Was Sie schon immer über Festplatten wissen wollten. Wenn Sie das Grundwissen über Festplatten verstehen, können Sie bessere Speicherentscheidungen treffen
Was macht eine Festplatte?
Bei einer Festplatte handelt es sich um eine Hardware-Komponente, die all Ihre digitalen Inhalte speichert. Zu den digitalen Inhalten, die auf der Festplatte gespeichert werden, zählen Dokumente, Bilder, Musik, Videos, Programme, Anwendungseinstellungen und das Betriebssystem. Es gibt interne und externe Festplatten.
Die auf der Festplatte gespeicherten Inhalte werden hinsichtlich ihrer Dateigröße bemessen. Dokumente (Texte) sind im Allgemeinen sehr klein, wohingegen Bilder groß sind, Musikdateien noch größer und Videodateien am größten. Die Größe der digitalen Dateien auf einer Festplatte wird in Megabyte (MB), Gigabyte (GB) und Terabyte (TB) festgelegt.1
Was ist die beste Festplattengröße?
Das kommt darauf an. Wenn Sie nur eine begrenzte Anzahl an Dateien von einem Computer auf ein Sicherungslaufwerk übertragen möchten, reicht ein kleineres Laufwerk (Expansion-Festplatte oder Backup Plus) völlig aus. Wenn Sie allerdings Ihren gesamten Computer oder mehrere Computer sichern möchten – oder sie viele Video- und/oder Audiodateien speichern – benötigen Sie ein größeres Laufwerk (Backup Plus Desktop Drive).
Hier sehen Sie eine Schätzung davon, wie viel Sie auf einer Festplatte (bis zu 10 TB) speichern können.2
PC oder Mac?
Manche Festplatten sind zwar vorformatiert, um entweder für einen PC oder einen MAC verwendet zu werden, aber jede Festplatte kann so umformatiert werden, dass sie mit einer der beiden Computerarten genutzt werden kann.
Ist die Geschwindigkeit einer Festplatte von Bedeutung?
Die Drehzahl (Umdrehungen pro Minute oder U/min.) ist relativ wichtig. Je schneller eine Disk (Platte) dreht, desto schneller kann Ihr Computer die gewünschte Datei finden.
Eine Festplatte mit 7200 U/min ist offensichtlich schneller als eine Festplatte mit 5400 U/min. Wenn es sich um externe Festplatten handelt, fällt Ihnen jedoch zwischen den beiden Geschwindigkeiten (U/min) kaum ein Unterschied auf. Das Gleiche gilt für interne Festplatte, vor allem, wenn es sich um kleine Dateien handelt. Bei größeren Dateien und Anwendungen ist die Festplatte mit 7200 U/min jedoch deutlich schneller.
Soll ich mich für eine interne oder eine externe Festplatte entscheiden?
Das kommt ganz auf Ihre Situation an. Wenn Sie die interne Festplatte (BarraCuda) Ihres Computers aufrüsten, erhalten Sie eingebauten Speicherplatz für all Ihre Dateien. Eine externe Festplatte bietet Ihnen jederzeit tragbaren Speicher für unterwegs (Backup Plus).
Datensicherung ist wichtig
Wenn die Festplatte Ihres Computers beschädigt wird, besteht das Risiko, dass Sie Ihre gesamten digitalen Inhalte verlieren. Deshalb sichern die meisten Benutzer Ihre Inhalte nicht nur auf der internen Festplatte des Computers, sondern zusätzlich auf einer externen Festplatte.
1 Bei der Festplattenkapazität entspricht ein Gigabyte (GB) einer Milliarde Byte. Die verfügbare Kapazität kann je nach Betriebsumgebung und Formatierung variieren. Anwendungsbezogene Nutzungsbeispiele, die eine bestimmte Speichermenge nennen, dienen ausschließlich der Veranschaulichung. Der tatsächliche Speicherbedarf kann aufgrund verschiedener Faktoren, wie Dateigröße, Dateiformat, Funktionen und Anwendungssoftware, variieren.
2 Durchschnittliche Dateigröße (JPEG-Format) bei höchster Kameraauflösung. Die tatsächliche Bildmenge pro Festplatte kann variieren und hängt vom Kameramodell ab. Basierend auf 2-stündigen Filmen in DVD-Qualität.
What Is a Hard Drive?
Understanding hard drives
A hard drive is a piece of hardware used to store digital content and data on computers. Every computer has an internal hard drive, but you can also get external hard drives that can be used to expand the storage of a computer. Here, we’ll explore the different kinds of hard drives and their advantages and disadvantages.
Types of secondary storage
All computers require drives store data on a long-term basis. This is known as secondary storage, and the RAM (Random Access Memory) of a computer is its primary storage.
Generally speaking, secondary storage comes in two forms: hard disk drives (HDD) and solid-state drives (SSD). While you may see SSDs referred to as types of hard drives, this isn’t too accurate, and it’s important to understand the difference between an HDD and an SSD.
What is HDD?
The more “traditional” type of hard drive is HDD.
Hard disk drives are made up of magnetized disks—known as platters—that spin rapidly, typically somewhere between 5,400 and 15,000 RPM. The faster the magnetic disk rotates, the quicker your computer is able to access information from it.
All digital data comes in the form of binary code—a series of ones and zeros that can represent any piece of information. The read/write heads of a hard drive are used to input these ones and zeros by magnetizing portions of the platter. Each tiny portion of the platter houses a bit, which will be equal to either 1 or 0. The head can detect the magnetism of each portion, thus “reading” information from it. The same head that can “read” data can also “write” it, by changing the magnetization of bits on a platter.
Any time a change is made—such as a new file being saved or a file being deleted—the head of the hard drive will adjust the magnetism of the platter accordingly. You can picture it like a record player, with the vinyl disk being the platter containing the information, and the arm being the heads that scan that information.
Because data is stored magnetically, HDDs are non-volatile devices, meaning that they retain data even when the computer is turned off.
These days, internal HDDs can reach a maximum capacity of 20 TB. Since the emergence of SSD, hard disk drives are rarely used as a computer’s secondary storage, but are still reliable as an external storage option.
What is an SSD?
SSDs (solid state drives) are the newer of the type of hard drive. They have become the preferred format for high-end laptops’ internal hard drives, and all smartphones and tablets also use a form of SSD.
Solid-state drives use flash memory, which is also what’s used in USB flash drives and memory cards for digital cameras. There are no magnets involved here, SSDs use semiconductors that store data by altering the electrical state of the trillions of circuits contained within the SSD. Because they have no moving parts, not only do they work faster (as you don’t need to wait for disks to spin and heads to gather information), they also tend to last longer than HDDs.
SDDs are a lot more expensive to manufacture, so while they’re increasingly prevalent as the primary disk drive for high-end laptops and PCs, hard disk drives are still preferred by many as a cheaper external option.
A brief history of the hard disk drive
After experimenting with magnetic tape as a means of data storage, the first commercial hard disk drive was engineered in 1956 by a team at IBM led by Reynold B. Johnson.
The team at IBM discovered that they could store data on magnetized metal disks that could be overwritten with new information, which led to the construction of the first hard disk drive system, known as RAMAC (Random Access Method of Accounting and Control).
The original hard disk drive was about the size of two refrigerators, with a total of 50 24-inch platters spinning at 1,200 RPM. Despite its size, the RAMAC had a storage capacity of just 5 MB—about the size of one image, and despite its capacity, it came at a cost of about $10,000 per megabyte.
RAMACs were housed at IBM data centers until IBM introduced removable storage in the 1960s. 1962’s IBM 1311 Disk Storage Drive held 2.6 MB on six 14-inch platters. These were roughly the size of a dishwasher.
Personal desktop computers emerged in the ‘70s, and at the same time, IBM was developing the first floppy disks. First released in 1971, the floppy disk was the first easily portable magnetic disk. You could consider it the first external hard drive. Floppy disks became the standard for disk storage until writable CDs and USB flash drives became prevalent around the turn of the century. The first read/write hard disk for personal computers was released in 1972 by Memorex.
By 1980, many major companies had joined the HDD game, and Shugart Technology’s ST-506 drive became the most compact HDD available at the time, at 5.25-inch with a 5 MB capacity. IBM, meanwhile, released the IBM 3380, which was the first hard drive to offer 1 GB of storage.
In 1983, Rodime unveiled the RO352, the first 3.5-inch HDD, with two platters and a capacity of 10 MB. 3.5-inch HDDs would soon become the standard for desktop computers, and are still used to this day (with laptop HDDs being 2.5-inches).
It was in the ‘80s that the external hard drives that we’re familiar with today began to take shape, and over time, as the physical size of external hard drives shrunk, hard drive capacity grew.
What does a hard drive do?
Simply put, a hard drive stores data. On a computer, this includes all of your photos, videos, music, documents, and applications, and beyond that, the code for your computer’s operating system, frameworks, and drivers are stored on hard drives too. The capacity of a hard drive is measured in megabytes (MB), gigabytes (GB), and terabytes (TB).
This is different from RAM (Random Access Memory), which is temporary computer storage that requires electricity to store data, making it volatile memory—it only stores data when the computer is turned on. RAM is not used for personal data, only computer data. Your computer needs memory to operate smoothly and allow you to jump from task to task or application to application without losing where you were. RAM is known as primary storage, while HDDs and SSDs fall under secondary storage.
A hard drive is a storage device required to hold on to your files and data for the long term. Whenever you save a file to your computer, you’re saving it to your computer’s hard drive. A hard drive is like a filing cabinet for your digital files.
What is an external hard drive?
An external hard drive is a hard drive that isn’t built into a computer. These are portable devices that you can plug into any computer to access the data it stores. While internal hard drives are directly connected to the computer’s motherboard and store operating system data, frameworks, drivers, and software in addition to your files, external hard drives are used mostly for storing personal files.
A computer’s hard drive can usually be removed and upgraded, but this is an arduous task, so many opt for external hard drives when their computer begins to run low on space.
These days, external hard drives can house up to 20 TB of data, over a million times more than the very first hard drive had to offer in 1956. These capacities, coupled with the portability and affordability of external hard drives, made them the best solution for increasing the capacity of a computer, until the emergence of cloud storage.
Disadvantages of using external hard drives for storage
When compared to simply using the internal storage capacity of your computer, external hard drives are a beneficial solution, but they do come with a few risks and limitations that are important to consider.
Like an internal hard drive, external HDDs do come with the risk of data loss. This can be caused by attacks like malware or viruses, or it can come from natural damage and deterioration like too much sunlight or heat, exposure to liquids, dust, or interference from other magnetic fields.
With the many intricate moving parts that make a hard disk drive work, they are quite vulnerable to damage, especially if you’re taking them around wherever you go. If a hard drive is damaged, you may still be able to retrieve the data stored on its platters, but this would be a complicated and likely costly process. In a computer, an HDD is one of the most fragile pieces of hardware because of its moving parts.
Additionally, the average hard drive is not password protected or encrypted, so if it’s ever misplaced or stolen, your personal information can be easily compromised.
Many external hard drives also only support certain operating systems, or can only support one operating system at a time. You might have a MacBook and a Windows PC and find that your hard drive is unable to read and write on both devices, which can be a nuisance if you wanted to use your hard drive to transfer files from one to the other. Many hard drives must be reformatted—thus losing all data—before you can configure it to write on a different operating system.
Using cloud storage instead of hard disk drives
The arrival of cloud storage presented a solution to the limitations and risks of hard drives, offering a safer, more accessible data storage alternative. Saving a file on the cloud means storing it online, where it won’t take up any space on your device.
With Dropbox, you can have up to 3 TB of storage on a personal account that can be used for almost any file type, and as much storage as you need with Dropbox Business Advanced and Enterprise accounts.
What is a hard drive and what does it do?
Opened hard drive
Hard disk drives, also known as HDDs (Hard Disk Drives) or Wichesters, were invented over 60 years ago and have been used in personal computers since the mid-1980s (although flash memory has replaced them). in many products in recent years). A hard drive is a device that gives you a huge information capacity and allows you to store files, movies, photos, music and text documents. In addition, the operating system and computer software are installed on it. How does a hard drive work and what is it for? Let’s take a closer look!
How to store information with magnetism
The science of magnetism is complex. But if you’ve ever fooled around with a magnet and nails, you know that the technology – science in action – is pretty simple. Iron nails are not initially magnetic, but if you rub them back and forth with a magnet, you can make them magnetic so they stick to each other. Magnetism has several simple practical applications. For example, landfills use electromagnets (huge magnets that can be turned on and off with electricity) to pick up and move piles of scrap metal.
Magnetism has another very important application. Suppose you need to leave a message to a friend and all you have is a magnet and a non-magnetic iron nail. Let’s say the message is very simple: you either see your friend later that day, or you don’t. You can arrange with your friend that you will throw a nail in his mailbox. If it’s magnetized, you’ll see them later, if the nail isn’t magnetized, you won’t. Your friend comes home from school and finds a nail on the rug. He takes him to the kitchen table and touches the paperclip. If the nail is magnetized, it will stick to it. It’s a rather strange way to leave someone a message, but it illustrates something very important: magnetism can be used to store information.
If your computer has a 20 gigabyte (GB) hard drive, it’s a bit like a box containing 160 billion microscopic iron nails, each of which can store one tiny piece of information called a bit. A bit is a binary digit – either zero or one. In computers, numbers are not stored as decimal (base 10), but as patterns of binary digits. For example, the decimal number 382 is stored as the binary number 101111110. Letters and other characters can also be stored as binary numbers. So computers store the capital letter A as the decimal number 65, or the binary number 1000001. Let’s say you want to store the number 1000001 on your computer in this big box of iron nails. You need to find a row of seven unused nails. You magnetize the first one (to keep the 1), leave the next five demagnetized (to keep the five zeros), and magnetize the last one (to keep the 1).
How the hard drive works
Hard disk magnetic platter
There are no iron nails on your computer’s hard drive. It’s just a big, shiny, circular “plate” of magnetic material, divided into billions of tiny areas. Each of these regions can be independently magnetized (to keep 1) or demagnetized (to keep 0). Magnetism is used in computer storage because it continues to store information even when the power is turned off. If you magnetize a nail, it will remain magnetized until you demagnetize it. Similarly, computerized information (or data) stored on your PC’s hard drive remains there even after the power is turned off.
What is included in a hard drive?
A hard drive consists of only a few basic parts. There are one or more shiny silver plates or “pancakes” on which information is stored magnetically. There is a positioning device (actuator) that is designed to move a tiny magnet called a read-write head back and forth across the platters to write or read information. There is an electronic circuit to control everything that acts as a link between the hard drive and the rest of your computer.
Hard drive design
- Actuator that moves the read/write lever. In older hard drives, the actuators were stepper motors. Instead, most modern hard drives use simple electromagnets. They position the read/write arm faster, more accurately and more reliably than stepper motors and are less sensitive to issues such as temperature fluctuations.
- The actuator turns the head back and forth across the plate.
- The central spindle allows the “pancakes” to rotate at high speed.
- A magnetic disk stores information in binary form.
- Plug connections connect the hard drive to the printed circuit board of a personal computer.
- The read/write head is the tiny magnet on the end of the positioner.
- The circuit board on the underside controls the data flow to the plate.
- Flexible connector transfers data from PCB to magnetic head and plate.
- The small spindle allows the positioner to move across the plate.
The platters are the most important parts of a hard drive. As the name suggests, these are discs made of a hard material such as ceramic or aluminum and coated with a thin layer of metal that can be magnetized or demagnetized. A small hard drive usually has only one platter, but each side is magnetically coated. High capacity discs have multiple platters mounted on a central spindle with a small gap between them. The platters spin at up to 15,000 revolutions per minute (RPM), so the read/write heads can access any part of them.
There are two heads for each platter, one for reading from the top surface and one for reading from the bottom, so a five-platter hard drive would (say) need ten separate heads. The heads are mounted on an electrically operated lever that moves from the center of the drive to the outer edge and back. To reduce wear, they do not actually touch the disk, but hover above it. When starting, the spindle with pancakes spins first, and only after the air flow necessary for soaring appears, the heads begin to move.
Reading and writing data
Hard Disk Read/Write System
The most important thing in memory is not the ability to store information, but the ability to find it later. Imagine storing a magnetized iron nail in a pile of 1.6 million million identical nails, and you’ll have some idea of what problems your computer would run into if it didn’t use a very methodical way of storing its information. Consider the principle of the hard drive when working with information.
When your computer stores data on a hard drive, it doesn’t just throw magnetized nails into a box, shuffling them together. The data is stored in a very organized way on each plate. Data bits are arranged in concentric circular paths called tracks. Each track is divided into smaller areas called sectors. Part of the hard disk stores a map of sectors, which shows whether they are free or busy. When the computer wants to store new information, it looks at the map to find a few free sectors. It then instructs the read-write head to move across the platter to exactly the right place and store the data there. To read the information, the same process is performed in reverse.
How does a computer manage all the mechanical minutiae of a hard drive? Between them there is an interface (communication equipment), called the controller. This is a small circuit that controls the actuators, selects certain tracks for reading and writing, and converts parallel data streams coming from the computer into serial data streams written to disk (and vice versa). The controllers are either built into the drive’s own circuit board or are part of the computer’s main board (motherboard).
With so much information stored in such a tiny space, the hard drive is a remarkable piece of engineering. This gives not only advantages, but also disadvantages. One is that hard drives can fail if dirt or dust gets inside them. A tiny piece of dust can cause the magnetic head to bounce up and down, crashing into the platter and damaging its magnetic material. This is known as disk failure (or head failure) and can, although not always, result in the loss of all information on the hard drive. Disk failure usually occurs suddenly, without warning. This is why you should always keep backup copies of your important documents and files.
Who invented the hard drive?
The evolution of hard drives
Like many innovations in computing in the 20th century, hard drives were invented by IBM as a way to provide computers with “random access” main memory. The problem with other computer memory devices, such as punched cards and magnetic tape reels, was that they could only be accessed sequentially (in order, from start to finish). So if the bit of data you want to get is somewhere in the middle of the tape, you have to read or skim through the entire record quite slowly to find what you need. With a hard drive, everything happens much faster, it can move its read-write head from one part of the disk to another very quickly. The first hard drive was designed by Reynold B. Johnson of IBM and introduced on September 4, 1956 years old as an IBM 350 Disk Storage Unit and it looked nothing like modern models. It weighed 970 kilograms and consisted of 50 aluminum plates coated with a ferromagnet, with a diameter of 61 centimeters.
More or less similar to modern specimens, though not in size, was 3340, which was released in 1973. At the suggestion of IBM engineers who made a device for 30 tracks with 30 sectors in each track, by analogy with the marking of the Winchester carabiner – “30/30”, hard drives began to be called “hard drives”, or abbreviated as “screws”.
Types of hard drives
2.5″ and 3.5″ hard drives
What is the difference between hard drives and which one is better? If you look at the types of HDD, then they are divided into:
- 1. for laptops, they are characterized by a 2.5-inch form factor. This allows them to fit in a small case;
- 2. for computers and video surveillance systems. Although it is possible to use the previous option, as a rule, a 3.5-inch form factor is used;
- 3. external devices connected separately to a PC/laptop, mainly used for information storage;
- 4. for servers, have better performance and SAS rather than SATA connection interface.
In addition, hard drives are divided depending on several characteristics:
- 1. memory size – varies from now from 300 gigabytes to 18 terabytes;
- 2. spindle speed (the more, the higher the performance) – from 5400 to fast HDD with 15000 rpm;
- 3. interface – SAS 2, SAS 3, SATA 3, others are much less common, for external options the main USB interface;
- 4. buffer size (cache for temporary data storage) – from 8 to 512 megabytes.
Any hard magnetic disk fulfills its main purpose, stores information, all other nuances must be taken into account when choosing for a specific task.
Hard drives have been in production for a long time, they are large and cheap, but they also have many disadvantages. One of the problems is the amount of time it takes for the head to get to the right part of the disk in order to access the information. The large size of the hard drive and its relatively high power consumption are also problems, especially in mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. Another issue is reliability. As you may have gathered from what you have just read, HDDs are a fine piece of precision engineering with many intricate moving parts. Therefore, there is always the possibility of a serious mechanical failure, caused by something like dirt on one of the plates or a sudden mechanical shock, after which all information can be lost.
All of these issues—weight, power consumption, access time, and reliability—can be solved with solid-state drives (SSDs), which typically use flash memory instead of rotating magnetic platters. Computer manufacturers have been moving away from hard drives to solid state drives over the past decade, largely due to the move away from desktops towards mobile devices.
When it comes to choosing where to buy hard drives, choose a reliable supplier. AnLan has been a leader in the Russian market since 2007. Reasonable price and European quality is what distinguishes the company’s products from other organizations.
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Hard disk replacement, HDD installation and connection in computer and laptop
HDD has received a strong competitor in the form of SSD in recent years. But the most rational approach to building a computer is to use a combination of these devices. SSD – for programs, systems and games, and HDD – for storing large amounts of data. Thus, you do not need to overpay for large amounts of SSD and at the same time the system will work very quickly.
HDD – hard disk drive, a hard “magnetic” disk uses a thin disk of hard material to record data. This is a prime example of a non-volatile carrier. If an apocalypse happens, then information from it can be read in 100 and 200 years. At the moment, it is cheaper than SSD, in terms of gigabytes by 2-3 times.
SSD – solid-state drive, a drive that uses memory chips for recording. They need energy to remember data. A normal SSD keeps information for half a year or a year, a good one – for years, a bad one – maybe only 3 months (time is limited by the capacity of capacitors or a battery that supports the stored information).
How to choose HDD
Please check the compatibility of your selected hard disk and system before installation. This is not about hardware compatibility, but about speed, so that it does not become the reason why a good assembly cannot overclock and will constantly wait for data to be loaded.
There are actually a lot of manufacturers, but the leading positions are occupied by Western Digital, Hitachi, Samsung and Seagate.
WD products are divided into groups by purpose:
- Blue. This series is for those who want to store large amounts of data passively, i.e. without constant overwriting.
- Green. Designed to minimize energy consumption, they belong to the budget segment and operate quite quietly. Typically, the rotation speed does not exceed 5400 rpm.
- Black. For users who constantly work with large amounts of data. There is a built-in dual-core chip controller, which significantly speeds up writing and reading data.
- Red. The series was developed for use as a remote NAS. A set of technologies allows them to work under load 24/7. They are not very suitable for use in desktop PCs, as they have an automatic device that turns off the power if the disk is not used for a long time.
- Purple. This is a HDD for video surveillance systems, they can write up to 64 data streams simultaneously and work all year round without downtime. Low noise and power consumption completes the picture of an ideal recorder. Again, it is not suitable for desktop solutions: there are many degrees of protection, it can work in extreme conditions – this is quite expensive, but it is completely useless in a regular PC.
- Gold. Premium server HDDs, maximum durability, multi-request capability. Use advanced dual drive system for fast and accurate positioning of the laser head.
- Re (RAID edition). A special series for RAID arrays, support hot swapping, are resistant to increased vibrations, both external and internal. Protection is provided by RAFF and STABLETRAC technologies. As the name suggests, these drives are best suited for back-up storage, have better heat tolerance and incredible durability.
- Se. These discs are a simplified version of the Re series. They are designed for RAID arrays up to 12 drives in size. Despite the fact that these are cheaper models, they use TLER error correction technology.
As you can see, there are a lot of subspecies, they are described here so that you understand that when choosing, you need to start from your needs. At the moment, Western Digital is losing ground in the segment of home computers, leading according to Seagate reviews. It is Seagate drives that are used in gaming computers from HYPERPC.
Seagate has a smaller variety of product lines, but their products are more focused on gaming PCs:
- BarraCuda. The visiting card of the company, with which it entered the markets of Europe and the CIS many years ago. Universal drives with high reliability and capacity. There are versions of 2.5” and 3.5” with different thicknesses for any case. Models with the Pro prefix are suitable for professional-grade creative stations and gaming computers.
- FireCuda. SSHD hybrid drives, which combine SSD and HDD in the same enclosure, are suitable for small cases or for budget savings. In such disks, the most frequently used data is cached in fast Flash memory, and the main array of files is stored on the disk side.
- IronWolf. An excellent choice for NAS storage systems for SMBs. Vibration sensors are present, which allows them to be used on large server racks with a large number of drives. Software from the manufacturer has functionality for monitoring and controlling the state.
- SkyHawk. Hard drives for video surveillance, reliable, allow you to record a video stream from multiple sources, consume a minimum of energy, and are ready to work 24/7. The AI series is designed for AI surveillance systems.
All modern hard drives are connected via SATA, the difference is only in the version and, accordingly, in bandwidth:
- SATA I – 1.5 Gb / s, in fact 150 Mb / s
- SATA II – 3 Gb / s, in fact 300 Mb / s
- SATA III – 6 Gb / s, in fact 600 Mb / s
They are backward compatible, that is, the older version of the HDD will work on the younger version of SATA. That is, if you have a SATA 3 HDD or SSD, then they will work on both SATA 1 and SATA 2. But vice versa, no. That is, HDDs of the younger version of SATA will not work on the older version of the connector. There are exceptions to this rule, check them in the technical documentation before buying.
Disks are divided into two types – 2.5” and 3.5”. The former are more compact and are used in laptops, while 3.5” is a solution for stationary systems. But you can put any hard drive in your computer, they have the same connectors. Moreover, due to the widespread use of SSD mounts for 2.5 ”devices are in any modern case. And almost all of them are made in this form factor.
But keep in mind that 2.5” HDDs are designed for laptops. There are many limitations associated with this, for example, they have lower power consumption, which is a plus, but also lower spindle speed, which slows down the operation of such a device. In a word, if you have the opportunity to install a full-sized hard drive, then it is better to stop at it.
This is the most individual parameter and may differ from user to user. For some, 120 Gb is enough for a browser and an office suite of programs, while someone likes to play games, and his library can hardly fit on a 6 Tb disk. To talk about something specific, look at how much space popular games need.
- Dark Souls Remastered – 7 GB
- Forza Horizon 4 – 90 GB
- Assassins Creed Valhalla – 74 GB
- No Man’s Sky – 10 GB
- Mount & Blade 2 Bannerlord – 60 GB
- Crysis Remastered – 21 GB
- Iron Harvest – 30GB
- Civilization 6-7 GB
- Watch Dogs Legion – 92 GB
- Far Cry Primal – 20 GB
- ARK Survival Evolved – 250 GB
- Black Desert – 55 GB
- Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) – 30 GB
- For Honor – 40 GB
- Total War Three Kingdoms – 36 GB
- Red Dead Redemption 2 – 150GB
- Cyberpunk 2077 – 70GB
- Outriders – 70 GB
Some modern games still do not require large volumes for damage, but such as ARK or the same sensational Red Dead Redemption 2 take 250 and 150 GB, respectively. In addition, in order to operate with such a volume of data without freezing, you need speed, it is advisable to choose hard drives with a high read / write speed (although it is better to use an SSD for games and programs).
If we talk about general recommendations for choosing the size of a hard disk, then we can formulate them as follows:
- 250 GB SSD + 500 GB HDD – the minimum option for games and work, suitable for entry-level computers.
- 250 GB SSD + 1 TB HDD is the best option, but far from comfortable, too small SSD, and the HDD is enough for a fairly large collection of games.
- 500 GB SSD + 1 TB HDD is a great option for any average PC whether it’s for work or gaming. A good amount of memory and the ability to accelerate all the programs you use due to a fast solid state drive.
- 1 TB SSD + 2 TB HDD – very high memory capacity, which allows you to store a large amount of data on the HDD and a large collection of games on the SSD. Good for streamers and gaming bloggers.
- 2 TB SSD + 6 TB HDD is one of the best options and can be expanded with a second SSD to speed up some programs that need temporary cache files. In this case, an additional SSD drive acts as a storage for cached files. A huge supply of HDD space will allow you to store very large amounts of data.
Why does the hard drive have less memory than advertised?
Ruthless marketing is to blame. When the manufacturer specifies the number of gigabytes on the disk, he divides the number of megabytes by 1000, supposedly it’s easier for the user. But we know that there are 1024 megabytes in one gigabyte. Our computer also owns this information and shows us the correct amount of memory.
The second point is the Windows system files and the hard drive itself. All this can eat up several hundred of your megabytes.
This is normal, this is how all HDD manufacturers work. Just keep that in mind when choosing a drive.
Basically, this is the speed at which the disc will be able to substitute the right place under the laser head. The global standard now is 7200 rpm for full size hard drives and 5400 rpm for laptop models.
There are models with rotation speeds up to 15000 rpm, but for a typical desktop PC this is a clear overkill. Firstly, they are very expensive, 2-3 times more expensive than conventional ones with a speed of 7200 rpm. Secondly, due to the high speed of rotation of the spindle, the disk wears out faster (although in domestic conditions it will not be possible to load it that much).
Another indicator that affects the speed is the cache memory. This is a block of high-speed volatile memory that allows you to accumulate information. For example, when you write a file to a hard drive, it can be written immediately to temporary memory and release the computer from this action, and later write it to the disk itself.
But in order not to delve into the subtleties, just remember – the more cache in your HDD, the better.
The hard drive is connected to the computer with two SATA wires, one of them goes to the motherboard, and the other from the power supply supplies power to your HDD. Remember that if you change the only HDD, then you need to copy the necessary data to the new device. Read below for how to do this.
How to remove the hard drive
Turn off the power first, unplug the power cord from the power outlet or power supply. This is important, because even when the computer is turned off, there is a chance that you will be electrocuted. Although only 12V is used in the case and this can not bring any harm to your health, it can be unpleasant.
Next, you need to remove the housing cover, it is attached with two screws at the back and slides out to the left after you unscrew them. Please note that there are rivets near the screws on the case, sometimes they are replaced with bolts, in which case they do not need to be unscrewed.
If you have a case with a tempered glass cover, it is usually secured with four screws with rubber plugs. You need to pry off the plug and unscrew the screw.
A big plus of the cases is that you don’t have to take anything out of the computer to get to the hard drive.
Disconnect the two wires that go to it. Please note: the smaller wire usually has a latch. It is located on top, so that it is clearly visible. To get this wire out of your HDD, bend it up before pulling out the wire.
Next, you need to remove the HDD itself from the rack. To do this, unscrew the two screws at the front and back. If you don’t have a tool to get in there, you’ll have to remove the back cover too.
In some cases, the rack is located with exits to the user and it is much easier to remove the HDD. The best option is a quick-release connection on an eccentric clamp. A huge plus is that cases that use such clips do not require a screwdriver to completely disassemble.
How to install and connect a hard drive
To install a new HDD, you need to repeat the instructions above from the last to the first step. Install the new drive in the rack first, and then connect the SATA wires to it.
What jumpers should I put on the hard drive?
In the bearded times, you could find jumpers on a hard drive that allowed you to set a place in the device hierarchy. This helped to avoid conflicts with access to other devices in the system. Such jumpers were only on HDDs that were connected via a loop, but now there is no such disgrace, and we can only use SATA and set the hierarchy programmatically.
If you have an ancient computer, and you install a hard drive on a cable, then you need to set the “Master” position on the main disk, and “Slave” on all other devices. Usually the “Master” is connected to the end of the loop, and the “Slave” device is placed in the middle.
Such jumpers are also found on modern drives, but most often they are not used, because if you do not short the output pins, the system will automatically select the role for your drive.
How to install a second HDD
To install a second drive on a computer (it doesn’t matter if it’s an SSD or HDD), you need to have a second SATA cable and a free power supply plug for the same connector. The photo shows the cable that connects the hard drive to the motherboard.
Turn off the computer, remove the cover, and attach the second drive to the rack. Then it needs to be connected, one wire to the motherboard, the second – from the power supply.
Once you’ve done this, you can start installing Windows (if it’s a new master drive), or you can just start your computer and use it. This space will already be waiting for you in the system.
Please note when installing on the SATA connector version: the photo shows the outputs on the motherboard with captions. 1.5 GB / s – SATA 1, 3 GB / s – SATA 2 and 6 GB / s – SATA 3. It is desirable that the capabilities of your HDD match the capabilities of the connector. To find out what SATA you have on your HDD, just look at the technical documentation, you can also search the case for the words “SATA” and see what version is written next to it.
Vertical and Horizontal HDD Mounting in USB 3.0 Docking Station
There are hard drive adapters that allow you to use them as a flash drive.
Connection in such devices is as simple as possible. The main criterion is the absence of vibration and shock on the body of the hard drive. That is, during transportation and in operation, it must be rigidly fixed in the housing.
The second important nuance is the transmission speed. It is hardly possible to consider an external hard drive as a full-fledged one due to rather strong speed limits. To mitigate this problem a bit, you need to choose an adapter that supports USB 3.0 or higher.
Can the HDD be installed upside down?
The position of the hard disk does not matter, it can be located in space at any angle. The main criterion is rigid fastening, that is, it should not hang out, but how you fix it does not matter in terms of reliability and performance parameters.
How to install a hard drive in a sled
A sled is a slang term for any hard drive adapter. Consider an adapter that allows you to install 2.5” devices in a 3.5” bay. Also, a sled can mean an adapter for a laptop, which makes it possible to install a second hard drive instead of an unnecessary DVD drive, be it an HDD or SSD in a 2.5 ”form factor.
How do I install a hard drive into a 2.5” to 3.5” adapter?
The photo shows an adapter that can hold 2 drives. They are fastened with screws on the right and left, only 4 screws per drive. It is desirable to rigidly fix HDD drives, while SSD does not need to be rigidly fixed. The fact is that the hard drive has a moving part that can vibrate during operation, a rigid grip on the case helps to minimize these vibrations.
If the disc is loose during operation, all the vibrations will gradually destroy the moving parts, that is, the spindle and the drive of the laser head, and they may fail. Not to mention that with constant vibrations, you have an increased risk of encountering errors when writing and reading data.
How do I install a hard drive in a laptop sled?
As seen in the photo, you need to use an HDD or SSD with a full size SATA connector. At the same time, the platform itself is connected in place of the optical drive, which has a miniSATA connector.
Once you’ve unpacked the sled, you’re ready to install the disc. First, remove the special screwdriver from its body and unscrew the built-in screws.
You don’t need to unscrew them completely, just move them a little inside so that the hard drive itself crawls into the hole. Please note that there is a small switch next to the HDD slot. It changes the adapter’s operating modes, and if you experience lags, read / write errors on a new disk, then switch it to another position, this can correct the situation. Install the hard drive and press it firmly against the connector. Now you need to fix it with the bolts that you unscrewed at the beginning.
Next, you need to get some elements from the old drive. The photo shows the screw that secures the drive. Usually it has special symbols that will help you figure it out. After you have unscrewed it, you need to pull out the drive itself and unscrew some parts from it, primarily the mount. You also need to remove the plastic cap, each laptop has a unique one, and to make it all look beautiful, you need to remove it and rearrange it on a sled.
Screw the drive mount to the sled and slide it all into the laptop, then screw the adapter onto the bottom of the case.
How to install a second HDD on a laptop
Exactly the same instructions as described above. Manufacturers very rarely provide space for a second drive, so this method is universal for most laptop models.
Replacing the HDD on a laptop
First, do not forget to copy the data, read on how to do this. To replace a drive in a laptop, you need to unplug it and remove the battery. Remove the HDD quick access cover as shown in the photo. If your laptop model does not provide for this, then you will have to remove the entire back cover. There can be no general recommendations here, each model is disassembled differently, and you can find detailed instructions on the manufacturer’s website or on the Internet in the video.
Pull the old drive out of the case and unplug it. Sometimes hard drives are mounted on bolts, they need to be unscrewed. The hard drive itself in a laptop, as a rule, is located in an aluminum case or at least has remote mounts. They need to be removed and put on a new HDD. Then attach the new device in place of the old one and screw it in the same way.
Then close the shortcut cover and you can continue using the notebook. But if this is your only drive in the system, then you will have to install Windows on it.
How to back up data before replacing the hard drive
Data transfer in most cases will be very long, especially if we are talking about large volumes or a huge number of small files. Each method has its limitations, disadvantages and advantages.
If we are talking about a full-sized desktop PC, the easiest way is to install a new HDD with a second hard drive and transfer all the data to it, and then get rid of the old device. This is the best option, which requires the least effort and cost from you – SATA wiring costs less than $ 1, and is included in some hard drives.
- Advantages: fast, simple and not expensive.
- Disadvantages: Cannot be used in laptops, all-in-ones or mini PCs.
HDD USB adapter
Buy a USB adapter for your hard drive, connect a new drive to your computer and dump information on it, or use the old one to access the files stored on it, albeit at a slower speed. If your computer supports USB 3.0, then it is better to buy an adapter with the same version of the connector.
- Advantages: universal option for any computer.
- Disadvantages: low speed and the need to buy the adapter itself, although it is not expensive.
If you don’t have many files and have a flash drive at hand, you can write everything you need to it before replacing the drive.
- Advantages: a universal option and does not require additional costs, everyone has a flash drive.
- Disadvantages: little space, it will be difficult to transfer large amounts of data. Rather low data transfer speed, you will wait several hours, especially if you are transferring a lot of small files.
Top-of-the-line option for small amounts of data. It is enough to have a high-speed Internet connection and reset data from a computer, laptop, phone, tablet, and so on.
- Advantages: the most versatile option, after the transfer you can use this data on any device.
- Weaknesses: Very slow transfer rate, lower than USB 2.0. To store large amounts of data, you need to rent space in the cloud, which can be expensive.
Recording the necessary information on discs is the last century, it is very long and even expensive, because discs are not free. In addition, your drive will be loaded for a very long time. But if there are absolutely no other possibilities, then you can write the data to disk.