back to article Seagate floats out 10TB HDD filled with lifting gas

Seagate has caught up with WDC’s HGST unit and built a 7-platter, 10TB disk drive filled with helium gas. Western Digital Corporation (WDC) introduced its own 10TB Ultrastar He10 drive in December last year. This was a standard PMR tech drive, unlike the Ultrastar Archive Ha10 announced in June 2015, which used shingled …

  1. Dan Wilkie

    So their home capacity drives have a mean time before failure of 114 years, and the enterprise ones have a mean time before failure of 136 years?

    I don't think I've had a recent seagate drive that's lasted more than 6 years, so I must be really unlucky :(

    1. Annihilator Silver badge

      MTBF is a nonsense statistic anyway.

      What's rather odd is that Seagate don't even use MTBF anymore, they use Annual Failure Rate

      Quite how that extrapolates into subsequent years, I don't know.

      Your 6 years is rather good though. More often than not, the drive failures I get are Seagates

    2. Anonymous Coward

      6 YEARS?? You HAVE been lucky

      I havent had a Seagate drive that EVER lasted more than 3 years working; a 2 year old warranty replacement for another dead Seagate is dying right now in my rig.

      (I am copying the data onto a new 3TB Toshiba right now).

      Luckily I didnt pay for it, I got it for free; because I stopped buying them not long after XP came out.

      I have IBM, WD, and Hitachi drives still going from machines that shipped with Win98se, and I have thrown away even older drives because sub 1GB is useless these days, but all were still working when they left for Silicon Heaven.

      1. Medixstiff

        Re: 6 YEARS?? You HAVE been lucky

        I've stuck with Seagate since the 90's, it's funny some people have complained to me about having Seagate failures when I've had no problems, yet in my brother's case, he's replaced 6 WD drives out of the 5 in his NAS - yep one warranty one died too - and I've had problems with WD drives before, so I stick to Seagate.

        My Thecus N5500 has 5x Seagate 2TB greens that are still going strong since 2011, my work PC has a 500GB SSD plus a 3TB Seagate storage drive and the same at home.

        1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

          Re: 6 YEARS?? You HAVE been lucky

          O_O Seagate Greens in a NAS, normally hear lots of people have issues with the drives rebuilding when they don't really need to. Do you let them go to sleep?

          I haven't had issues with either Seagate or WD personally (Although I seem to be one of the very few people who had no issues with Maxtor hard drives). I have WD Red's in my own NAS (Assuming your Brother is using WD Reds), how long did he use them for before they failed and what enclosure are they in (Drobo 5n for myself with an msata card for caching)

    3. Ashley_Pomeroy

      It could be that they have one drive in their HQ that has been running continuously for six million years - in which case it would raise the average mean time between failure of all their drives considerably.

      It's unlikely, unless Seagate is making use of six-million-year-old alien technology. Unlikely, but not impossible!

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Try saying it in a higher voice. It'll sound right then.

  3. G Mac

    Typo in cache size...

    "We understand it spins at 5,900rpm, has a 256GB cache, a 216MB/sec transfer rate, and a 6Gbit/s SATA interface."

    Specs say 256MB for the 8TB guy. You did get me to choke on my coffee with the thought of a 256GB cache though...

    1. Steven Raith

      Re: Typo in cache size...

      Indeed, I thought I must have missed a few steps in HDD tech recently before checking meself!

      For shame, El Reg, for shame! *slaps wrist campily*

      Steven R

    2. Bob H

      Re: Typo in cache size...

      If that was an SMR drive then you might want that!

  4. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Header image

    So was that 10 minutes in Photoshop, or four and a half hours in GIMP?

    1. Alistair

      Re: Header image

      rather looks like 28 minutes in paint.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Header image

        Two minutes with crayons.

      2. Preston Munchensonton

        Re: Header image

        rather looks like 28 minutes in paint.

        Indeed. I'm just grateful that it wasn't two weeks in TheDraw.

  5. Timbo Bronze badge

    New media format

    "We can expect Seagate to spread this helium-based technology across its portfolio of 3.4-inch and 2.5-inch disk drives and so regain basic capacity parity with WDC"

    I know that computers have been getting smaller and faster...but shaving 0.1" off a hard drive isn't going to win friends, I'd have thought !!

  6. Woodnag

    Shocked am I

    N'article on HDDs, and no comments about how you'd never buy this brand because **insert horror story from 10 years ago**? Are you all still recovering from 2016?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Shocked am I

      Here's one from last year: Avoid those Seagate 8TB SMR drives. They have serious known issues - silent corruption or lock-up requiring hard reset under certain usage patterns.

    2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Re: Shocked am I

      That job was left to commentards...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Helium is for wimps

    I'm working on hydrogen-filled drives. When they crash and burn, it's truly spectacular.

  8. G R Goslin

    Why not hydrogen?

    Why are HDD's not filled with hydrogen? Power station generators are cooled with hydrogen because it's an effective coolant, with low drag, and it's cheaper and easier to get than helium. Which I hear from other applications, has a tendency to leak.

    1. Jan 0

      Re: Why not hydrogen?

      Because hydrogen is a highly reactive element that will a. react with materials in the hard disc assembly and b. diffuse through the metal case. The end result will be an evacuated case with compromised components.

      Solving the problem of maintaining constant head/disc separation in a vacuum, would be a better proposal. However, isn't this effort rather like the way that clockwork controllers suddenly became more reliable and cheaper when electronic controllers were introduced? Which controls your automated industrial process or domestic appliance nowadays? Do you expect to be using spinning rust in another 5 years?

    2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Re: Why not hydrogen?

      Hydrogen is not inert and leaks much more quickly than helium.

      Edit: What Jan 0 said.

  9. RIBrsiq

    All these new magnetic disk technological developments seem to me like that mythical band playing on the Titanic as it sank: a brave and impressive technical feat for sure, but ultimately doomed.

    I just hope the engineering thus developed will have some use elsewhere.

  10. Herby


    The problem with Helium (or Hydrogen for that matter) is that they have small molecules and given their size, they can pass through many containers, including disk drive castings. This is a BIG problem, and isn't likely to be solved easily. It is kinda like "magic smoke" that when leaked out, makes electrical devices fail. Of course, Hydrogen by itself is HIGHLY reactive and can do nasty things to its containers, making them brittle (I have a friend that studied this in Material Science for his PhD).

    All in all not an easy thing to do.

    1. Steven Jones

      Re: Leaks?

      Helium is monatomic. It does not form molecules (unlike hydrogen which produces diatomic molecules at normal atmospheric pressure/temperature).

      The main problem with hydrogen is that it is reactive and wholly unsuitable for use in a disk drive. With helium diffusion is problematical, but it is a soluble problem. It's difficult to see how the issue of hydrogen's reactivity can be overcome given the materials from which a disc drive must be manufactured.

  11. Alistair

    Hydrogen filled drives

    At which point our disk vendors could truly claim more bang for your buck.

    I'll be fine with the helium filled drives. We just need *wee tiny canaries* that never stop chirping to sit on top of the drive array. When the pitch changes.....

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022