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Types of Hard Drives

hard drive

Internal Hard Drives                                           

Parallel ATA (PATA) or IDE                                            
Serial ATA (SATA)                                                       


External Hard Drives


usb hd   

Traditional or Platter Based Hard Drive – is a data storage device that uses platters to store data.                                                 

Solid State Drive – is a data storage device that uses solid state memory to store data.

platter vs solid state

When buying a hard drive what do you look for?

Capacity:  300GB typical hard drive storage but can go up to 100TB

RPM rotation per minute: 15,000, 10,000rpm, 7,200rpm, 5,400rpm
(the higher the RPM the faster the spin)

Seek time:  12ms, 9ms, and 4.7ms (the lower the ms the faster) the lower the number the better the latency

Buffer: 12MB, 8MB, 4MB, and 2MB (the higher the number the better for temporary storage)

Hard Drive Transfer Speed:

Parallel ATA (PATA) 33, 66, 100 and 133MB/s                   

Firewire 400, 800, 1600 and 3200Mbps

Serial ATA (SATA) 150MB/s, 300MB/s , 600MB/s              

USB 480Mbps and 4.8Gbps

SCSI comes in 33MB/s, 150MB/s, 300MB/s and 640MB/s

Hard drive Manufacturers: Seagate, Western Digital, IBM, Maxtor, Fujitzu, Samsung

Hard Drive Geometry:

AUTO Detect


E/CHS (8.4GB)

Phoenix Interrupt 13th Requests (137GB)

Hard Drive Components

Traditional vs. Solid State Drives

Platter - The actual fixed disk within the hard disk drive
Heads - Each side of a platter
Tracks - Large sections that completely circle the platter
Sector - Section on the track
Cylinder – The same diameter of tracks on each platter
Cluster – The smallest unit of measurement in a hard drive

hd geometry

Hard drive utilities – Scandisk, Defrag and Disk Cleanup



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