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Questions About Physical HDD Structure

post #1 of 2
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Hello all,

I have been doing a lot of research on the structure, components, and characteristics of Hard Disk Drives (HDDs). However, I am surprised that a few basic questions about the physical HDD disks/platters have still not been answered, so I was hoping that some technically savvy person might be able to ease my mind:

1) In most 3.5" HDDs on the market today, how many disks/platters are there ? Do they all have the same physical dimensions (thickness, diameter)? Do they all have the same amount of storage per side?
2) Do the answers to 1) also apply to 2.5" HDDs and those of other form factors?
3) Do the drives on Windows machines (eg, C:, H:, D:, etc) correspond to physical disks or sides of disks inside the HDD, or are they higher-level abstractions that could have bytes located on multiple disks?
4) Do all data sectors on a disk take up the same surface area, and if so, what is that area?
5) In theory, are HDD disks/platters always spinning at the same rate (except when powering up or down)?
6) Are modern HDD tracks in circles or in spirals on the disk surface?

I realize that most of this information is extremely particular and not really necessary when looking to buy a new HDD, but I'm just curious smile.gif Thanks in advance for your help!
Edited by Shundra9 - 7/10/13 at 6:36am
post #2 of 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shundra9 View Post

Hello all,

I have been doing a lot of research on the structure, components, and characteristics of Hard Disk Drives (HDDs). However, I am surprised that a few basic questions about the physical HDD disks/platters have still not been answered, so I was hoping that some technically savvy person might be able to ease my mind:

1) In most 3.5" HDDs on the market today, how many disks/platters are there ? Do they all have the same physical dimensions (thickness, diameter)? Do they all have the same amount of storage per side?

It varies, both in number and size.

2) Do the answers to 1) also apply to 2.5" HDDs and those of other form factors?

Yes.

3) Do the drives on Windows machines (eg, C:, H:, D:, etc) correspond to physical disks or sides of disks inside the HDD, or are they higher-level abstractions that could have bytes located on multiple disks?

Logical drives are spread over the platter(s) however they fit.

4) Do all data sectors on a disk take up the same surface area, and if so, what is that area?

Yes, for the same disk. Different geometries may have different physical sector sizes.

5) In theory, are HDD disks/platters always spinning at the same rate (except when powering up or down)?

Yes. That's why data at the outer edges ir read/written the fastest.

6) Are modern HDD tracks in circles or in spirals on the disk surface?

Spiral.

I realize that most of this information is extremely particular and not really necessary when looking to buy a new HDD, but I'm just curious smile.gif Thanks in advance for your help!

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My System
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
FX6300 Black M5A99X EVO R2.0 Nvidia GTS450 Team Vulcan PC3 12800 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Samsung 840 PRO Asus DRW-1608P (x2) Custom Water Cooling Win7 (Ult), Win 8.1 & Win Server 2012 R2 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
2 X Samsung 915N Ducky Shine III, Blue Cherry/Blue LEDs PCP&C 1kw Lian Li PC-71 (W/Window) 
MouseAudio
Logiteck G400s none 
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