Do you trust your hard disk?

What is a hard disk?

Not a hard drive

Not a hard drive!

Before I can answer the question in the title, I must take a temporary diversion to explain exactly which bit of the computer I am talking about. Many people think that the name ‘hard disk’ or ‘hard drive’ refers to the computer itself, which looks like the image to the right.

Actually that box contains a number of parts, a motherboard, processor, memory, graphics card, and yes, the hard disk. The hard disk is the bit that stores all of your data, documents, photos, etc. It also stores a copy of Microsoft Windows, which tells the computer what to do and how to do it. (Some people don’t have Windows, but that’s a different article.) The hard disk is not the same as memory. Memory, or RAM, is a set of microchips used to keep track of your data while it is actually being worked on, but once finished with, all that data is stored on the hard disk. [Read more…]