A few weeks back a story broke about Seagate’s plan to release a 3TB 3.5mm hard drive this year. Well, apparently that’s the case although if your system happens to be running a 32-bit OS like XP, you’re going to be out of luck. This drive, and any other hard drive larger than 2.1TB, will require the a modified versions of Linux or the 64-bit version of Windows 7 or Vista. Sorry, kids. It’s time to upgrade.
It all goes back to the days of DOS when the LBA (logical block addressing) standard was developed. The original LBA standard developed by IBM and Microsoft sets an address for each sector of the hard drive, therefore limiting the compatible size to 2.1TB. Of course that size seemed absolutely gigantic back in the 80’s, but now it’s one of the many issues Seagate had to work through in this drive’s development.
32-bit OS’s will see the drives, but Seagate found that it might limit the available size to only 990MB.
But there’s other issues as well. MBR’s don’t like the large hard drives either and require a GUID partition table that’s built into the just-released UEFFI system. Even RAID systems and hard drive controllers will need new drivers for the larger drive.
Yet Seagate trudging on and still plans on releasing its first 3TB drive sometime later this year. Sure, there are issues to work through, but at least it’s clear Seagate is prepared to meet them head on.