What Is a Hard Drive? - Types, Function & Definition

Hard drive is a non-volatile memory hardware which store all your computer’s information and data physically in it and houses the hard disk. Sometimes hard disk is also known by the terms Hard Disk Drive so don’t get confused between the both. The term Hard Disk is the disk inside the drive. The size of the hard disk is generally vary for computer and laptop. It can hold around 100 GB of data and data is stored on the stack of the disk that are mounted on the solid encasement. Spinning time of the disk is faster ranging from 5400 or 7200 RPM so that user can access data at very fast rate. All the data on the disk stored magnetically that stays on the drive after the power is off.

Function of Hard Drive

The main function of hard disk is to store data for long term and data can be computer’s operating systems, applications, documents, personal files and so on. Now the main thing that need to notice that how much amount of data storage capacity hard drive have and that measured in gigabytes or terabytes. Performance refers to read and write speeds, latency, seek time. Seek and latency time measured in the time that are going to take magnetic heads in hard disk to access the data desired and the read write speed and data transfer rate are measured that how much capacity data can be written from the drive and read from a desired location in specific amount of time.

Types of Hard Drives

Solid State Drives (SSD)

Primary function of Solid State Drives are same as Hard Drive to store data but it doesn’t contain any moving component like spinning magnetic disk rather using semiconductors for this purpose. Speed is faster than other drives because there is no moving component but expensive in price.

Parallel Advanced Technology Attachment (PATA)

These drives provide a type of interface that connect disk drives to the computer by using such drives you can utilize 40 or 80 wire cables with the broad 40 pins connector. Sometimes also known as Integrated Drive Electronics(IDE) and Enhanced Integrated Drive Electronics(EIDE) drives. But now PATA is substituted by SATA hard disks.

Serial ATA(SATA)

These hard disks use totally different connector than the PATA and employ with the power adapter which are easily attainable. The main advantage it serve is provide faster data interface better than PATA. It is also efficient and use more power than as compared to PATA.

Small Computer System Interface(SCSI)

SCSI are same as IDE hard disks but spin at higher rate as compared to SATA and PATA at the rate of 10,000 to 15,000 rpm whereas SATA spin at the speed of 7200rpm. RPM is directly proportional to data access rate higher the RPM higher would be the data access bit it also lead to faster breakdown. Theses hard disks needs a controller that operate between the drives and computer motherboard.