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Computer Evidence: Collection and Preservation, Second Edition by Christopher L. T. Brown

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Physical Disk Characteristics

One of the central tasks the computer forensics investigator will perform is bit-stream imaging and analysis of computer hard disks. This chapter provides background to enable the computer forensics investigator to better understand physical storage disk technologies in use today.

Prior to IBM introducing the first computer with a hard disk in 1956 [CED01], computers used core memory, tape, and drums for data storage. The disk approach to data storage used in the IBM 305 RAMAC ultimately replaced magnetic drums, much like magnetic recording tape replaced the early recording drum systems. The just over 4 megabyte (MB) disk storage system used in the IBM 305 consisted of 50 24-inch disks, which became known as disk ...

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