This is the first article in a series that will explain how hard drives work, why they fail and what you as users can do to protect your data. When looking at hard drives the first step is to identify what it’s form factor is. Simply put, the form factor is the size of the hard drive and how it connects to your computer.
The most common type of hard drive form factor is 3.5 inch for desktop disks. Laptop hard drives are almost alwas 2.5 inch form factor. Almost all computers manufactored today for consumers and small businesses have either IDE or SATA hard drives with a normal 3.5 or 2.5 inch form factor.
Why Is a 3.5 Inch Hard Drive Form Factor actually 4 inches wide
The 3.5 inch form factor doesn’t actually refer to the physical measurement of width or height of the drive, but refers to what the size of the bay is on the computer. Originally the 3.5 inch form factor was used in reference to the size of the PC’s floppy drive. Today hard drives are typically smaller than their counterparts from 5 years ago.
Watch the video below for a visual guide to common hard drive form factors:
Laptop hard drives are 2.5 inch form factors and like desktop disks, can be either IDE or SATA. The video above shows the difference between the cables and power connections on the two types of hard drives. Today there is also a significant difference in hard drive pricing when it comes to SATA and IDE. When looking at hard drive recovery, we don’t charge more for one or the other.