Types of Magnetic Storage Devices

By William Garmany

There are several different ways of storing information on the computer. One of the longest used systems for storing information have been with magnetic storage devices. Magnetic storage devices have improved in capacity and speed since they were first used. Smaller devices can now hold much more information. Even though other types of storage are becoming more popular, there are still many uses for magnetic storage devices.

Hard Drive

Most computer hard drives are magnetic, even today in 2010. The hard drive is where the computer's operating system and programs are stored. Without the hard drive, the computer would have to run off a disk that held not only the operating system, but any other programs that were needed. Running everything from a disk other than the hard drive will slow the entire system down.

Floppy Disk

The original floppy disk was floppy and flimsy in texture. During the evolution of the floppy disk, they went from 80 kilobytes of storage up to 2880 kilobytes of storage (2.88 megabytes). The most known floppy drives are the 5 1/4-inch 720 kilobyte disk and the 3 1/2-inch 1.44 megabyte disk.


Magnetic tape drives have been in use longer than floppies. Primarily used for back up storage, the tape drive has been a must in the corporate world. Tape drives are now capable of backing up up to 3 terabytes of information.


Iomega has made several types of magnetic storage devices. The most popular were the Zip and Jazz drives, however Peerless was another drive made. These drives opened up storage in the capacities from 40 megabytes up to 20 gigabytes.

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