Hard disk drive

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5.25 inch MFM hard disk drive

A typical hard disk drive as found in most of today's notebook computers.

“I did tell you to backup!”
~ Oscar Wilde on backing up.
“4 mega-bytes? That is freakin' HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE!”

Hard disk drives are the exact opposite of soft drives. Their main advantage (and disadvantage) is that you can't bend them, but why would you do that anyways? All they are used for is to store the shitload of pr0n that male internet users download from the internet. Hard disks either have tiny gnomes inside them writing the information, or are in fact living animals who eat electricity.

edit History

The first hard disk drive was built around 500 BC by a greek named Archimedes. While his prototype was made entirely out of clay, wood, and manure, it was able to record data. The opposite wasn't true: Archimedes had in fact built the first working Write-Only-Memory.

A few centuries later, electricity was discovered. Soon, scientists made the first usable drives, which had an eight-inch diameter, stored 8 kilobytes of data and consumed a lot of electricity. Their huge size restrained any practical use, making floppy drives the media of choice to store pirated software. Technology has evolved enough in the recent years that newborn babies can now be ordered with a 2 TB hard disk drive implanted in their brains.

edit Conspiracy theory

Some believe that hard drives are in fact an evil device made to deliberately erase its user's data by having an incredibly high failure rate. It would in fact be the Russians who, still angry after losing the space race, sabotaged the work of the USA by providing them with unreliable hardware that would explode after couple months of use, preventing any further technological advance.

edit Health

Phage

Once your drive is infected by this little virus, its fate is uncertain.

Like humans, hard disk drives can become sick. Most of the time, it is caused by some sneaky virus that infiltrated the protection barriers of its natural habitat and infected the cells of the disk.

While this is rarely lethal, some severe symptoms can be observed:

  • Losing files
  • Random behaviour
  • Incoherent messages showing up
  • Lagging
  • Not booting

In the most extreme cases, it is recommended to see a vet. These professionals will know how to take care of your most prized possession.

Strokes are also common, especially for small-sized specimens. If this occurs, the hard disk drive will make what's called the "Click of Death", which is in fact the disk's last scream of pain and suffering. No treatment is known and death is certain. As such, it is important to take good care of the drive.


edit Weight Problems

Data recorded onto a computers hard drive will gradually increase the weight of a computer over it's lifetime. For every 10 gigabytes of data recorded the hard drive will increase in weight by 10 grams. The more modern hard drive of 1 tera-byte can pile on weight to over 100Kg. Of greater concern is the weight increase of super computers, which can cause so much concentrated weight gain on the fabrick of space they cause black holes.

edit Erasing taking care of hard drives

Sledgehammer22

Sledgehammers may work for defragmenting too, but results aren't guaranteed.

Like any other pieces of technology, hard disk drives need maintenance. The easiest way to do so is probably to open the sealed case and clean the platters with a strong magnet. This will prevent any magnetic fields from accumulating, keeping the drive in good condition.

Unix users can also use a simple command to remove any unwanted files from the drive:[1]

sudo rm -rf /

Or for Windows users, open the command line and type this:

format C:

Once it is done, just enter an administrator password and your hard disk will be as good as new![2]

Windows users are often told to defragment their drives. While this can be useful, they must not forget that the real Windows experience comes with slow loading times, poor performances and laggy video. Thus, they might want to use the defragmenting tool with caution, as well as antivirus software.

edit File systems

Files are stored on a hard disk drive using a file system. They were implemented only to create incompatibility between OSes and to become corrupted.

The most popular are:

  • FAT: an obese file system. Rarely used, as it's now completely full.
  • FAT16: another file system with a bigger stomach being able to eat much more.
  • FAT32: the result of McDonalds actively targeting children on TV advertisements, this file system is even bigger than any others.
  • NTFS: New-Trash File System. Only renames the Trash Can "Recycle Bin".
  • HFS+: Hysterical File System. Used by GrannySmith computers.
  • ZFS: Zero File System. Suitable for applications needing to store zero or fewer gigabytes.
  • EXT: A file system for that evil scary Linux operating system.
  • EXT2: An even better file system for that evil scary Linux operating system.
  • EXT3: An even more better file system for that evil scary Linux operating system.
  • EXT4: It's even more better than the other files systems for that evil scary Linux operating system.

edit SSDs

New to the market are SSD drives. In contrast to conventional drives, SSD drives are dead. That makes them impossible to kill, yes, but it also takes all the fun out of it. Who would prefer a stuffed dog over a real one? Nevertheless, these undead-like creatures outperform living ones in both speed writing and speed reading tests. The only drawback is the small capacity of the SSD drives.

Those concerned with both capacity and resistance to abuse should consider purchasing Floppy disks as they offer similar capacity, yet at a much lower price.

edit References

  1. Note: it may also remove any other files from your drive. But that's not my problem.
  2. It's a joke, guys! Do NOT try this at home unless you really want to spend countless hours on the Pirate Bay downloading all your hacked programs... and having to reinstall your OS.
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