Storage Devices



Floppy Disk Drive, or FDD or FD for short, is a computer disk drive that enables a user to save data to removable diskettes. Although 8″ disk drives were first made available in 1971, the first real disk drives used were the 5 1/4″ floppy disk drives, which were later replaced with 3 1/2″ floppy disk drives.

Types of floppy driveAbove is an example of each of the different floppy drives. As can be seen, the size of the floppy drive and the diskettes they use have decreased over time.

Floppy drive8-inch: The first floppy disk design, invented by IBM in the late 1960s and used in the early 1970s as first a read-only format and then as a read-write format. The typical desktop/laptop computer does not use the 8-inch floppy disk.

5 1/4-inch: The common size for PCs made before 1987 and the predecessor to the 8-inch floppy disk. This type of floppy is generally capable of storing between 100K and 1.2MB (megabytes) of data. The most common sizes are 360K and 1.2MB.  

3 1/2-inch: Floppy is something of a misnomer for these disks, as they are encased in a rigid envelope. Despite their small size, microfloppies have a larger storage capacity than their cousins — from 400K to 1.4MB of data. The most common sizes for PCs are 720K (double-density) and 1.44MB (high-density). Macintoshes supportdisks of 400K, 800K, and 1.2MB


Hard Disk (HDD)

A hard disk is part of a unit, often called a “disk drive,” “hard drive,” or “hard disk drive,” that stores and provides relatively quick access to large amounts of data on an electromagnetically charged surface or set of surfaces. Today’s computers typically come with a hard disk that contains several billion bytes (gigabytes) of storage.

A hard disk is really a set of stacked “disks,” each of which, like phonograph records, has data recorded electromagnetically in concentric circles or “tracks” on the disk. A “head” (something like a phonograph arm but in a relatively fixed position) records (writes) or reads the information on the tracks. Two heads, one on each side of a disk, read or write the data as the disk spins. Each read or write operation requires that data be located, which is an operation called a “seek.” (Data already in a disk cache, however, will be located more quickly.)

A hard disk/drive unit comes with a set rotation speed varying from 4500 to 7200 rpm. Disk access time is measured in milliseconds. Although the physical location can be identified with cylinder, track, and sector locations, these are actually mapped to a logical block address (LBA) that works with the larger address range on today’s hard disks.

Hard Disk



Magnetic tape

Magnetic tape is a medium for magnetic recording, made of a thin magnetizable coating on a long, narrow strip of plastic film. It was developed in Germany, based on magnetic wire recording. Devices that record and play back audio and video using magnetic tape are tape recorders and video tape recorders. A device that stores computer data on magnetic tape is a tape drive

magnetic tape

Magnetic tape was first used to record computer data in 1951 on the Eckert-Mauchly UNIVAC I. The recording medium was a thin strip of one half inch (12.65 mm) wide metal, consisting of nickel-plated bronze (called Vicalloy). Recording density was 128 characters per inch (198 micrometre/character) on eight tracks.

A sequential storage medium used for data collection, backup and archiving. Like videotape, computer tape is made of flexible plastic with one side coated with a ferromagnetic material. Tapes were originally open reels, but were superseded by cartridges and cassettes of many sizes and shapes.

Tape has been more economical than disks for archival data, but that is changing as disk capacities have increased enormously. If tapes are stored for the duration, they must be periodically recopied or the tightly coiled magnetic surfaces may contaminate each other.


Optical disk

In computing and optical disc recording technologies, an optical disc (OD) is a flat, usually circular disc which encodes binary data (bits) in the form of pits (binary value of 0 or off, due to lack of reflection when read) and lands (binary value of 1 or on, due to a reflection when read) on a special material (often aluminium]) on one of its flat surfaces

The encoding pattern follows a continuous, spiral path covering the entire disc surface and extending from the innermost track to the outermost track. The data is stored on the disc with a laser or stamping machine, and can be accessed when the data path is illuminated with a laser diode in an optical disc drive which spins the disc at speeds of about 200 to 4,000 RPM or more, depending on the drive type, disc format, and the distance of the read head from the center of the disc (inner tracks are read at a higher disc speed).

Optical discs are usually between 7.6 and 30 cm (3 to 12 in) in diameter, with 12 cm (4.75 in) being the most common size. A typical disc is about 1.2 mm (0.05 in) thick, while the track pitch (distance from the center of one track to the center of the next) is typically 1.6 µm.

There are three main types of optical media: CD, DVD, and Blu-ray disc. CDs can store up to 700 megabytes (MB) of data and DVDs can store up to 8.4 GB of data. Blu-ray discs, which are the newest type of optical media, can store up to 50 GB of data. This storage capacity is a clear advantage over the floppy disk storage media (a magnetic media), which only has a capacity of 1.44 MB. Another advantage that optical media have over the floppy disk is that it can last up to 7 times longer, due to its improved durability.

compack disktypes of CD


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