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Internal Hard Drives
An internal hard drive is a data storage device that uses spinning magnetic platters to store information. The first hard disk, built in 1956, was 68 cubic feet in size and stored about 3.75MB of information. Modern versions have come a long way. A typical laptop drive is 2.5 inches across, and the biggest modern drives hold 10TB of data; 2.7 million times more than their earliest ancestor. Staples carries a broad range of internal hard drives that are compatible with laptop computers, desktop computers, servers and surveillance systems, including brands such as Western Digital, Seagate, Toshiba, Intel and IBM.
An Internal Hard Drive Combines Storage Capacity and Speed Hard drives come in many sizes. Smaller 500GB to 1TB drives are ideal for casual users with limited data, while high-capacity 2 to 10TB drives handle demanding storage tasks. Modern disks feature integrated controllers with dedicated 64 to 128MB data caches that provide fast access to stored information. Most products feature industry-standard SATA interfaces that transfer data at rates of up to 6 gigabits per second, but some models have SCSI, Thunderbolt or SAS interfaces that meet specific data transfer needs. Many modern hard drives combine traditional magnetic platters with a small solid state drive. These hybrid products cache frequently accessed data on the SSD, enhancing the drive's overall performance.
Internal Hard Drives Offer Reliable Storage for Any Application As computer systems have evolved, so have hard drives. Many brands offer specialized data storage solutions that handle specific use cases. Desktop and laptop drives offer responsive performance to casual and power users, while NAS drives have advanced data recovery and power management features that make them ideal for 24/7 servers and data centers. Surveillance drives are optimized for continuous video recording in diverse environments.
Which Is the Best Internal Hard Drive For Your Device? When selecting a drive, consider the storage capacity needed, the physical space available inside the computer's case and the type of data connections the system offers. Most laptops use 2.5-inch hard drives, while desktop and server cases have bays that accommodate 3.5-inch internal hard drives. Choose a model that can handle your current data storage need and allow extra room for future growth.
Is an Internal Hard Drive Difficult to Install? Replacing a drive in a desktop computer is a relatively simple operation, requiring a little basic computer knowledge and, in most cases, a screwdriver. You should be able to identify various data and power connectors and understand static electricity protection procedures. Replacing a drive in a laptop is a bit more challenging since these devices have tightly packed interiors that may make it hard to reach connectors and components.
What Do RPM Values Mean? Internally, hard drives have one or more spinning magnetic disks that store data and several moving heads that transfer information to and from these platters. RPM values measure the rotational speed of the spinning disk. The faster the disks spins, the faster the read/write heads can locate a specific piece of data. Most desktop and laptop drives spin at 5,400 to 7,200 revolutions per minute, but drives for demanding server applications can spin as fast as 15,000 RPM.