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Computer Terminology
Data Storage Devices
Hard Disk Drives
Sony Playstation 3

What is a hard drive?

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December 17, 2009 10:54PM

Hardrive

A hard drive is non-volitile memory for a computer meaning when the power is removed the memory is still there. It is called a hard drive because the substrate for the memory is a number of rigid aluminum discs as opposed to the old floppy drives which had a flexible substrate.

A rigid magnetic disk fixed permanently within a drive unit and used for storing computer data.


Most hard drive manufacturers advertise their hard drives in even looking numbers, but in truth the actual hard drive capacity is a bit lower than the advertised amount. Generally it goes in an exponential fashion, for example, if you bought a 250GB hard drive, it might actually have a total of 215GB, whereas if you bought an advertised 1TB drive, it may actually have a total of 770GB.