Skip to main content

fixed disk drive

fixed disk drive A disk drive in which the storage medium is permanently attached within the device. The drive may contain more than one disk – the so-called disk stack. The individual disks in the stack are called platters. Both sides are coated and the platters are mounted on a common spindle. Current data-processing systems use fixed disk storage rather than demountable storage. Early fixed disk drives used disks with a diameter of 36 inches. The size, in inches, has progressively decreased in the sequence 14, 10.5, 9, 8, 5.25, 3.5, 2.5, 1.8, 1.3. Not all manufacturers used all of these sizes but currently 3.5 inch disk drives are used throughout the industry, with capacities of several gigabytes. Portable PCs currently use 2.5 inch disk drives.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"fixed disk drive." A Dictionary of Computing. . 18 Apr. 2019 <>.

"fixed disk drive." A Dictionary of Computing. . (April 18, 2019).

"fixed disk drive." A Dictionary of Computing. . Retrieved April 18, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.