What is the difference between hard disks and hard drives?

Questions about hard disks' performance, issues, tips, and software.
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kiran
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Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2021 5:07 am

What is the difference between hard disks and hard drives?

Post by kiran »

In the old days of computers, the “disk” and the “drive” were separate.
I used to own a couple of PDP-11s from the early days of computing. These were computers that stood about four feet square and about six feet tall, and had 8K of RAM. They used disk drives called RL-06 disk drives.
Here was a disk:
And this was the drive:
The drive was called a “drive” because it contained a huge, heavy motor that spun the disks. Made a sound a bit like a washing machine.
The word “drive” in this sense comes from “to move,” as the drive was the unit that moved the disk.
Modern disk drives have the disk and the drive all as one sealed unit; the motor is part of the disk’s hub or spindle.
Technically speaking, a Flash “drive” is not a drive at all, as it contains no moving parts.

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