3. Internal Storage Devices

Some storage devices are classed as 'internal' which means they are inside the computer case.

Most computers have some form of internal storage. The most common type of internal storage is the hard disk.

hard disk

At the most basic level, internal storage is needed to hold the operating system so that the computer is able to access the input and output devices.

It will also be used to store the applications software that you use and more than likely, the original copies of your data files.

Internal storage allows the data and applications to be loaded very rapidly into memory, ready for use. The data can be accessed much faster than data which is stored on an external storage device. This is because internal storage devices are connected directly to the motherboard and its data bus whereas external devices are connected through a hardware interface such as USB, which means they are considerably slower to access.

Internal storage also means that if the computer is moved around, it will still retain its most commonly used data.

The main disadvantage of internal storage is that when the hard disk fails (and it will), all the data and applications may be lost.

This can be avoided to some extent by using more than one hard disk within the machine. Each hard disk has a copy of all the data, so if one fails the other can carry on. This is called a RAID array. An alternative is to use external drives for backup

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