Backing/secondary storage devices and media

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  • Created by: Jasmin
  • Created on: 08-04-13 14:30

Backing/secondary storage devices and media

Backups = copies of data and program files kept for security reasons

Memory stick/pen/USB drive: ideal storage for photos, music and other data files

  • ADV = small/lightweight, large storage capacity (up to 30Gb), reliable - no moving parts, no scratches, portable
  • DIS = small, easily stolen, often left in computer by mistake = lost, do not have as high a transfer rate as magnetic hard disk drives

Magnetic hard disk drives: series of disks with a magnetic coating and a series of read/write heads that put data onto

  • ADV = high transfer rate, very high storage capacity

Magnetic cartridges: reels of magnetic tape. Security purpose. Huge storage capacities - ideal for taking daily/weekly backups

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Optical drives: flat circular disk, data stored as a series of bumps - way the bumps reflect laser light is used to read the data off the disk

CD - ROM (Compact Disk - Read Only Memory): distribution of software. Data is read only. Data is stored as optical pattern. Large storage capacity (600Mb)

DVD - ROM (Digital Versatile Disk - Read Only Memory): higher storage capacity than CDs, ideal for storage of multimedia files, used for distribution of movies

CD - R (CD - Recordable): allows data to be stored on DVD but only once, ideal for backing up of data or for storing digital music

CD - RW (CD - Rewriteable): allows data to be stored again and again, less transfer rate than hard disk, time taken to locate file longer

DVD - RAM (Digital Versatile Disk - Random Access Memory): allows repeated storage and erasure of data

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DVD - R (DVD - Recordable): allows data to be stored only once, ideal for backing of data, for storing digital music or for storing a film

DVD + RW (Digital Versatile Disk + Read/Write): able to be written to not just read from, 4.7Gb for older DVD drives, 8.5Gb for the latest DVD drives

Flash Memory, card drives and memory cards: thin cards, ideal for storage media for photographs

Solid state drives: not easily damaged, data is transferred between the drive and computer and vice versa faster compared to a hard drive

Virtual Memory: applications software is given the impression it has lots more memory available to it

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Online storage

Online imaging/photographic management and sharing sites: copy all of images onto a site and they keep them safe for you in case orginals get lost. Example: flickr.

Looking after media: label disks - found easily, no fingerprints, make sure disks are flat when store them, away from the heat, put in cases - avoid dust settling

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Impact of using storage devices


  • possible for new applications
  • cheaper to store data
  • not restricted to amount


  • easier for government to store personal data about us
  • large amounts of personal data can be stored on portable storage media
  • encourages organisations to collect more data than they actually need
  • encourages people to copy copyrighted works e.g, music and videos
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