What Are Memory Storage Devices?


Memory storage devices are devices that hold electronic file information to be retrieved at a later time. In some cases, information may need to be transferred or transported for use by another person or at a later time. For example, if you are working on a report in one location, such as an office, and would like to complete the report at home after hours, you would save the file to a memory storage device and take it with you to access later.

Types of Memory Storage Devices: The Early Years

  • There were a number of items to consider for memory storage devices when the necessity of transferring files began. Initially, although now practically defunct, there was a floppy disc, which was a large media source that could be inserted into a disc drive of a computer. The floppy was over 5 inches long and comprised of flimsy material. Hard storage discs took the place of the floppy disc to make it more sturdy, so as not to damage as easily. They were 3.5 inches and constructed of a hard outer layer of plastic.

Types of Memory Storage Devices: Evolution of the Computer

  • Once computers were redesigned for personal use, the inclusion of disk drives became less available, evolving to accommodate Compact Disc Read-Only Memory, or CD-ROMs. CD-ROMs are silver, circular shaped storage devices capable of housing not just files, but videos, images, digital information and audio files for playback, storage, retrieval and transference. Digital Video Discs or Digital Versatile Discs (DVD) were introduced to hold 15 times the information and transfer information 20 times faster.

Portable Memory Storage Devices

  • Although discs of both types are still used as memory storage devices to save, transport and retrieve information, there are a number of smaller, higher data storage options available for the same use. Universal Serial Bus, or USB drives, are small devices that plug into terminals directly on the computer's incoming socket. The USB drive can fit in the palm of a hand and is available in a number of high-capacity versions.

Larger Memory Storage Devices.

  • In an effort to preserve the memory and speed of a computer's operating system, larger memory storage devices that plug directly into a computer's drive socket, allowing a transfer of as many files as space will allow. These are called External Memory Storage Drives and can be unplugged from an operating system at anytime and stored in a separate location for safe keeping.

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