Like two heavyweights dancing around the ring, Western Digital and Seagate have been fighting each other for the No. 1 spot in global hard drive shipments, a position Seagate has held onto (barely) until the first quarter of 2010. That's when WD finally moved ahead of Seagate with 51.1 million shipments compared to 50.3 million for Seagate, according to The Information Network.
"The mobile HDD market, which is WD's strength, will outperform the desktop market, which is Seagate's strength, in 2010," said Robert Castellano, president of The Information Network. "That's one of the factors in our forecast that WD will move ahead of Seagate in 2010."
Throughout 2009, WD managed to ship a total of 165.2 million hard drives, up from 146 million units in 2008. That was enough to narrow the gap with Seagate to only about 10 million units. In the mobile sector -- where The Information Network claims WD has an advantage -- WD led the way with a 28 percent share of the market, though it was a tight race with Toshiba/Fujitsu, HGST, and Seagate close behind with a 2 percent share difference among the three companies, The Information Network said.
Whether you're a power user always upgrading your hardware or an IT admin, we're willing to bet you have a spare hard drive or three laying around. And in most cases, they're out in the open or tossed in a box of electronics. Sound familiar? If so, maybe NewerTech's StoraDrive is what you've been needing.
The StoraDrive is a stackable anti-static case for housing your unused hard drives. Think of it as Tupperware for HDDs, only it looks a lot cooler and they're less likely to come tumbling down if you stack them on top of each other.
Each drawer runs $10 and comes with a label on the front. It's made of injection molded ABS plastic, has non-skid rubber feet, and it fits any standard 3.5-inch hard drive, be it PATA or SATA. What you won't find, however, are any USB ports or other connectors for hooking up to your PC - the StoraDrive is strictly a storage container.
Could you see yourself using something like this, or do you think NewerTech is attacking a problem that doesn't exist?
You know it's only a matter of time before hard drive makers start shipping 3TB HDDs, and for Seagate, that time will come sometime later this year, with an exact release date still to be determined.
Apparently the first 3TB Seagate unit will be a variable speed drive capable of spinning at speeds between 5900 to 7200 RPM. This will be considered the company's green model, with a performance oriented 3TB drive to follow not too long after.
One interesting thing to note about the transition to hard drives larger than 2TB is that many systems won't be able to boot from them, Gordon Mah Ung writes in the May 2010 issue of Maximum PC (Quickstart section, page 8).
As any videogame player getting ready to choose to an on-screen character will tell you, speed and toughness don't always go hand-in-hand. But that isn't the case with LaCie's new Rugged 3.0 USB mobile hard drive which, according to LaCie, boasts the fastest interface on the market.
The result is speeds of up to 110MB/s, which is pretty darn fast. In fact, that's three times as fast as the speed of USB 2.0, allowing you to transfer an HD movie in its entirety in less than 3 minutes rather than the more than 8 minutes it would take via USB 2.0.
"We are pleased to add USB 3.0, the fastest interface available, or our most recognized mobile solution," says Anne-Sophie Marchand, Consumer Product Manager. "Now the most demanding customers can get the best performance out of a 2.5-inch hard drive -- making the Rugged USB 3.0 the only hard drive necessary for work in the field."
The Rugged drive comes encased in a scratch resistant aluminum shell. Combined with internal shock absorbers and a shock resistant rubber bumper, LaCie says its new drive can withstand drops up to 2.2 meters (about 7.2 feet).
LaCie sells the Rugged USB 3.0 in 500GB capacity for $150.
Big name PC repair shops don't need any more bad publicity, but they're getting it anyway courtesy of a pretty embarrassing SNAFU by CompUSA. Here's what happened.
According to CBS News in Chicago, a woman named Kymberli Mulford entrusted the CompUSA in Hoffman Estates with removing a nasty virus on her system that she believed was causing it to shut down. Around the same time, Karen Davis took her PC in to th same store for repairs. CompUSA purportedly took care of both issues, but they also installed Mulford's files on Davis's PC. Oops!
"It was everything, pictures of her kids, notes, and emails," Davis said. "Even what meds her kids were taking, just very personal stuff."
Davis did the right thing by getting in touch with Mulford to tell her what happened, but now Mulford fears her data could have been loaded onto other machines too.
"All of that information is a gold mine for thieves," said Roger Safian, a computer security expert. "They back up all the data first, then they re-install it after they remove the virus, and that could be how they ended up making this mistake. They re-installed one person's data to the other person's machine."
According to CompUSA, the tech and his supervisor were fired because of the incident.
Have a PC repair horror story of your own? Hit the jump and tell us all about it!
Toshiba this week announced the highest-capacity automotive-grade HDD yet available, the MK2060GSC.
The new drive packs 200GB of storage capacity on a single platter and spins at 4200RPM. Other tech specs include a 12ms average seek time, SATA interface, and several rugged characteristics. According to Toshiba, the MK2060GSC can withstand altitude variations of -300 to 12,000 meters during non-operation, and -300 to 5,650 meters when in use. It can also tolerate operating temperatures ranging from -30 to +85C.
"The next generation of automobile infotainment, connectivity and location-awareness applications will require more innovation and undoubtedly higher storage capacity," said Scott Wright, product manager for Toshiba Storage Device Division. "Our commitment to sustain continued advancement in this product category continues to position Toshiba as the leader for storage components. We are ideally positioned to provide vehicle systems manufacturers with the high-quality, reliable storage technology they need to capitalize on an evolving market opportunity."
According to Toshiba, their latest automotive-grade HDD boasts a 78 percent improvement in internal transfer rates compared to equivalent products on the market.
Look for the drive to ship in the third quarter of this year. No word yet on price.
In what's being described as an "industry first," Seagate has partnered with Paramount to preload a selection of 500GB FreeAgent Go ultra-portable hard drives with Paramount movies.
“Seagate and Paramount Pictures are delivering major motion pictures to consumers in a unique and innovative solution. For years Seagate hard drives have been powering the devices that allow consumers to enjoy their digital libraries. Today, we are simplifying content delivery by giving consumers the ultimate flexibility in how they enjoy their movies all in a convenient package,” said Dave Mosley, executive vice president, Sales, Marketing and Product Line Management, Seagate.
Consumers who pick up a specially marked FreeAgent Go package will be able to activate Star Trek (2009) for free. These FreeAgent drives will also come preloaded with 20 other movies that can be unlocked through the online purchase of a license key. Some of the bigger name titles include Beowulf, GI Joe, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
How do you look good while toting around 1TB of data? Ask Toshiba's new 1TB Canvio portable hard drive, which combines an easy-to-use backup solution with oodles of storage and shoves it all into a stylish casing.
"As the survey shows, home computers hold very personal and valuable assets, and yet the majority of people aren't doing enough to help protect that precious data," said Manuel Camarena, product manager for consumer storage at Toshiba Storage Device Division. "For consumers who know backup is important and want an easy path to peace of mind, the Canvio is a no-brainer. It simply acts like an insurance policy against the loss of crucial data and precious digital memories."
Toshiba says the 1TB Canvio can store up to 285,000 digital pics, 263,000 music files, or 820 digital movies, and do so in a frame smaller than a postcard weighing about six ounces. The Canvio product line also comes in 500GB, 640GB, and 750GB models, as well as five different color options, including Raven Black, Satin Silver, Liquid Blue, Rocket Red, and Komodo Green.
Pricing breaks down to $120 (500GB), $140 (640GB), $160 (750GB), and $200 (1TB).
You can already buy 1TB hard drives for your notebook, but there are a couple of caveats. First is the size - at 12.5mm high, these capacious drives aren't going to fit inside every notebook chassis. Secondly, these drives pack three platters instead of two, which typically means slower performance.
Enter Western Digital, who today announced it is now shipping 750GB of storage capacity in a standard-height (9.5mm) 2.5-inch notebook hard drive. The new WD Scorpio Blue 750GB also boasts a two-platter design for greater areal density, and sports WD's Advanced Format technology.
"WD continues to lead the market with capacity points that enable consumers and business professionals to store large quantities of data and rich media content," said Jim Morris, WD's senior vice president and general manager of Storage Products. "Our leading power efficiency, achieved without compromise to performance, is another example of the added features and value that our customers have come to expect from WD."
Like Toshiba's recently announced notebook drive of the same size and density, WD's version spins at 5400RPM and sports 8MB of cache, a 12ms seek time, and SATA 3Gb/s interface.
The notebooks of tomorrow will feature more storage than ever before, so long as companies like Toshiba continue to push the areal density and capacity envelopes of 2.5-inch drives. Such is the case today, as Toshiba announced two new 2.5-inch HDDs: MK7559GSXP (750GB) and MK1059GSM (1TB).
Toshiba says its MK7559GSXP is the industry's highest areal density and capacity drive, which crams 750GB into a standard 9.5mm high, two-platter design. It's also easy on the environment, consuming 14 percent less energy than the previous generation MK6465GSX (640GB) drive.
The 1TB drives sports a three-platter, 12.5mm high design with 6 heads. It consumes a bit more power than the 750GB at 2.2W (seek) and 1.7W (read/write), compared to 1.85W and 1.5W, respectively. But like the other drive, the 1TB model sports a 12ms seek time, SATA II interface, 8MB of cache, and spins at 5400RPM.