Unit 3. Basic file management and word processing

Topic A: Types of computer drives and pointing actions

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Types of Computer Drives

Disk drive (drive) – a computer device that stores and retrieves information, data, files, programs, etc., from a disk. The drive is often referred to by its letter (your drive letter may differ).

  • A hard disk drive (hard disk or fixed disk) is usually designated as the “C: drive”. The hard disk drive is the main data storage hardware device in a computer that can provide quick access to large amounts of data. Find more information about computer hardware.

A big metal disk sitting flat beneath a small, angular piece of metal.

  • A CD/DVD drive is usually designated as the “D: or G: drive”.

A metal and plastic tray that juts out of a computer.

  • A network drive is usually designated as the “U: drive”.

The back of a computer with several ports and wires sticking out.

  • A removable disk (USB) is usually designated as the “H: drive” or “K: drive”.
    • A USB flash drive is a small portable external device used for data storage.
    • The most common use for external drives (USB) is for backup purposes or to transfer files from one computer to another.
      A small rectangular USB memory drive.

Pointing Actions

Pointing device – a device used to control the movement of the pointer (cursor) on the screen.

The major pointing devices in use today are the:

  • mouse (desktop computer)

A red computer mouse.

  • touchpad (laptop)

A shallowly sunken rectangle on a laptop above two rectangular buttons.

  • touch screen

Hands holding up a tablet computer.

Basic pointing actions (use a mouse or trackpad/touchpad)

  • Point and click – point an object on the screen and then press the left button on the mouse (or tap on the trackpad) to select items/commands, open menus/hyperlinks (links), or close windows.
  • Double-click – quickly click the left mouse button twice (or double tap on the trackpad) on any folder, file, or program to open it.
  • Drag and drop – press and hold the left mouse button to grab an item (or double tap on the trackpad) and place it to a different location.

Example: drag the selected text to the new location.

  • An arrow points to the right-side button on a computer mouse.Right-click – press the right mouse button (or tap two fingers anywhere on the trackpad) to display a popup menu showing commands for a selected item.


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Key Concepts of Computer Studies Copyright © 2020 by Meizhong Wang is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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