When you’re getting to know your computer, you must first get to know your computer hard drive. So, let’s take a moment to explore the rhyme and reason behind the computer hard drive.
A computer hard drive is a device that is utilized for the storage of digital data. The computer hard disk was originally designed specifically for the storage of information within a computer system, however, over the passage of the last ten plus years, hard disk applications have been greatly expanded to include a plethora of consumer products. Hard disks are non-volatile storage options, meaning that it will still retain the data therein even once its power source has been removed.
Hard disks consist of one ore more platters that have been mounted on a rotating spindle and housed within a metal case. Each platter is constructed of aluminum or glass and then coated with a very thin layer of magnetized material. This magnetized material stores data in its binary form.
These platters spin at high revolutions, as is the air surrounding the disk unit. The design of the read/write heads therein allow them to hover a precise distance above the platter. This distance is so minute that it does not measure as much in diameter as does a human hair.
As these ‘platters’ spin, the read/write heads record information my magnetizing tiny areas of the magnetized surface and proceeds to read data by s the platters spin, the magnetic read/write heads can write data by magnetizing minute areas of the surface and reads data by distinguishing the magnetism of the area written prior. The arms that hold the heads are mobilized via a voice coil that enables the heads to move above most of the entire platter surface. For a specific piece of information to be read or writing on the platter, the ‘arm’ shifts to the required position above the platter and them waits for the platter rotation to deliver the desired data. This is the process that makes the ‘clicking’ sound we hear in so many hard disks. If you hear the ‘clicking’, you’re hearing your hard drive working!
During this complex process, information is transferred to and fro via one of a variety of different interfaces. These interfaces are called ATA, IDE, IEDE, PATA, SATA, or SCSI.
In general terms, computer applications use one or more hard disks to store data that is retainable even after the power to the unit has been turned off. Most PC operating systems like Windows XP or Linux is housed on the hard disk. The computer is advised to read the OS (operating system) via a boot program that is stored in a chip located on the computer’s main circuit board.