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Why are some hard disk of same size thicker?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Why are some hard disks of similar size thicker? Like for example my dead 500GB HDD from Seagate was thicker than a new 1TB HDD from Seagate.
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post #2 of 7
Why was a B17 bomber heavy?

Material..
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post #3 of 7
It depends on the number of platters inside of them. On REALLY old hard drives it was not only the number of platters but the spacing between said platters due to head sizes. Though there are some hard drives (like western digitial) that will do some weird stuff.


Most drives (lets say it has 3 platters) will have heads 0-5 (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 totaling 6 heads). However, some WD drives will have a large space and the heads active will be 0,1, 4,5.
Ultimately comes down to design sometimes too.

Seagate is known for making thinner 3.5" drives when they only have 1 platter. This is probably due to cost savings. Hard drive casings are a lot of times milled so less milling is less cost on said drives. WD doesn't do this because they use the same casing for many different drives. I could go into far more detail but it gets complicated. We start getting into drive families and theories. thumb.gif


Oh bonus fact:

Some drives such as the WDxxAAKX series (WD500AAKX and WD250AAX) are the same drive except the 250GB drive only uses one side of the single platter inside. They use one head and leave the other one completely off the head stack assembly.
Edited by Lord Xeb - 8/13/17 at 12:21am
 
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post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks Lord Xeb, you are one of the most knowledgeable person I've ever come across for storage technologies.

In your opinion, are thinner hard disks more reliable or thicker hard disks more reliable?

Please go into more detail whenever you are free and it won't take your time.
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post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by sepiashimmer View Post

Thanks Lord Xeb, you are one of the most knowledgeable person I've ever come across for storage technologies.

In your opinion, are thinner hard disks more reliable or thicker hard disks more reliable?

Please go into more detail whenever you are free and it won't take your time.

They are about these same really. I dont see a lot of Seagate 1TB drives come in but we do see them. As from as what I can tell they are all really the same at that aspect. However, the big differences sometimes comes into play when you start digging into different families and series of drives. Back when the 1TB single platter seagate drives came out was about when hard drive platters hit 1TB aerial density (how many bits you can fit per platter). Around this time Seagate started to release those single platter 1TB drives. That is also the time I started to see those seagate drives.

WD also has this kind of tech, but they have always seem to stick to the old tried and true methods: Use what you have and make many different drives from them.


Every manufacturer has different hard drives with different quirks and that is where we start to get into drive families. Easiest one would be WD but it gets REALLY complicated. Lets take a WD500AAKX for example. From what I have seen, these drives have the following families:

Tornado 2R
Tahoe LE
Tahoe XL

From what I can tell, there are not a lot of phyiscal differences between each of these but I have seen some with different head counts. I think it may also come down to how the data has to be laid out on the platter (maybe even tracking information) and firmware differences. Not an expert on this unfortunately.


For Seagate drives, those thin ones you are referring to are likely the Barracuda XL series. Sometimes they are just Barracuda drives (generic model).
Most of the thin ones have been Grenada drives and they likely have a model number like ST1000MD00x on them. Almost any drive that is ST1000DM, ST2000DM, and ST3000DM is a Grenada. 4TB drives like the ST4000DM000 have been a lombard. Funny thing is that the ST500DM series still parks their heads on the platters and not on a ramp like almost EVERY other drive out there these days.


I know this doesn't go full into detail as to why but it does at least show there is something going on XD. There is a LOT of speculation within the data recovery industry as to the differences but hard drive manufacturers keep these kinds of things close to their chest.
 
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post #6 of 7
2.5 " Laptop and ultrabook HDD's are a different matter with 7mm, 9.5mm, and 12.5mm heights.
post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by rockit00 View Post

2.5 " Laptop and ultrabook HDD's are a different matter with 7mm, 9.5mm, and 12.5mm heights.

That also can come down to the number of platters and platter thickness. Though honestly, the thin laptop drives are HORRIBLE. FYI, stay away from seagate's 2TB slim drive. Almost every single one of them that has come in has had platter damage.
 
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