How Do External Hard Drives Work?

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External hard drives plug into a computer, usually by USB connection, and can contain massive amounts of data separate from a computer's internal hard drive, which makes them great for backing up large amounts of work. Learn about external hard drives with IT help from a software developer in this free video on computers.

Part of the Video Series: Computers & Laptops
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name's Dave Andrews. Today I'm going to explain to you how external hard drives work. Now you're computer has a device built into it called a hard drive, and that's where it stores all of your files and information that you're working on when you're working on that computer. There are other devices called external hard drives. Now these are drives that basically plug into your computer, usually by USB and allow you to store files on them separate from the computer. I have one here. It's an external hard drive device that basically has the USB connector, just like what I was talking about and the way that we're going to use this is we're going to take our USB connector and plug it into a computer, and I'll show you a little bit about how it works. So, let's take this device and just plug it into our USB port. Now after it's plugged in on my screen you can see that it popped up automatically with the drive immediately as it was plugged in. It currently does not have any files stored on my external drive. So let's say I want to do a backup to this external drive with files that are on my PC. All you do is treat them just like normal files. Just grab them and drag them into your external hard drive window. Now that file budget has now been copied onto my external hard drive. My name is Dave Andrews, and I've just explained to you how external hard drives work.

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