beginners guides

What is a HARD DRIVE?

This is a common question we receive here at Ebuyer, and a “hard drive” has nothing to do with being on the M25 at rush hour! We’re going to presume you’re not that knowledgeable when it comes to tech, so we’ll explain it all in simple terms and also give you some tips on what you should look for when looking for a new hard drive.


The hard drive is where your computer stores data for the long term, and this means all the things you save. It’s also where all the code required for your operating system, drivers for your accessories, framework browsers and everything else required to run your system is stored. It’s REALLY important. When you hear people talking about storage, they’re talking about the hard drive. It’s also known as an HDD (Hard Disk Drive). There is also an SSD (Solid State Drive) – These two things are different, and we’ll talk about them in a minute.


You need SPACE!

Every hard drive has only so much space. Quite a bit of that space is automatically filled by the operating system and back up installations. The rest of the space is for you to fill with all the things you decide to save – from word documents to family videos.


The CLOUD is here…

The hard drive isn’t as important now as it was previously, because now we have the cloud. You can store data in the cloud which leaves you with more space on your PC.

More and more people and businesses are using the cloud, which relies on remote servers and THEIR hard drives in data centres. It all makes sense, and saves you having to buy extra storage.


There are TWO MAIN TYPES of drives…

A hard drive is internal or external. An internal hard drive means that it is located inside your laptop or desktop. An external hard drive means it is outside your PC and usually connected to your computer through a USB port.

It’s possible that you might not be able to upgrade an internal drive. If you have a desktop it’s quite an easy process to disconnect the old drive and connect a new one.

Laptops are different. Some of them can’t be accessed at all, some have a door along the bottom which allows access to the drive. Certain laptops, such as Apple’s MacBooks don’t have removable storage. It’s always best to check out the specifications on manufacturer’s websites for details how to change your laptop’s drive. Alternatively, you can also speak to an Ebuyer customer service assistant who will be pleased to assist you.

When we refer to a hard drive, this is the hard disk drive or HDD. There is also what is called an SSD (Solid State Drive). There’s a big difference between the two:

HDD: Hard drives use a spinning magnetic disc, so has moving parts. It has ‘heads’ which read and write data to the disc as needed. It’s quite a simple method which makes HDDs quite cheap.

SSD: Solid-state drives don’t have any moving parts. In simple terms, these are much faster than HDDs and can store information much easier and you don’t have to be concerned that parts will wear out. SSDs are why modern PCs start up so fast.


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