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Volatile is a term used when talking about storage devices, such as a hard drive, or a memory chip. If a device is volatile, this means that it will lose all of the data that is stored on the device when the computer is shut down. An example of a volatile device is DRAM. If a device is non-volatile, then it will conserve all the data, and will be able to be accessed when the computer is booted up again, such as your hard drive.