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Life Cycle of a Hard Drive: Capacity

October 2, 2017 by Area 51 Data Solutions

Life Cycle of a Hard Drive: Capacity

January 14, 2014 3:03 pm

We now know a hard drive stores data.  It is the brain of your computer and holds the data your computer needs to function – operating system, software applications, files, documents, pictures, music, etc.  But what about how much can it hold?

Hard drive manufacturers measure capacity in bytes.   Most commonly with prefixes such as mega, giga and tera.  A megabyte equals 1,000 bytes, a gigabyte is 1,000,000,00 bytes and a terabyte is 1,000,000,000,000 bytes.

Just like we talked about in Life Cycle of a Hard Drive:  Lifespan, you may already know all about your hard drive disk space if you ordered your machine new or have replaced your hard drive.  Or you can simply look up that information on your Windows machine.   Click ‘Computer’ in your Start Menu and there you have.  Most likely in terms of how much free space you have left of your total capacity.

Most hard drives’ stated capacity is actually less than what that drive can hold.  While you may think it’s bad to feel robbed of precious space, manufacturers build in buffers to allow for a variety of reasons.  One example of what that extra space may be used for is a redundancy options.  While redundancy is not a form of backup, it is a fail-safe measure in case of failure to help prevent data loss.

Running out of space?  Think you need a bigger hard drive?  Interested in redundancy or backup options?  We can help you determine which solutions would be best to solve any capacity shortages or data loss prevention.