Seagate Sticks 3TB Hard Drive on Product Roadmap

Paul Lilly

You know it's only a matter of time before hard drive makers start shipping 3TB HDDs, and for Seagate, that time will come sometime later this year , with an exact release date still to be determined.

Apparently the first 3TB Seagate unit will be a variable speed drive capable of spinning at speeds between 5900 to 7200 RPM. This will be considered the company's green model, with a performance oriented 3TB drive to follow not too long after.

One interesting thing to note about the transition to hard drives larger than 2TB is that many systems won't be able to boot from them, Gordon Mah Ung writes in the May 2010 issue of Maximum PC (Quickstart section, page 8).

"Folks who tried RAIDing four 1TB drives together were the first to run into this problem, but there has long been an easy solution for that scenario: Instead of using a legacy 32-bit partition, you can build the RAID using a GPT partition, which uses 64-bit addressing," Mah Ung writes. "This is where the other part of the problem comes in: You cannot boot to a GPT partition from any 32-bit Windows OS. The only two desktop Windows OSes that support booting from GTP partitions are 64-bit Windows Vista with SP1 and 64-bit Windows 7."

To make matters even more challenging, in order for those two OSes to boot to a GPT partition, the motherboard must have UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) support rather than the standard BIOS-based booting mechanism, Mah Ung notes. It will be interesting to see how Seagate and other HDD makers attack this problem as hard drives race past the 2TB barrier.

Image Credit: Seagate

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