Refers to the time a program or device takes to locate a particular piece of data. The time it takes for a disk drive to move its head(s) from one track to another. The seek time depends on the power of the servo motor that moves the head, the mass of the heads, the number of tracks traversed and the time taken to position the heads over the target track accurately enough to start data transfer (which includes several variables). The terms seek time and access time are often used interchangeably. Technically speaking, however, the access time is often longer than the seek time because it includes a brief latency period.