Magnetic disks are the standard storage unit used to store information on a computer. But in addition to information, it is also an influencing factor in PC performance. Find out what they are for, how they work and the characteristics of a magnetic disk.
What are magnetic discs?
The magnetic disk or hard disk is a data storage device and is the device used by computers. To store information, it uses a magnetic recording system.
It is considered a non-volatile device because the information is kept permanently stored even though the electrical current is interrupted. It is made up of one or more small rigid disks that are inside a box.
What are magnetic discs for?
Each of the platters on the disc are double-sided which are used for information storage. It is the hard drive where the computer’s operating system is usually installed and it is where the files necessary for its operation are stored.
In addition to the fact that the disk works as a secondary memory of the PC, that is, it contains the data that the RAM memory needs to send and receive requests to the processor. If the computer is turned off, the files in the RAM memory are erased because it is volatile memory, but the data on the hard disk remains.
All the computer user’s files can be contained on the hard drive as it is a drive that takes up a lot of storage space. It is what differentiates it from other storage devices such as optical discs.
How do magnetic discs work?
Viewed from the outside, the hard drive is a metal case with various connectors and electrical components. But inside the box are discs called plates that have double sides to store information.
The chainrings are linked by a shaft that allows them to rotate at high speed and stay together. The internal discs can rotate at a speed of up to 9600 revolutions per minute.
Each of the platters has its own reading and writing heads that are controlled by an electromagnet. These heads are responsible for storing the data on the disk. The heads do not touch the discs to save the information thanks to the fact that they work with electromagnetics.
Dishes are often very fragile and can be damaged by dust or moisture particles. It is for this reason that they are sealed in an airtight container, because even if the heads were to rust, the reading and writing process would be affected.
Another factor that could affect the performance of a disc is overheating and magnetism. That is why the container box for dishes is usually made of aluminum, since it is a non-magnetic metal and helps to maintain the temperature of the dishes.
In order to communicate with the other components of the computer, the hard disk has an electronic circuit. It also has the connectors to place the data cable that connects to the motherboard and the cable that connects to the power source.
Characteristics of a hard drive
- You can store large amounts of information in comparison or other storage units. If a cost-value relationship is made, the hard disk is the device that has the greatest storage capacity at the best cost.
- It is not volatile, therefore when it is disconnected from the power supply the data remains on the disk.
- It is the secondary memory of the computer. It is responsible for saving data necessary for the operation of the computer and communication between the hardware components.
- Quick access to information, you can search the information within the disk quickly by accessing the unit and looking for the file by name.
- Stores all the programs on a computer. All the files necessary for the programs to run are on the hard drive.
- There are fixed hard disk versions, which are the ones found inside the PC and the removable ones that can be disassembled and transported to be used in another PC.
- It can be used as virtual memory, to help main memory run more processes.