Physical Drive

What Does Physical Drive Mean?

A physical drive is a term for the hard disk drive unit or hardware within a computer, laptop or server. It is the primary storage hardware/component within a computing device, and it’s used to store, retrieve and organize data. Hard disk drives and tape drives are common examples of a physical drive.


Techopedia Explains Physical Drive

A physical drive is primarily attached or installed in the chassis of a computer/laptop and is directly connected to the motherboard through any of the disk communication interfaces, buses or ports. Some physical drives are also external to the computer, such as an external hard disk drive or a USB pen drive. Most types of physical drives can be logically partitioned into one or more logical drives, which operate as a standard physical drive and independently of one another.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret 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 IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.