Disk drives store data on a physical disk covered with magnetic material. In order for any device on the system to access the disk, (such as the RAM, processor etc.), there must be some coordination.

The drive controllers manage this, and all basic mid-level disk access functions. Most personal computer disk drives are smart enough now to do their own reading and writing and even caching of data to speed up access.

On a mainboard there is usually a socket for the floppy drive, a socket for EIDE ATA drives and/or a socket for SCSI drives. Often, the SCSI controller is on a separate adapter card.


    • FLOPPY DISK - AKA 'flexible disk'
      • 5.25" - 640kb (ancient) or 1.25 Mb (not quite as ancient)
      • 3.5" (most common)
      • ATA
      • SATA
      • IDE / EIDE
        • UDMA 33
        • UDMA 66
        • UDMA 100
        • UDMA 133
      • SCSI
        • Wide
        • Ultra-Wide
      • RAID

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