hard_drive.jpg
(Hard Drive Recovery, 2011).

The Hard Drive is the component that acts as a communication liason to the rest of the devices within the computer. This device holds great importance because it contains all of the computers information including the operating system (ex. Windows Vista) and all of the programs that accompanied the computer and those that you downloaded yourself (ex. Microsoft Office 2010). Because the Hard Drive contains all of the information needed to run the operating systems and the programs you wish to use regularly, the speed of the CPU must match the speed of the Hard Drive or the CPU will constantly be waiting for information from the Hard Drive, which presents itself in a frustratingly slow computer. (Yamnitz, 2005). Anyone you encounter who works in the field of computers will constantly tell you to "back-up" your information and this isn't just to annoy you because if the Hard Drive in your computer crashes or fails the information you have input into the computer, such as programs, operating system, documents, pictures, music and video files, and any other items you have saved, may be lost forever. As someone who has experienced this devastating loss I encourage you to take a couple minutes out of your day to back-up your information!

The video below shows the different actions of a Hard Drive while the computer user sends different commands.


(joshuamarius, 2006).

Definition: Dictionary.com's Cultural definition describes the Hard Drive as, "the bulk of the memory of a personal computer is magnetically stored on the hard disks that constitute the hard drive. Information in the hard drive is durable, in that it remains magnetically stored when the computer is turned off." (Dictionary.com, 2005).

Standard Specifications: There are four main types of Hard Drives and they are EIDE (enhanced integrated drive electronics), SATA (serial advanced technology attachments), SSD (solid state drives) and SCSI (small computer system interface).

Hard Drive Type

Description

EIDE (enhanced integrated drive electronics)

aka PATA (parallel advanced technology attachments); decreased in popularity because of the introduction ofSATA Hard Drives; use cables of 80 wires and the connector is a 40-pin variant; compared to more recent Hard Drives the EIDE runs at a slower speed

SATA (serial advanced technology attachments)

different variant of connector used from EIDE or PATA; data interface runs at an increased speed; consume less

power than EIDE

SSD (solid state drives)

made up of stationary parts (no moving parts like other Hard Drives, which usually contain magnetic disks that

rotate as data is being backed-up); instead of magnetic disks the SSD has a semi-conductor that performs the

same function as a magentic disk; with no moving parts the SSD is known for less break downs and increased

processing speeds; ranked as the best Hard Drive

SCSI (small computer system interface)

functions similarly to the EIDE Hard Drives, because of the use of rotating magnetic disks to save and process

data; spin faster than the previously mentioned Hard Drives and this leads to faster processing and data storage;

negative aspect of faster rotating speed is the increased likelihood of break downs

(Shukla, I.C., 2010).

Function: Put simply, the function of the Hard Drive is to store, save and process data and information from the computer. The small metallic disks that rotate within the Hard Drive are constantly being inscribed with data that you, as the computer user, wish to save and when you wish to retrieve the data the Hard Drive reads the information stored. Information such as operating system, programs, pictures, and videos are all stored on the Hard Drive. This device is essential to a computer user because it is the only component of the computer that retains the stored information while the computer is turned off. (mdockter, 2001). The metallic disks mentioned above are coated in a magnetic material similar to the material that constitutes CDs. DVDs and floppy disks. As the recording head on the Hard Drive rotates around the disks a magnetic field is created that magnetizes small particles on the surface of the disk. These small particles are then reocgnized by the recording head because of their polarity. (Gateway, 2011).


hard_drive_2.gif
(Data Recovery Lab, Ltd., 2009).

Did You Know?: Because the computer sends information to be stored and saved faster than the Hard Drive can inscribe it on the disks, the Hard Drive contains a buffer that temporarily holds information while it is waiting to be saved.

How does it affect the end user: Without the Hard Drive information and data such as the computer's operating system, programs that accompany the operating system, programs that the computer user downloads, and documents, pictures, and videos would not be able to be saved to the computer. As soon as the computer was turned off the information would be lost forever and the computer user would have to start from scratch each time the computer was turned on. Without a Hard Drive I wouldn't be able to save my Sociology papers or my Computers 261 Works Cited, which has reached a number of pages!



Resources Utilized for this Page:

HardDriveRecovery. (2011). Why Use Hard Drive Recovery Restoration Services? [image]. Retrieved from http://www.harddriverecoveryfix.com/
Yamntiz, K. (2005). Hard Drive. Retrieved from http://www.basichardware.com/hard_drive.html
Dictionary.com. (2005). Hard Drive definition. Retrieved from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/hard+drive
Shukla, I.C. (2010). Different Types of Hard Drives. Retrieved from http://www.buzzle.com/articles/different-types-of-hard-drives.html
mdockter. (2001). Function of Each Major Computer Part: Hard Drives. Retrieved from http://www.pcmech.com/article/function-of-each-major-computer-component/
Gateway. (2011). How do Hard Drives Function? Retrieved from http://support.gateway.com/s/tutorials/Tu_839382.shtml
Data Recovery Lab, Ltd. (2009). Hard Drive [image]. Retrieved from http://www.datarecoveryuk.biz/how_hard_disks_work.htm
joshuamarius. (2006, October 1). Inside of Hard Drive [Video File]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eMWG3fwiEU