A Tiny Hitachi Hard Disk

I was given this small Hitachi hard drive that I just had to photograph and share.

Here it is next to a standard sized 2.5 inch drive. Amazingly it is almost half the size of the full sized drive, and yet has 4 times the capacity. The drive was made in June 2004 and has the Travelstar name printed on it, indicating that this was likely an IBM model. Hitachi and IBMs hard drive division had merged in 2003, IBMs Travelstar and Deskstar series drives became a part of the Hitachi line. Even after the merger IBM continued to use the now Hitachi parts, this particular example came out of an IBM Thinkpad.

Unlike the IBM Deskstar, Hitachi drives have mostly had a pretty good reputation. I only every saw mostly 2.5 inch drives in the wild, usually in laptops.

Here is a shot of the underside of the drive, nothing really all that special to report. Until next time…


2 Responses to “A Tiny Hitachi Hard Disk”

  1. 1 goughlui
    September 27, 2014 at 8:29 am

    Looks like an IDE 1.8″ drive commonly used by older ‘slim’ or smaller laptops. The drives themselves got even smaller – down to 0.8″ for things like hard disk music players (or even a mobile phone with a hard disk in it – the Japanese made one apparently), but even microdrives are physically smaller.

    Anyway, 2.5″ drives of various heights have existed since the 386 era, hence the commonality. When they introduced the 1.8″ drive, I can remember the distinct collective sigh from end users who had fewer upgrade options. The main problem was performance – smaller platters normally means performance penalty at the same areal density since less track flies under the head per rotation. While this was a 40Gb, around that time, 80-120Gb 2.5″s with higher spindle speeds (7200, 5400rpm vs 4200rpm) would have been available. As a result, the laptops using these drives would feel slower than their 2.5″ counterparts.

    It is a nice feature that the smaller drives were mechanically similar, as they were just the same shape cut into half.

    • September 27, 2014 at 5:55 pm

      I remember the 1.8″ drives as well. They were common in small laptops, we were still selling sony laptops with them 5 years ago (. You’re right about the speed, these small drives never seemed to be fast.

      This particular drive seems very strange mostly because it doesn’t really fit either form factor, but could be wedged into a machine that accepts 2.5″ drives. I wonder if this was a special design for IBM notebooks before the formation of the 1.8″ standard which has a different connector and shape.


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