Understanding Hard Drive Model Numbers

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DougLite

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Not much to do here in Indiana at 6 in the morning, so I decided to decipher hard drive model numbers for my own education. Learned a lot in the process, here's the results. The data presented here is only for ATA drives, someone else can dig up the data on SCSI ;) Also, this post is long enough with just half way current drives, so you're on your own for older drives :p

Conventions used in this post:
w, x, y, and z are numerical values, a, b, and c are for letters.

Hitachi
HDSwxyabcz0

HDS refers to Hitachi DeskStar
w = the spindle speed of the disk. Only the first two digits (72 for a 7200RPM drive) are given
x = the capacity, in gigabytes, of the largest member of the drive family, divided by 10.
y = the capacity, in gigabytes, of the drive, divided by 10.
a = Generation code, although this value can also be used to identify the maximum number of platters in the drive family
- P = 1
- D = 2
- V = 3
- K = 5
b = L, which stands for a low profile 3.5x1" form factor drive.
c = the drive's interface; AT= PATA, SA=SATA, A3=SATA 3.0 gbps
z = the size of the disks buffer; 2 for 2MB buffer models, 8 for 8MB and 6 for 16MB.
0 = Reserved for future use by Hitachi.

Note on Deskstar Families: You may sometimes have to use the values for 'a' as well as 'x' to determine which family a drive is from. For example, drives from the 7K250 and T7K250 families will have the same value for 'x' (25) but different platter counts 'a.' A T7K250 drive will have a 'D' for its two platters, while a 7K250 drive will have a 'V' for its maximum of 3 platters. On the flip side, a 7K400 and 7K500 drive will have the same value for 'a' (K) but different values for 'x.'

Example: HDS722516VLSA80 is a 7200RPM 160GB SATA drive, from the 7K250 family that has an 8MB buffer.

Maxtor
xayb0

xa = drive family
- 6Y = DiamondMax(DM) Plus 9
- 6B = DM10
- 6L = DM10 RoHS compliant version
- 6H = DM11
- 7B = MaxLine(ML)III
- 7L = MLIII RoHS compliant
- 7H = ML Pro
- 4R = DM16
- 2F = Fireball 3
- 6E = DM Plus 8
- 5A = ML II
- 7Y = ML Plus II
y = the capacity of the disk, in gigabytes. Drives less than 100GB will have a leading zero (80GB is denoted as 080, etc)
b = buffer size and interface
- J = 2MB PATA with ball-bearing motor
- L = 2MB PATA with fluid dynamic bearing (FDB) motor
- P = 8MB PATA
- R = 16MB PATA
- M = 8MB SATA
- S = 16MB SATA
- F = 16MB SATA 3gbps
All Maxtor SKUs have a zero at the end. It may have a value, but I'm not aware of one.

Example: A Maxtor drive with a model number of 6Y200P0 is a 200GB 7200RPM PATA drive with an 8MB buffer from the DiamondMax Plus 9 family.

Samsung
SPxyza

SP refers to SpinPoint, the brand name of all Samsung HDDs
x = Capacity in GB / 10
y = 0 or 1, Only applies to PATA drives; 0 for 2MB buffer, 1 for 8MB. All Samsung SATA drives have 8MB buffers (some of Samsung's newer SATA SKUs show a zero here despite their 8MB buffer)
z = number of active recording heads; 2, 3, or 4 depending on the geometry of the drive.
a = Interface; N for PATA drives, C for SATA drives.

Example: SP1213C is a 120GB SATA drive, with 8MB buffer, and 3 active recording surfaces (both sides of one platter and one side of a second platter)

Seagate
STxya

ST stands for Seagate Technology
x = 3, which means the drive is a 3.5" wide 1" thick low profile drive (all of Seagate's desktop drives ship in this form factor)
y = the capacity of the drive in megabytes
a = Interface; A = PATA and AS = SATA

Example: ST3160023A is a 3.5x1 inch PATA drive with a capacity of 160023MB, which when divided by 1000 to convert to gigabytes, comes out to a retail capacity of 160GB.

Western Digital
WDx0ab

WD stands for Western Digital
x = the capacity of the drive in GB
WD puts an additional zero after the capacity value
a = buffer size and spindle speed
- B = 2MB 7200RPM
- J = 8MB 7200RPM
- K = 16MB 7200RPM
- G = 8MB 10,000RPM
- S = 8MB 7200RPM RAID Edition
- Y = 16MB 7200RPM RAID Edition 2
b = interface of the drive
- B = PATA
- D = 1.5 gbps SATA
- R = 1.5 gbps SATA w/ NCQ
- S = 3 gbps SATA

Example: WD740GD is 74GB 10,000RPM SATA 1.5 gbps drive with an 8MB buffer, and WD2000BB is a 200GB 7200RPM PATA drive with a 2MB buffer.
 

DougLite

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Our own Vertigo Acid has delivered the information you need to decipher SCSI hard drive model numbers. He writes:

Seagate SCSI Drives
STaxb

ST refers to Seagate Technology
a: Form Factor
- 1 3.5-inch, half-height, 1.6-inch high
- 3 3.5-inch, low-profile (LP), 1-inch high
x: Formatted capacity in Mbytes
b: Interface
- DC Differential, 80-pin Single Connector Attachment (SCA)
- LC Low Voltage Differential, 80-pin SCA
- LCV Same as LC, but with an increased cache size
- LW Low Voltage Differential, 68-pin Wide SCSI Connector
- LWV Same as LW, but with an increased cache size
- N SCSI, 50-pin Narrow SCSI Connector
- ND Differential, 50-pin Narrow SCSI Connector
- W SCSI, 68-pin Wide SCSI Connector
- WC SCSI, 80-pin SCA (Hot Swapable)
- WD Differential, 68-pin Wide SCSI Connector
- FC Fibre Channel, 40-pin SCA
- FCV Same as FC, but with an increased cache size


STaxbc-d
ST: Once again, Seagate Technology

a: Form Factor
- 1 3.5-inch, half-height, 1.6-inch high
- 2 5.25-inch, half-height, 1.6-inch high
- 3 3.5-inch, low-profile (LP), 1-inch high
- 4 5.25-inch, full height
- 5 3.5-inch, 0.75-inch high
- 6 9-inch
- 7 1.8-inch
- 8 8-inch
- 9 2.5-inch, 0.75-inch high
x: Formatted capacity in Mbytes
b: Interface
- DC Differential, 80-pin Single Connector Attachment (SCA)
- E : ESDI Interface
- FC Fibre Channel, 40-pin SCA
- J SMD/SME-E Interface
- K IPI-2 Interface or Part of a Kit
- LC Low Voltage Differential, 80-pin SCA
- LW Low Voltage Differential, 68-pin Wide SCSI Connector
- N SCSI, 50-pin Narrow SCSI Connector
- ND Differential, 50-pin Narrow SCSI Connector
- NM SCSI, 50-pin Narrow SCSI Connector, Macintosh Compatible
- NV SCSI, 50-pin Narrow SCSI Connector, Netware Ready
- P PCMCIA (PC Card) Interface
- R ST412/RLL Interface
- S Synchronized Spindle or Synchronous SCSI
- W SCSI, 68-pin Wide SCSI Connector
- WC SCSI, 80-pin SCA (Hot Swapable)
- WD Differential, 68-pin Wide SCSI Connector
- Unspecified (value not present): ST412/MFM Interface
c: PR Drive shipped with installation software and a Seagate controller or host adapter.
d: Access time; 0=Standard, 1=Faster

Fujitsu SCSI Drives
Mabcxd
M: Fujitsu ID

a: Product Family
- A AL Series
- C CAT series
- D Dynamo
- H HN series
- P PB series
b: Model Series, sequential based on newness/speed. ie U newer than S, newer than M
- G, P, and T: 10,000RPM drives
- M, S, and U: 15,000RPM drives
c: Form Factor
- 2 2.5 inch
- 3 3.5 inch
x: The capacity * 10 measured in GB; 064 = 6.4 GB : 182 = 18.2GB
d: Interface
- FC Fibre Channel
- LC LVDS (SCSI ULTRA-2) SCA connector
- LP LVDS (SCSI ULTRA 2) 68 pin connector
- SC SCSI SCA
- SP SCSI 68 pin
- SS SCSI-2 single ended

Maxtor/Quantum SCSI Drives
axbc

a: Model
- 8E Atlas 15K II
- 8B Atlas 10K IV
- 8C Atlas 15K
- 8D Atlas 10K V
- AT Atlas I
- EN ProDrive LPS
- EP ProDrive LPS
- GM ProDrive LPS
- HN Atlas II
- KN Atlas IV
- KW Atlas 10K III
- KU Atlas 10K III (U320 Version)
- MU ProDrive
- PI ProDrive ELS
- PX Viking II
- RR LPS (RoadRunner)
- TD Atlas III
- TN Atlas 10K
- TY Atlas 10K II
- VK Viking
- XC Atlas V
x: Capacity in Gb or Mb, depending on the age of the drive.
b: Interface
- D SCSI Wide, 68-pin High Voltage Differential (HVD)
- F Fibre Channel
- J SCSI SCA, 80-pin
- L SCSI Wide, 68-pin Low Voltage Differential (LVD)
- S SCSI, 50-pin Single Ended (SE)
- W SCSI Wide, 68-pin Single Ended
- S Serial Attached SCSI
c: Active recording surfaces, or number of platters x 2. No longer used as of Atlas 10K IV, replaced with a 0 instead

IBM SCSI drives
IC FF H xxx IF xx SP
Internal Code Form Factor Height Unique code Interface Unique code RPMs

FF:
35 = 88.9 mm (3.5 inch)
25 = 63.5 mm (2.5 inch)

H:
L = 25.4 mm (1 inch)
T = 12.5 mm (0.49 inch)
N = 9.5 mm (0.37 inch)

IF:
UW = Ultra SCSI 68-pin Wide
UC = Ultra SCSI 80-pin SCA
F2 = FC-AL-2 (2 Gbit)

SP:
04 = 4200
05 = 5400
07 = 7200
10 = 10,000
15 = 15,000

Hitachi SCSI drives
H F P SP TC MC x Z IF x B x
Hitachi Family Series Prefix RPM Top Capacity Model Code Height Interface Feature Code

F:
D = Deskstar
T = Travelstar
U = Ultrastar

P:
S = Standard (default, if no series name prefix)
C = Compact
A = Auto

SP:
36 = 3600 rpm
42 = 4200 rpm
54 = 5400 rpm
72 = 7200 rpm
10 = 10,000 rpm
15 = 15,000 rpm

TC:
Top capacity available for a particular drive release:
25 = 250GB (first two significant digits)
18 = 180GB

MC:
Unique model code

Z:
z-Height:
L = 1"
7 = 7 mm
9 = 9.5 mm
5 = 5 mm
IF:
16 = Ultra 160, 68 pin
18 = Ultra 160, 80 pin
36 = Ultra 320, 68 pin
38 = Ultra 320, 80 pin
F2 = Fibre channel 2GB
SS = Serial-attached SCSI

B:
Feature Code assigned by business unit (e.g., cache buffer size)
 
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