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Fixed Storage

This section will examine the LO1 component concerning fixed storage - its operation, capacity and speed.

The predominant form of fixed storage in a PC is the hard disk. A hard disk is a magnetic storage device which stores data as changes in the magnetic field of an area. A hard disk actually consists of more than one disk or platter in a vacuum sealed compartment. Data is read from or written to each disk platter using a movable read/write head that moves in and out as the platters spin.

You can think of each storage area of the hard disk as being like a miniature magnet with north and south poles, i.e. magnetic north for '1' and magnetic south for '0'. Other technologies that use a similar method of magnetic storage are audio tape and video tape.

Next: Hard Disks