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how does a hard drive work

Before answering the question - how does a hard drive work, you need to know the function, main parts and other important information about the hard drive. You can learn all these information and how hard drives work from this post of MiniTool.

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Basic Information of Hard Drive

The hard disk drive (HDD), a kind of electro-mechanical data storage device, utilizes magnetic storage to save and retrieve digital data. It was released by IBM in 1956 and called the IBM 350 disk storage unit in the very beginning.

It started becoming the leading secondary storage device for general-purpose computers in the early 1960s. Though solid-state drive (SSD) appears later on, the hard disk drive still dominates the top position.

You may like this: SSD VS HDD: What’s Difference? Which One Should You Use in PC?

The Main Parts of a Hard Drive

The hard disk drive is made from multiple parts. Even if there are various hard drive shapes and sizes, the essential parts and function of the hard drive are still the same with the old one. Now, let’s introduce them one by one.

hard disk drive components

Magnetic platters are used to contain binary information, while the central spindle makes the platters spin quickly. Electromagnets are considered as read-write heads. Read-write arms functions for moving the read-write heads across the platter surfaces.

Small spindles allow the move of the read-write arms. Actuators like stepper motors or voice coils can move the read-write arms precisely. The bottom-mounted control circuit boards can manage regulate data transmission. External plug connectors that enable you to connect the drives to computers.

The Function of the Hard Drive

Hard drives can work with other components of your computer or server to boost data storage and retrieval. They represent the information via magnetic fields. And these fields keep the previous states of the hard drive when they are actively kept. In this way, hard drives can recall the data even if they are unused for a period of time.

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How Does a Hard Drive Work

As it known to all, hard drives are used to store information. The hard drive is also composed of many tiny parts. So, the question how a hard drive works can be understood as how the hard drive stores information with multiple parts within the drive.

The data on the hard drive is stored in binary code (0s and 1s). There aren’t any iron nails in your hard drive. Instead, there’s only a large shiny, circular plate of magnetic material – platter, which is divided into billions of tiny areas.

Each area can be magnetized (store a 1) or demagnetized (store a 0) separately. As magnetism can continue storing information even your computer is powered off, it is used in the computer. This situation is same for the magnetized nail. If you have magnetized a nail, it will keep magnetized until you demagnetize it.

The information on the hard drive is spread on the magnetic layer of the disk and can be read or written by the read heads above the surface. In the writing mode, the electrical current goes through the heads and changes the surface of the electric field by marking a 0 or 1.

While in read mode, the situation is reversed. The magnetic field transmits the electrical current to the read head, and then the signal is converted into a digital signal. That makes it become readable by the computer.

How does a hard drive work? You may have answers now!

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