Back to  How does a disk on a computer work?

I'll bet you saw the other answers about computer disks that your classmates got from us. Let's ask Pierre Kerr,, how computer discs work.

There are a few different kinds of computer discs (or disks). I've given you an example of one kind of disk, a floppy disk.

This one is an old 8 inch floppy disk. It's called floppy because it can bend a little bit. You shouldn't bend it too much but this one is not used anymore so you can do what you like with it. I have cut the end of the case off so you can slip out the shiny brown disk that's inside. That disk turns around very quickly when it's in the computer.

Floppy disks work because they can store information as very small magnetic signals. The brown plastic that makes the disk is the same material that is used in audio cassettes and video tapes. There are small bits of metal on the disk that get magnetized by the disk drive.

There are also hard disks. These are normally inside a computer so you can't see them. They still use the same brown material to store the magnetic information but it is on a hard surface such as aluminium. When it is turned on it will spin very quickly. When this is in a computer, you wouldn't be able to see the disk part at all. Look at the computer and hard disk display we have put in the school library. It's okay to touch that hard drive because it's broken already, but normally you would be very careful with a disk drive.

Show the floppy disk to the other students in your class. It's yours to keep.

Thanks for the question Jonas.

Answer #% % filename Document7 page% % page 1 of% % numpages 1 % % date \@ "MMMM d, yyyy"March 24, 1995


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