1. [syn: disk drive, disc drive, hard drive, Winchester drive]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Drive \Drive\ (dr[imac]v), n.
1. The act of driving; a trip or an excursion in a carriage,
as for exercise or pleasure; -- distinguished from a ride
taken on horseback.
2. A place suitable or agreeable for driving; a road prepared
3. Violent or rapid motion; a rushing onward or away; esp., a
forced or hurried dispatch of business.
The Murdstonian drive in business. --M. Arnold.
4. In type founding and forging, an impression or matrix,
formed by a punch drift.
5. A collection of objects that are driven; a mass of logs to
be floated down a river. [Colloq.]
Syn: See Ride.
6. a private road; a driveway.
7. a strong psychological motivation to perform some
8. (Computers) a device for reading or writing data from or
to a data storage medium, as a disk drive, a tape
drive, a CD drive, etc.
9. an organized effort by a group to accomplish a goal within
a limited period of time; as, a fund-raising drive.
10. a physiological function of an organism motivating it to
perform specific behaviors; as, the sex drive.
11. (Football) the period during which one team sustains
movement of the ball toward the opponent's goal without
losing possession of the ball; as, a long drive
12. an act of driving a vehicle, especially an automobile;
the journey undertaken by driving an automobile; as, to
go for a drive in the country.
13. the mechanism which causes the moving parts of a machine
to move; as, a belt drive.
14. the way in which the propulsive force of a vehicle is
transmitted to the road; as, a car with four-wheel drive,
front-wheel drive, etc.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: computer hardware that holds and spins a magnetic or
optical disk and reads and writes information on it [syn:
disk drive, disc drive, hard drive, Winchester
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (30 December 2018):
floppy disk drive
(Or "hard disk drive", "hard drive",
"floppy disk drive", "floppy drive") A peripheral device
that reads and writes hard disks or floppy disks. The
drive contains a motor to rotate the disk at a constant rate
and one or more read/write heads which are positioned over the
desired track by a servo mechanism. It also contains the
electronics to amplify the signals from the heads to normal
digital logic levels and vice versa.
In order for a disk drive to start to read or write a given
location a read/write head must be positioned radially over
the right track and rotationally over the start of the right
Radial motion is known as "seeking" and it is this which
causes most of the intermittent noise heard during disk
activity. There is usually one head for each disk surface and
all heads move together. The set of locations which are
accessible with the heads in a given radial position are known
as a "cylinder". The "seek time" is the time taken to
seek to a different cylinder.
The disk is constantly rotating (except for some floppy disk
drives where the motor is switched off between accesses to
reduce wear and power consumption) so positioning the heads
over the right sector is simply a matter of waiting until it
arrives under the head. With a single set of heads this
"rotational latency" will be on average half a revolution
but some big drives have multiple sets of heads spaced at
equal angles around the disk.
If seeking and rotation are independent, access time is seek
time + rotational latency. When accessing multiple tracks
sequentially, data is sometimes arranged so that by the time
the seek from one track to the next has finished, the disk has
rotated just enough to begin accessing the next track.
See also sector interleave.
Early disk drives had a capacity of a few megabytes and were
housed inside a separate cabinet the size of a washing
machine. Over a few decades they shrunk to fit a terabyte
or more in a box the size of a paperback book.
The disks may be removable disks; floppy disks always are,
removable hard disks were common on mainframes and
minicomputers but less so on microcomputers until the mid
1990s(?) with products like the Zip Drive.
A CD-ROM drive is not usually referred to as a disk drive.
Two common interfaces for disk drives (and other devices) are
SCSI and IDE. ST-506 used to be common in
microcomputers (in the 1980s?).