Seagate says 3TB drive requires 64-bit OS

Seagate has confirmed plans to release a 3TB hard disk drive later this year. However, the 3TB drive will only be recognized by 64-bit operating systems, such as Windows 7, Vista and Linux.

“Not only that, but you may not even be able to see 2.1TB of a 3TB drive when using Windows XP,” wrote Thinq’s Ben Hardwidge.

“Seagate says that its own tests have shown that as little as 990MB of a 3TB drive could be available…when using XP.”

According to Hardwidge, the “real problem” with upgrading to 3TB is the archaic LBA (logic block addressing) standard, which was set by Microsoft and IBM during the old DOS days.

“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,” explained Hardwidge.

“Long LBA basically increases the number of bytes used to define an LBA address in the command descriptor block, but it also requires a supporting [64-bit] OS.”

The new drive is expected to be part of Seagate’s Constellation ES lineup and will feature a 6Gbit/s SAS interface, along with a “presumed” spin rate of 7200 rpm.”