Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Hard Drives & Disks

Nearly every desktop computer and server in use today contains one or more hard-disk drives. See how hard drives work and get troubleshooting and maintenance tips.

Featured
How to Deaden Sound on a Computer

Do you know how to explain sound deadening on a computer? Learn how to explain sound deadening on a computer.


Should I move my hard disk to the cloud?

Cloud computing is no longer the wave of the future -- it's the wave of now! So is it time to go ahead and move the contents of your computer's hard drive online, or are some things better off staying home?

How do I update the drivers on my computer?

People aren't always familiar with the role drivers play in their computing experiences because this software is often updated automatically. But if you do need to update them yourself, we've got some tips for you.

How big a hard drive do I need?

Hard drives are getter bigger and bigger, capacity-wise. But do you really need terabytes' worth of space? We'll ponder optimal hard drive size in this article.

How Solid-state Drives Work

We know your digital life is important to you --all those apps, files, photos and music. But here's the 50-million-dollar question: Is a solid-state drive or a hard disk drive the right technology for the job?

What is a virtual hard drive?

From the moment we started storing stuff on computers, we quickly realized that we needed more and more space. Virtual hard drives are the latest stage in digital data storage's evolution.

Do you know how to explain sound deadening on a computer? Learn how to explain sound deadening on a computer.

How to Add a Hard Drive to Your Computer in 8 Steps

Is your computer more than a year old? If so, there's a good chance you're running low on disk space. Adding a hard drive will help -- we'll show you how.

How Floppy Disk Drives Work

Floppy disks were the first portable computer storage devices, created in 1967. They may be obsolete these days, but they definitely made computer history.

How can I recover a deleted file from my computer recycling bin?

When you delete files from your computer and empty it out of the Recycle Bin, can it be recovered? Learn about computer recycling bins and file recovery.

Why does my PC try to access my floppy disk drive when there is no diskette in it?

When your PC tries to access your floppy disk drive, there could be a number of reasons. Luckily, they're pretty simple to solve -- we'll show you how to troubleshoot and fix this problem.