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HomeComputer HardwareComponentsHard Drives

Selecting a Hard Drive

Hard drives – also known as computer hard drives, hard disk drives or disk drives – are data storage devices that store digital data on rapidly rotating platters (discs) with magnetic surfaces.

There are a number of different types of hard disk drives available now, including External Hard Drives, Firewire External Hard Drives, SATA Hard Drives and IDE Drives. External hard drives are a great solution if you’re running out of drive space on your desktop or laptop, or if you’re just looking for a convenient way to back up your important data.

There are two types of external hard drives – Desktop and Notebook. Desktop drives are designed to stay in one place, and require a power adapter. They can store up to 6 terabytes (TB) or more of data. If you’re shopping for a Desktop drive, look for one that has a built-in fan, as the extra cooling will extend the life of your drive.

The other type of external hard drive – and an increasingly popular choice – is the Notebook or Pocket drive, which is powered through the connector cable without the need for a power adapter. These drives offer storage capacity of up to 2TB, but more common are those with capacities of 500GB to 1TB. Their greatest advantage, however, is their portability; you can take your Notebook drive with you wherever it’s needed.

Finding the hard disk drive you need is easy at TigerDirect, where you’ll find a wide variety of drives from manufacturers like Buffalo, Axiom, Hitachi, HP, Lenovo, Fantom, Seagate and WD, among others. You can also buy the components – hard drive, hard drive enclosure and cooling unit – and build your own storage solution. When changing the hard disk drive in your system, though, remember to clone it first so you can easily get back up to full function fast.