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Data Storage

Primary storage

Primary storage is the main storage or memory in a computer in which data is stored for quick access by the computer’s processor. This term refers to random access memory (RAM).


Secondary Storage

Secondary storage is used to protect inactive data written from a primary storage array to a non-volatile tier of disk, flash or tape. Secondary storage is also known as external and auxiliary storage.

Off-line storage          

Offline storage refers to any storage medium that must be physically inserted into a system every time a user’s wants to access or edit data. Offline storage can be any type of internal or external storage that can easily be removed from the computer. It is generally portable in nature and can be used on different computer systems. Common examples of offline storage include floppy disks, compact disks and USB sticks.


How Data is Stored?


Magnetic data storage – HDD

Magnetic storage is the storage of data on a magnetized medium. Magnetic storage uses different patterns of magnetisation in a magnetisable material to store data and is a form of non-volatile memory. The information is accessed using one or more read/write heads.


Optical data storage – CD and DVD

Optical storage is the storage of data on an optically readable medium. Data is recorded by making marks in a pattern that can be read back with the aid of light, usually a beam of laser light precisely focused on a spinning optical disc. There are other means of optically storing data and new methods are in development. An optical disc drive is a device in a computer that can read CD-ROMs or other optical discs, such as DVDs and Blu-ray discs. Optical storage differs from other data storage techniques that make use of other technologies such as magnetism, such as floppy disks and hard disks, or semiconductors, such as flash memory and RAM.


Solid State Storage – SSD and flash memory

Solid-state storage (SSS) is a type of computer storage media made from silicon microchips. SSS stores data electronically instead of magnetically, as spinning hard disk drives (HDDs) or magnetic oxide tape do.



1.            Computer Model 1



1.            Storage Media worksheet

2.            Error Correction and Compression worksheet