General Purpose Graphics Processors

Computer Hard Drives

Copyright 2010 by Stephen Vermeulen
Last updated: 2010 Sep 20
Mini ITX Motherboards

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See also:

General Information

  • 2010-Sep-20: This paper Row-Diagonal Parity for Double Disk Failure Correction has a pretty readable example of how a double parity disk system would work for a RAID-4 setup to allow for survival of two disks failing at once. [9371]
  • 2010-Jun-04: Seagate has confirmed that they will be shipping a 3TB drive in 2010. One issue with these is that most current motherboards (with the exception of those that use the rather rare EFI BIOS system) will not be able to boot an operating system off one of these drives. However, if you boot off a smaller drive then you should be able to access the full 3TB drive from a current 64 bit operating system (i.e. not Windows XP though). [9165]
  • 2010-May-18: 2010 will see the introduction of the first 3TB drives, but there may be some issues with older operating systems (like XP) and motherboard compatibility problems due to LBA mode BIOS issues. [9121]
  • 2010-Apr-30: Western Digital is going to start introducing hard drives that are formatted with 4K byte sectors rather than the current 512 byte sectors in 2010. This will apparently allow for improved error correction while slightly increasing storage density. This will potentially cause a performance issue for Windows XP (and older systems) due to these older Windows versions creating the first partition in a way that it is misaligned to the 4K blocks on the drive (sort of an off by one type error). WD has two solutions for this, one is they provide a jumper on the drive that can compensate for the off by one misalignment (but it is only good for drives with a single partition) and the other is a utility that will realign the partitions on the drive. More discussion here on Slashdot. The first of these drives from WD will have "EARS" as part of the model number. An article about the issues with these 4K sector drives causing bad performance under Linux, both the Reiser and EXT3 file systems can have severe slow downs on writing small files if these drives are not installed correctly at the current time. [8828]
  • 2010-Mar-31: The Aegis Padlock Secure portable USB drive from Apricorn has a built in number pad for entering the pass code and does AES-128 or 256-bit drive encryption. They have updated their USB attached secure drive offering to include one based on an SSD drive. [8459]
  • 2009-Nov-18: Origin's Data Locker encrypted external hard drives. [8756]
  • 2009-Nov-13: Seagate thinks that conventional hard drives will remain the cheapest form of mass storage for at least the next decade (say to 2020). [8743]
  • 2009-Oct-31: In Oct'09 ASUS became the first to ship a mother board and an expansion card with USB3.0 and SATA 6G. The P7P55D-E motherboard has two USB3.0 ports and their U3S6 controller card can add another two USB3.0 and two SATA 6G connectors to a PCIe 4x card slot. Discussed here on Slashdot. While the SATA 6G does not give much of a performance boost the USB 3.0 connection gives performance improvements from 3 to 5 times over USB 2.0 connected external hard drives - which would be a significant boost for people who use external hard drives for backup storage. [8684]
  • 2009-Sep-24: Western Digital explains that one reason you don't want to use their desktop drives in a RAID array is that the desktop drives will try to read a failing block for a long time (say up to 2 minutes) before returning an error and this long delay can cause a RAID controller to think the whole drive has died and drop it from the array. Their enterprise drives implement a feature they call TLER (Time Limited Error Recovery) which limits the time spent trying to read a bad sector to about 7 seconds and so should not cause a RAID controller to panic and drop the whole drive when only a single sector is having trouble. [8560]
  • 2009-Sep-23: In Why RAID 5 Stops Working in 2009 the author argues that with the arrival of 2TB drives RAID arrays will have got large enough that the unrecoverable read error rate will put a RAID rebuild at significant risk. While this seems possible it would appear to be a rather poor software design if a RAID system completely fails a rebuild if a single read error happens, I would have thought that the logical thing to have done would have been to pause the rebuild and ask the operator if he wanted to stop or continue and accept the consequences (which would probably be a corrupted file). A comment on this issue that addresses some of the concerns. An article that looks at the causes of some of the drive errors. How the UNRAID system handles this issue gets discussed here, with UNRAID the data is not striped so a failure of this kind will not affect the whole array and, according to the developers, an error of this kind during an array rebuild will not stop the rebuild (though a file may be corrupted as a result). CERN took some time to research the silent data corruption problem. Slashdot has another discussion of the issue of RAID arrays becoming more likely to fully fail during a rebuild. Adaptec goes through some of the reliability calculations for RAID arrays here and here. A graduate student takes a look at RAID system reliability through simulations. Another article on the unrecoverable read error problem. There is a research project looking at read errors in Microsoft, an interim progress report is here. This article examines the probability of encountering a read error while rebuilding a RAID array and explains the math fairly well. The paper: An Analysis of Data Corruption in the Storage Stack takes a look at all sorts of error sources, incuding the UREs. Are there really differences between the SATA and more expensive SCSI and Fibre Channel drives? The importance of disk scrubbing as a way of keeping the UREs at bay. A white paper from Hitachi on the URE issue and why RAID6 makes sense (though it looks like their math might be off). Wikipedia's article on S.M.A.R.T. explains a lot of the SMART counters. Hard Disk MTBF: Flap or Farse calls into question the reliability of MTBF ratings, as does this paper. [7063]
  • 2009-Sep-21: Modern SATA hard drives are built to a set of standard block sizes which are available from a number of manufacturers. This generally makes replacing a failed drive in a RAID array (where the exact drive size must match) quite easy. However, some recent motherboard "features" may actually reserve some space on the hard drive to store a copy of the BIOS for backup purposes. When this happens the motherboard sends special commands to the hard drive to tell it to change its reported size so that regular operating system partitioning software will not see the reserved area (the so called Host Protected Area - HPA). This issue was discussed here when it showed up on some Gigabyte motherboards to do with their Virtual Dual BIOS. If you connect several drives to one of these motherboards you may find that only one of them gets its size changed (probably the one on the lowest numbered SATA port), so even identical drives may no longer be identical. [8544]
  • 2009-Sep-01: Slashdot has a discussion about how to safely destroy the contents of old hard drives. Another discussion on a home made hard drive destroyer - using a log splitter sounds like a good option. [7409]
  • 2009-Jul-10: Samsung is going to produce the SpinPoint N3U, a 250GB drive that only has a USB interface. This is a potentially small cost saving measure for the external drive market, but when someone does this with USB3.0 the impact could be much more significant. [8250]
  • 2009-Jun-15: Brando's SATA HDD Multimedia Dock adds a card reader and a media player (with composite and s-video outputs) to a SATA hard drive docking device. After a year Brando added an HDMI output to this dock. [6607] [1]
  • 2009-Jun-03: Brando adds an HDMI and component video output to a hard drive docking unit. [8064]
  • 2009-May-13: Tray-less drive enclosures allow one to insert and remove bard 3.5 inch SATA hard drives. Some current devices are the Kingwin KF-1000 SATA hot swap rack and the iStarUSA T-5F-SS trayless anti-vibration SATA Mobile Rack. [7970]
  • 2009-May-05: The DDRdrive X1 is a DDR RAM based drive that has NAND flash for backup, it interfaces via a PCIe-X1 slot but it can only expand to 4GB and is much more expensive than some of the alternatives like Gigabyte's older GC-RAMDISK and the more capable HyperDrive5 type hardware from HyperOS Systems. [7940]
  • 2009-Feb-16: Seagate has a problem with its new 1.5TB drive freezing for 30 seconds at a time. More on this from Seagate. If you have one of these drives you can call Seagate's 1-800 number and they will check to see if you can get a firmware update (if you file a service request they will just ignore you - you need to phone them). There are also reports that some of their 1TB drives may be failing too. Slashdot discusses this here and there are links to some of the information (potentially affected model numbers) but no list of affected firmware versions. The 0GB (or BSY mode) bug gets discussed here (after the thread was deleted from Seagate's support forum - it appears the thread is still here), some people appear to be attempting to use the drive's serial diagnostic port to probe this issue further. This page contains the first results of connecting to the serial port. Seagate released a firmware update on about 20-Jan-09 only to find it caused more problems so the update has been recalled. Here is a possible unbricking procedure which uses the diagnostic serial port, it needs a bit more work to fill in some of the details (like which pins are TX and RX on the 4 pin connector - in this article it looks like they are the two pins closest to the SATA data connector, and RX is the one beside the SATA data connector). Seagate is offering free data recovery for those affected. This appears to have most of the details. This is another version, it shows the trick of using a small insulating strip to isolate the drive's power connector from the control PCB. The serial mode commands are listed here.

    I encountered the "busy drive" bug while checking to see if any of my Seagate drives might be affected. Quite ironic, you shutdown the system to check the serial numbers and drive labels; and then, when you power up the system again one of the drives is no longer responding to the BIOS. Seagate now has a few online tools that you can use to find out if you need new firmware - the best is to get the drive's serial number and enter it. If your drive is one that is known to be at risk they will send you to a page from which you can download a small ISO image that you can burn to CD and then boot from to flash the drive.

    Seagate's firmware upgrade procedure is described here, if you have an X86 PC which can boot from CD then it is pretty simple to flash the drives (just detach all your other drives first to be on the safe side).

    I was able to unbrick my drive that had entered the busy state by following this procedure. If you just unscrew the screw near the drive power connector a few turns, then you can slide some insulating material (say the corner of a business card) between the connector and the controller board quite easily. I used one of these RS-232 to TTL level shifters (here from and used a pair of AA batteries to power it at 3 volts. For the connector to the RX/TX pins I used a piece of cable from an old computer case, one of the two pin headers that is used to connect the front panel (lights or switches) to the motherboard. This had the correct pin spacing but was slightly too thick to insert into the drive's socket, so I used sand paper to thin it down a bit. Once I had found a serial cable (which I have not used for many years) I was able to connect the drive to the computer and verify that it did have the "busy error" symptoms (the drive will keep sending, about once a minute, a string like "LED:000000CC FAddr:0025BF67" to the terminal). At this point things worked up to issuing the "Z" command to spin down the drive. For me as soon as I issued that command the drive would enter the busy error state. The command sequence looked like:

    F3 T>/2
    F3 2>Z
    LED:000000CC FAddr:0025BF67
    LED:000000CC FAddr:0025BF67
    In the end I reviewed the various drive commands (a list is listed here) and noted that the "Z" command was also available at other "levels", so I gave level 8 a try and this worked. The output from my command session looked like:
    F3 T>/8
    F3 8>Z
    Spin Down Complete
    Elapsed Time 0.161 msecs
    F3 8>
    F3 8>U
    Spin Up Complete
    Elapsed Time 9.250 secs
    F3 8>/1
    F3 1>N1
    F3 1>/T
    F3 T>
    F3 T>i4,1,22
    F3 T>m0,2,2,,,,,22
    Max Wr Retries = 00, Max Rd Retries = 00, Max ECC T-Level = 14, Max Certify Rewr
    ite Retries = 00C8
    User Partition Format   5% complete, Zone 00, Pass 00, LBA 00004339, ErrCode 000
    User Partition Format   5% complete, Zone 00, Pass 00, LBA 00008DED, ErrCode 000
    00080, Elapsed Time 0 mins 10 secs
    User Partition Format Successful - Elapsed Time 0 mins 10 secs
    F3 T>
    After I had done this I was able to remove the drive, test it and confirm that it was working fine. I then did a firmware update which took it from SD15 to SD1A.

    And one more thing, my drives were "made in China" so this problem was not just with the drives from Thailand. [7195]

  • 2009-Jan-29: Full disk encryption is expected to drop in price (to near zero) and become available on most new drives, but when? With this approach a drive must receive the appropriate password before it will load any data, so you end up entering the password before the computer starts to boot. But what happens if you forget the password? Will you be able to overwrite the old disk with a new data set using a new password, or is the drive rendered inoperative to protect the encrypted data on it? Or, is there an administrative password you can enter to reset the user password? Or do you have to ship it back to the manufacturer to be unlocked? Or is there even a secret back door - say for customs to use? This gets discussed here on Engadget and here on Slashdot. [7493] [1]
  • 2009-Jan-22: The ACard ANS-9010 is a RAM disk that interfaces with your computer via a standard SATA connection. It includes battery protection and has a built in compact flash slot that can be used to quickly save and restore the drive's contents if power must be disconnected for longer periods of time. This can take up to 64GB of DDR2 RAM and turn it into a very fast hard drive. Discussed here on Slashdot. [7476] [1]
  • 2009-Jan-16: Western Digital has won the race to deliver the first 2TB drive. [7442]
  • 2008-Nov-23: Monitoring Hard Disks with SMART talks about using the smartctl utility from the smartmontools package that is included with many Linux distributions to monitor the health of hard drives. [7251]
  • 2008-Nov-15: The ThinkPad USB Portable Secure hard drive is a USB drive with a built in keypad for entry of a password to unlock it. This is supposed to have 128-bit AES full disk encryption. [7220]
  • 2008-Nov-12: The sounds of failing hard drives, perhaps hard drives could include a vibration sensor and monitor their mechanical systems' health with it? [7198]
  • 2008-Nov-11: Seagate is increasing its family of AES-encrypted hard drives and so too are Hitachi and Fujistu. [7186]
  • 2008-Sep-16: The Ruby Cipher hard drive kit from Addonics seems to provide on-the-fly full disk encryption (AES 256 bit) through a hardware engine and stores the key in a removable keyfob. At last it looks like someone has done this correctly, now if only some independent security team would take a look to make sure the device is really encrypting the disk blocks properly and not just faking it with a simple XOR against some content in the keyfob... [6867]
  • 2008-Sep-10: Some SATA RAID controller card solutions. Tom's Hardware takes a look at a number of SAS and SATA RAID controller cards. The HighPoint RocketRAID 3520 SATA RAID controller card. The Areca ARC-1231ML controller, this review compares it to the Promise SuperTrack STEX6850 and the ICH9R (Intel chipset solution that is often found on motherboards) controllers. Unfortunately they only examined RAID-0 and RAID-1 performance so did not find much in the way of differences. A comparison of nine Serial ATA RAID 5 adapters dates from 2005 but goes into a lot of details, including looking at differences between the CPU-hosted and on-board processor approaches. [6826]
  • 2008-Aug-22: FireWire will be getting a speed boost to 3.2Gbps, hopefully this will happen before USB3 gets to market. Intel has released the specifications for USB3 which calls for speeds of up to 5Gb/s. More information about USB 3.0 from MaximumPC. [5347]
  • 2008-Aug-07: Addonics Portable Dual Drive enclosure is a USB or eSATA attached drive housing that can hold up to two 2.5 inch drives and run them in either RAID-0 or RAID-1 modes. Given this is a portable setup the most likely cause for failures would presumably be physical damage (dropping it) which would probably put both drives at equal risk of failure, so perhaps this is really a gimmick? [6645]
  • 2008-Aug-04: The STARAY S from Radion is a 2.5 inch, USB drive enclosure with integrated security (and a keypad to allow entry of the pass code). Like a lot of these products the details on the actual cryptographic methods used are missing (they just say "proprietary 64-bit" which is usually a bad sign), so probably best avoided until more is known. This is now available. [6034] [1]
  • 2008-Aug-02: Hitachi expects to have a 5TB hard drive by 2010. Better start your downloading now... They have now achieved a recording density of 610Gb / sq. in. which is 2.5 times the current amount (mid-2008) so achieving their claim of 5TB seems pretty likely. [6479]
  • 2008-Jul-11: Seagate announced the first 1.5TB hard drive in July'08 and expects them to be available in Aug'08. So will we see the first 2TB drives in 2008 or have to wait until 2009? [6502]
  • 2008-Jul-03: In this article on the Asus P5W64 motherboard there is a comparison of the on-board ICH7R RAID controller (in RAID 0 and 5 modes) to the Areca ARC-1210 PCI Express RAID controller card. While the Areca has a significant (about a factor of two to three) advantage in RAID 0 mode, it completely blows away the ICH7R in RAID5 write performance. In this case the ICH7R got an average write performance of only 11MB/sec versus the 244MB/sec that the Areca got. The 11MB/sec speed seems rather low, in my experience with an ASUS P5E motherboard using the on-board RAID5 (with 4 drives in the array) I get about 30MB/s, still that's a lot slower than the Areca card gets. [6470]
  • 2008-Jun-27: Unitek's SATA hard drive dock includes a flash card reader and USB hub functions too. It supports both 2.5 and 3.5 inch drives. But why no floppy disk reader? [6446]
  • 2008-Jun-18: Engadget discusses a multi-function USB hard drive docking device, this one only supports 2.5 inch (IDE and SATA) hard drives, so it is more compact than the usual designs. It also includes a Compact Flash socket. [6367]
  • 2008-Jun-15: Slashdot discusses how to put a hundred IDE drives to use (or not - think of the energy costs). [6344]
  • 2008-May-24: The InstaRAID series of modules from Sans Digital take multiple hard drives (2.5 or 3.5 inch depending on the module) and mount them in a frame along with an integrated RAID controller. The whole assembly can then fit into a few adjacent drive bays in your typical tower PC case. [6226]
  • 2008-May-24: The CS1T and CR2T adapters from Sans Digital turn CF cards into 2.5 inch hard drives and can do RAID 1. [6225] [1]
  • 2008-May-15: Transcend's StoreJet 35 Ultra is a 3.5 inch eSATA external hard drive enclosure that has an 80mm fan built in for better cooling. [6165]
  • 2008-May-13: Slashdot discusses an article on the hard drive recovery process. [6147]
  • 2008-May-06: The data on a 400GB Seagate drive survived the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, this goes to how how tough it is to erase a modern drive. [6051]
  • 2008-Apr-23: Slashdot discusses storing data for the next 1000 years using a hard drive based approach. [5952] [1]
  • 2008-Apr-22: Fujitsu has added hardware-based automatic full drive encryption to a 2.5 inch 320GB hard drive. [5950] [1]
  • 2008-Apr-06: Disk failure rates may be much higher than the published specifications say. [5610]
  • 2008-Apr-05: Iomega's Rev Disk system is finally getting a capacity boost (from 70GB to 120GB). But given that the price of the individual cartridges are currently about $1/GB while a normal bare IDE hard drive is $0.25/GB and a 120GB laptop drive in a USB-powered case can be had for $0.83/GB, one really has to ask why are they still selling these?. In Apr'08 the 120GB drives and cartridges started shipping, the external USB interfaced drive (including a cartridge) costs $499 and a 5-pack of cartridges costs $325. So for the cartridges alone the price is $0.54/GB. At this time I can buy a 500GB IDE drive and an external USB case for less than $160 at our local computer shop which works out at $0.32/GB, so I still have to ask why anyone would bother with this REV stuff? [5220]
  • 2008-Mar-07: The Wizplat W-11 from Sarotech is a portable USB drive enclosure for use with a 1.8 inch format drive. So if you need more than a USB flash stick and think a 2.5 inch drive enclosure is too bulky, this would be your next choice. [5238] [1]
  • 2008-Feb-19: The 2.5 inch Easy Nova Data Box PRO-25UE RFID portable encrypted drive turns out to be pretty insecure (discussed here on Slashdot), seems the manufacturer only implemented an XOR algorithm instead of the claimed AES. [5116] [1]
  • 2008-Jan-15: Work is underway to standardize a power over eSATA cable that will allow external SATA hard disks to be powered by the eSATA cable. [4706]
  • 2008-Jan-12: Slashdot discusses how to safely dispose of old hard drives. [4657] [1]
  • 2008-Jan-07: Olixir makes a range of rugged external hard drives, designed for those who need to move them around a lot (and don't want to worry when they get dropped). While these are about two to three times as expensive as a regular consumer drive, if the drive is at risk of being dropped (or contains original data that is not backed up) these may well be worth it. [4597]
  • 2008-Jan-07: CartBak makes a hard drive cartridge system intended for data backup. These are compatible with the GoVault dock from Quantum. [4596] [1]
  • 2007-Dec-27: Computerworld takes a look at the Samsung 64GB flash drive along with five other drives in a review of the six top hard drives for speed and capacity. [4521]
  • 2007-Dec-15: DBAN - Darik's Boot and Nuke is a standalone boot disk tool that allows you to wipe the drive in a computer. This is also useful when you are cleaning a drive before adding it into a Linux software RAID array. [4433] [1]
  • 2007-Dec-13: A very fast RAID array built out of 16GB SSD SATA drives. This does done using Areca 1220 and 1231ML hardware RAID controllers and the Mtron Pro SSD (reviewed here by X-bit labs) SATA drives. They mention that the Intel ICH9R hardware may have a bandwidth capping issue at about 80MB/s. [4420]
  • 2007-Nov-08: 1TB hard drives" compared, they are all currently on par. [4049]
  • An internally mounted trayless hot swap enclosure, just slide in a bare drive to install it. [3624]
  • A cute SATA external hard drive attachment dock. Neat design, but why, if this is SATA only, didn't they make it connect with an eSATA cable rather than a USB cable? The issue of no external SATA cable has been corrected. [3623]
  • Western Digital is now promising 3TB drives by 2010. [3622]
  • Hitachi is promising 4TB drives by 2011 (just 4 years away...) due to further reductions in head sizes. [3621]
  • Slashdot discusses what file system to use on a drive that must be shared across multiple platforms [3620]
  • Seagate is planning to stop manufacturing IDE hard drives by the end of 2007 [3619]
  • A Slashdot discussion of RAID vesus JBOD and standard drives [3618]
  • Shikatronics makes an external USB drive enclosure that includes whole drive encryption where the key is on a removable key fob device. [3617]
  • The CartBak removable drive system looks rather neat, it also has a "Media Toaster" which can be used to play video content from a cartirdge. [3616]
  • In May'07 Toshiba announced their NC-MR technology saying that it could bring a ten-fold increase in storage capacity in the next few years. [3615]
  • In May'07 the new standard for 4096 byte sectors (blocks) on hard drive was finalized [3614]
  • Tom's Hardware has an article about Kroll Ontrack Data Recovery who specialize in recovering data from failed hard drives. [3613]
  • In Jan'07 Seagate revealed plans to achieve 30TB drives in the next decade using heat-assisted magnetic recording (HARM) and Hitachi is planning to be the first to ship a 1TB drive (aiming for the first quarter of 2007). The Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000 was the first terabyte drive to ship and gets reviewed here. [3612]
  • smartmontools, is a package (for Windows and Linux) that allows you to monitor the health of hard drives that provide SMART support. [3611]
  • A talk on the art of hard drive data recovery techniques, there are also some links to various software tools that might be useful when trying to recover data from a problem disk. [3610]
  • ATA over Ethernet (AoE) is entering the Linux Kernel in Aug'06 [3609]
  • Using a 2.5in laptop drive in a desktop computer, this will reduce power consumption a bit (perhaps 10W less for the whole system) but will impact performance noticably. Probably only of interest if you are trying to build very small computers. [3608]
  • The TVViX M-3100U is a hard drive enclosure with extra display and audio video inputs and outputs that also includes MPEG record and playback capability. [3607]
  • Someday ferro-electric fluids may be used to achieve super high storage densities<> [3606]
  • Seagate shipped its first perpendicular drives in April'06, and announced their new 750GB drives [3605]
  • Samsung has announced (Mar'06) that it will soon be shipping 32GB (and 8 or 16GB) flash drives in a 1.8" format for use in laptops. Current guesses at pricing is for the 32GB to be less than US$1000.00. [3604]
  • Hybrid Hard Drives will combine flash memory and conventional hard disks to reduce power consumption and perhaps improve drive performance. In June'06 Seagate announced its first laptop hybrid drive with a 256Meg flash buffer. [3603]
  • In the future we might have a petabyte of storage on a single drive. [3602]
  • Fujitsu's plans for 2006 include a 200GB 7200RPM 2.5in laptop drive, a 120GB 1.8in drive and some high spin rate serial attached SCSI drives. [3601]
  • For the very desperate, as a last ditch attempt at recovering data from a failed hard drive you could try to swap its guts with an identical, but good, hard drive. In the end you'll have two dead hard drives, but on the way you might just get one last chance to get your data back. [3600]
  • Adding extra drive activity LEDs, this is driven by pin 39 of the IDE cable [3599]
  • Thermaltake iCage, mounts in a couple of 5.25 inch bays and adapts them to hold three 3.5 inch hard drives and provides a full 120mm cooling fan. I've used one of these to hold three of the drives in my RAID array for some time and it works quite well, the large fan is quite quiet and moves enough air to keep the drives quite cool. [3598]
  • Western Digital's Caviar RE SATA 320GB drives are customized for use in RAID applications [3597]
  • Maxtor will have a 500GB drive [3596]
  • Another review of big hard drives, the Hitachi 500GB Deskstar 7K500 [3595]
  • A review of big hard drives, including USB connected units [3594]
  • A review of very small USB atached hard drives (those based on the 1 or 0.8" microdrives) [3593]
  • Would you dare open your drive to get it to move its heads again? [3592]
  • The USB to IDE (both 3.5inch and 2.5inch connectors) cable, a handy little gadget to have in your tool drawer [3591]
  • The basics of RAID [3590]
  • This artical, referenced on Slashdot, is claiming that many drives do not implement the "flush buffers to disk" functions correctly [3589]
  • At 155GB this is a seriously large solid state disk drive, but BiTMICRO makes smaller units too. [3588]
  • Samsung (Apr'05) is going to combine hard drives with flash memory [3587]
  • A Slashdot artical on adding effective cooling to a hard drive. I agree that this is a much more effective (and often quieter) approach than the small, low-profile fans that are often sold for this purpose. In fact I have done a similar thing, except I used the mounting bracket from one of the low-profile coolers (after removing the two fans on it that had failed, in less than a year, and cutting a bigger opening in the bracket) and attached an 80mm fan to it, this works very nicely, cools the drive more and is quieter than the original cooler. [3586]
  • In April 2005 Hitachi announced plans for hard drives based on perpendicular magnetic storage, this should mean that drive sizes will start to climb again. [3585]
  • I/O Magic makes a number of USB interfaced drives, including a 2.2GB and 4GB small pocket drive [3584]
  • Maxtor announces (Sept'04) their 300GB external USB/Firewire drives [3583]
  • You Don't Know Jack About Disks [3582]
  • WiebeTech makes USB/Firewire cases for IDE (2.5inch) hard drives for external use. [3581]
  • pqi make a number of flash drives that have IDE interfaces, good for making fan-less, low noise computers. [3580]
  • Slashdot looks for large RAID solutions for the home server, it appears that hardware raid cards may no longer have a performance advantage over a software Linux based system. Setting up a RAID array for Linux even has a dedicated book now: Managing RAID on Linux, by Derek Vadala, ISBN 1565927303. [3579]
  • In July 2004 Seagate announced that they were going to increase their warranty period to 5 years for most drives (even those for the desktop market) [3578]
  • The next time you think your hard drive has died, perhaps its the software that's to blame, Seagate is providing some tools they call SeaTools to help you determine this before sending your drive back (these tools are supposed to check drives made by other manufacturers too) [3577]
  • Here's a review of the Transcend 1.8" portable hard drive - this is the same sort of form factor as the iPOD. [3576]
  • SmartDisk makes some external hard drives, including some that connect via USB and are powered by the USB cable (LondonDrugs stocks this model, May 2004). [3575]
  • Maxtor's beta MaxBootBeta is drive caching software [3574]
  • MartianTechnology is making network attached drives, including built in wired and wireless ethernet. [3573]
  • IDE to SCSI converters, for those who want to put an IDE device on a SCSI chain. [3572]
  • The SMART system for IDE drives, can providetemperaturemonitoring of the drives. Some more information on understanding the various attributes that SMART can report. [3571]
  • Slashdot discusses the various RAID-1 (mirroring) solutions. [3570]
  • A review of IDE RAID solutions [3569]
  • A review comparing the performance of IDE base RAID 0, 1, 10 to single SCSI drives. [3568]
  • Hard disk data recovery software [3567]
  • A cute little computer in a 3 inch cube [3566]
  • AXIAthe next generation in Athlon over clocking. [3565]
  • Addonics has a disk array module that holds 4 drives (3.5inch type) and can be mounted in a tower case with three 5.25in bays free. [3564]
  • Here is an IDE drive backplane, holds 3 drives (on edge) in a 5.25inch full height bay space, allows for external access of the drives. Useful for a do it yourself raid array. [3563]
  • IBM and some other players are introducing (5 June 02) the iSCSI system to allow for a disk-less PC that uses remote storage devices. This sounds like something they could just do over some other conventional interface like FireWire, USB2 or GigaBit Ethernet, so we'll have to see. [3562]
  • Microsoft has a FAT32 32GB partition limit under Windows 2000 Pro, even though FAT32 has about an 8TB practical limit they will not allow you to create a partition larger than 32GB, saying that you should use NTFS instead. This sounds a lot like a bug being called a feature to me. I have verified this (Win2K Pro SP1) and this is indeed true. However, if you can find some other way of creating the partition (such as using the partitioning tools that come with System Commander) then Win2K will work with it just fine. [3561]
  • Information on the 8GB IDE drive size limit, which should not be a problem with motherboards produced in (or after) 2000. [3560]
  • A pretty good write up about IDE and SCSI disk systems [3559]
  • An IDE trouble shooting check list [3558]
  • Some information on IDE drives and the 8GB limit. [3557]
  • flipping between two IDE hard drives for alternate booting. [3556]
  • If you have money to burn, SCSI interfaced solid state disk drives [3555]
  • GoogleGear has some good SCSI stuff [3554]
  • DAT Technologies has a good selection of tape drives and media [3553]
  • Hyper Microsystems also has a good selection of SCSI stuff [3552]
  • DirtCheapDrives has a good selection of SCSI stuff [3551]
  • RAID drives explained at the StorageReviewweb site [3550]
  • DataPlay - these guys may be about to give Iomega a serious bit of competition in the removable media world [3549]

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