What is the Difference Between Disc and Disk?
For the purpose of this article we are explaining the difference between “disc” and “disk” in relationship to the terms applied to technology products.
The term “disc” is most often referred to data storage in the form of optical media.
The term “disk” is most often referred to data storage in the form of hard drive or solid state drive media.
It is also said the spelling “disc” is more commonly used in Europe to describe data storage products; whereas the spelling “disk” is more commonly used in the United States.
From our understanding the origins of “disk” to describe data storage is rooted from the floppy diskette days. Users, resellers and manufacturers would shorten the word “diskette” to simply use the word “disk.” ( ref )
Once optical media such as CD and CD-R came to market the term “disc” was used to describe the product because of the product shape. The Latin word “discus” is used by the Greeks to describe “dikein” which is “to throw” and to throw and object which was flat and round.
As the years past with CD and CD-R and then DVD and DVD-R it came even more common for technology users, resellers and manufacturers to use the spelling “disc” to describe their optical media products.
Here at GetFlashMemory.info we see many versions of the spelling when describing a USB flash drive or disk. The correct spelling when related to a USB flash drive would be “USB disk.” This is true because the data storage device does not have a physical shape which is round.
About one year ago, we did report on a USB flash drive which emulates CD-ROM optical media when connected to computers, called the Disc License drive. In this situation the spelling for “disc” is correct because the product emulates that of a circular optical drive. This product is a WORM device (Write Once Read Many) which means the data on the USB drive cannot be modified, changed, manipulated or deleted.