Secondary Storage Devices

Secondary Storage DevicesKnowing what types of storage devices are offered can prevent overusage of the computer’s hard drive and messy hard drives. These can also help to prevent the hard drive from stopping, and hold it at maximum speed. The commonest storage devices are:

  • Floppy Disk – a plastic square disc, usually with a black or silver sliding piece across the top. The discs come in many colours and hold around 144 million bytes. (A byte is a character, symbols or letter).
  • Zip Disk – Resembles a floppy disk, but is a little thicker. The disk also varies in colours and has around 200 MB of storage.
  • CD + RW Disc – short for Compact Disc Rewriteable – a disc resembling a regular CD. An important difference is that you can “burn” information on the disc and then erase the data however frequently you need. It works much like the floppy disk or the zip disk. The CD + RW disc has about 650 MB of data.
  • CD + R Disc short for Compact Disc Recordable – a CD on which to record. It is mainly used for recording audio. However, once it has been burned, you cannot erase or rewrite anything on it. The compact disc is produced in various sizes, but is usually in silver. Some CDs come in black and actually do get a lot less scratches as the silver CDs do. The black CDs are much lees fragile, as well.
  • A DVD – R Disc – short for Digital Video Recordable – a disc holding about 4.7 GB of storage and are used for recording movies.
  • Removable Hard Drive – a disk drive with a metal or plastic case surrounding the hard drive. The removable hard disk is inserted and removed much like the floppy disk. It has around 2 GB of storage.
  • Internet Hard Drive – an Internet service which provides storage space for computer users. The service has around 25 MB of storage, but it may be more, according to the service provider.
  • Flash Drive – a storage device which comes in many colours and resembles a stick. They are small in size and can hold between 3 GB and 256 MB of information.
  • PC Card – a thin credit-card sized device which fits into a card slot, normally on notebook computers. This card just adds storage to notebooks.
  • Smart Cards – the size of ATM cards. When placed into the smart card reader, smart cards update and read data.
  • Storage Tape – a magnetically coated plastic ribbon, able to store large quantities of data at low cost. Normally, storage tapes are bigger than audio ones. Older computers use tape drives and even today people still back up the systems with storage tape. The tapes hold 20 GB to 110 GB of data. The external tape drive could be purchased separately, but those are extremely hard to find.
  • Miniature Mobile Storage Media – mostly used with digital cameras and handheld computers.
  • Memory Stick – a rectangular shaped disk which is used mainly with notebook computers and digital cameras. They also hold around 128 MB.
  • Micro Drive – a square disk which has 1 GB of storage and is used in handheld computers and digital cameras.
  • Smart Media Disc – a square disk which has 2 MB to 128 MB of storage. It is used in digital cameras, photo printers and handheld computers.