The evolution of Hard Drive

The history behind the hard drives.

We all are dependent on computer and main aim is data processing. From a small child who does his class project work to great software engineers to invent new things requires this great invention. But without storage, nothing is possible. We all know it is very easy to save and access our data anywhere, anytime. We have external hard drive which is easy to carry and some completely depend on cloud my uploading their data. But have you even wondered how this hard drive came into its small form that we see in today’s world?

Let me take you through a ride about the evolution hard drives.

IBM has played a major role in the innovations of hard drive. IBM 305 RAMAC Disk System was introduced in 1956, which can hardly manage 5MB of data and its disk diameter was 24 inch. Can’t even imagine. That’s just the disk, the entire hard drive was almost like a refrigerator and weighing almost a ton. It is said that for a MB it cost 10,000 dollars.

IBM 305 RAMAC Disk System

The 1301 Disk Storage Unit was slightly different as IBM used separate read and write head for each surface. In the previous model its only one head to read all the disk. This hard drive could hold 28MB and the price was just 1,15,500 dollars. Good that we are in 21st century.

After some researches IBM reaches GB for their hard drive. 3380 Direct Access Storage Device in 1980, when it was introduced could deliver 2.25GB capacity and also the data transferring rate was 3MB/sec. The pricing was around 94,000 – 1,42,200 dollars

IBM kept on working on their hard drives to increase the capacity. But all of sudden Seagate came up with their hard drive which was much smaller than the refrigerator sized hard drive. Their focus was to use the hard drive in PC. For this, the user had to remove their 5.25-inch floppy disk, to put the Seagate ST – 506 which can store 5MB of data and cost approximately 1500 dollars.

Here comes now the greatest breakthrough for slim hard drives. Toshiba Tanba-1 hard drive which was just 2.5 inch came into existence in 1988. They kept on increasing the capacity from 20MB to 63MB in 1991. Even in latest laptops, 2.5-inch hard drive is still used with higher capacity.

IBM still did not give up, they came up with Microdrive in 1999 with 1-inch diameter platter. This was compatible by using a CompactFlash Type II. In 2002 Hitachi took over IBM hard drive business. But this form factor was used by other, but Appel for its Mini iPod used embedded version of this form factor.

Seagate Barracuda SATA is something similar to us. The successor of PATA hard drives was introduces in 2003 with 120GB storage capacity. Back then in was 170 Dollars.

For video game lovers, a hard drive with high performance was required. So Western Digital came up with Raptor in 2003 itself where the hard drive platter can spin at 10,000 rmp. Now of course they all must have changed into SSD.

Toshiba once again became famous by getting into Guinness World Records by introducing the smallest hard drive in 2005, Toshiba MK2001MTN. A hard drive with 0.85-inch size could store 2GB of data. In the later part the storage capacity was increased to 4GB and was widely used in cameras and mobile phones.

The latest hero of today’s market is of course the Solid State Drive that we call it as SSD. It’s faster booting capacity and long lasting life span all make it special.

I hope we will have further advancement in the field of storage devices as our IT is blooming. Hope you enjoyed the history behind hard drives.




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