Since the mid-80s, the traditional, electromechanical hard disk drive (HDD) has been the standard in non-volatile data storage for personal computers. And despite the rise in popularity of solid state drives (which store data via NAND flash or RAM chips), HDDs are still found in most modern desktops and servers. With that fact in mind, it’s important that IT pros know the difference between the various types of traditional HDDs. So, I’ve put together this short quiz!

Note: Unfortunately, our poll tool, which I use to create each pop quiz, doesn’t let me indicate a correct answer after each question. To keep from giving away the answers before everyone has a chance to test his/her knowledge, and ruining all the fun, I’ve published the answers on the second page of this blog post. I encourage everyone to answer all the questions before looking at the second page or using your favorite search engine to find the answers.

Answers are on the next page.

Answers (in bold) to our TR Dojo pop quiz on traditional hard disk drive types:

1. Which of the following hard disk drive interface standards was developed from Western Digital’s Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE) interface?

ATA/PATA

SATA

SAS

2. Which of the following hard disk drive types typically uses a 7-pin data connector?

ATA/PATA

SATA

SCSI

3. Which of the following hard disk drive types typically uses a traditional 40-pin data connector attached to a ribbon cable?

ATA/PATA

SATA

SCSI

4. Which of the following hard disk drive types typically uses a 68-pin or 80-pin data connector?

ATA/PATA

SATA

SCSI

5. Which of the following hard disk drive types uses a variety of physical data connectors, including 7-pin, 26-pin, 32-pin, and 36-pin?

ATA/PATA

SATA

SAS

6. Which of the following hard disk drive types uses a 15-pin power connector?

SAS

SATA

SCSI

7. Which of the following hard disk drive types has a theoretical maximum data transfer rate of 133MB per second?

ATA/PATA

SATA

SAS

8. Which of the following hard disk drive types has a theoretical maximum data transfer rate of 600MB per second?

ATA/PATA

SATA

SCSI

9. Which of the following hard disk drive types has a theoretical maximum data transfer rate of 640MB per second?

SCSI

SATA

SAS

10. Which of the following hard disk drive types transfers data in parallel?

ATA/PATA

SATA

SAS