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Quantum Fireball CR 8.4B HDD Review
Quantum Fireball CR 8.4B HDD Review - PCSTATS
As it stands right now, not even the fastest ATA/66 drives are able to exploit the ATA/66 interface to its fullest extent.
 75% Rating:   
Filed under: Hard Drives/SSD Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Quantum Apr 20 2002   P. Masrani  
Home > Reviews > Hard Drives/SSD > Quantum Fireball CR

HDD Technology and Conclusion

Quantum's Data Protection System (DPS)

DPS is the brainchild of Quantum Corporation which tests the integrity of a Quantum hard disk drive that supports this feature. For users of Quantum Fireball and Fireball Plus drives manufactured after January 1999, the DPS is available in the drives firmware. For users of older ATA drives, DPS is available as a standalone program available from Quantum's website.

The following has been taken from the Quantum DPS White Paper

How DPS works

DPS performs a Quick Test that exercises the hard drive. In addition, DPS checks every sector in the drives buffer and examines the first 300 megabytes of data stored on the drive, where the operating system and other critical system utilities are typically stored. Within 90 seconds , the Quick Test is complete. The results confirm whether the hard drive is the source of the system failure.

DPS Extended Test

If the DPS Quick Test results find no errors in the first 300 megabytes of data and the system continues to malfunction, the end user can run the DPS Extended Test. This test performs all Quick Test functions, and it also examines all additional data areas to verify whether the hard drive is the source of the problem. The time required for the Extended Test depends on the capacity of the drive, but never exceeds 20 minutes.


Quantum's DPS helps prevent avoidable data loss. By determining whether the drive is the source of a system level failure, DPS spares users from unnecessarily removing and replacing a perfectly healthy drive. Valuable data is protected and productivity maintained. Systems integrators, distributors, resellers, and OEMs also benefit from reducing their service costs and -- most importantly -- maintaining the goodwill of their customers. Quantum's DPS thus provides a comprehensive solution to avoidable data loss for desktop computer users and their suppliers alike.

Shock Protection System (SPS)

SPS is another characteristic developed by Quantum which is employed through later Quantum drives by designing a drive such that certain events of handling the drive can be endured without incurring any damage.

Damage can be caused to a drive by dropping it, tapping it with a hand tool and by clicking two drives together. As the level of shock is absorbed by the drive in these instances, a great deal of internal damage can occur although there is no evidence of any external damage. This is because drive internals are extremely sensitive to shock and vibration. Probably one of the most common types of damage to the hard disk is when a "head slap" occurs.

When sufficient amount of shock is applied to the drive, the head physically lifts up from the disk and drops back down which causes the head to actually dig into the surface of the disk creating surface damage. In addition to the damage on that particular area, small particles can be scattered. Though these particles are microscopic, the high precision nature of hard disk mechanics are sensitive and can be affected by these particles especially if these particles lands on a data area or if it becomes wedged in between the disk and the head.

Quantum's SPS prevents shock induced damage to a hard disk by designing a hard disk drive so that the head is not allowed to lift off the disk, thereby eliminating (or at least significantly reducing) head-slaps. Rather, the shock would be absorbed by the rest of the drive rather than having particles run amok after a head slap. The chances for internal disk damage is thereby reduced through SPS implementation.


8.4 GB is sufficient enough for most users out there except for perhaps folks who require extremely high disk space for graphics and web applications. But of course the need keeps growing, and fast. I foresee a growing number of users complaining of space shortage once they install Windows 2000 and its native applications. Lets face it, software bloats. It takes what once was a magnetic platter the size of Texas and effectively reduces it down to a cramped supermarket parking lot.

The speed of CR is slower than its CX counterpart but in regular applications, you really cannot make out the difference. And the target consumer of home/office users really won't have much to complain about. This drive sports numerous features such as SPS and DPS and runs pretty quiet. As the market is quickly moving towards 7,200 rpm drives, one cannot say how long the CR 8.4 can remain a competitor. So far, it is doing pretty good...

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Contents of Article: Quantum Fireball CR
 Pg 1.  Quantum Fireball CR 8.4B HDD Review
 Pg 2.  Specifications
 Pg 3.  Benchmarks: WinMark99
 Pg 4.  — HDD Technology and Conclusion

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