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Hard Drive Interview Questions

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The following are the characteristics of SSD's:

  • Start-up Time: SSD have almost nil startup times as they have no mechanical parts which are to be readied for use.
  • Random Access Times: Since the data is accessed directly from the flash memory it is almost lag free.
  • Read Latency time: The read latency times for SSD are very low as data can be accessed and used from anywhere in the flash memory.
  • Data transfer rates: The data transfer rates for SSD's is between 100-500 Mb`s/sec.
  • Fragmentation: Fragmentation is irrelevant for SSD's .
  • Noise: As SSD have no moving parts they have literally zero noise footprint.

The characteristics of normal HDD`s are as follows:

  • Start-up Time: HDD`s require the disk to be spin-up before usage hence they have a longer start-up time.
  • Random Access Time: The random access times for conventional disk drives range between 5-10 ms as the heads need to be moved.
  • Fragmentation: This is prevalent in the case of large files which are constantly written in the hard disks.
  • Temperature control: Conventional hard disks require cooling as they can drastically reduce the life of the hard drive. Higher temperatures also increase the chances of failures.
  • Magnetic fields: HDD`s are highly susceptible to magnetic fields around it as it can damage or corrupt the data stored in the platters.

There are various uses of disc cloning such as :

  • Reboot and restore: This technique is used to clean a hard disk completely by formatting / deleting all the data present on it and then the data is restored via a clean image of the data / operating system. This method allows for quick recovery without having to go through the entire system reinstallation process.
  • Provisioning new computers: Instead of having the user to install various applications one by one a standard defined software with all the necessary application already installed can be directly used by the user.
  • Hard Drive Upgrade: The disk cloning utility can be used to restore the previous disks image to a new hard drive without actually reinstalling everything.
  • Full System Backup: By using the disk clone utility a user can save and restore the entire image of the system.
  • Transfer: In case a user decides to shift to another system the disk cloning utility can be used to restore the image of an entire drive to the new system.

In case a computer does not have a disk cloning utility the following general steps are generally followed:

  • A new partition of the disk is created.
  • A file system is to created in each partition by formatting it.
  • An operating system is then to be installed on these partition.
  • Finally the device drivers and the applications that the user requires are to be installed.

Instead of the above steps in case the user does have a disk cloning utility he can do the following:

  • Follow the above steps to ready the computer.
  • Record the image of the freshly created system.
  • Once this is done the Disk can be cloned to any computer with similar specs and can be installed without repeating the above steps again and again.

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