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Definition: disk memory


A misleading term for "disk storage." Because storage on disk is permanent until intentionally erased, in the past, some vendors referred to disk storage as disk memory. To add to the confusion, the storage cell technology in solid state drives (SSDs) and USB drives is "flash memory."

The real memory in a computer is random access memory (RAM), where all processing takes place. Disk drives and solid state drives (SSDs) are storage, and memory is the workplace.

Disks and SSDs Remember
When the power is turned off, disk and SSD storage retain their content but programs and data in memory vanish. The interaction between the CPU, memory and storage is how computers do work. See storage vs. memory, flash memory, memory and 3 C's.




A Lot of Bad Naming
In 2024, Google reported more than six million occurrences of the term "disk memory." Misleading terminology in the computer industry is guaranteed to continue forever.