Learn about the technologies behind the Internet with The TCP/IP Guide!|
NOTE: Using robot software to mass-download the site degrades the server and is prohibited. See here for more.
Find The PC Guide helpful? Please consider a donation to The PC Guide Tip Jar. Visa/MC/Paypal accepted.
|View over 750 of my fine art photos any time for free at DesktopScenes.com!|
Tracks and Sectors
Platters are organized into specific structures to enable the organized storage and retrieval of data. Each platter is broken into tracks--tens of thousands of them--which are tightly-packed concentric circles. These are similar in structure to the annual rings of a tree (but not similar to the grooves in a vinyl record album, which form a connected spiral and not concentric rings).
A track holds too much information to be suitable as the smallest unit of storage on a disk, so each one is further broken down into sectors. A sector is normally the smallest individually-addressable unit of information stored on a hard disk, and normally holds 512 bytes of information. The first PC hard disks typically held 17 sectors per track. Today's hard disks can have thousands of sectors in a single track, and make use of zoned recording to allow more sectors on the larger outer tracks of the disk.
A detailed examination of tracks and sectors leads into a larger discussion of disk geometry, encoding methods, formatting and other topics. Full coverage of hard disk tracks and sectors can be found here, with detail on sectors specifically here.
Next: Areal Density