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Hard Drive Interview Questions

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  • 8 inch: This was one of the first hard disks to be developed, It`s size was same as that of the 8 inch floppy drives.
  • 5.25 inch: Comparatively smaller than 8” this type of drive was first time provided by Segate.
  • 3.5 inch: This is the most common size of the drive that is used these days in personal computers.
  • 2.5 Inch: This type of hard drives is primarily used inside portable devices such as laptops, music players etc.
  • 1.8 Inch: This was a rare size and was primarily intended to be used by audio players and sub notebooks.
  • 1 Inch: This type of drives were developed to house the entire disk inside a CF II Slot.

  • The access time is the time taken by the disk to read data on it and it is directly related to the nature of the platter speeds and the moving heads.
  • Seek time : This time specified the time taken by the head to reach the track where the required / target data is available.
  • Rotational Latency: This latency occurs when the required data by the computer is still not under the head so the assembly will have to move their.
  • The access time of the hdd can be improved by giving more speed in the rotation of the platter. 

  • Interleave is the process through which gaps are placed between two sectors on the platter of a disk.
  • This was done in earlier days when the computers were not quick enough to read continuous streams of data.
  • Without interleaving there would be no gaps between the sectors and data would arrive immediately before the reading unit is ready. Due to this to read the same data a complete rotation of the disk would be required again.
  • The interleaving ratio was not fixed and can be set by the end user depending on their system specs. Nowadays the ratio of interleaving is 1:1 i.e. no interleaving is used.

  • These days power consumption of electrical devices has become a prime importance as portability and performance greatly depends on a devices consumption.
  • Power consumption of a hard disk directly affects: Drive age, disk failure rates, temperatures etc.
  • Smaller drives consume less energy as compared to large drives. The disks consume maximum energy during starting up, also known as spin up.
  • Spin up and spin down is directly controlled by the SCSI controller on such drives. 

There are various interfaces through which hard disks connect to the computer.

  • Legacy Bit Serial Interfaces: They are the oldest form of interfaces which used two cables to connect the disk to a controller. One cable was used for data whereas the other is used for control. In addition to the above cables a power cable was also required to provide power to the disk.
  • Modern Bit Serial Interfaces: In these types of interfaces the disk is connected to a host bus interface adapter using a single cable. In addition to this cable a power cable is also used to power the drive. Some of the modern bit serial interfaces are as follows: Fibre Channel, Serial ATA and SCSI.
  • World Serial interfaces: They are similar to modern bit interfaces, these interfaces make use of a cable for data and control. Some of the common world interfaces are as follows: IDE, EIDE, SCSI etc. 

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