SSDs and HDDs are two kinds of storage devices that are utilized as the local drive for personal computers. If you are willing to buy personal computers, then you have to determine which one you want for you. Both of them have specifications that suit the requirements, budget and preferences. One should always opt for better and superior performance. If you wanted to check whether your disk is SSD or HDD, you also need to know the insights of what both of them are used for actually. Let’s get started with understanding the meaning, utility & finally the process to identify which disk are you using?

What is an SSD?

SSD also known as Solid State Drive. The explanation of why it is called so is just that it does not possess moving parts likewise USB Drive. According to layman, you can call an SSD a very large and more sophisticated type of a USB. The information resides in an SSD in the form of microchips. It is like a memory stick. Also, rather than having the data being accessed by a mechanical component, SSDs can permit it promptly from the microchip. This is the rationale why the SSD is far quicker than the HDD as it compels small manual labour for obtaining information.

What is an HDD?

HDD also known as Hard Disk Drive is a former technology that was originally initiated by IBM almost 60 years back. It uses magnetism to store data. HDDs amass a rotating platter that whirls at elevated speeds while a read/write head is positioned above it which reads and writes data on the spinning platter. The working and performance of an HDD are conditional on the spinning speed of its platter. The normal spinning range of HDD drives in usage today is 5400 RPM to up to 7200 RPM. Server-based platters can attain spinning speeds of up to 15000 RPM.

The Process: How to check if your Disk is SSD or HDD?

You can check the disk type without even having a look physically. Here are some techniques to discover which disk type are you using:

For Windows 8 or 10 users:

Technique 1

  1. In Microsoft drive optimizer
  2. Open Optimize drives

3) You will find disk type option in the media type column

Technique 2.

  1. In Powershell or Command Prompt
  2. Open PowerShell

3) Copy and paste the command below PowerShell, and press Enter.

4) Get-PhysicalDisk | Format-Table -AutoSize

4) You will find the disk in the Media Type column for each disk listed.

Or you can see the same on your command prompt using command

> PowerShell “Get-PhysicalDisk | Format-Table -AutoSize”

For Linux users:

Technique 1

  1. Check if the disk is Rotational
  2. Linux systems can automatically detect SSD. So performing the below command will notify you if a disk is SSD or HDD.
  3. cat /sys/block/sda/queue/rotational

4) If the output of above is 0 (zero), then the disk type is SSD (because SSD does not rotate). But if you see output 1 on machines, that has an HDD disk.

Technique 2.

  1. Using lsblk command
  2. To install lsblk: # yum install util-linux
  3. Now check if the disk is rotational or not using the below command.
    # lsblk -d -o name,rota
If the output of above is 0 (zero), then the disk type is SSD (because SSD does not rotate). But if you see output 1 then the machine has an HDD disk.

Technique 3.

  1. Using SMART monitoring tools
  2. To install smartmontools
    yum install smartmontools
    smartctl -a /dev/sda | grep ‘Rotation Rate’
If the disk is HDD, you will get this output:
Rotation Rate: 7200 rpm

Conclusion: By using the mentioned command you can find whether you have an SSD or HDD in your device. You will also be able to analyze which type of disk is suitable for your requirements.

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