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The hard disk drive is where all information is stored in a PC (except for BIOS settings.  More on that latter).  A hard disk drive is a magnetic storage device.  Even though the disks, called platters, look like CD's used in a CD-ROM, they are not the same.

When shopping for a hard drive you must consider not only the size of the drive (in gigabytes) but also it's speed in RPM's.  Along with the interface type, these determine the access time and transfer rate for the data on the hard drive.

You motherboard will normally have a build in hard drive controller.  If this one isn't good enough for, don't worry, it can usually be upgraded with an "add-on" card.  When upgrading, make sure your ribbon cable is up to spec!

ATA 100 is the most common interface type with home PC's.  The interface type is another factor in the overall picture of how "fast" your hard drive will be.



These, like most PC parts, just keep getting smaller.  The typical notebook hard disk drive is about the size of a pack of cigarettes!

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