Helium is a wonderful element, with many uses that improve our lives outside of making balloons float and creating comedic gold when inhaled. Helium is used to cool the magnets in MRI scanners, act as a protective gas in the production of titanium, and help detect leaks in pipelines.
Now, helium is being used to make better hard drives.
Recently, Western Digital subsidiary HGST announced they shipped the world’s first ever helium-filled hard disk drive, the Ultrastar He6. Instead of being filled with air like any other drive, this drive is hermetically sealed and filled with helium. As a result of being filled with a gas 1/7th the density of air, the drive is lighter, only uses 5.3 watts of electricity when idle, and runs 7-9°F cooler than other high-capacity drives. Also, since the drive is hermetically sealed, it can be fully submerged in liquid, allowing for better cooling.
The biggest benefit though? It fits a whopping 6 terabytes of storage capacity in a 3.5” drive, when high-capacity HDDs of that size normally top out around 4 TB.
How Does a Drive Get 6 TB of Space?
You can increase the storage capacity of an HDD while keeping its 3.5” size by giving it:
Just before this past Christmas, we recovered data for a client whose sister-in-law’s hard drive failed. After the holidays, the client sent us a video he shot of his sister-in-law opening the hard drive on Christmas, and needless to say it put a smile on our faces.
The best commercial businesses are the ones that don't just have a solid bottom line, but truly improve people's lives. At SalvageData, we frequently deal with data of an extremely sensitive or emotional nature. Wedding photos, videos of a deceased loved one, and data necessary for an entire business to exist are some of the things we have recovered for clients over the years. We take great pride in the services we offer, and genuinely love hearing that we have done some good for somebody.
If you have data that would be devastating to lose, be sure to back it up. We can't stress that enough. However, if you've already lost data important to you, submitting a case in the top right of the screen is the first step to being reunited with your data.
If you’ve Googled any comparison of hard disk drives (HDDs) and solid state drives (SSDs), then you’ve probably seen the same analysis in every article. Every one of them will tell you that HDDs give you a ton more space for much less money, while SSDs rock HDDs in terms of performance. No argument from us there.
Most of them will also say that SSDs are far more reliable. They’ll cite things like the lack of moving parts, or HDD's risk from magnetism, as reasons why an SSD is clearly the more reliable option. All in all, are SSDs today generally more reliable than HDDs?
In our experience with hard drive data recovery, the technology in SSDs is no more universally reliable than HDDs at this point. There may be SSDs that are more reliable than any HDD offering, but until the least reliable SSDs last longer than any HDD, it’s reckless to make SSDs the undisputed hard drive quality champion.
This is important to keep in mind, because if you read a review saying that a high end SSD will last longer than a trusted HDD model, that’s a vote of confidence for that particular SSD model, not the technology in general. It’d be like reading a review of the Tesla Model S vs some luxury combustion engine car that favors the Tesla, coming away with the thought “electric car > gas powered car,” and then buying a Nissan Leaf with the exact same expectations.
So why is it that we don’t declare SSDs universally more reliable than HDDs?
Contrary to belief, SSDs aren’t invulnerable
Most of the issues that happen with HDDs can happen with SSDs as well. Sectors degrade, partition structure can get lost, and firmware issues happen. Just because it doesn’t have spinning platters doesn’t mean it’s invulnerable to every type of failure. Most failures we encounter are logical issues, which happen to SSDs just as much as HDDs.
Every major piece of technology has a beginning. Whether it was instantly adopted, took time to be accepted, or served as the basis of the idea that did catch on, most of the kinds of products you use began as a single item or invention. Karl Benz’s gas-powered internal combustion engine has been the basis for most automobiles since 1886. Magnavox kicked off the home console video game market in 1972. So, where did the hard disk drives first begin? For that, we go back to 1956, and US Patent 3,503,060.
Punch cards are a method of data storage that goes back to the 19th Century, but in the mid-1950s they were still the conventional way to save data. However, the demands of real-time accounting were becoming too great for any conventional method. IBM recognized this, and while working on their upcoming accounting computer, the IBM 305 RAMAC (Random Access Memory Accounting Machine), they were also working on what would become Genesis for magnetic disk storage. Inside the IBM 305 RAMAC was the first ever hard disk drive: the IBM 350.
Introduced in 1956, the IBM 350 was a 3 year project developed by the company’s San Jose laboratory. It had a storage capacity of 3.75 megabytes (the equivalent of 64,000 punch cards) contained on fifty 24-inch diameter disks spinning at 1,200 RPM. It was encased in a 68 square foot cabinet within the 305, which all in all weighed over a ton.
Last time on the subject of global data, we talked about the insane rate data was being created (2.8 billion terabytes yearly) and why that was the case. So, now that we produce 400 gigabytes yearly for every man, woman, and child on the planet, how is that data being put to use?
A term that has been frequently used in many IT and business discussions lately is “Big Data.” Big Data is pretty much exactly what it sounds like - data sets that are so massive in scale that they cannot possibly be made sense of without powerful computing processors and extremely complex algorithms.
Every single time a computer is interacted with, be it by a person or something inanimate, data is created. When a Facebook post is liked, a purchase is made in a store, or a weather balloon flies above the Midwest, data is being created that can be of use to somebody, somewhere. Getting a firm grasp on Big Data allows for organization to recognize important information among the tsunami of data they deal with.
Some examples of how various disciplines are putting Big Data to use are:
Business and Big Data
Large e-commerce sites depend on Big Data systems to operate as seamlessly as they do, none more so than Amazon. Every single profile on Amazon (about 137 million) is given a list of recommended products, based in near real-time on their shopping habits. There are over 230 million unique SKUs on Amazon, and every single one of them has its own rating, review portfolio, and real-time sales ranking in its category. When Amazon is selling over 300 items a second on Cyber Monday, 300 different credit card requests and logistic needs are processed every second. Now imagine trying to do all that without some of the most complex data management systems in the world. Not possible.
Short answer: a lot.
Long answer: The world’s data GDP, according to research firm IDC, was an estimated 2.8 billion terabytes last year. If you stored the entire world’s yearly data output on 1 inch thick 4 TB hard drives, and stacked them on top of one another, you’d have a stack that reached 11,408 miles high. By the 88 million terabyte mark you’d already be in outer space.
Today, we create more data daily than we created in all of 2003. So where’s it coming from?
People Can Easily Create Data Nowadays
Today, technology is benchmarked by its simplicity and mobility. In many ways it exceeds the predictions made by even the most imaginative science fiction over the past few decades. Our mobile devices and the free services offered by the most popular websites are encouraging us to create more and more content. We upload 350 million photos to Facebook, write 58 million tweets, and upload over 16 and a half years worth of videos to YouTube every day. We’re adding to the global database at an obsessive rate. As the use of these networks and websites grows exponentially, so does the amount of data we create.
Every hard drive will eventually die given enough time, but just like with people, many go before their time. One of the most common ways hard drives die prematurely is that the device they’re inside of suffers from overheating. Here’s a list of the most common ways people cut the life of their hard drive, and computer, short.
1: Not Keeping Your Computer’s Innards Clean
Unless your computer is kept in the kind of clean room IBM builds their semiconductors in, your computer will accumulate dust on the inside. Dust build-ups keep heat inside your computer either by blocking the flow of hot air out of it, or by absorbing and trapping the heat. The best way to clean your device’s innards without harming the sensitive components is to use canned air to dust the innards of your computer regularly. Also be sure that no dust build-up has occurred in the vents themselves as well. Speaking of which…
2: Blocking Ventilation
Don’t ever allow the vents on your computer to be blocked. Ever. Even partially. Doing something like pushing your PC’s vents up against the wall, or stacking games on top of your Xbox 360’s vents is going to build up heat inside your machine. Placing a laptop on a soft surface like a bed or sofa is also a bad idea, since the laptop will sink into a soft surface and bury any vents on the side. Keep at least 1 foot of space between the vents and any obstruction.
SalvageData in the past few weeks has opened 17 new receiving locations across North America, increasing our total to 28. Every one of these new locations functions exactly like our original ones, overnight shipping your hard drive to our data recovery labs to begin evaluation.
SalvageData now maintains a presence in 26 different metropolitan areas, and 20 US states and Canadian provinces (plus DC). The cumulative population of all the areas we operate in exceed 126 million people.
Below is the full list of new cities and their street address. For the full list of our locations, visit our locations page.
Baltimore, MD 400 East Pratt St., Baltimore, MD, 8th Floor, 21202
Charlotte, NC 301 McCullough Dr., Charlotte, NC, 4th Floor, 28262
Dallas, TX 325 N. St. Paul St., Suite 3100, Dallas, TX, 75201
Denver, CO 1600 Broadway, Suite 1600, Denver, CO, 80202
Many hard months of intense coding and writing finally came to fruition earlier this month when we rolled out our brand new website. We set out to create a website that would not just stand out among the data recovery crowd, but be an award-worthy site that would gain notice within the website design community.
Some of the improvements with the new site include:
A More Flat, Interactive Web Experience
Walls of text filled with keyword stuffing and arduous animation are things of the past, and our website reflects the user-friendly future of web design. The content on our site is leaner, more pleasing to read, and better conveys our message. The site was made with flat web design as a key element, encouraging interaction and keeping viewers engaged with interactive modules and simple, easily digestible information.
“A customer is the most important visitor on our premises.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
Gandhi was not a management guru, but his advice on the importance of the customer is something that all managers should heed. When customers do not deal with a business by physically visiting its premises but do so online by visiting its website, then the business website becomes equivalent to physical premises, and the customer must be given due importance. Keeping this in mind, we have completely redesigned our website to offer the maximum value to any seeker of data recovery services.
"Trust, but verify."
- Ronald Reagan
Choosing a data recovery service provider is a monumental decision. And like any tough decision, it should be made only after careful consideration. Like President Reagan, who refused to take everything the Soviets said regarding their nuclear arms at face value, one should verify claims made by professional data recovery service providers.
So, what are the things that a firm should look for in a data recovery provider before signing on the dotted line? Here are the more important things to be considered:
Client Reviews and Testimonials – Ultimately, the best evaluator of a data recovery provider is its past and existing clientele. Look for companies with a long list of reputable past clients, as well as testimonials from companies willing to put their name to a vote of confidence.
Before there were automobiles, there were no car mechanics. Before there were televisions, there were no TV repairmen. Similarly, before there were hard disks, there was no demand for hard disk recovery services. Extending that logic, greater the number of hard drives operational, greater the demand for data recovery services. As to how much in demand, perhaps the following figures will give you an idea: ABI Research recently published a report estimating that spending on data recovery in America will jump from $24.3 billion in 2009 to over $39 billion by 2015.
As is obvious, data recovery services will be greatly in demand because businesses will see real value through investing in such services. In other words, any investment in data recovery will yield positive returns for years to come, returns that will greatly surpass the initial investment.
“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.”
- Sherlock Holmes
The detective’s quest for data is driven by the legal system’s need for irrefutable evidence before pronouncing judgment. While we have come a long way from 19th century London where the greatest fictional detective plied his trade, the legal system’s requirement for data is as strong as ever. And as before, data recovery is a must to get to that precious information.
Although the need for data is constant, data itself, or rather how it is stored, has undergone a sea-change. No longer is data stored on notebooks and diaries; we live in an electronic world where data largely resides on hard disks. This has given rise to a whole new area of operations called e-discovery.
"No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another."
When it comes to fixing problems, a lot of people like to view themselves as "Do-It-Yourselfers." The stereotypical "DIY Guy" loves to take on projects around the house, be it fixing the transmission in their car or building a new deck in the backyard. We like being able to solve problems ourselves, because it gives off a sense of confidence and authoritativeness.
The development of home computing and the integration of technology into daily life have bred a new generation of computer-savvy DIY Guys. More and more people are building their own computer and troubleshooting software problems themselves. With the resources provided by the internet, many people feel like they can overcome any technological challenge.
Today, we live in a world driven by data. From businesses to personal behaviors, everything is influenced by data and how it is used. As for the quantum of data being generated nowadays, here’s what IBM has to say: “Every day, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data – so much that 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone.”
Data is a main sources for a business' competitive advantage. The business with the most customers is usually the one that has the most info on their industry's customers. Having a more extensive library of information on potential and current customers than your competitors lets you optimize your business to customers' needs a recognize emerging customer trends better than anyone else, positioning you better the acquire and/or retain them. Information is the lifeblood of a company - so what happens when you don’t have a hard drive recovery plan in place?
So, you want to buy a new hard drive. Maybe you're building a new computer, or your current hard drive either failed or is unsuitable for your computing needs. There are a variety of flavors available available in the market, with a wide array of specs and prices. When choosing a hard drive, the most three important factors in determining how much the hard drive costs are storage capacity, revolution speed, and cache size.
Hard Drive Capacity
The capacity of the drive is usually the most referenced spec of the hard drive, measured in "bytes." A byte is the amount of data that traditionally was needed to encode a single character on the screen. In recent years, the capacity of hard drives was usually measured in "gigabytes", a unit that means 1 billion bytes. As technology has advanced, and computer storage has become much cheaper, the new standard of measurement has begun to switch to "terabytes", or 1,000 gigabytes.
Hard drive failures come from a wide array of circumstances. Sometimes it happens suddenly, kind of like the scenario of going out to your car in the morning and it won’t start, even though it worked fine yesterday. Other times you can see the death happen slowly, like when you notice your computer and files are booting up slower and slower. Most of the time it’s not the direct fault of the user, but that’s no consolation if you’re now missing important files and data. So, why do hard drives die?
We at SalvegeData classify hard drive failures in 4 different ways: Logical, Firmware, Mechanical, and Firmware. Each issue has a different level of severity, and method to recover the data.