This Week In Vintage Hardware: The First 5.25″ Hard Drive


The first 5.25″ hard drive was introduced in 1980 by Seagate Technology (previously Shugart Technology). It was named the ST-506 and it stored a whopping 5 megabytes (MB) of data and cost $1,500 – that’s $300 per megabyte, or $859/MB in today’s dollars! This was the original drive that essentially spawned the modern era of computing, since it was the first drive ever developed that would fit inside a standard-sized PC case. The original ST-506 did not have buffered seek capability and averaged a 170 millisecond response time, which is similar to a floppy drive or optical/CD drive. The second generation model, the ST-412, added buffered seek capability and dropped response time down to 15-30 milliseconds by the late 1980s.