A hard disk drive, also known as a hard drive or HDD, is used to store data long term. Data can include the computer's operating system and applications as well as personal files including photographs, documents and music. When a computer is booted up, or turned on, the computer access the hard drive to load the operating system, such as Windows, OSX or Linux.Continue Reading
The major characteristics of hard drives are the amount of data it can store, called capacity, and performance. The capacity is measured in gigabytes or terabytes. For example, 1 GB is equal to 1,024 megabytes and 1 TB is equal to 1,024 GB. When it comes to selling hard drives, however, the manufacturer usually uses multiples of 1,000 rather than 1,024. This can make some hard drives show less capacity in the operating system than they do on the box.
Hard drive performance can refer to read speeds, write speeds, latency and the seek time. The seek time and latency are measured in the time it takes for the magnetic heads in a magnetic hard drive to access the data desired. The read and write speeds, or data transfer rate, are measured by how much data can be written to the drive or read from the drive within a specified period.Learn more about Computers & Hardware
As of 2014, the world's largest hard drive is Western Digital's Ultrastar He10. The helium-filled drive is the first to hold 10 terabytes of storage.Full Answer >
For Windows, plug in the external hard drive and click Yes to the prompt that appears asking if the drive is to be used for backup. On a Mac, go to System Preferences then Time Machine and select your external drive as your backup.Full Answer >
The three most effective ways to wipe a hard drive include erasing the hard drive with data-destruction software, using a degausser and using file-shredder software. Aside from these methods, a more cost-effective alternative involves physically destroying the hard drive. This is the only method that guarantees the data on a hard drive is absolutely unusable.Full Answer >
Some free programs to clone a hard drive are AOMEI Backupper Standard and DriveImage XML. AOMEI Backupper Standard is compatible with Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 and 10. Its Disk Clone feature lets users copy the contents of one hard drive to another.Full Answer >