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Hard drives and storage

What does a hard drive do?
Storage is the hard drive’s responsibility. Everything you keep on your computer is on a hard drive. Not just documents, pictures, music and videos. Your programs, your preferences, even your operating system—they’re all stored on your computer’s hard drive.

If your hard drive is damaged, you can lose it all. That’s the sad truth. Which is why most people have a backup system. They get another hard drive and copy all their important files onto that.

What are the different types of hard drive connections?
There are four basic ways to connect your hard drive to your computer:

  1. USB
    This is the most common connection type. There’s no set-up at all. Just plug it in. The computer recognises the drive, and you’re able to read and save files almost instantly.
  2. FireWire
    Plug-and-play like USB, Firewire 800 is significantly faster, making it popular with those transferring video files.
  3. SATA
    This is the standard connection for internal hard drives. Offers the highest file transfer speeds of any format.
  4. eSATA
    A less common, high-performance connection most commonly found in PCs. An eSATA connection performs at speeds that most closely resemble an internal drive.