Hard drives have been around longer than you think. In 1956, I. B. M. had invented a disk storage unit that was very large but did not store a lot of data. It was twenty-four inches in diameter and could hold only five megabytes, which is the equivalent to three and one half floppy disks. Originally called “fixed disks” later became known as “hard disks” opposed to floppy disks. In 1973, I. B. M. released a hard drive that could hold seventeen and one half megabytes. In 1980 Seagate made the first five and one quarter inch hard disk. In the late 1980’s, three and one half inch hard disks were invented (PCIN). Although there are smaller hard disks as small as two inches in diameter, three and one half inch hard disks have been made a standard and is used most often today. The capacity in hard drives has excelled thousands of times all over from five megabytes to one hundred sixty gigabytes (160,000 megabytes) which is the equivalent to one hundred eleven thousand one hundred eleven floppy disks. The hard drive or hard disk is one of the most critical components in the operation of a computer. It is also one of the only moving parts in the computer. Sadly, many people do not know the important role it has in the storage of their data or how it even works.
When you think of your hard drive, think of it as the computer’s electronic filing cabinet. Everything you load, download, or save is stored on the hard drive. In fact, ten percent of your hard drive is already used when you purchase your computer because it needs certain system operating files that are required to make the basics work. Everything you add later such as word processors, antivirus software, e-mail software, games, and internet software are extra, soon leading to an over stuffed filing cabinet (Matthew Ferrara Seminars). However, many people ask, “What is the hard drive, physically?” The hard drive can be commonly referred to as “a box”. That is what it looks like, a three and one...
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