What is input/output or storage device?

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An input/output device is also known as storage device. These computer devices preserve information for retrieval. In other words, an storage device is capable of storing data. The term usually refers to mass storage devices, such as disk and tape drives.

There are two types of storage devices used in computers; a ‘primary storage’ device and a ‘secondary storage’ device.

Primary storage device
A storage location that holds memory for short periods of times. For example, computer RAM is an example of a primary storage device.

Secondary storage deviceA storage medium that holds information until it is deleted or overwritten. For example, a floppy disk drive or a hard disk drive is an example of a secondary storage device.

A storage device may hold information, process information, or both. A device that only holds information is a recording medium. Devices that process information (data storage equipment) may either access a separate portable (removable) recording medium or a permanent component to store and retrieve information.

Examples of storage devices are:

  • Floppy diskette
  • Hard disk
  • CD
  • DVD
  • USB flash
  • Tape drive
  • Punch card
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