Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Disc and Disk

Disc vs Disk

Disk and disc are two words that have generated a lot of confusion for a number of people. Many people are caught in the wrong notion that these two words are just different spellings for the same entity. The entity here is referred to as a data storage medium that has a circular and thin geometry. Unlike the popular belief of the 20th century that “disk” is popular among Americans and “disc” among the British, there is significant difference between the two words.

“Disk” is a magnetic medium that is rewritable by default unless its either write-protected or locked. The most popular among this category of storage media are floppy disks, external hard disks, and the disks used in the computer’s hard drive. You will find disks sealed in a plastic or metal case. This entire setup has come to be known as a hard drive. It is possible to partition a disk into different smaller volumes.

“Disc” is an optical medium that is read-only, rewritable, or writable. The popular storage media under this category includes a CD, CD-ROM, DVD-RAM, DVD-ROM, and DVD-Video. The writable discs are written once and cannot be written again. The writing of contents on a disc is known as “burning a disc.” CD-RW, DVD-RAM, and DVD-RW discs are all rewritable or ones that can be rewritten upon multiple times. The small and round disc is usually employed for storing audio files, videos, movies, and data.

Differences between “disk” and “disc.”

1. “Disk” refers to magnetic storage media while “disc” is used to refer to all optical

storage media.

2. All disks are rewritable with the exceptional case of being write-protected or in a

locked condition. A disc can be read-only, can be written onto once, or rewritable.

3. A disk may not be removable from its housing, but discs are always removable.

“Removable” here means they can be unmounted from their housing.


1. The word “disk” came into existence when the hard disk drives and floppy disk drives

were introduced in the market.

2. The origination of the word “disc” is attributed to the rise of the compact disc.

3. You can partition a disk. Floppy disks and hard disks are part of the magnetic storage

media or disk segments.

4. DVD-ROM, DVD-RAM, CD, CD-ROM, CD-RW, and DVD-RW belong to the optical

media storage or disc segments. They are used to store data, movies, and audio and

video files.

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  1. Hmm, I have perused several siteS and it appears that disc and disk are now only used for computer media. No mention of disc golf (I know that one) or disk??? sander. What about some guidance on the use f these terms in other contexts?

  2. Always this two are confusing

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