Secondary Storage Devices of Computer – 3 main types

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Secondary storage devices are the internal and external storage devices of computers. That used to store electronic data and information for future use. These devices store data long-lasting in their storage.

Storage devices, as we know are the sources of storage data. Data storage is always a problem. In the early years when no big data have to save. But in recent days, data is everything. By using data, one can dominate the industry. So saving data is important.

Types of secondary storage devices

1. Magnetic storage devices
2. Solid-state storage devices
3. Optical storage devices

Magnetic storage devices

Hard disk drives and floppy disks use as magnetic storage devices. Magnetic disks introduce by IBM in 1955.

The first storage device may be or not, is a magnetic storage device. The idea of thinking about this type of storage device is in the mind of Oberlin Smith. But because his field was not related to storage media devices. So he can’t revile this idea.

But after years, the idea was revile. It’s a good idea that devices store data with the signals of audio and video. It was public in 1900 as a magnetic recorder. After that, the old computer was use as a primary storage media device. But in this modern era of computing. Magnetic storage devices used as secondary storage devices.

The working of magnetic storage devices is in a bit like 0 and 1 form. This means data can encode in the form of bits. Here 1 shows the magnetic and 0 shows diamagnetic.

The Head of magnetic storage devices is working on the read and write data. Data is store on a hard disk and use any time in the future for use. Data in hard disk is in backup form.

The history of HDD and Floppy disk is cover in our recent post on storage media devices of computers.

Here we discuss more hard disk drives and floppy disks.

Hard Disk Drives

Hard Disk DriveHDD is the non-volatile and main memory in the computer. Once data store in it. It can not remove even computer is off.

HDD is important for running the computer and other programs of the computer. The operating system is an essential part of the computer store in HDD.

All programs and software data or instructions, stored in HDD. So the HDD is most important for running the computer.

In modern computers, SSD (solid-state drive is also used. SSD is fast than HDD in reading or writing data. But HHD is cheap than SSD and also provides a big size of memory.

There is little confusion between people about RAM and ROM. You can read about RAM and ROM in detail from primary storage devices.

It is a circular plate, made of aluminum and coated with magnetic material.
HDD has two motors called spindle and actuator. The spindle is used in disk spinning. The actuator is used in reading and writing data and information.

Other components like external rotors and stator windings also use in HDD.

Floppy Disks

In the early days, the floppy disk is the only source of storage of computer data and information. The size of the floppy disk was small. So for installing programs many disks use in this process.

No longer floppy disks use in today’s computers. The advanced shape of memories used, instead of it.

Solid-state storage devices

The integrated circuits are in solid-state storage devices use to store data. There are no moving parts in solid-state devices. USB and SD cards are examples of solid-state storage devices.

The working of solid-state storage devices is the same as RAM. The data write on it and overwrite like RAM. But it cannot volatile like RAM.

These devices store data in them. Now if the system is off they will not erase it. Because data is store long-lasting in it.

Optical storage devices

CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray use as optical storage devices. The work of all these devices is to store data. But the capacity is different for all these devices to store data.

CD can store data from around 800mbs to 1GB. DVD can store data from 4GB to 5GB. CD is an old storage device. But DVD and Blu-ray include modern secondary storage devices.


There are high-capacity storage devices.
Secondary storage devices are low-cost and reliable.
These are good if their speed is good.
These devices are also best for backup data for the long term.
Secondary storage devices cannot be under the direct control of the operating system.

More, learn about the characteristics of computers.

To see detail about USB, SD cards, etc visit the history of computer storage. In this post, I have covered the history of all storage devices.

To learn more about various storage devices of computers visit here.


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