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Secondary Storage (HDD and SSD)

Secondary Storage:

Primary storage: This type of memory is volatile. It refers to the memory areas that the CPU can access very quickly: like CPU registers, cache, ROM and RAM. It also has the fastest read and write speeds.

Secondary storage: It is non-volatile memory. It stores data (operating systems, applications and user files) that are stored when not in use. It includes magnetic hard disk drives, solid state drives, CDs and SD cards. Read/write speeds are much slower compared to primary storage.

Magnetic Hard discs are High-Capacity, reliable storage:

HDDs are the traditional internal storage in PCs and laptops.

A hard disc drive is made up of a stack of magnetised metal discs spinning at a rate of between 5400 and 15000 rpm (revolutions per minute).

Data is stored magnetically in small areas called sectors within the circular tracks. Read/write heads on a moving arm are used to access sectors on the discs.

Portable HDDs are popular for backing up and transporting large amount of data.

Despite, their moving parts. HDDs are very long lasting and reliable although they could be damaged by large impacts like being dropped.

Solid state drives are a Reliable secondary storage:

SSDs are storage device with no moving parts. Most of them use a type of flash memory. SSDs are used for the same purpose as HDDs. Using a SSD rather than a HDD can give much quicker times for booting up ad opening programs and files.

Hybrid drives exist which use solid state storage for the OS and programs and a hard disc for data.

Like HDDs, portable SSDs can be used to back up and transport data.

By Anshjeet Singh


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