ICT Functional Skills


Storage Devices


Read Only Memory

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Storage Devices

  • Permanent
  • Long term memory
  • Cannot be erased or changed in any way
  • Also known as 'Non-Volatile Memory'
  • Doesnt disappear after the computer is switched off
  • Instruct the computer how to load the operating system from the hard drive into the computer's memory


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Storage Devices


Random Access Memory

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Storage Devices

  • Temporary, short-term working memory
  • Only works when computer is turned on
  • 'Volatile Memory'
  • Each time you start a program e.g Word it is loaded into RAM
  • Amount of RAM influences processing power, speed and amount of programmes you can run at once
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Measurement of memory

A single byte is made up of a series of 1's and 0's, which are known individually as binary digits or “bits”. 

8 bits = 1 byte

1024 bytes = 1 kilobyte

1024 kilobytes = 1 megabyte

1024 megabytes = 1 gigabyte

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Storage Devices


  • CD-R's are cheap
  • Can be used by all modern computers
  • CD-RW's can be written on more than once
  • Some cannot be written to after manufacture
  • Small storage capacity compared to DVD, Blu-ray, flash memory
  • Easily damaged
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Storage Devices


  • Write once are cheap to buy
  • all modern computers can use them
  • Large storage capacity
  • Rewritable DVD's are expensive
  • Double-layer DVD's are expensive
  • Some devices cannot use both the plus and minus type of DVD
  • Cannot be used on the CD drives of older computers
  • Easily damaged
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Storage Devices


  • Very large storage capacity
  • Devices and media are expensive but prices will fall as more people buy them
  • Not usable by DVD or CD drives so a new optical drive is needed
  • Easily damaged
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Storage Devices

Floppy Disk

  • Easily transported
  • All older computers can use them
  • Not as easily damaged as hard disks
  • Not commonly used in modern computers
  • Very small storage capacity
  • Easily lost or stolen
  • Can be damaged by magnetic fields, or mishandling
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Storage Devices

Hard Disk

  • Very large storage capacity
  • Relatively cheap for large storage capacities compared to removable devices/media
  • Easily damaged by knocks, heat, magnetic fields
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