The rumor mill wasn’t wrong: Seagate does indeed have a 3TB mechanical hard drive up its sleeve. The folks at Thinq.co.uk got the scoop from Seagate Senior Product Manager Barbara Craig, who said the 3TB enterprise-targeted behemoth will be out later this year.
As Thinq explains in detail, however, there’s more to the upcoming product than just denser platters. Only some operating systems, like 64-bit versions of Windows 7 and Vista, actually support the Long LBA addressing system required to recognize more than 2.1TB of storage capacity. To complicate matters further, a new partition table system is needed to make the drive bootable—that means saying goodbye to the BIOS and hello to UEFI system firmware, which few hardware makers have done.
In light of these limitations, it’s no wonder Seagate is targeting the enterprise market rather than consumer offerings.
Craig told Thinq that adoption of the necessary technologies is nevertheless well underway. The site quotes her as as saying, "Many of the partners – you know the operating system, the BIOS, the RAID controllers – everyone has attacked it, and I think about 80 percent of the infrastructure’s ready to support it."