IDE connection. IDE runs at 133 Megabytes per second (MBPS), while SATA drives run at 150 MBPS. IDE is good, but SATA is better for increased performance. You also pay more for a laptop with a SATA hard drive.