Laptop hard drives act as the main storage of this portable computer. This is where files, applications and data are stored. The normal measurement of the drive is 2.5 x 2.5 inches. It is lighter and more compact compared to that of a desktop. It also has various storage capacities.
Take note that there are many kinds of hard drives. Be sure that what you get is compatible to your laptop. It comes in different sizes and capacities. Laptops with lower specs might not work well with a very big capacity storage. Some computers also are picky with brands. Even if the size is right, if it manufactured a by a certain rival brand, it will not work perfectly.
It is sometimes recommended to get a hard drive of the same brand as your portable computer. Test it first before buying and make sure the computer could read the drive without errors. There are also the generic brands that might work in your laptop too.
There are two kinds of laptop hard drives: the Internal Laptop Hard Drives and the external laptop hard drives.
The internal laptop hard drive is installed inside the device. It is in the laptop's dedicated hard drive slot. Its normal storage capacity ranges from 20 GB to 120 GB. The most modern of this type reaches as fast as 5400 rpm. The common transfer rate of the data is 100 MBps. The most common brands for internal hard drive are Seagate, CMS and Toshiba.
The external laptop hard drive is a stand-alone. This device has a USB plug that can be connected to the laptop's USB port or the FireWire port. The normal storage ranges from 40 GB to 80 GB. The external laptop hard drive should have a big capacity so that you can store more data.
The advantage of this is that because it is stand-alone, it is easy to transfer files to other computers by just plugging it in the USB port. It is also easier to carry than having to bring the whole laptop if it is installed inside, especially when you need to carry only the data files with you.
There are also two speed options for you to choose when buying the external laptop hard drive. The first is you have to choose the high speed memory or the hard drive's cache size. The second is the availability of the special interface and adapters.
When talking of size and speeds, the standard for laptop drives is 2.5 inches. These come in different speeds from 4200 rpm to 7200 rpm. The higher the rpm, the faster it opens.
There are two common interfaces: the Parallel-DATA (PATA) and the Serial-ATA. The first type of interface was in the market since 1986. This is a 16 bit interface commonly known as the Integrated Drive Electronics. It has a built-in controller that has computer installation. It can transfer data of up to 133MB per second. This is the standard interface of most laptops.
On the other hand, the serial-ATA was introduced in year 2000. It can transfer up to 300 MB per second. It certainly has lots of benefits from the parallel ATA.
The standard capacity of a laptop is up to 160 GB. This depends on your laptop model. There are newer models of laptop that can offer higher capacities. These are to be developed soon enough and to be released in the market.