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Data Storage Devices


A data storage device is a device for recording (storing) information (data). Recording can be done using virtually any form of energy, spanning from manual muscle power in handwriting, to acoustic vibrations in phonographic recording, to electromagnetic energy modulating magnetic tape and optical discs.

A storage device may hold information, process information, or both. A device that only holds information is a recording medium. Devices that process information (data storage equipment) may either access a separate portable (removable) recording medium or a permanent component to store and retrieve information.

Electronic data storage requires electrical power to store and retrieve that data. Most storage devices that do not require vision and a brain to read data fall into this category. Electromagnetic data may be stored in either an analog or digital format on a variety of media. This type of data is considered to be electronically encoded data, whether or not it is electronically stored in a semiconductor device, for it is certain that a semiconductor device was used to record it on its medium. Most electronically processed data storage media (including some forms of computer data storage) are considered permanent (non-volatile) storage, that is, the data will remain stored when power is removed from the device. In contrast, most electronically stored information within most types of semiconductor (computer chips) microcircuits are volatile memory, for it vanishes if power is removed.

With the exception of barcodes and OCR data, electronic data storage is easier to revise and may be more cost effective than alternative methods due to smaller physical space requirements and the ease of replacing (rewriting) data on the same medium. However, the durability of methods such as printed data is still superior to that of most electronic storage media. The durability limitations may be overcome with the ease of duplicating (backing-up) electronic data.



A computer storage device is any type of hardware that stores data. The most common type of storage device, which nearly all computers have, is a hard drive. The computer's primary hard drive stores the operating system, applications, and files and folders for users of the computer.

While the hard drive is the most ubiquitous of all storage devices, several other types are common as well. Flash memory devices, such as USB keychain drives and iPod nanos are popular ways to store data in a small, mobile format. Other types of flash memory, such as compact flash and SD cards are popular ways to store images taken by digital cameras.

External hard drives that connect via Firewire and USB are also common. These types of drives are often used for backing up internal hard drives, storing video or photo libraries, or for simply adding extra storage. Finally, tape drives, which use reels of tape to store data, are another type of storage device and are typically used for backing up data.

Various storage devices -

A Data Storage device is a storage medium. Most often the term is used with computers. Data storage devices can permanently hold data, like files. Common data storage devices are:

  • USB flash drives
  • Hard disk drives
  • Compact Discs
  • DVDs
  • HD DVDs
  • Blu-ray Discs