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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

What Our Customers Say About Us

I have recently used R3D to retrieve data from an external hard drive.

I called Andy at 11pm on a Saturday after my hard drive failed, he immediately ran through the symptoms and calmed my fears that all data was lost, but was honest that data recoveries are not always successful.

I required the data immediately as it was for a deadline the following Friday, the issue was I was based in London and the lab based in Sheffield.

After searching all data companies in and around London none would answer my call on a Saturday. In fact no one else would answer my call or say they could look at my case on the Sunday.

I took the drive myself to R3D and was very impressed with their facilities. Andy also explained the whole process and what they were doing at each stage.

Unfortunately the hard drive had a physical failure and needed to be rebuilt to have any chance of recovering the information.

After starting the rebuild at 4pm on the Sunday, Andy advised it would take him and his team until the morning to know if any information was recoverable - fantastic I thought. Andy and Mark got to work on my drive as soon as I left and by 10pm on Sunday they had retrieved almost the entirety of the information of my hard drive.

I cannot reccomend R3D highly enough, they are clearly experts in their field and have a passion for what they do. Through the whole process Andy kept me informed of progress and explained everything they were doing.

If you have a crisis or any data recovery needs these are the guys you need!

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