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Capacity barriers in hard disks: problems, solutions and lessons

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Magnetic disk drives have been used as standard storage devices in computer systems for a long time now. Since their inception in 1956 to current date, they faced many technological challenges to meet the varied storage demands of diverse systems. During their technological journey, they received many advances to improve their capacity, performance, cost, and so on. Unfortunately, their success story is always told through one single perspective, i.e. advancements to improve capacity, performance, cost, and other such features. The capacity barriers in hard disks, which surfaced after the introduction of ATA drives and Zone-bit recording, and the attempts to overcome them are seldom brought to light. This paper attempts to fill this gap in literature. The paper investigates the reasons behind the capacity barriers faced by hard disk technology between 1994 and 2001, discusses the consequences of these barriers, explains the solutions devised and highlights their flaws, and deduces the knowledge that can be used in future storage technologies to avoid such problems.

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Correspondence to Wasim Ahmad Bhat.

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Bhat, W.A. Capacity barriers in hard disks: problems, solutions and lessons. Int. j. inf. tecnol. 12, 155–163 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41870-018-0144-x

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  • Hard disk
  • Capacity barrier
  • BIOS
  • CHS
  • LBA
  • INT 13H