PC Hardware

Lesson Summary

The following points summarize the main elements of this lesson:

  • A CD-ROM drive is now a standard component of a computer system.

  • CD-ROM data transfer rates are based on a factor of 150 KB per second.

  • Installing a CD-ROM drive is as easy as installing a floppy disk drive.

  • The proper drivers must be loaded before a CD-ROM drive can be accessed by the processor.

  • To run a CD-ROM drive from MS-DOS, the real-mode drivers must be loaded.

  • A CD-ROM drive is an essential part of the multimedia standard.

Advanced Hard Disk Drives

Tutorial 8, "Basic Disk Drives," covered the basics of hard disk drives. In this lesson, we broaden our discussion of hard disk drives to include the newer large-capacity drives and cover several of the newest methods.

After this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Configure the newer large-capacity hard disk drives.

  • Define the limitations of hard disk drives.

  • Identify the advantages and disadvantages of SCSI connections.

Estimated lesson time: 30 minutes

Limitations of Early Hard Disk Drives

The original basic hard disk drives-specifically the ST-506-were relatively simple to install because the primary input/output commands were handled by the PC AT system BIOS. They used the routines built into the original IBM AT and the same interface command set as the original ST-506 hard drive. As drive capacities grew, they required many changes in setup to get around the limitations imposed by earlier models.

Often, these changes added to the workload of the processor, which had a net effect of slowing down the processing of data. The result was a search for new methods to overcome those bottlenecks, which in turn led to other design considerations that had to be addressed. Storage technology is still evolving. Drives increase in capacity and speed, causing changes in PC design and operating-system support to take advantage of the larger-capacity, faster drives.