- A named collection of data (such as a computer program, document,
or graphic) that exists on a storage medium such as a hard disk, floppy
disk, or CD-ROM.
- A list of files contained on a computer storage device.
- PC. The subdirectories (a subdivision of a directory) that can
contain files or other folders. Macintosh. Same as directory on a
- The computer circuitry that holds data waiting to be processed.
- The area in a computer where data is retained to be used again
later. Storage devices retain information after the device is turned
- Volatile Memory.
- Memory contents that are erased when a computer is shut off.
- Transfer of data to a storage device.
- Read-Write Media.
- Storage disks that allow a computer to both read and store data.
Examples are CD-RW and floppy disks.
- Sequential Access.
- A form of data storage, such as a computer tape, that requires
a device to read or write data one record after another starting at
the beginning of the medium.
- The ability of a storage device to go directly to a specific location
rather than searching sequentially from a beginning location. Magnetic
disks are random-access storage media.
- Microscopic indentations on optical storage media used by laser
beams to read patterns of data on the surface of disks. The light-sensing
reading device receives no light from a pit and returns a "0"
- Flat, reflective areas on optical storage media the bounces laser
light, returning a "1" signal.
- Online Storage.
- Immediately available storage which does not require a user action,
such as inserting media. A hard disk is a persoanls computer's online
- Near-Online Storage.
- Secondary storage that requires insertion of media. Storage readily
made available by user action.
- Access Time.
- The estimated time for a storage device to begin reading data on
a disk, usually measured in milliseconds for disks and nanoseconds
- One-billionth of a second.
- Solid State Disk.
- A high-capacity storage device with rapid access time comparable
to hard disks. The devices store up to 8 GBs and use batteries to
provide data involatility.
- Double-Density (DD) Floppy Disk.
- A type of disk with a higher storage capacity (800 K) due to increased
- High-Density (HD) Floppy Disk.
- A disk that stores more data than a double-density disk, up to
- Write-Protect Tab.
- A sliding notch on floppy disks that protect disks from being overwritten
or deleted when open.
- Concentric or spiral storage areas created in series on storage
medium during formatting.
- Subdivisions of tracks on storage media. Pie-shaped subdivisions
of tracks on floppy disks.
- Groups of sectors on a storage medium that, when accessed as a
group, speed up data access.
- File Allocation Table (FAT).
- A table of information recording the physical location of files
on storage medium.
- Storage of data in a file in non-contiguous clusters.
- Activity Light.
- An indicator that illuminates while the head is reading or writing
data on a disk, indicating not to press the eject button.
- The process of preparing a magnetic disk to store information.
The process of a disk drive's head laying down the magnetic pattern
of tracks and sectors.
- Hard Disk.
- One or more magnetic disk platters providing high-capacity, high-speed
- Fixed, rapidly-rotating magnetic storage component disks of a hard
- Head Crash.
- A collision between the read-write head and the surface of a hard
disk platter, resulting in disk damage.
- A section of a disk establish to operate as if it were a separate
- Positioning Performance.
- The speed at which a drive can position the read/write head to
begin transferring data.
- Transfer Performance.
- The speed at which a drive can transfer data.
- Spindle Speed.
- The number of revolutions per second at which hard disk platters
- Hard Disk Controller.
- A circuit board on the mother board, on an expansion card, or in
a hard drive that acts as an interface between the CPU and the hard
- Small Computer System Interface (SCSI).
- An interface standard used for attaching peripheral devices such
as drives, scanners, and other peripherals. Pronounced "scuzzy."
- Disk Cache.
- A type of RAM used to temporarily store information read from a
disk, dramatically improving up hard disk performance.
- The process of moving data off a primary storage device to a long-term
storage medium such as a CD-ROM.
- A duplicate copy of data.
- A read-only, optical disk storage medium that uses laser technology
to read data. An acronym for compact disc read-only memory.
- CD-ROM drive.
- A device that uses laser technology to read data from a CD-ROM.
Drive speed is stated in multiples of 150,000 bits per second, such
as 2x or 4x.
- Multisession CDs.
- A CD that allows a device to write (burn) data during more than
- An optical disk technology used to create CD-ROMs and audio CDs.
An acronym for compact disc-recordable.
- An optical disk technology that allows data to be written onto
a CD, then changed much like on a floppy or hard disk. An acronym
for compact disc-rewritable.
- An optical storage medium similar to CD-ROM, except with higher
storage capacity (up to 17 GB). The acronym for "digital video
disc" or "digital versatile disc." DVD-ROM drives
are downwardly compatible with CD-ROM.
- PC Card (PCMCIA Card).
- A credit-card-sized circuit board, typically used to connect a
modem, memory, network card, or storage devices to a notebook computer.