The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide For Hard Disk Drive (HDD)

No matter what type of personal computer or laptop you own, it will run out of storage space one day and buying another computer isn’t a smart decision. So, what do you do when you’re running out of space on your computer and storing data on the cloud isn’t enough? The answer is simple. Get a Hard Disk Drive that’ll give you extra space equal to a new computer or more for only a hundred bucks or a little more. And if you’re thinking about things to consider before buying an HDD or hard disk drive benefits, then you’re at the right place! In this guide, we’re going to tell you all about hard disk drives and help you find the best of the best HDD out there.



What You Need To Know About Hard Disk Drive (HDD)

hard disc drive


Before you step into any electronics or gadgets store it is important you know all about hard disk drives so you don’t feel confused or lost when a salesperson eats your ear up about the latest things they have. A hard disk drive (HDD) is a non-volatile memory hardware memory device that permanently stores data either from a server or a computer. The data remains stored on an HDD even if it is off.



Hard disk drives types can vary depending on your needs. There are internal HDD used for storing large amounts of data and can be found in laptops or CPUs. Similarly, if you want to take your data on the go there are external HDD which can be plugged into multiple computers if that is what you need. Hard disk drives types can also be differentiated on the basis of the technology they operate on, but we’ll cover that later on.



For now, let’s look at how an HDD works.



How Does A HDD Work?

A hard disk drive communicates with the operating system of your computer to read and write data on the drive. It consists of a silver magnetic platter where the data is written magnetically by a read-write arm.



The process is similar to how a vinyl moves, except instead of playing music from the CD, the information is written on the silver platter by the magnetic arms through voice-coils. Computers understand the information in the form of 0s and 1s, and so the information stored on the platter is in binary.



This is how an HDD works, and the process is really interesting to know in more detail if you’re a technology buff. But for now, let’s move on to the wonderful uses of HDD.



What Are The Uses Of HDD?

hard disk drives uses


The uses of HDD are a lot, but the most common applications are for storing documents, images, videos. Also, depending on the memory size of an HDD you can also store software programs that consume a lot of space and memory on computers, typically between 1 to 3 gigabytes.



Without an internal hard disk drive, many programs and operating systems cannot run on a computer.



Things You Need To Consider Before Buying HDD

Things to Consider


Now, before you go buy one it is important you know all about hard disk drives features that fit your requirement and current need. Some of those specifications are:



Storage Capacity

data storage


Whenever you go out to buy your HDD the first thing on your list should be storage. Data is stored in the form of 1’s and 0s whereas bytes is the unit of the digital information. You may have seen HDD usually saying 500GB(gigabytes) or 1TB(terabytes) of storage, which basically tells you how much data can be stored in them. 1GB usually has 1024MB in it whereas 1TB is the equivalent of 1000GB.



A good rule of thumb would be to buy an HDD of at least 500GB as information these days is being stored in large sizes. The uses of HDD of 1TB will be plenty for you in the long run and can store all your high-quality images and documents safely.      





Some things to consider before buying an HDD is the fact that failures will occur when you buy an HDD and it is important you have a valid warranty for it. Many research studies have shown that an HDD usually lasts for up to 4 years with proper use of hard drive and if good care is taken of both the physical drive and maintaining backups on it. Buying an HDD from a trusted brand is another important factor to take into account. 




data security


Security is another one of the things to consider before buying an HDD, for if your HDD falls into the wrong hands you can rest assured that the right security measures have been implemented that will make sure your files remain protected and unharmed. Many affordable hard disk drives offer hardware encryption which is stronger than software encryption.



Speed Of Transfer

And one of the last things to consider before buying an HDD is the speed with which data is transferred from one device to another. USB 3.0 is one of the fastest port through which data can be transferred and is incorporated within your computer. It is therefore wise to buy an HDD with a USB 3.0 connection which will speed up the transfer process.  As we’re looking for the best of the best HDD, it is important to take all these factors into consideration.



Benefits Of Having Hard Disk Drive

Hard disk drive benefits are a lot when taken into account and some of them may not seem obvious at first, but here are a few you may or may not have heard of:

  • They offer a large storage capacity which can benefit for a long time with proper use of HDD.
  • Your data is not lost even if your computer shuts down in between important tasks.
  • Hard disk drive types are usually compact in size and can be taken anywhere on the go.
  • Another one of the hard disk drive benefits is that their performance is pretty fast as compared to USBs.



Types Of Hard Disk Drive (HDD)

Different types of hard drives disks with different sizes and capacities on a wooden table.


We’ve already explained how HDD works, as well as how you can use it for both external use or internal use within your PCs or laptop. When we talk about internal disk drives there can two types: hard disk drive (HDD) or Solid State Drive (SSD). We’ll get to SSD in a bit, but for now, let’s talk about HDD. HDDs usually need an interface in order to communicate with the computer. You can’t just put in your laptop and expect it to start running. There are three types of interfaces and we’ve explained each one below:


1. Parallel Advanced Technology Attachment (PATA)

First up we have Parallel Advanced Technology Attachment (PATA) that are also known as Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE) and were one of the first interfaces to be used by drives in computers. Usually drives using the PATA interface are called PATA drives and they were installed on the earlier versions of motherboards. These drives can transfer data at a speed of 133 MBs/second. Most motherboards can support up to 4 PATA drives. Similarly, data is stored on a rotating disk using magnetism, where the read-write head would change any information stored on the surface. However, these Parallel Advanced Technology Attachment (PATA) have become obsolete now, and an upgraded version is found most commonly used today called the Serial ATA (SATA) drive.


2. Serial ATA (SATA)

The Serial ATA (SATA) drive is the most commonly used hard drive in laptops or personal computers these days. Not only that, but they’re also used by popular gaming consoles like PlayStation 4 or Xbox One. A SATA drive can work with any motherboard and operating system which makes them excellent for storage, efficient in performance, readily available and an affordable hard disk drive. One of the key differentiating factors between a PATA and SATA drive is their transmission speed; a SATA drive can transmit up to 600MBs/second and each SATA drive can be connected to the motherboard with a single data cable. A single Serial ATA (SATA) drive is usually 3.5 inches in size for desktop computers and 2.7 inches in size for laptops.


3. Small Computer System Interface (SCSI)

Another famous interface is the Small Computer System Interface (SCSI) that was first developed in the 1970s. A 50-pin flat ribbon connector was used to connect the hard disk drives and other peripherals. It was also famously called a “Scuzzy”. However, it has since become obsolete but you can still find them in low-end computers. Their data transmission rate was 80MB/second which owing to the era it was made in, was quite a leap.  If you end up with a Small Computer System Interface (SCSI) device it can be difficult to retrieve data as the data cables can be hard to come across.


4. Solid State Drives (SSD)

Today Solid State Drives (SSD) are quite popular and taking over hard disk drives as well. Whether you use it as an external disk drive or buy it pre-installed on a laptop they can be expensive but they avoid one main problem of HDD: data failure. The main technology in SSD is starkly different compared to HDD as they don’t use magnetic storage technology, resulting in no moving disks. A Solid State Drive(SSD) incorporates NAND type flash memory which is similar to the way a RAM works. In this case, memory isn’t read-written with a magnetic arm, in fact, the data is stored on transistors in a series configuration. The same data is recalled by a central controller which makes the transmission rate extremely high. Similarly, they consume less power as there are no moving parts in the drive and laptops can run for a longer amount of time. However, the one major disadvantage is the price of an SSD which is three to five times more of a hard disk drive and that too for a lesser amount of storage. More SSDs come with a storage space of 128MB or 256MB.


Best Of Best On The Types Of Hard Disk Drive

Now that you’ve got all the information and uses of a hard disk drive, let’s talk about some of the best HDDs you can get these days:

This is still one of the best internal HDD out there with a capacity of 2TB, it also is a flash-accelerated disk which means it performs faster than a traditional HDD. It also comes with a 5-year warranty.
Another great internal HDD that works perfectly for storing games and doesn’t take much time to load. Similarly, as compared to the Firecuda it is less expensive and comes in a capacity ranging from 500GB to 6TB, which is a lot!
If you’re looking for an external HDD then Western Digital has got you covered in that respect as well. With a capacity of 4TB and 256-AES encryption, this is a reliable brand for both internal and external HDD and delivers quality.



What Are The Types Of Storages Of HDD?

Storage types of HDDs usually start from 500GB and can go up to 2, 3 or even 8TB. Depending on your needs you can get customized storage types of HDD and install them in our computer. The world’s largest storage capacity of HDD is by Western Digital with a capacity of 15TB.



Where To Buy Affordable Hard Disk Drive?

After reading all the uses of HDD, you may be looking for the best deals out there to get your new HDD. Seagate, Toshiba, Samsung, and Western Digital have a ton of affordable HDDs that won’t hurt your pocket.



What Is The Difference Between HDD And SSD?



Both SSD and HDD are equally amazing forms of storage in their respective domains however there are some differences between HDD and SSD.


  • One main difference between HDD and SSD lies in its internal technology.
  • SSD relies on flash memory which means there are no moving parts and hence they occupy less space.
  • HDD, on the other hand, rely on a spinning magnetic disk to store data which means they take more time to process information.
  • Another difference of HDD and SDD lies in their data transmission rate with SDD being faster than HDD. This isn’t necessarily a good thing if you’re tight on a budget because SDD costs three to four times higher than an HDD for the same capacity.
  • Similarly, a big difference of HDD and SSD is their life span. Typically, HDD can last for more than 4 years however with SSD you’re looking at shorter lifespan as compared to HDD.


Overall there are many hard disk drive benefits as compared to SSD.


Common Problems And Solution For HDD

While using a hard disk it is common to run into a few problems while using it frequently, in some exceptional cases does an HDD fail, whereas in most cases data recovery is possible.

Some common problems and solutions for HDD are listed down below:

  • Error HDD not found: in case you get this error, chances are your computer won’t perform any commands as an internal cable connecting to the HDD may be damaged or loose. Water or physical damage can also cause this.

Solution: a simple solution could be to perform a hard reset by turning off your system, disconnecting the power cables and restarting the system.

In case of physical damage, you will have to take it in for a repair.

  • Error Volume is Dirty: this error can occur if the entire disk or a certain part called a volume has been corrupted. It can occur for both external and internal HDDs and can be a result of an unsupported file system or an unexpected shutdown. This occurs mostly in common with external HDD.

Solution: simply remove the drive, turn off your system, restart it and connect the HDD to check whether you get the error or not.



Tips On How To Properly Use The Hard Drive



In order to ensure that you don’t get any errors while using a HDD, here are some ways on how to properly use the hard drive:


  • Avoid physical damage by keeping it clean, dust free, protected from fire and power fluctuations.
  • Don’t install or transfer shady software programs that have not been run through an anti-virus program.
  • Don’t keep unwanted files as it can overload the hard drive and cause it to be burnt out.
  • Defrag your hard drive periodically to avoid any failures.
  • Be careful while unplugging an external HDD as any abrupt actions can cause it to deteriorate in the long run.
  • An HDD can easily overheat due to over spinning which can be controlled. Setting the spin-down will immensely improve the health of an HDD.



Frequently Asked Questions About HDD



So far, we’ve told a lot of things all about hard disk drive, and now we’re going to share some hard disk drive FAQs that are asked occasionally.



1. How to tell if the hard drive is failing?

A failing hard drive will give some clear signs to show how it isn’t properly working. Some signs are:

  • A weird/abnormal clicking sound from the disk which may indicate insufficient power supply or power damage.
  • Access Denied prompt in case the hard disk has been corrupted.
  • Repeated crashing of the drive is a sign of a failing hard drive
  • When you can’t access data.



2. Is it okay to defrag the HDD?

Another hard disk drive FAQ commonly asked is about how to defrag HDD, which may help your slower than usual computer to speed things up. The process brings together scattered files which so the read-write arm doesn’t have to move around that much. Only defrag HDD as it can harm SSDs.



3. How to properly do hard drive partitioning?

Hard drive partitioning is good for separating programs and files, before you start it is crucial you make a backup in case an error occurs, followed by these steps:

  • Clean out your recycle bin and make sure you have enough space
  • Open windows partitioning tool and click on Create and format hard disk partitions.”
  • Right-click on Partition and select Shrink Volume. This may take a while.
  • A dialog box will show you how much space there is and select any size under it to partition.
  • And your hard drive partitioning is done. 



4. Things you didn’t know about your hard disk drive

Now here are some things you may not have known about your hard disk drive:

  • The first HDD was created by BBM in 1956 for their computers and had a capacity of 3.75MB.
  • In 1958, IBM made it available for other companies to purchase and integrate into their computers.
  • The first HDD weighed about one ton.
  • It retailed for around $34,000 whereas today you can buy an 8TB HDD on Amazon for only $200.



5. What difference does a 4tb HDD make?

A 4TB HDD is equal to 4000GB with which you can store tons of games, software programs, high-quality videos, pictures, and create their backup as well.

The difference it’ll make will be a lot and you won’t know how much space you actually need until you have a spacious HDD.



6. Why Do You Need A HDD Sentinel?

An HDD sentinel is monitoring and analysis software that makes sure your HDD runs smoothly. It looks for any problems, tests, diagnoses and repairs them for you.



7. What are the advantages of having a HDD regenerator

An HDD regenerator is a good tool to have in case you’re looking to recover lost data. It also repairs bad sectors on your HDD which makes it quite popular among data recovery professionals.



8. Top external HDD for your needs

If you’re looking for a new and external hard disk type, here are some to choose from:









10. HDD Cloning Software – What is it and why do you need it?

Disk cloning is a process of creating the exact replica of an HDD and copying not only the files but operating systems, drives, and software programs as well. In case your computer crashes or fails, you can reboot your entire PC with an HDD clone you made which won’t be time-consuming or costly. 



Hopefully, this guide clarifies some of the doubts you may have had about purchasing an HDD. Remember, it’s always best to assess your needs before making an investment in a storage device. Explore your options and see what fits your needs! 

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