Different Hard Drives of a Computer

What is a hard drive? Often people think a hard drive is their entire computer system as they see it, and others think that it is something hard or solid in the computer. It actually is a storage device inside your computer, and yes, it is hard. . This is hiding inside your computer and is where all your data is stored when you save it. You may never see your hard drive unless you happen to open up your computer to fix a problem or install a new hard drive. A hard drive is merely one of the many components that contribute to your computer system as a whole.

What is the difference between Hard disk and Hard drive?

It can be confusing when someone is talking about a hard drive and you call “it” a hard disk or hard disk drive. You think to yourself “what are they talking about?” Well this is crazy, but they are talking about the same thing. A hard disk and a hard drive have been made up over the years.  Originally the main storage device was called a hard disk and we had floppy disk drives. Eventually the words got mixed up and blended.. That’s my theory anyway. I have previously mentioned more basic computer terminology and terms that are sent to confuse us.

What is the difference between a HDD and a SSD?

There are a few types of hard drives. For example we have a HDD which is a hard disk drive and a SSD which is a solid state hard drive. A HDD has moving parts and a SSD has no moving parts.

  • A SSD accesses data faster as it accesses files randomly. 
  • SSD’s lose data when you have a power loss. See this article.
  • Windows XP and Vista cannot even tell the difference between an SSD and a HDD.

Here is an article showing you how to tell if you have a SSD or a HDD as you need to know.

3.5″ Desktop Hard disk drive:

The picture below shows a 40 gigabyte (the size or capacity) hard drive, 7200RPM (the speed or revs per minute). The 3.5″ hard drive is pictured on the left. We used to only have one option when buying a hard drive, however now there are three or more types to choose from.

2.5″ Laptop Hard disk drive:

A laptop hard disk drive is considerably smaller than a normal desktop hard drive and also cost more. If you wanted to buy a 500gb laptop hard drive it would be very expensive, whereas a 500gb desktop hard drive is around $100.


Cd rom or DVD Drive:

dvd cd disc drive

This is where you put a cd rom or a DVD disc in. It could be a drive that can also read and write on cds or DVD disks. Plain old Cd roms are nearly obsolete as everyone now wants a DVD burner.. With dvd rom drives you can backup your dvd’s onto a DVD writable disc. There is no point buying a cd rom when dvd rom drives are the same price and have more features. Technology moves on though and the newest addition is Blue-ray. But then again, are the readable drives a dying dinosaur?

Floppy disk drive:

This is the smaller drive that takes those little plastic square shaped disks. They are rarely used now as they are no longer needed for a boot disk if you have a cd rom or DVD burner. In fact most new computers are sold without a floppy disk drive as they are obsolete.


Floppy drive

External Hard drive:

An external hard drive can come in two sizes like the desktop hard drive and the laptop hard drive. After all an external hard drive is just a case housing one of these hard drives. So if you have a 2.5″ external hard drive , this means it contains a laptop hard drive.

Now days we every second household owns an external hard drive. They are used to store files on safely away from the computer you are working on. For example, you can save your photos onto an external hard drive and if your computer crashes they will still be safe because they are not stored on your computer. There is no excuse if you do not own one of these fantastic storage devices as you can buy a 1 TB external hard drive for well under $100. That size hard drive can hold thousands of movie, songs, and more… It will store everything.




  1. says

    That picture of the floppy disk drive brings back memories. I would probably need quite a lot of them to make a back up of my computer now.
    From the time that HD didn’t stand for High definition but High density. Which actually isn’t so much different as high definition is just higher pixel density :)

    • zolar1 says

      I still have a RAID card that uses a floppy disk to load drivers in XP during a reinstall.

      If I could fix XP to load the F6 drivers from say a CD/DVD or even a flash drive during install, I would toss my floppy drive.

      Also, you can still buy floppy drives. But they also come with card readers built in.