Everyone has at least one hard drive in their computer, but most people never really think about it until it crashes and needs to be disposed of and replaced.
Here are 7 interesting facts you probably didn’t know about computer hard drives.
1. The very first hard drive was huge
The first hard drive disk was invented by IBM in 1956. It was in fact a device as large as a cupboard that contained 50 disks of 24 inches each, and could store only 5 MB of data.
2. Hard drives became smaller over time
Smaller hard drives for home computers were designed in the early 80’s. In 1979, a hard drive was 8 inches. It was shrunk to 5 ¼” in 1980, and to 2.5” in 1988. They keep getting smaller and more reliable over time.
3. The storage capacity of hard drives keeps increasing
If the first hard drives had a storage capacity of only 5 MB, the first ones with a capacity of 1,000 GB, or 1 TB, were invented in 2007. Two years later, in 2009, it was possible to store 2 TB of data on a hard drive.
4. The prices of hard drives are also getting smaller
In the 80’s, a hard drive could cost over $3,000. This is why many home computers were sold without one, and had to rely on floppy disks instead.
5. The case of a hard drive is not sealed airtight
Many people believe that the case of a hard drive is sealed airtight, but this is not the case. While it’s true that hard drive disks must be kept in a dust free environment, they also need some air if they are to perform properly.
6. Defragmenting your hard drive helps improve the performance of your computer
When information is stored on your hard drive, it takes up the free space available, which means that a single file can be divided into many chunks. Defragmenting your hard drive will put these chunks of data back together, so your computer can find them much faster.
7. There are different ways to destroy a hard drive
Erasing an old hard drive is not enough to keep your data safe. The safest option is to get it securely destroyed by a hard drive destruction service, but some people like to get creative and to use drills, hammers and other tools to get it done.