Go Back   TechArena Community > ARENA > Guides & Tutorials
Become a Member!
Forgot your username/password?
Tags Active Topics RSS Search Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 27-08-2008
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 27
Buying a new Hard Drive.

Buying new Hard Disk!

Hard drive storage is constantly updating, in terms of both capacity of disk space and in physical size. A hard drive is an integral part of a computer. It is the central location where the operating system, programs and data are stored. The hard drive is the hub where your operating system, programs, and data are permanently stored and accessed. Once you’ve made basic decisions about size, connectivity, speed and data transfer rate, and whether you want an internal drive or external, you can search through Myshopping.com.au to find the most suitable brand, and model, and compare the prices of different vendors.

Identify your Requirement!

Identify your requirements. Determine why you need the new hard drive. Is it a replacement hard drive or additional hard drive?
i) Edit movies, take lots of digital photos, play games, or listen to music files on your PC -->> a big, fast internal Parallel or Serial ATA hard drive can dramatically improve your overall computing experience.
ii) Need more storage or a means to back up your PC's internal drives -->> Add an external hard drive (available in USB 2.0, FireWire 400 or 800, or external SATA flavors.)
iii) Want centralized storage -->> Consider buying a network-attached storage device (NAS).

How A Hard Drive Works



Nearly every desktop computer and server in use today contains one or more hard-disk drives. Every mainframe and supercomputer is normally connected to hundreds of them. You can even find VCR-type devices and camcorders that use hard disks instead of tape. These hard disks do one thing well -- they store changing digital information in a relatively permanent form. They give computers the ability to remember things when the power goes out.
Assembly
A hard disk drive consists of a motor, spindle, platters, read/write heads, actuator, frame, air filter, and electronics. The frame mounts the mechanical parts of the drive and is sealed with a cover. The sealed part of the drive is known as the Hard Disk Assembly or HDA. The drive electronics usually consists of one or more printed circuit boards mounted on the bottom of the HDA.
The data is stored digitally as tiny magnetized regions, called bits, on the disk. A magnetic orientation in one direction on the disk could represent a "1", an orientation in the opposite direction could represent a "0". Data is arranged in sectors along a number of concentric tracks. These tracks are arranged from the inner diameter of the disk to near its outer edge. Disk drives may contain more than one disk in a stacked assembly. Data is written onto each disk surface (top and bottom) by a separate recording head. So a disk drive with three disks will usually have six separate recording heads.
Your hard drive has a number of magnetized platters connected to a spindle. The spindle spins the platters at a very fast speed while a series of read/write heads scan over them both looking for and writing information. This information is transferred via a cable system, or through a wireless connection to a hard disk controller, which in most systems is built into the motherboard, or in some systems installed as an add-in card. The information that comes from your hard drive through its controller is then made available to the components of your computer. The effectiveness of your hard drive (its performance) depends on how much of its capacity remains unused, how well organised the data is (known as fragmentation) and its data transfer rate, which in turn is dependent on its connection type and the drive’s spin rate.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 27-08-2008
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 27
Internal Hard Drives

Most computers from, the most basic home models up to the most powerful servers, have an internally installed hard drive. Technology today ensures that they are all generally fast, reliable, and offer dependable storage ability. Most modern computers have installation slots and cabling to enable you to install additional hard drive. This allows you to increase your storage capacity without giving up your existing hard drive.

External Hard Drives

These drives are essentially the same drives as ones installed inside computers, but cased inside a protective, portable case. This is a good solution for people who work remotely and need to transport large amounts of data. If an external hard drive is your choice, make sure your computer is compatible with the interface that the hard drive uses. An add-in card, such as a FireWire card can help to increase your computer?s capabilities. You can compare different brands of external hard drives simply at Myshopping.com.au and search on the connection type, or other specifications.

Laptop Hard Drives

There have been many advances in miniaturization of hardware components for laptop computing, and hard drive technology is not left out of this loop. Laptop hard drives function in exactly the same way as internal hard drives on other computers, only they are designed to provide maximum storage and efficiency in the smallest possible package. For added flexibility, some laptop computers come with removable hard drives that can be easily installed and removed. However, before you buy a hard drive for your portable computer, check that the hard drive?s specifications will meet the standards of your computer, as many laptop hard drives are proprietary, and are not compatible with other brands and models.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 27-08-2008
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 27
Size
Hard drive space is one of those things, once you have it, you?ll find ways to fill it soon enough. There is no real rule of thumb, but consider the cost per gigabyte of storage as a way to guide your purchase. If you work with large files, such as music, video and graphics, it pays to have a big storage space for your work. It may pay you to have two hard drives, one that houses all your programs and applications, and another for storing your work and projects. You may want to compare the price of say a 160GB drive against two separate 80 GB drives. If one drive fails all is not lost.
i)up to 32 GB Hard Drives ii) 32-64 GB Hard Drives iii) 64-100 GB Hard Drives iv) 100 GB and more Hard Drives

Interface

One key distinguishing factor between hard drives is the way in which they connect to your computer. There are a number of basic types of connection schemes used with hard drives. Each connection type has a range of differences in performance.

i) IDE/ATAPI/ATA
ii) SCSI
iii) External (USB / Fire wire / Parallel)

IDE (INTEGRATED DRIVE ELECTRONICS)

This is by the most common connection methods. Because the hard drive controller is on the drive itself rather than on the motherboard, it helps to keep costs down. There different IDE standards available. Mostly, you will want to purchase the fastest possible standard that your computer can support. Most computers will support a standard that is faster than what the computer currently supports, so you can buy a faster drive, and update your computer at a later time. The different IDE standards, in order from most basic to fastest, are:

I) ATA (Basic). Supports up to two hard drives and features a 16-bit interface, handling transfer speeds up to 8.3 MB per second.

II) ATA-2 or EIDE (Enhanced IDE). Supports transfer speeds up to 13.3 MB per second.

III) ATA-3. A minor upgrade to ATA-2 and offers transfer speeds up to 16.6 MB per second.

IV) Ultra-ATA (Ultra-DMA, ATA-33 or DMA-33). Dramatic speed improvements, with transfer rates up to 33 MB per second.

V) ATA-66. A version of ATA that doubles transfer rates up to 66 MB per second.

VI) ATA-100. An upgrade to the ATA standard supporting transfer rates up to 100 MB per second.

VII) ATA-133. Found mostly in AMD-based systems (not supported by Intel), with transfer rates up to 133 MB per second.

VIII) IDE / EIDE Hard Drives

IX) Serial ATA Hard Drives

X) Ultra DMA 100 Hard Drives
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 27-08-2008
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 27
SCSI (SMALL COMPUTER SYSTEM INTERFACE)

This is the hard drive interface standard used by many high-end PCs, networks and servers, and Apple Macintosh computers, except for the earliest Macs and the newer iMacs. While some systems support SCSI controllers on their motherboards, most feature a SCSI controller add-in card. SCSI drives are usually faster and more reliable, and the SCSI interface supports the connection of many more drives than IDE. While SCSI drives come in many different standards, many of them are not compatible with one another. So it’s important be know that your computer supports the drive you plan to install. The different SCSI connections are:

I) SCSI-1. A basic connection using a 25-pin connector, supporting transfer rates up to 4 MB per second.

II) SCSI-2. Uses a 50-pin connector and supports multiple devices with a transfer rate of 4MB per second.

III) Wide SCSI. These drives have a wider cable and a 68-pin connection that supports 16-bit data transfers.

IV) Fast SCSI. Uses an 8-bit bus but transfers data at 10 MB Per second.

V) Fast Wide SCSI. Doubles both the bus (16-bit) and the data transfer rate (20 MB per second).

VI) Ultra SCSI or Ultra Wide SCSI. Uses an 8-bit bus and transfers data at 20 MB per second.

VII) SCSI-3. Features a 16-bit bus and transfers data at 40 MB per second.

VIII)Ultra2 SCSI. Uses an 8-bit bus and transfer data at a rate of 40 MB per second.

IX) Wide Ultra2 SCSI. Uses a 16-bit bus and supports data transfer rates of 80 MB per second.

X) Ultra320 SCSI Hard Drives

FIREWIRE (IEEE 1394)

The FireWire standard is becoming popular in portable hard drives because it can be connected and removed without having to reboot the computer. It supports data transfer rates of 50 MB per second, which means it is ideal for video, audio and multimedia applications. FireWire requires a dedicated add-in card and the hard drives in use require an external power source, but the interface can support up to 63 devices simultaneously.

I) USB 1.1 (UNIVERSAL SERIAL BUS)

Pretty much all computers today include USB ports on their motherboards. (On older model, you can install an add-in card.) USB controllers can be used to connect external hard drives, and can support as many as 127 devices simultaneously either through USB port hubs or linked in a daisy chain fashion. USB controllers do delivery power to devices connected to them, but many hard drives still use an external power source. USB is limited by its data transfer speed, the maximum rate being about at 1.5 MB per second.

II) USB 2.0 (HI-SPEED USB)

A more recently introduced and far better connection standard that offers backward compatibility and data transfer rates of up to 60 MB per second. USB 1.1 system can use a USB 2.0 device; it will need a USB 2.0 controller card to achieve the higher transfer rates.

III) FIBRE CHANNEL

Fibre Cabling is mainly used for high-bandwidth network servers and workstations, providing very fast data transfer rates (up to 106MB per second), and connection at long cabled distances, although it is expensive and you need to install a special interface card.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 27-08-2008
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 27
Spin rate

Data transfer rate is crucial to how well your computer performs for you. Apart from the connection types above, the performance of your hard drive depends on its spin rate, measured in RPM. Higher RPM generally means faster data transfer rate. The lowest spin speed that is acceptable in computing today is 5400 RPM. The common standard at present is 7200 RPM. But higher speeds are available in SCSI drives, and it is one area of computer system technology that is constantly being developed.

3600 RPM Hard Drives

4200 RPM Hard Drives

5400 RPM Hard Drives

7200 RPM Hard Drives

10000 RPM Hard Drives

15000 RPM Hard Drives

A larger capacity hard drive will not necessarily make your system function any faster unless you are low on available disk space with your existing drive. But a drive with Ultra ATA/100 or ATA/133 and a 7200 RPM spin rate will pretty much guarantee an improved hard drive performance.

CACHE

Cache (pronounces ?cash?) is additional temporary memory that acts as a buffer between the system and the drive. Frequently accessed data is stored in the cache for quick access. Cache sizes vary from 512 KB up to 16 MB on some SCSI drives. The larger cache you have on your drive, the faster your drive will transfer data. If you are working with large files, such as video, images and audio files, it pays to have the largest cache you can get (8MB or more).

SEEK TIME

The data on your disk is stored in tracks and sectors and when you instruct your hard drive controller to retrieve some data, it goes looking. The seek time is a measure of how long it takes the hard drive to find a specific track on a disk. Seek times can vary slightly from disk to disk and a drive with a faster seek time will always perform better.

INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL TRANSFER RATES

These two rates tell how fast a drive actually reads the data and passes it along to the system. Internal Transfer Rate refers to the time it takes for a drives heads to read data from the platter and pass it to the drive?s cache. The External Transfer Rate (sometimes called the Transfer Rate or the Burst Transfer Rate) is a measure of the time it takes to send the data from the cache all the way to the computer?s memory. Naturally faster transfer rates provide better performance.

S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology)

This is a nice built-in feature in some hard drives that can help alert you to a potential hardware problem. Your computer?s BIOS must support this in order for the SMART function it to work, however the drive itself will still work in a system without it.

Buying and installing a hard drive has some technical aspects that you need to take into account. Use Myshopping.com.au to compare different hard drive makes and specifications to find the drive that will work best for your needs and computer. You can compare prices and service offers from different vendors.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 27-08-2008
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 27
Which Brand to go for?
Mainly there are two famous brands as in Nehru Place (Delhi) Seagate and Samsung. Other companies include Maxtor, Western Digital and Hitachi. These can be looked at as well. But the hot selling ones with reliable service and warranty are Seagate and Samsung only.

Warranty provided :-
Always look for the warranty issue. We usually leave this part, but in case of a crash, the service they give is what it matters. Samsung gives you a good service, but Seagate does this too, but the only flaw I heard in Nehru Place about Seagate is that they do not remove the Bad sectors from the drive, they just hide them. Can?t say how far this thing is true.

Additional software provided :-
Take a look at what all software?s are being provided by the company. These include software like Disk Manger, Disk Partition, Disk clean up, Disk Defragmentation and others. These software do help in managing and keeping your drive alive for longer period.

Also, you will come across certain terms which you might not be aware of. Cache, SATA, Platter and many other. You need not to think about it. All the drives available today have almost same specifications, but the only difference is how they mange those.

This is the list which you must look for. If i am missing on anything do remind me.

P.S. ? SATA stands for Serial Advanced Technology Attachment, and every computer might not support the SATA drives, as it?s a new version of the conventional system PATA. Do confirm it from your vendor.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 27-08-2008
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 475
In my opinion I always look for the disk velocity. I don’t want a slow hard drive talking forever to search for data.
This info was very useful and educational as of right now where we stand and that is always good. I was looking for the difference in cache size (8MB or 16MB) to know how important it was to have a bigger size, cause I was penny pinching and this is what I found to be the difference besides the brands. Thank you.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 28-08-2008
altheakim
 
Posts: n/a
Hard drive storage

The big increase in storage density has been made possible through perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) technology, which was first introduced in Seagate’s 2.5 inch 160 GB drives about 30 months ago. Seagate said it is also updating its 2.5 inch drives soon with 5400 rpm mainstream models and 7200 rpm performance versions offering up to 500 GB of capacity
------------------
altheakim

Last edited by Saket : 28-08-2008 at 11:26 AM. Reason: Link Removed
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 28-08-2008
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 475
Thank uou so much altheakim for sharing your information on seagate!
Keep it up!
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12-03-2009
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 8
Re: Buying a new Hard Drive.

yes thank you man-u for the post keep it up
Reply With Quote
Reply

  TechArena Community > ARENA > Guides & Tutorials
Tags:



Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads for: "Buying a new Hard Drive."
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Which is the best 3TB hard drive for buying Cavendish Hardware Peripherals 9 05-02-2012 06:05 PM
Need help for buying first Macbook Pro, Processor, Ram, hard drive Emiliana Portable Devices 7 29-09-2011 11:18 PM
Buying a new external hard drive samar69 Hardware Peripherals 7 22-11-2010 05:36 PM


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 01:52 PM.