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Chapter 4. Playing Disk Jockey with Hard... > Disk Drives: Easy As A-B-C - Pg. 35

Playing Disk Jockey with Hard Disks, Floppy Disks, CDs, and DVDs 35 The Hard Disk Drive: C The drive shown inside the computer in Figure 4.1, is the internal hard disk drive, usually called drive C. Some computers have an extra external hard drive that sits outside the computer and is connected to the system unit by a cable; the extra drive typically is assigned a letter that comes later in the alphabet, such as E or F. With hard drives you don't handle the disk; it's enclosed airtight inside the drive. The CD or DVD Drive: D A CD-ROM or DVD drive is standard equipment on every new computer. It typically is located right next to the floppy drive and rarely is vertical. The CD-ROM or DVD drive usually is drive D. Although most DVD drives can play standard CDs, CD-ROM drives cannot handle DVDs. If you have a newer computer, there's a good chance that it's equipped with a CD-R (CD-Recordable) drive. A CD-R drive reads CDs just like a CD-ROM drive, but it also has the capability to record data on special CD-R or CD-RW (CD-ReWritable) discs. Techno Talk A hard disk drive can be partitioned (or divided) into one or more drives, which the computer refers to as drive C, drive D, drive E, and so on. The actual hard disk drive is called the physical drive; each partition is called a logical drive. If you encounter a computer that displays letters for more than one hard drive, the computer might have multiple hard drives or a single drive partitioned into several logical drives. You might have seen people place the system unit on its side. Hey, it saves space and looks cool. However, if your system unit has a CD or DVD drive, you might have to sacrifice cool for functional. Although many CD drives can function if positioned vertically, some drives can't hold a disc when set on their sides. Make sure the drive has some way of securing discs in a vertical position before you flip your system unit on its side. What's on My Disks? So, how can you figure out what's on a disk? You must use a file management utility to display the contents of the disk. Windows comes with two such utilities: My Computer and Windows Explorer. When you run My Computer, it displays icons for every disk drive on your computer, as shown in Figure 4.2. Simply click the icon for the disk whose contents you want to view (or double-click if the icon names are not underlined). My Computer then displays the names of all the files and folders on the disk. See Chapter 5, "Windows Survival Guide," for details.