What Is the Definition of a Hard Disk Drive?

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The definition of a hard disk drive, or computer hard drive, is a drive that digitally encodes data on rapidly moving platters which are run on magnets. Learn about the different types of hard drives available for modern computers with information from a computer specialist in this free video on computer hard drives.

Part of the Video Series: Computer Hardware
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Video Transcript

Hi. I'm Gary Malec and in this video I'm going to tell you about what exactly a hard disk drive is. Alright, on the table here I have four different kinds. There are a lot of different ones these days. These here are laptop. They're two and a half inch laptop drives. Or even now some desktops they're the compact ones have these in them like an iMac or the Dell, or mini Dell ones. And then these are the traditional three and a half inch. Now you have PATA which is parallel ATA which runs on IDE cables here. And then you have SATA, serial ATA which runs off SATA cables here. This is the more modern of the technologies. And then when you get into laptops, it's these little two and a half minis it's the same here with all the pins is IDE PATA and then the SATA. And these will work in a big computer just as well as a little computer. You don't need any special modifications or anything. What these drives do is they digitally encode data on rapidly moving platters on the inside which run on magnetic. If you actually open one of these up, the magnet inside, you'll not find magnets stronger. They hold all your information and data that you have in your computer. On the inside you can have as many as four, like almost like CD looking things that spin. So that's why it's very important never to like jar them or drop them or throw them when they're moving because they'll jar and they'll break. And then you'll lose all your data and you do not want to do that. I mean these are what boot your computer, what store all your data. Without them we couldn't have computers. And that's basically it. I mean that's hard drive 101. You got three and a half SATA, three and a half IDE, two and a half IDE and two and a half SATA. These are pretty much, if you're going to see a hard drive these days this is, chances are it's going to be one of these four right here.

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