3TB Seagate Drives Won't Support 32-bit OS

Tagged: 3TB HDD, Seagate, Computer Hardware, Technology
Source: Pcworld - Read the full article
Posted: 6 years 23 weeks ago

If your 2TB hard drive is feeling a bit cramped these days, Seagate feels your pain: Seagate's senior product manager confirmed to Thinq on Monday that the company is planning to announce a 3TB hard disk drive later this year.

However, if you're currently running Windows XP or the 32-bit version of Windows Vista, you may need to upgrade. According to Barbara Craig, senior product manager at Seagate, moving to 3TB (3 terabytes, or 3072 gigabytes) involves more than just "upping the areal density."

The real problem with moving to 3TB is the old LBA (logical block addressing) standard. Set by Microsoft and IBM in the original DOS standard, LBA is a system for specifying the location of each 512-bit block of data. Unfortunately, LBA can only assign addresses for up to 2.1TB of space--which would have been an astronomical amount of space for users back in the 80's.

But now that we've zoomed past 2.1TB of hard drive space, we need to get around the constraints of LBA. This can be done, says Craig, with "Long LBA addressing," or, basically, increasing the number of bytes that are used to define an LBA address.

The only hitch? In order to use Long LBA addressing, users will need an OS that can support it--such as 64-bit Windows 7 and Vista, or modified versions of Linux.

Windows XP users won't even be able to see the 2.1TB, Craig says--in company tests, Seagate has shown that as little as 990MB can be available (that's right…less than a gig) to XP users.




What happen for thoses who have winXP 64 bits??

Andreas Hofer
Andreas Hofer's picture
Joined: 10/31/2009
Posts: 121

In very basic terms it is correct that a drive that size would cause the OS to go crazy but there is also a very simple solution. This limit only concerns single partition but everyone who installed Windows at least once should know that you can have multiple partitions on your drive. Same situation with Windows 98 and drives larger than 127.35 GB. It worked back then and also now, at least on my workstation PC that has 4 TB in RAID 0 (2x 2 TB partitions).

@ massau: I think HDDs are pretty fast these days, what makes them slower is the OS that is running on them (explaining why would take some time). Making SSD cheaper, well nice idea but they are that pricey because the few manufacturers of "Flash" can't keep up with the demand in chips because every mobile device has at least one of  them. As soon as productions is on par with demand or close, prices will drop eventually. I however want to see larger single HDDs for storage and applications and will need only 1 SSD for the OS.

Hope that WD kills that drive with a fast Black Edt. model soon :)

Joined: 04/05/2010
Posts: 236

shouldn't they better make faster hdds or just cheaper ssds instead of larger i can live whit a 500gb ssd whit super fast memory