Invented in 1950, Hard disk is Used by every user these days. Now the days Simple Hard disk is being replaced by Solid state drives slowly. But Have you ever wondered how A hard disk works ? I believe you must have thought about it but never tried to know how … Today we are going to explain you basics of hard disk and how they work, store data , retain them and get them whenever you need .
Hard disk when first invented in 1950 were huge in size and called Fixed disk or Winchesters (A code name by IBM). Later people started calling them Hard disk so that they can be differentiated from other type of disks (floppy) as Fixed disk was generic name for all kind of disks. The name Hard disk comes from architecture of these disk as these have a Hard platter which contains magnetic material, ultimately responsible for storing data.
If you used and know how a simple Tape or cassette works Hard disk is not different but very similar. Only difference is how they are organized to quickly retrieve data. Storing mechanism is same. Both of them have similar magnetic recording material which have same property of storing and retaining data for many years. They both are divided into Blocks and store data in those blocks. Difference is in how they work. In cassette Head actually write/read by touching tapes whereas in Hard disk it does not touches the magnetic material rather fly over it and read/ write by generating strong magnetic waves.
Hard disk is divided into small blocks compared to Cassette and can store data randomly in blocks. Each hard disk have a FAT (File allocation table) which contains information about file stored and first block of File. Each block of file now contains information about next block where next block is stored. This way you can store data divided into multiple blocks and randomly at any place on Hard disk.
If you ever Open a hard disk (do it only if you have a useless drive) You will find there is complex circuit board, A platter, A head and a motor which is used to rotate the platter. These are major parts of hard disk rest of the things are basically to support these. Platters inside hard disk can spin at a rate of 3600 – 7200 RPM. This is 5-10 more than a normal Fans runs. Also the Head is designed in such a manner that it can traverse entire platter about 50 times per second. This is how we achieve a very good seek time for hard disk.
With this much of information I am sure by now you are thrilled to see hard disk in action but sad fully because of its complex structure we can’t show you it working after opening the drive. Also if we run the drive after opening the box it can lead to serious accident so never ever try to do that.