Magnetic Storage

Magnetic storage stores data by magnetizing microscopic particles on the surface of the device, whether it's a disk or tape. There are several types: Hard Disks, Floppy Disks, and Tapes. They can use Random Access or Sequential Access memory. Some can be moved from computer to computer and some can't. Some can be easily broken, and some are not. But most are sealed with a protective case. No matter which of these devices you're using, you're still using magnetic storage.

Listen to this recording about magnetic storage.

Floppy Disks


A round piece of flexible plastic covered with a thin layer of magnetic oxide and sealed inside a protective casing.

This type of magnetic storage has decent durability; it has a random access speed which makes it easier and faster to use, one thing that this device has that many others do not is the Write-protect window and it has a poor capacity range of 1.44 MB. At this day and time most people think that floppy disks are obsolete because of it low capacity range and so now most of the latest computer are being made without a floppy disk drive because now people are using jump drive which is now like 500 floppy.

Hard Disks


A hard disk is an aluminum or glass disk that is coated with magnetic iron oxide particles. It also has a read-write head that stores data. The hard disk itself isn’t very durable and its random access memory is very fast. The hard disk also has a lot of storage capacity. Hard disk technology is the preferred type of main storage for most computer systems. A hard disk is one or more platters and their associated read-write heads. Each platter has a read-write head that hovers over the surface to read data.



A tape is a type of backup storage device used to copy data on a hard disk. The data is stored on magnetic tape and can be used to restore lost data. Data on tapes can be transferred from one tape drive to another, allowing for average versatility. Tapes are pretty durable but can be broken if they are handled incorrectly. Whereas Hard Drives and Floppies are random access storage devices, a tape is a sequential storage device. Data on a tape is arranged as a long sequence, beginning at one end of the tape and stretching to the other end. Access time on a tape is measured in seconds, unlike hard disk drives which are measured in milliseconds. Tape drives have good storage capacity, being able to hold as much information as a hard disk. Most tape drives can back up 1GB of data in 15-20 minutes. Tape storage is not suitable for daily tasks because it is too slow to be the computers main storage device.