What Is the Role of a Disk Drive?

A disk drive is a peripheral device used for the storage and retrieval of information on a computer. Different types of disk drives include hard disks, floppy disks and optical discs.

A hard disk drive, one of the most popular types of disk-based storage, is the main storage device used by a computer. Hard disk drives typically contain a computer's operating system, installed software and files.

Early storage technology in the 1950s and 1960s worked by housing single data bits in magnetic core memory as magnetic changes. Building on this technology, a team at IBM created a rotating drum that stored data by changing and sensing magnetic polarization.