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Solid State Drive

A drive that has no moving parts with nonvolatile flash memory. Similar to USB flash drives.

Magnetic Hard Drive

A drive which has one, two, or more platters, or disks, that stack together and spin in unison inside a sealed metal housing that contains firmware to control reading and writing data to the drive and to communicate with the motherboard.

Read/Write Head

The top and bottom of each disk have a __________ that moves across the disk surface as all the disk rotate on a spindle.


Windows Vista technology that supports a hybrid drive is called ___________.

Low-Level Formatting

Track and sector markings are written to a hard drive before it leaves the factory in a process called _____________.

Basic disk

A single hard drive that works independently of other hard drives.

Active Partition

The one bootable partition.

High-Level Formatting

During this process, you specify the size of the partition and what file system it will use.

Primary Partition (Volume or Simple Volume)

This volume is assigned a drive letter (such as drive C: or D:) and is formatted using a file system.

File System

The overall structure on OS uses to name, store, and organize files on a drive.


The smallest unit of space on a disk for storing a file and is made up of one or more sectors.

Extended Partition

One of four partitions that can be divided into one or more logical drives.

Logical Drive

A drive assigned a drive letter (such as G:)

File Allocation Table (FAT)

A table on a hard drive or floppy disk that tracks how space on a disk is used to store files. It has storage limitations concerning hard drive size, volume size, and file size.

New Technology File System (NTFS)

A file system designed to provide greater security and to support more storage capacity than the FAT32 file system.

Parallel ATA (PATA), Serial ATA (SATA), and SCSI

The three current methods used by internal hard drives.

American National Standards Institute

ANSI abbreviated

S.M.A.R.T. (Self Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology

A system BIOS feature that monitors hard drive performance, disk spin up time, temperature, distance between the head and the disk, and other mechanical activities of the drive in order to predict when the drive is likely to fail.

Parallel (PATA)

Also called the EIDE (Enhanced IDE) standard, allows for one or two IDE connectors on a motherboard, each using a 40-pin data cable.

Advanced Technology Attachment Packet Interface (ATAPI)

An EIDE drive such as a CD or DVD drive must follow the ____________ standard in order to connect to a system using an IDE connector.

80-Pin conductor IDE cable

A cable with 40 pins and 80 wires. Forty wires are used for communication and data, and an additional 40 ground wires reduce crosstalk on the cable.

Direct Memory Access (DMA)

_____ transfers data directly from the drive to memory without involving the CPU.

Programmed Input/Output Transfer (PIO)

_____ mode involves the CPU and is slower than DMA mode.

Serial ATA (SATA)

These interfaces are much faster than PATA interfaces and are used by all types of drives, including hard drives, CD, DVD, Blu-ray, and tape drives.

Hot-Swapping or Hot-Plugging

With this, you can connect and disconnect a drive while the system is running.


Each device on the bus is assigned a number from 0 to 15 called the _______, by means of DIP switches, dials on the device, or software settings.


The host adapter is assigned SCSI ID ___, which has the highest priority over all other devices.

Logical Unit Number (LUN)

A number assigned to a logical device (such as a tray in a CD changer) that is part of a physical SCSI device, which is assigned a SCSI ID.

Terminating Resistor

To reduce the amount of electrical "noise," or interference, on a SCSI cable, each end of the SCSI chain has a __________.


A type of SCSI technology where you can connect up to 126 devices together on a single Fibre Channel bus.

RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks)

Technology that configures two or more hard drives to work together as an array of drives.

Fault Tolerance

A computer's ability to respond to a fault or catastrophe, such as a hardware failure or power outage, so that data is not lost.


This RAID number uses space from two or more physical disks to increase the disk space available for a single volume.


This RAID number is a type of drive imaging. It duplicates data on one drive to another drive and is used for fault tolerance.


This RAID number stripes data across three or more drives and uses parity checking, so that if one drive fails, the other drives can re-create the data stored on the failed drive. (Data is NOT duplicated)


Two hard drives are configured as a single volume. Data is written to the first drive, and when it is full, the data continues to be written to the second drive.

Boot Sector (Boot Record)

The first sector on the disk. Contains the information about how the disk is organized and the file system used.


Floppy drives are always formatted using this system.


After a floppy drive is installed, you must configure the drive in ______ setup.

IEEE 1394

Other name for FireWire

UART (Universal Asynchronous Receiver)

The controller logic on a motherboard that manages serial ports.

Standard Parallel Port (SPP); Enhanced Parallel Port (EPP); and Extended Capabilities Port (ECP).

Parallel ports fall into one of these 3 categories

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

IEEE stands for...

CRT (Cathode-Ray Tube) monitor; LCD (Liquid Crystal Display)

The 2 main categories of monitors

Refresh Rate

The number of times one screen or frame is built in one second.


These type of CRT monitors draw a screen by making two passes.


Also called a progressive monitor, this type of monitor draws the entire screen in one pass.


The measure of how many pixels on a CRT screen are addressable by software.

Native Resolution

An LCD monitor uses only one resolution called ______.


The DVI port that supports both analog and digital signals.


The DVI port that works with only digital monitors.

HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface)

This port is the latest digital audio and video interface standard.


You can use this executable command to display information about hardware and diagnose problems with DirectX.

Biometric Device

An input device that inputs biological data about a person, which can be input data to identify a person's fingerprints, handprints, face, voice, eye, and handwritten signature.

Chip Creep

Chips sometimes loosen because of temperature changes; this condition is called __________.

DB9 or DB25

Serial ports use a ______ or ______ connector.

S/PDIF Port for Coaxial Cable

Number 1

S/PDIF Port for Optical Cable

Number 2

Six Sound Ports

Number 3

HDMI to DVI cable

Cooling Fan & Heat Sink

Number 1

DVI Digital Video Port

Number 2

S-Video Connector

Number 3

15-Pin Analog Video Port

Number 4

PCI Express x16 Connector

Number 5

9-Pin 1394b ports

Number 1

6-Pin 1394a port

Number 2

CDFS (Compact Disc File System or the
UDF (Universal Disk Format)

CD drives use the _____ or the _____ file system.

UDF (Universal Disk Format)

DVD drives use the newer _______ file system.

Joint Photographic Experts Group

JPEG stands for...

Tagged Image File Format

TIFF stands for...

Musical Instrument Digital Interface

MIDI stands for...

USB, FireWire, eSATA, or SCSI ports

External hard drives can use one of these four types of ports...

EIDE, SATA, or SCSI Interface

INTERNAL optical drives can have any of these 3 types of ports...

USB, IEEE 1394, or SCSI ports

EXTERNAL optical drives can have any of these 3 types of ports...

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