More commonly known as Mass storage
Make that mass data storage. Comes in two types: writeable and non-writeable.
Ok, consider this - you bought a program that came on a CD-ROM this is
non-writeable media. It was written to at the software publishers factory.
Done, can't add or change anything on that CD.
Writeable are: Hard drives, SSD (Solid State Drive), Floppies, Tapes, Flash, and Re-Writeable CD/DVDs.
So you have a large choice of devices whereto save your data to. Most are reliable
for a long period of time.
The most non volatile is the CD/DVD. I have some CD's that were created in 1993,
they are still readable, the programs are next to useless but I can copy them to
a hard drive and they run.
The most common device is the
mechanical hard drive. Hard drives continue to increase in
capacity and speed. My first hard drive was 5 meg, it took me almost six months
to fill it up.
SSD (Solid State Drive) are now becoming affordable
for higher capacity. This is special type
of memory that retains the data written to it after power has been removed.
The SSD is rated at 1500+ G impact resistance, that means you would have to drop
your computer from over 100 feet for the drive to be damaged. [This is some what
a misnomer: dropping the actual device by itself will damage the case and the
PCB inside, however the chips that make the SSD possible will be undamaged...]
Service Life: the SSD has a 1.5+ Million hour service life. Testing shows that
it would take that long before the first failure. That is around 72 years...
There are three drawbacks to the SSD:
- Write speed: (this has to do with the interface - IDE or SATA because the
read speed is quite fast).
- Size: Current affordable
storage space is still over $1+ per GB, a 120 GB
SSD will cost you over $120 for a high quality SSD.
- Cost: While SSD's cost close to $1+ per GB, you can buy a 1 TB mechanical drive
for the cost of a 120 GB SSD, if you can get away with a smaller drive in your
computer you gain a few important benefits.
If you can afford it then a great replacement or upgrade for your computer
desktop or laptop would be a SSD.
The 5 Steps to high quality and cheap
DIY Computer Repairs
Get It Today...
Update 02/15/14 - The SSD has officially passed the 1 Tetra Byte capacity,
however unless you either have the money to burn or need it very badly these
will set you back over $1500! A 500 GB SSD will cost you over $500!
Update 02/15/20 - As with all new technology the cost of a SSD is
dropping, I bought a 500 GB for my new custom built computer[DIY] and it cost
about 0.04 cents per GB USD. Not bad considering my first 64GB SSD cost
almost the same...
Next most common is the Floppy drive, the floppy is almost (not quite) obsolete
because the Flash memory drive is taking its place. As a matter of fact some
manufactures are not installing floppy drives in new systems, you get a CD/DVD
rom drive to install software from, if you want a floppy drive you have to
purchase it separately and normally it is a USB device.
CD/DVD Rom Drives, these devices have increased in capacity since they were
introduced and will continue to increase in capacity as the technology evolves.
You can get a read only drive or you can get a read/write drive and make your
Coming up fast is the Flash memory device, also know as pen drives, flash
drives, etc. These are very compact and high capacity devices. Very convenient
(in a way a security risk) they have a chip that allows the data written to ram
and be retained with out power.
Tape devices are still around, although they are not as popular as flash
devices, they offer long term high capacity storage. Tapes are good for about
four years, the company I worked for had a requirement to retain tapes for 11
years, I had to check those tapes every year, if a tape is not stored properly
it will degrade.
04/09/14 - A search of computer manufactures for computers
with a floppy drive installed turns up zero computers that come with the floppy
drive installed. Also a search for the drive alone turns up a few, all
refurbished drives, none new. Of the few I found none had a warranty, consider
that if you are buying a refurbished part. If you are in need of a floppy disk
to create bootable media consider the
virtual floppy drive/disk.
Ontrack Data Recovery Software
Data Recovery Do-it-yourself Software
table, or PDF was removed because it will not display on your device. Check back on a PC....
Note: Here is a free
to help you get a new hard drive or SSD installed...