Welcome to 2015 and all of us at Data Clinic wish you all a happy 2015.

What’s going to happen to hard drives in 2015? Well, when it comes to advances in storage capacity, the web site I go to for the latest information is HGST (formerly Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, but now a brand owned by Western Digital). I heard before Xmas that HGST had once again successfully pushed the storage boundaries of hard drives even further and produced 3 new hard drive models with 8TB, 10TB and 12TB storage capacities.

The advantages of helium filled hard drives

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Having such huge capacity hard drives is only currently possible by filling the inside of the hard drive with helium, so that the hard drive runs in a helium contained environment.  Previously hard drives ran in a clean air environment but this was found to produce too much heat for these large capacity drives to work properly.

Huge capacity hard drives such as these are aimed at the data centre market where there are literally banks of hard drives that run on a 24/7 basis. Helium filled hard drives are also significantly cheaper to run requiring between 20-25% less energy per drive than their non helium filled counterparts.

And how are helium filled drives when it comes to data recovery? Well so far so good, we’ve only had a few come in for recovery that have had mechanical problems and so far we’ve found them easier than expected to work on.

Helium hard drives are more costly to produce that the conventional air filled drives that you and I use, so I don’t expect helium hard drives to find their way into desktop and laptop machines anytime soon.