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Lesson 9. Storage Overview > Hard Drive Basics

Hard Drive Basics

While you can just buy hard disks and plug them in, you’ll have better luck with them if you understand how they work and how they’re connected. The spec sheets don’t tell the whole story; hard drives vary in performance depending on how full they are, and the ways in which they’re connected and formatted affect how well they can supply a steady stream of video data. Fortunately, the details aren’t that difficult to grasp, and once you know the basics you’ll be able to read between the lines of the manufacturer’s data sheets and pick the best drives for your needs.

Hard drives are fairly simple electromechanical devices. One or more platters, metal or glass disks coated with magnetic material, are mounted on a hub and spun at about 100 revolutions per second. Magnetic read/write heads scan across the surface of the platters to read existing data or record it anew.


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