hard drive history

barriers: stuck at 528MB

Western Digital Caviar AC2540

Photo: Red Hill.

Western Digital Caviar AC2540

We were big Western Digital fans at Red Hill. We sold a good many of the Caviar 40, 80, 120, 240, 345 and 420MB drives, and had excellent results with them. The AC2540 was certainly very fast, but we had quite a high failure rate with it. To make matters worse, it was a very big drive and rather expensive (most people were still buying 170MB and 210MB drives at the time) so it only went into our very best machines — not the ones you want to have falling over with hard drive problems!

From about this time on we began our long and very happy relationship with Seagate. For the next five years or so we still bought Western Digital drives from time to time, and often with perfect satisfaction, but one way or another we would always end up coming back to Seagate as our number one.

Just the same, the Western Digital drives of this era (say from about 1991 up to about 1995) were generally excellent products, and no matter whether they were finished in basic black or glossy brushed silver, they always looked fantastic.

Estimated performance0.77ReliabilityAA3
Estimated data rate38 Mbit/secSpin rate4500 RPM
Seek time12msBuffer64k
Platter capacity270MBInterfaceIDE mode 3
Actuatorvoice coilForm3½" 1/3 height>
AC2540540.8MB4 thin-film heads*