Images: New hard drive technologies

Heat 'em up. There are two big differences from a conventional drive and a drive with heat-assisted magnetic recording technology.

First, there is a laser in the heat drive, which heats up the bits on the platter to record data. The bits won?t record or erase data without being heated. That?s because of the second big difference: the magnetic grains inside the bits are made from a different material.

Seagate Technologies

By Bill Detwiler

Bill Detwiler is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the ...