Open In App

Difference between Hard Disk and Floppy Disk

Last Updated : 12 Dec, 2022
Like Article


A magnetic Disk is a disk made up of metal or plastic which is used for storing data. Normally both side of the disc is used for storing data. A magnetic Disk is classified as 

in main secondary device Various types of secondary devices are there like floppy disk and hard disk. Hard disk can be considered as being made up multiple floppy disks put one above the other

Floppy Disk

Floppy disk is made up of round piece of plastic material coated with a magnetized recording material.

The surface of a floppy disk is made of concentric circles called tracks. Disk  can be considered to be consisting of several surfaces, each of which Consisting of tracks.

The tracks are normally numbered from as the outermost track with the number increase inwards. Each track is divided into a no of sectors of equal size Sector capacities may vary, but typically a sector can store up to 512 bytes

  • Double-sided floppy have two sides on which data can be recorded, so given sector is specified by a components of address, surface no, track no, and sector no
  • Floppy disk is a magnetic disk that contains a single plastic disk. In the initial days of the computer invention it was used as the main storage device, later on, it was used for carrying data from one computer to another but nowadays it is almost not used. It requires a floppy drive for operation.

Hard Disk

Hard Disk Mechanism

Hard disk surface is also made of concentric circles called tracks. Each track is divided into sectors of equal size. The disk drive for hard disk and its read/write mechanism is shown in fig. (1.3). Read/ write head for each surface connected to arm Arm can move in or out to position itself on any track while disk rotates at a constant speed e.g 
Hard Disk is a magnetic disk made of aluminium. It is used as the main storage device on the computer. It uses a metallic disk which is known as a platter. Both sides of the disk are used for storing data except the upper side of the uppermost disk and the lower side of the lowermost disk. Magnetic oxide is used to coat the data storing surface. 

  1.  Read a block
  2.  It is translated into a sector address surface=1, track=10, sector-5. This is called
  3. Read/write heads current position’s address is current address, ie. Surface =0, track=7,sector =7.
  4. Move the arm in or out position on correct track. In this e.g. move arm inwards from track 7 to track 10. The time taken to move to correct track is called seek time.
  5.  Wait until desired sector comes under r/w head as disk rotates. Time to reach w particular sector on track is called rotational delay or latency.
  6.  Activate R/W head for appropriate surface and read data. The time taken for this operation is called transmission time.

Difference between Hard Disk and Floppy Disk :

1. It is magnetic disk made of aluminium. It is magnetic disk made of plastic.
2. It is used as main storage device of computer. Initially it was used as main storage device but now-a-days it is not used.
3. It uses 2-4 metallic disk called platter. It contains single plastic disk.
4. Data storing surface is coated by magnetic oxide. Data storing surface is exposed.
5. It is reliable. It is not as reliable as hard disk.
6. Storage capacity is very high. Storage capacity is low.
7. Stores data at high speed. Stores data at low speed.
8. Retrieves data at high speed. Data access relatively slow.
9. Data can not be damaged or corrupted. Data cane be damaged or corrupted.
10. It is not portable easily. It is easily portable.
11. Weight is heavier than floppy disk. It has lighter weight.
12. It is very costly compared to floppy disk. It is quite cheap.
13. Security from viruses is better. Susceptible to viruses.
14. It is widely used now-a-days. It is very less used almost not used.
15. It is more resistant to damage caused by dust and heat. It is less resistant to the damage caused by dust and heat.
16. When a computer is turned on, hard disk drives begin to rotate and then rotate continuously. To serve the purpose of reading or writing data, floppy disk drives begins to rotate.
17. The upper side of the top disk and lower side of the bottom disk cannot be used to store data in the platter due to easy scratching of these surfaces. The storing of data is possible on both sides of the floppy disk.

Similar Reads

Difference between Hard Disk Drive (HDD) and Solid State Drive (SSD)
Hard Disk Drives(HDD) and Solid State Drives(SSD) both are data storage devices. Whereas HDDs are more traditional storage mechanisms, SSDs are newer and more sophisticated. The primary distinction between HDD and SSD is in how data is stored and accessed. Let's look at the fundamental distinctions between HDD and SSD. What is a Hard Disk Drive(HDD
5 min read
Difference between Random Access Memory (RAM) and Hard Disk Drive (HDD)
A person novice to computers often is in confusion between Random Access Memory (RAM) and Hard Disk Drive (HDD). Here we draw comparisons between the two. Similarities between RAM and HDD : Both are used for storage of data.Both are physical components of the computer machine.Both RAM and HDD are measured in bytesBoth RAM and HDD can affect the per
3 min read
Difference between Memory and Hard Disk
Memory and hard disk are two essential components of a computer system. Memory refers to the temporary storage used by a computer to perform its operations, while a hard disk is a permanent storage device used to store data and programs. 1. Memory: Memories are made up of registers. Memory refers to the location of short-term data. Each register in
4 min read
Hard Disk Drive (HDD) Secondary memory
Primary memory has limited storage capacity and it is volatile. Secondary memory overcomes this limitation by providing permanent storage of data in bulk quantity. Secondary memory is also termed external memory and refers to the various storage media on which a computer can store data and programs. The Secondary storage media can be fixed or remov
12 min read
Difference between Magnetic Disk and Optical Disk
The magnetic and optical disks are the storage devices that provide a way to store data for a long duration. Both are categorized under the category of secondary storage devices. Magnetic disk: A magnetic disk is a storage device that uses a magnetization process to read, write, rewrite and access data. The Magnetic disk is made of a set of circula
2 min read
Difference between Basic Disk and Dynamic Disk
Basic Disk: A basic disk is a type of hard drive configuration, available with the Windows operating system. To manage all partitions and data on the hard disk, normal partition tables or logical drives are used. They are the storage types most often used with Windows. It can contain up to four primary partitions, or three primary partitions and an
3 min read
Difference between Seek Time and Disk Access Time in Disk Scheduling
Seek Time: A disk is divided into many circular tracks. Seek Time is defined as the time required by the read/write head to move from one track to another. Example, Consider the following diagram, the read/write head is currently on track 1. Now, on the next read/write request, we may want to read data from Track 4, in this case, our read/write hea
3 min read
Difference between Transfer Time and Disk Access Time in Disk Scheduling
1. Transfer Time : Time required to transfer the required amount of data. It can be calculated by the given formula Transfer time, = Data to be transfer / transfer rate Data to be transfer is given in the question and transfer rate is sometimes given and sometimes it may not be given. It can be calculated by the given formula. Transfer Rate, = {(Nu
2 min read
Difference between Rotational Latency and Disk Access Time in Disk Scheduling
1. Rotational Latency : Rotational Latency is also known as Rotational time. The amount of time taken by the disk to rotate the track when the read/write head come to exact sector or we can also say that the time taken by the desired sector to come under the read/write head is called rotational latency. Rotational Latency is depends on the rotation
4 min read
Difference between Soft Computing and Hard Computing
The main difference between Soft Computing and Hard Computing is their approach to solving complex problems: Hard Computing: Hard computing uses traditional mathematical methods to solve problems, such as algorithms and mathematical models. It is based on deterministic and precise calculations and is ideal for solving problems that have well-define
2 min read