Secondary Storage

Alternatively called auxiliary storage and external memory, secondary storage is the storage medium which holds information until the info is overwritten or deleted regardless of the computer having power. For instance, a floppy and a hard disk drive are both fine examples of a secondary storage device. There are 3 different storage mediums in a computer, despite primary storage being accessed faster than the secondary one, secondary storage is utilized in today's computers for storing all your programs and personal data because of size and price limitations.

As off-line storage is basically secondary storage these two are separated into two categories because the media is easily removed and stored away from the computer.

Secondary storage technology includes storage media and storage devices which are not always accessed directly by the computer. This varies from the primary storage technology, like the internal hard drive, being constantly available.

Instances of a secondary storage device include external hard drives, tape drives and USB flash drives. These devices have to be connected to your computer's external I/O ports to be used by the system. They might or might not require own power supply.

Secondary storage media usually are recordable DVDs and CDs, floppy disks and removable disks, like Jaz disks and Zip disks. Every one of these media should be inserted in the appropriate reader to be used by the computer. Although removable disks and floppy disks are not used anymore, DVDs and CDs are a popular way of saving and transferring data.

As secondary storage technology might not always be accessible by your computer, it is normally used for archiving and backing-up. If a computer should stop functioning, the secondary storage device will be used to recalibrate the settings of the new system. Therefore, when using secondary storage devices to backup data, be sure to run frequent backups and tests on a monthly basis.