Hard Disk Drives

A hard disk drive (sometimes abbreviated as hard drive, HD, or HDD) is a non-volatile memory hardware device that permanently stores and retrieves data on a computer. …
All computers have a hard drive installed in them, which is used to store files for the operating system, software programs, and a user’s personal files.

An SSD (Solid State Drive) is much faster than a HDD. This is because SSD’s do not have moving parts, and store data in microchips. Hard disks, on the other hand, contains moving parts to read and write data onto your hard disk. This means that an SSD is faster, lighter, and less bulky.

In order to find the model number, simply right-click on Computer and go to Properties. Next click on the Device Manager link on the left. You can also just open Control Panel and click on Device Manager from there. Now expand Disk drives and you should see the model number of your hard drive

The largest difference between the current popular dimensions (2019) 2.5 and 3.5 inch hard drives is their size. Two and a half inch hard drives aren’t just narrower. They’re also shorter and thinner, which makes them popular for laptop computers while desktop business computers typically use 3.5 inch drives. Other than the size, though, the two types of drives frequently have the same components inside and, as of the date of publication, use the same connectors.

Physical Case Size

While sizes vary slightly from drive to drive, generally speaking, 3.5 inch drives measure approximately 4 inches wide, 5.8 inches long and 0.8 inches thick, based on the dimensions of a 1 TB desktop-class drive from a major manufacturer. A laptop-grade 750GB 2.5 inch drive from the same drive maker measures 2.8 inches wide, 4.0 inches long and 0.4 inches thick — roughly one-quarter the size of the 3.5 inch drive. The 2.5 inch drive is also lighter — weighing 0.2 pounds compared with the 3.5 inch drives 0.9 pound weight.

Applications

Generally speaking, 3.5 inch drives are used in desktops and 2.5 inch drives go in notebookcomputers. 2.5 inch drives also fit well in small form factor computers with tight cases. While it’s possible to use a 2.5 inch drive in a desktop, you typically need a special bracket to fit it in a 3.5 inch drive bay.

How do I find the hard drive type and specifications?

In Windows 10, you can view information about your hardware (including disks) using the System Information utility.

To open the System Information utility in Windows 10:

  • Press the Windows key, type System Information, and then press Enter.

Or, you can use the Run box to open the System Information utility:

  1. Press WinR (hold down the Windows key and press R).
  2. In the Run box, type msinfo32.
  3. Press Enter or click OK.

When the System Information window opens, in the left window pane you’ll see a list of hardware categories. Expand Components, then Storage. Then, choose DrivesDisks, or any category you’d like to view.

Earlier versions of Microsoft Windows

In earlier versions of Microsoft Windows, you can open the System Information utility by following the steps below.

  1. Click the Start buttonand then click the “Programs” folder.
  2. Next, click the “Accessories” and then the “System Information” or “System Tools” folder.
  3. Open the “System Information” file.
  4. In the System Informationwindow, click the + symbol next to Components.
  5. Click the “+” next to “Storage” and click on “Drives.” In the right side of the window, you should find information about the hard drive including its capacity and serial number.

Past and present HDD form factors

 

Form factor
(inch)

Status

Dimensions
(Each dimension in mm)

Largest capacity

Platters (max.)

Capacity
per platter (GB)

 

Length

Width

Height

 

0.85

Obsolete

32

24

5

8 GB[15][16] (2004)

1

8

 

1 (CFII/ZIF/IDE-Flex)

Obsolete

?

42

?

20 GB (2006)

1

20

 

1.3

Obsolete

?

43

?

40 GB[14] (2007)

1

40

 

1.8

Obsolete

78.5[c]

54

5 or 8

320 GB[8] (2009)

2

220[9]

 

2.5

Current

100

69.85

5,[4] 7, 9.5,[b] 12.5, 15 or 19[5]

5 TB[6] (October 2016)

5[7]

1,000

 

3.5

Current

147

101.6

19, 25.4 or 26.1[1]

14 TB[2] (October 2017)

8[3]

1,750[a]

 

5.25 (FH)

Obsolete

203

146

82.6

47 GB[12] (1998)

14

3.36

 

5.25 (HH)

Obsolete

203

146

41.4

19.3 GB[13] (1998)

4[d]

4.83

 

8

Obsolete

362

241.3

117.5

Unknown.
Minimum, 2.0 GB[10][11]

Unknown.
Minimum, 12

Unknown.
Minimum, 0.16

 
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