The primary computer storage device, which spins, reads and writes one or more fixed disk platters. The term "hard drive" and "hard disk" are used synonymously. Hard drives are the storage medium in desktop and laptop computers as well as all servers and mainframes throughout the world. They are also used in printers for storing fonts and print jobs as well as digital music players and myriad other portable and stationary computer-based devices. Although removable disks encased in cartridges use similar "hard" disk media and drive technology, they are mostly called "removable drives" rather than hard drives.
Years ago, the word "hard" came about to refer to rigid disks made of aluminum or glass in contrast to floppy disks made of flexible plastic. See hard drive capacity and hard disk.
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