The only people affected are the ones who use it
There is a slim chance that you've never run nor heard of Apple's Disk Utility application. That chance decreases the longer you've had a Mac as this little app is the answer to so many issues. It's where you format new hard drives, create disk images, and where you used to be able to repair permissions if you needed to. If your Mac is doing something odd, you could run Disk Utility and have it poke about your hard drive, looking for possible problems, and often fixing them too. If you have many hard drives, such as in a RAID backup system, you lived in Disk Utility -- or you used to. Apple has radically remodelled Disk Utility in OS X El Capitan and that's got people steaming.
Extremely powerful and comprehensive backup solution
Roll up your sleeves, get a coffee, and watch ChronoSync backup your hard drives. Or alternatively, roll your sleeves back down and nip out to lunch, because you're not needed here: ChronoSync has it covered -- and you can look in on it remotely, with the companion apps ChronoAgent and InterConneX. This is surely the most comprehensive disk backup and management application we've seen, and possibly that nature ever intended. That does mean it's complex, but you're not going to turn to this if all you've used so far is Apple's Time Machine.
Comprehensive backup and booting solution for Macs
Apple did a great thing in bringing Time Machine to the rest of us: it made backups a more familiar idea, and it made them far easier to understand as well. Something that is easy and familiar is something that you're going to do, and Apple was right that we really, really needed to back up our work. Now Apple is more focused on cloud storage than it is hard drives -- and there are several cloud backup services -- but the humble hard disk has a lot of advantages. It also has SuperDuper 2.7.5, which is a capable, albeit slightly technical, application for copying your data, and for creating a hard drive that you can run your Mac from in emergencies.
Solid, well-made app backs up and copies your hard drives
Nothing digital really exists unless it exists twice. For all that we have these great interconnected cloud services, there is still a hard drive holding on to our data somewhere and all hard drives fail eventually. They're like politicians in that respect: they go on until they fail. Carbon Copy Cloner is a way to make failures annoying rather than fatal to your work. It backs up any or all of your files and it also optionally creates a separate and bootable hard drive.
Hard drive performance data from 2013, 2014 put online for analysis by Backblaze
Cloud-based backup service Backblaze is releasing the data it used to create its recent hard drive reliability study. The data collection covers over 41,000 hard drives, used by the company in its custom Storage Pods to hold customer data, and is said to be the "largest data set on disk drive performance" to have ever been provided to the public.
HighPoint launches RocketStor 5422A 2-Bay USB 3.0 Drive Dock
HighPoint has announced the release of its third-generation, dual-dedicated, 5GB-per-second USB 3.0 storage dock, the RocketStor 5422A. Capable of supporting any off-the-shelf SATA SSD and hard drive, the dock is compatible with any performance level from SATA 1 to SATA III, supports 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch form factors, and hard drives up to 6TB in capacity can be accommodated. The RocketStor 5422A supports common Power Management features provided by Windows and OS X operating systems, such as Sleep Mode and Hibernation. Priced at $60, the drive dock is now available.
Gas replacement lowers drive power, temperature
Western Digital plans to ship hard drives filled with helium instead of air, starting from next year. Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (HGST), bought by Western Digital last year for $4.3 billion, believes the change to helium will help significantly reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) of drives in businesses running their own data centers.
Drives demonstrated in a daisy-chained setup
Just weeks after announcing its first Thunderbolt hard drives, Western Digital appropriately brought the offerings to show off at the Macworld iWorld expo in San Francisco. Electronista took a close look at several of the company's My Book Thunderbolt Duo drives, which were daisy chained to a Thunderbolt display.
Hitachi takes the wraps off new Mac hard drives
Hitachi has introduced a slew of new hard drive solutions for Macs ahead of CES 2012. Among the options for Mac users include new internal hard drives as well as desktop and mobile hard drive solutions. The new drives range variously in capacity from 750GB through to 8TB.
Hard drives supply to drop by 40 -50% in Q1 2012
The global supply of PCs could be short by up to 10 percent due to hard drive shortages caused by the extensive flooding in Thailand. According to Digitimes, vendors have supplies of inventory that will provide supplies for around four weeks. Manufacturers have supplies on hand will last for about one week. In total, the existing supplies of hard drives will ensure supplies remain steady throughout November, but shortages will begin to take effect in December.
Drive available with 500GB or 1TB disk
LaCie has expanded its Rugged series of portable hard drives, introducing the Rugged Mini. The new offering is said to be 40 percent smaller than its predecessors, without sacrificing a durable build. The compact drive features a rubber edge for resistance to shock and falls, while the aluminum housing is also claimed to be water resistant.
New Rugged HDD claimed to reach 110MB/s speeds
LaCie has announced the Rugged USB 3.0 external storage and two USB flash drives, the CooKey and WhizKey. The Rugged drive features the latest USB 3.0 interface, with data transfer rates claimed to reach up to 110MB/s. The company has yet to announced capacities for the updated version, although the current USB 2.0 model is available with 250GB, 320GB or 500GB hard drives.
500GB portable FW drive
Trans International on Tuesday announced an expansion to its miniXpress line of external hard drives with the introduction of three new 500GB external FireWire devices. The miniXpress 825, 825s and 425s are fully hot swappable, bus-powered drives -- made of durable Aluminium to provide rugged yet stylish protection (as well as optimal heat dissipation). All three models sport customizable 2.5-inch, 5,400 rpm SATA drives and an array of I/O options including eSATA, USB 2.0, FireWire 800 and FireWire 400 ports. The 825s and 425s models also include an innovative 2-in-1 connector that combines the eSATA/USB ports to a single connector.
Samsung 2.5-inch 500GB HDD
South Korea's Samsung has announced the release of a new hard drive, what it is calling the world's first 2.5-inch hard drive to reach a 500GB capacity. Although it fits into the standard 0.37-inch vertical space reserved for notebook disks, it nevertheless uses three stacked 167GB platters, spinning at 5,400rpm. An 8MB buffer is present, and it interfaces with systems using a 3Gbps SATA connection. Pricing is $299.
Enhance 4/8-drive storage
Enhance Technology has unveiled the new EnhanceBOX E4 MS and E8 MS series external host card (HBA) dependent desktop SAS/SATA storage arrays. The new storage devices offer support for high capacity SAS and SATA I/II 3Gbps hard drives using the latest Mini-SAS SFF-8088 connectivity, and depending on the host cards are configurable as JBOD (Just a Bunch of Disks) or RAID to sustain data transfer rates of up to 500MB/sec. The EnhanceBOX E4 MS is priced at $375, while the EnhanceBOX E8 MS is available for $650.
Refurb Xserves, Apple TVs
Apple's online store is once again offering reconditioned Xserve Quad Xeon server systems, as well as its Apple TV set top box at discounted rates. Refurbished Xserve 2.66GHz Quad Xeon servers each feature 1GB of memory, an 80GB hard drive, and Mac OS X Server 10.4 Unlimited-Client Edition for $2,999. Apple's faster Xserve 3.0GHz Quad Xeon servers with 1GB of memory, an 80GB hard, and Mac OS X Server 10.4 Unlimited-Client Edition are each available for $3,799. Reconditioned Apple TVs with 40GB and 160GB hard drives are also available for $229 and $339, respectively.
Freefall sensor patent
Apple has today been granted a patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office, for a submission called Method and apparatus for detecting free fall. Many notebooks, and smaller devices as well, use hard drives which park their heads when a fall is detected; this prevents the heads from scratching or punching through storage platters. Sensing when to do this requires an accelerometer, and it is here that Apple has laid claim to two different concepts.
Toshiba 80GB Car Drive
Looking to grow the market for in-car computers, Toshiba today introduced the largest-ever hard drive built specifically for vehicles. The MK8050 series stores just 80GB but includes the shock tolerance to handle engine vibration or the jolts from the road underneath. These new 2.5-inch drives are 50 percent more resilient than past models despite the size increase, Toshiba boasts. The company also creates a cushion of air around the read head that prevents it from scratching the platters during a car trip, even at altitudes as high as 3.4 miles above sea level where the pressure would otherwise not be enough to prevent an accident.