TOPIC 5- Storage devices

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  • Created by: M
  • Created on: 05-06-16 12:18

Where to store programs?

ICT systems need to store programs and data and this storage can either in:

  • Primary storage- chips inside the computer
  • Secondary- outside the computer
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Primary Storage

There are two types of primary storage:

  • ROM- Read only memory
    • Fast permanent memory used for holding instructions needed to start the computer
    • Non-volatile- memory stored on a chip which does not lose data when the power is switched off
    • Cannot be altered
  • RAM- Random access memory
    • Fast temporary memory
    • Volatile memory
    • Can be altered

More memory

= applications run faster 

= run more applications at the same time

= able to move more quickly between applications

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Secondary storage

Secondary storage is important because it allows users to:

  • Ensure that data is stored safely and securely so that it can be accessible at a later date
  • Transfer data from one computer to another

Types of secondary storage:

  • Magnetic disk drives
  • Optical drives
  • Magntic tape
  • Flash memory
  • Memory cards
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Magnetic disk drives and Magnetic tape

Magnetic disk drives

Floppy disk

  • Slow data transfer speed
  • Very low storage capacity
  • Too small and expensive for modern computing

Hard drive

  • Main storage device for all computers
  • High data transfer speed
  • High storage capacity

Magnetic tape

  • High storage capacity
  • Used for backup of data and programs
  • Large acess time- not used for storage needed quickly
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Optical drives


  • Bought with content already on it- used for distribution of software
  • Read only memory
  • High storage capacity
  • Very fast- data read by laser


  • Holds more than a CD
  • Bought with content already on it- used to store videos or sounds
  • Read only memory


  • Write once, read many times
  • Stores data and programs permanently
  • Very cheap- more efficient
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Flash memory and memory cards

Flash memory 


  • Small, lightweight, portable
  • Universal
  • Large storage capacity


  • Easily lost
  • Left in computer
  • Low data transfer speed

Data can be stored at different physical locations:

  • Blog
  • Website
  • Emais
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