Computer 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.

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Before you sell or give away an old computer, you need to wipe the files from the hard drive. But deleting data takes more than just dragging and dropping it to the trash bin.

By Talon Homer

You're typing along on your laptop when, all of a sudden, your computer fades to black. What's causing your black screen and how do you fix it?

By Chris Pollette

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?

By Jonathan Strickland


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.

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.

By Kate Kershner

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 (SSD) or a hard disk drive (HDD) the right technology for the job? What is an SSD, exactly? Read on to find out!

By William Harris

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.

By Kate Kershner


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.

By Marshall Brain

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

By Gary Brown

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.

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.


When you save a document, your machine disseminates little pieces of the file into empty spaces on the hard drive. Learn why it's done this way and how defragmenting maintains your computer's performance.

Surely you've noticed the grinding noise that sometimes happens when you open a file on a computer. Is it normal? What causes it?

The main thing that separates a Zip disk from a floppy disk is the magnetic coating used on the disk. How does this coating make such an impact on the disk's storage space?

The head crash -- it's one of the most terrifying and frustrating computer glitches because it can destroy all of your data. Find out how long you can expect a hard disk to last before a head crash happens.


Nearly every desktop computer requires a hard drive for data storage, but what is a hard drive, exactly? Your hard disk drive holds all of the information available on your computer. Take a look inside this incredibly precise storage mechanism!

By Marshall Brain