Hard disk

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See also Filesystems, which are contained on Hard Disks.
File Format
Name Hard disk
Released 1956


A hard disk is a bulk-storage device using rotating platters on which magnetic data is stored. It stores more data than a floppy disk, but is usually less portable (though there are removable hard disk units which can be moved between different computers). Old-time computerists sometimes referred to hard disks as "Winchesters" after the code name of one version of them at IBM.

By the late 1980s, nearly all computers had at least one hard disk drive, and the capacity rapidly increased, going from megabytes to gigabytes, and now terabytes.

A hint on dealing with hard drives of unknown type: look for a label on the drive giving a model number, e.g., ST157A-1. Then "Google it" (or search for it in your favorite search engine); this will often yield a tech spec sheet, even for really ancient drives.

A hard drive enclosure may be of use in hooking up a hard drive to a computer in order to access whatever data is on it without permanently installing it in the computer; it allows drives to be treated as external USB drives.

Hard disk types

Links and references

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