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The hard disk is another essential component of any computer or laptop. Thanks to the hard drive, you can install your computer’s operating system and store important documents or your favorite multimedia files. There are many kinds and types of HDDs. Hard drives generally come in 1.8, 2.5, and 3.5 inch sizes and they can be either internal or external.

The 1.8" and 2.5" discs are primarily designed for use in notebook computers; HDDs of 3.5" are most commonly used in traditional desktops, today’s very popular multimedia centers, or in set-top boxes. Another important consideration when choosing a hard drive is selecting the correct interface. Nowadays, the most commonly used interfaces are (IDE PATA), SATA II, and SATA III, while the IDE is in decline and no longer supported by manufacturers. Another criterion for the selection of the hard disk itself is disk architecture. There are two kinds of hard drives -- those with mechanical parts and those without (labeled SSD). Among the best-known manufacturers are Seagate, Western Digital and Samsung.

SSDs are the latest type of hard disks. SSD acronym comes from the English “Solid State Disks.”  Benefits of SSDs are low energy consumption and significantly faster read and write speeds. These features make them ideal for use in devices that require a high level of security and access speed, such as laptops and camcorders. The biggest advantage of SSDs is their resistance to mechanical damage. It is a disc with no moving parts. SSD memory operates on the same principle as the flash drives. SSDs are manufactured in sizes 2.5 and 3.5 inches; SATA, SATAII, ExpressCard, or Mini PCI-E. Among the best-known manufacturers of hard drives are Kingston, Intel, Corsair, ADATA and Patriot.

HDD capacity is generally given by manufacturers using the prefix decimal system, but some PC systems and operating systems display capacity disk drives in the extended binary. The actual capacity of the disk as compared to the data given may vary.