Optically Assisted Winchester (OAW) recording refers to a data storage architecture that employs several optical technologies in a Winchester hard disk drive platform. The strategy is to preserve the inherent advantages ofthe Winchester architecture (such as fast seek time, multiple recording heads and disks, high linear density, high data transfer rate, and low cost) while incorporating the advantages of optical recording (such as vertical recording media with immunity to superparamagnetic effects, preformatted substrates that eliminate servo track writing and allow very high track densities, and plastic substrates for low cost). As published in previous papers, this was accomplished by introducing four new technologies into the conventional hard disk drive. The first is a light delivery system that transmits light from a laser diode to any one ofseveral recording heads by employing a 1 x n optical switch and optic fibers. The second is a unique recording head that contains micro-optics, a micro-machined mirror, and a writing coil that creates a vertical magnetic field. The third is a two-stage servo system that consists of a coarse actuator as the first stage, and the micro-machined mirror as the second stage. The fourth is pre-formatted first-surface M-0 media that allows recording on both top and bottom surfaces and is relatively immune from the superparamagnetic effects impacting conventional longitudinal recording media in the range of 20-40 Gb/in2.