When a hard disk undergoes a low-level format, it is divided it into tracks and sectors. This low-level format only happens once in the drive’s life before it leaves the manufacturer’s factory. All subsequent formatting of hard drives derive from this initial low level format, which contains information on tracks, sector layout, defect management and so on.
The tracks are concentric circles around the central spindle on either side of each platter. Tracks physically above each other on the platters are grouped together into cylinders which are then further subdivided into sectors of 512 bytes apiece.
The concept of cylinders is important, since cross-platter information in the same cylinder can be accessed without having to move the heads. The sector is a disk’s smallest accessible unit. Drives use a technique called zoned-bit recording in which tracks on the outside of the disk contain more sectors than those on the inside.
- Hard disk (hard drive) construction
- Hard Disk (hard drive) Operation
- Hard disk (hard drive) format – the tracks and sectors of the hard disk
- File systems (FAT, FAT8, FAT16, FAT32 and NTFS) explained
- Hard Disk (Hard Drive) Performance – transfer rates, latency and seek times
- Hard Disk AV Capability
- Hard Disk Capacity
- Hard Disk Capacity Barriers
- Hard Disk MR Technology
- Hard Disk GMR Technology
- Hard Disk Pixie Dust
- Hard Disk Longitudinal Recording
- Hard Disk Perpendicular Recording
- RAID – Redundant Arrays of Inexpensive Disks
- Hard Disk SMART Drives
- Hard Disk MicroDrives
- Hard Disk OAW Technology
- Hard Disk PLEDM
- Hard Disk Millipede
- Guide to Western Digital’s GreenPower hard drive technology
- Solid state hard drive (SSD) technology guide