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What's a HDD - Basic Description Of A Mechanical Hard Drive

The Basics of Hard Drives

A hard disk drive is a computer device that allows data to be stored permanently. A hard drive (HDD), stores data even when it is powered down making it non-volatile, an example of volatile memory would be RAM which does lose data when it is powered down.

Parts Of The Hard Disk Drive

  • ​​​​Read/write head(s) - Just as the name suggests the heads are the physical part of the disk that writes data to the platter surface, reads the data already written to the platters or deletes the data on the platters.
  • Actuator arm - The actuator arm is the part of the disk which holds the read write heads.
  • Case/chassis - The chassis is the metal casing which contains all the internal parts of the disk as well and holding the external circuit board.
  • Spindle - For mechanical hard disks the spindle holds the platters and allows them to spin at high speed.
  • Platter(s) - The platters are the disks contained within the hard disk normally made using aluminium or in some cases glass that contains a ferrous surface which holds magnetic charge which is how the data is stored on them.
  • Circuit board - A printed circuit board which contains chips and other electronic components which control the hard drive as well as the interface that connects it to a computer.

How Do They Save Data?

Data is written to a hard disk in the form if a magnetic signal in the surface of the platters, platters are broken down to specific areas.

How Does It Connect To The Computer?

Hard drives connect to a computer using a bus through an interface most often IDE or SATA although there are other interfaces such as SCSI and Fibre Channel.

R3 Data Recovery is real lab that deals with real disasters each an every day. If you have any sort of problem with a hard drive or any data storage device, we are the people to contact. Call us today on 0800 999 3282 for immediate help and assistance.

Posted In: Hard Drive | Q&A

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R3 Data Recovery is an excellent emergency data recovery service that I would have no hesitation in recommending to anyone.

From the initial telephone conversation I had with them I was extremely impressed by their implicit understanding and sensitive handling of my stress and panic, believing I had possibly lost 10 year’s worth of invaluable documentation, imagery and archiving from my highly respected research held on a USB stick.

They worked efficiently and conscientiously to retrieve data urgently for me and made provision for me to receive it and all in time for an important PP presentation, the success of which was crucial to my career.

They were mindful in keeping me informed of their progress with the recovery process, hence putting my mind at rest, and they accomplished this all within a working day/evening. They worked hard and consistently until the job was completed successfully and made themselves available for me to talk to during out-of-work hours. They transferred all the remaining data that was not urgent onto a USB stick and returned it in the post to me, thus very satisfactorily completing an exemplary and outstanding service.

Adrian Howells (Performance Artist and Honorary Research Fellow ) - University of Glasgow

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