Mass Storage Device

What Does Mass Storage Device Mean?

A mass storage device (MSD) is any storage device that makes it possible to store and port large amounts of data across computers, servers and within an IT environment. MSDs are portable storage media that provide a storage interface that can be both internal and external to the computer.


A mass storage device may also be referred to as an auxiliary storage device. The term is commonly used to describe USB mass storage devices.

Techopedia Explains Mass Storage Device

MSD is primarily related to storage devices that provide consistent and permanent storage capacity. MSD is connected to the computer/server via a data transfer interface, such as SCSI, USB or even Ethernet (for storage area networks). Some of the common MSDs include floppy disk drives, optical drives, hard disk drives, tape drives, external hard drives, RAID and USB storage devices. Currently, typical MSD devices provide anywhere from a few gigabytes to petabytes of data. Internal MSDs generally can’t be removed, whereas external MSDs can be easily removed, ported and plugged into another computer.


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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…