Next to the motherboard and processor, the hard
drive is the most important component of your computer.
It acts as the basic storage medium for every piece
of data your computer uses, including the operating
system and all of your files and information. Needless
to say, a fast and reliable hard disk is essential
to any system, making your purchasing decisions
all the more important.
Hard disks contain a number of magnetized platters
connected to a spindle. The spindle spins the platters
at an incredible fast speed while a series of read/write
heads scan over them both looking for and writing
A simple analogy might be to think of the hard disk
as an advanced type of record player. The record,
or platter, spins as a needle, or read/write head,
passes over it looking for information. The major
difference, of course, is that a hard disk is able
to both read and write information.
The information is transferred across a ribbon or
cable to a hard disk controller. The hard disk controller
is usually built-in to the mother board, although
some are in the form of add-in cards. This information
is then made available to all the components of