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Disk usage (DU) refers to the portion or percentage of computer storage that is currently in use. It contrasts with disk space or capacity, which is the total amount of space that a given disk is capable of storing. Disk usage is often measured in kilobytes (KB), megabytes (MB), gigabytes (GB) and/or terabytes (TB).
Disk drives date back to the 1950s, when computer scientists, engineers and manufacturers sought new forms of electronic storage (prior to this, data was primarily stored on magnetic tape).
Disk usage is a crucial metric to any computing system, as it gives the user the information needed not only for storage, but also software requirements and overall operation. Although it usually refers to a computer’s hard disk, it may also refer to external storage, such as a USB drive or compact disc (CD).