The evolution of hard disk drives

IBM Magnetic Disk

The magnetic disk invented by IBM in the early 1950s contained 100 concentric tracks on each side. Each track stored 500 alphanumeric characters, yielding a total storage capacity of 5 million characters. This disk enabled users to retrieve any piece of information directly in less than a second.

The RAMAC's magnetic disk.

Return to Computer History Museum to highlight storage, from RAMAC to microdrives

Photo courtesy of IBM Archives.

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