Knowing about the computer storage devices will help you understand how the data is saved and retrieved on your PC.
The different storage devices make it easy for us to store the backup of the data. Check out this impressive article to know more about them.
- What Are Computer Storage Devices? Know the Definition
- Computer Storage Devices Types
- How Does Computer Storage Work?
- Computer Storage Units Smallest to Largest
- How to Check Computer Storage?
- Final Words
What Are Computer Storage Devices? Know the Definition
The computer hardware that stores data is called the computer storage device.
Computer Storage Devices Types
There are different types of computer storage devices, and each of them has its own features.
Hard Disk Drive
This is a non-volatile magnetic storage device that can remember a large amount of data.
There is an electromagnet on its head that changes the surface of the disk with a positive or negative charge. This way, it represents a 0 or 1 binary data.
The read/write head detects the magnetic charge that is left on the surface of the disk. This way, it reads the data.
There are concentric circles called tracks, and the sectors are called wedges on the disk surface.
They offer a way for the physical address by where the data is saved.
There is a circuit board that coordinates with the swinging actuator arm and the rotating disk.
This way, the read/write head accesses any location in no time.
You can install the HDDs inside your computer or attach them as external devices.
- Desktop PCs
- Servers and mainframes
- Satellite recorders
- External drives
- They are reliable
- The hard disk has a fast read and writes speed.
- They consume a great amount of power
- The moving parts create some noise.
- Its moving parts wear and break easily.
Also, Checkout Destroying a Hard Drive
Solid State Drives
They are non-volatile storage devices that can store a large amount of data.
SSDs make use of NAND flash memories that are transistors wired on a circuit board. They access data at a faster pace as they don’t have mechanical parts.
They are faster and more expensive than HDDs. Moreover, they don’t have moving parts and are more reliable and robust.
Since SSDs are a bit expensive, you can run two drives on your PC. Use an SSD as the primary one and the HDDs to store the images, videos, and documents.
Some people get confused about SATA vs SSD.
SATA is less expensive than the SSD. This might be one of its advantages, but it has drawbacks too. SATA drives boot up quite slowly and also call up the data at a slower pace.
- High-end laptops
- They have fast read/write speed.
- SSDs are small in size and are much lighter.
- No moving parts make them more reliable.
- They use less power than HDDs.
- They are quiet and generate less heat.
Useful Read Flash Storage vs SSD
This is the primary memory of a computer. CPU accesses it directly, and due to this, it is considered as a fast storage medium.
The opened programs make use of RAM and are stored temporarily there.
It is volatile, and thus the data on it will be removed on washing off the power. Because of this reason, it is not a permanent storage medium like the SDD and the HDD.
The data is copied to a primary storage medium, i.e., RAM from the secondary storage medium only when it is needed.
The computer will work much slower if it uses HDD as the primary memory.
Knowing how to upgrade RAM will help you improve your PC performance a lot. This way, it won’t freeze while loading heavy programs.
For fast access while working.
Speeds up the data processing.
Optical Storage Devices
These are the CD, DVD and Blu-Ray discs.
In such devices, the binary data is stored as the disc surface texture changes.
- CDs are used for storing small amounts of data.
- The DVDs are used to store the standard definition data.
- The Blu-Ray stores HD recordings and large amounts of data.
In the non-volatile memory, the content cannot be altered. Mostly the startup routines of the computer (BIOS) are stored in it.
USB Flash Memory
This solid-state storage device makes use of NAND flash memories for data storage.
Memory cards are also a type of flash memory.
USB flash drives are used to save and transfer the data.
- They are lightweight, small, and portable.
- USB drives are durable as they don’t have any moving parts.
- They are fast.
- They come in various capacities.
How Does Computer Storage Work?
A computer consists of memory hardware and storage in which it stores the data. It has a memory installed on its hardware, which may be removable too.
The CPU executes a memory write machine cycle, and the DMA controller writes to the memory. On ROM, the data is programmed permanently.
The dynamic memory makes use of gates that work as capacitors. It preserves the state by charging the capacitor.
Also, Read How Much Storage Do I Need on My Laptop?
Computer Storage Units Smallest to Largest
- Byte. It consists of 8 bits.
- Kilobyte. It consists of 1024 Bytes.
- Megabyte. It consists of 1024 Kilobyte.
- Gigabyte. It consists of 1024 Megabyte.
- Terabyte. It consists of 1024 Gigabyte.
- Petabyte. It consists of 1024 Terabytes.
- Exabyte. It consists of 1024 petabytes.
- Zettabyte. It consists of 1024 Bytes.
- Yottabyte. It consists of 1024 Zettaobyte.
Computer Storage vs. Memory
These two are considered to be major holding areas in a PC.
Storage is non-volatile, while the memory is volatile.
The main memory of your PC is called the RAM. It is used to store the data while you are working on your computer.
On the other hand, the storage is where you record the data and recall it when required. This data stays in its place even when you switch off your PC.
Read More at RAM vs. Storage
External Computer Storage
External storage means the data that is not stored on the internal system. This data can be used as a backup. It is also referred to as secondary storage.
This is because it is not a part of the main memory of the PC. Such devices are also used as backup devices and for data transportation.
USB drives, CDs, DVDs, external hard drives, memory cards, cloud storage, and flash drives are some common forms of such devices. On such devices, users can store information that is not used frequently by the system.
For example, if you know how to burn a CD, then you can copy files from your PC to a CD and then move them to any other PC too.
Cloud Computer Storage
Here the data is stored on a remote system. This off-site storage is maintained by some third party. You connect to that remote database.
There are various advantages of cloud storage. You need to carry any physical device with you. It is convenient and offers great flexibility.
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Computer Storage Backup
This storage device or medium stores the copies of the backup data. This additional device is an external device.
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How to Check Computer Storage?
- From the start menu, go to settings
- Then go to system
- Click on the storage tab from the left bar.
- The details of your PC storage will be displayed to you.
To do the same on Mac, follow these steps.
- Open the menu by clicking the apple icon on the top corner.
- Click the option ‘About this mac.’
- Goto the storage tab, and all details will be in front of you.
Your PC makes use of various devices to store data. This data can be stored as a backup too.
Primary and secondary storage devices are the two main types of storage devices of the computer.
Such devices are also referred to as the storage medium or the storage media.
Computer storage devices store the data on a permanent and temporary basis. They can be internal or external to the system.
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