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Data Storage Hardware

WD Launches 3 Terabyte HD 313

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the more-please dept.
MojoKid writes "Today, Western Digital announced the world's highest density hard drive, as they reach the 3TB mark with their newest, 5th generation Caviar Green product. The Caviar Green 3TB serves up a super-sized combination of reduced power consumption, lower operating temperature, and a quieter operation. Unfortunately, if you're still using Windows XP, don't expect your system to make full use of any 3TB drive (yet). The problem is that older operating systems, in combination with a legacy BIOS and master boot record (MBR) partition table scheme, face a barrier at 2.19TB. Existing motherboards utilizing BIOS (non-UEFI), GPT ready operating systems like Windows 7 64-bit, and appropriate storage class drivers, can address the entire capacity of hard drives larger than 2.19TB. Another issue is that a number of host bus adapter (HBA) and chipset vendors don't offer driver support for these types of drives. To provide a solution for this compatibility issue, Western Digital bundles an HBA with the Caviar Green 3TB drive that allows the operating system to use a known driver to correctly support extra large capacity drives. This solution is reportedly just temporary until the rest of the industry catches up."
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WD Launches 3 Terabyte HD

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  • orly? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @10:16AM (#33945834)
    Into space?
  • by MBGMorden (803437) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @10:21AM (#33945898)

    Definately cool. Seems like we were stuck at that 2TB size for way too long. On the other hand, it DID result in a rare case of the largest drive capacity being your best bang for your buck. I'm sure for a while these 3TB drives will be more expensive. Still, I was looking at building a new RAID6 NAS box using 2TB drives pretty soon. If the prices are reasonable, I might opt for the 3TB drives instead. 5 of these setup as a RAID6 should yield enough storage space to tie me over for quite a while.

    • i've been sticking to 1.5 TBs for the past year, those 5400 rpm green drives simply are unbeatable BFTB wise for the storage server, if 2 TB drives had a better price/size ratio i would have switched in a heartbeat.

      Currently at 8,25 TB of storage in the server, allthough over 50% of that is empty currently, but at the present rate, that will take about a year to fill up.

      By then i'll look into building a new server, it'd be nice if these 3 TB disks were common good by then

  • short-sightedness (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lord Ender (156273) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @10:25AM (#33945952) Homepage

    If you make SATA controllers, and you didn't see 3TB coming coming years in advance, you need to get the hell out of the hardware business. You are incompetent. Go find another line of work.

    • by biryokumaru (822262) <biryokumaru@gmail.com> on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @10:32AM (#33946036)
      I would counter that if you make any hardware and you waste time and money making it handle things that don't even physically exist, you need to get the hell out of the business business. You are inefficient. Go find another line of work where the free market doesn't exist.
    • by NevarMore (248971) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @10:33AM (#33946046) Homepage Journal

      If you make SATA controllers, and you didn't see 3TB coming coming years in advance, you need to get the hell out of the hardware business. You are incompetent. Go find another line of work.

      On the other hand if you saw 3TB coming, built SATA controllers that only handled 1TB AND charged an early-adopter premium, THEN conned users into upgrading to the 2TB version later, AND NOW can get them to upgrade again for 3TB you're brilliant and if not rich at least living comfortably.

    • good business, though, plenty of 3.0gb compatible sales coming your way !

    • by Jugalator (259273)

      I find it hilarious that we aren't over those size limits yet. :-D

      A history lesson here:
      http://www.dewassoc.com/kbase/hard_drives/hard_drive_size_barriers.htm [dewassoc.com]

    • by jandrese (485)
      I know for a fact that the SiI 3112 chip can't support even 2TB drives, and that chip is absolutely everywhere since it's a favorite of motherboard manufacturers and add-in card builders. It looks like competence is not necessarily a requirement for success.
  • Good news (Score:5, Insightful)

    by zrbyte (1666979) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @10:26AM (#33945972)
    This means that soon the 1 and 2 TB drives will be cheaper. I was waiting for this to upgrade my external storage.
    • 5ct/GB is too expensive for you?

      Prices don't suddenly drop because of this announcement. I can't believe how they manage to make drives as inexpensive as they are.

    • by demonbug (309515)

      Meh. I got a 1.5 TB about two months ago for ~$75; I don't think we're really going to see the prices drop a whole lot at the "low end", they are already pretty much bottomed out. As others have mentioned, drives have mostly been stuck at the 2 TB point for a while as none of the manufacturers wanted to deal with the controller/MBR/OS issues associated with going bigger, so prices have already had a chance to drop and stabilize. They might come down to $60 in a year or two, but that's probably about it.

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        Hopefully that'll drop the prices on PATA drives, which seem to have all but disappeared except for WD ones.

        I have a NAS box which uses 4 160GB PATA drives. I'm looking to replace them with 4 500GB PATA drives (it doesn't have SATA). The cheapest place I found them was Best Buy, for $90 (Canadian) each. The only place that had them possibly cheaper was Newegg, and I'd only save $5/drive, but lose out in that they were OEM drives and Newegg's bubblewrapped cluster of drives packaging means I might as well ha

    • by danlip (737336)

      Given that Seagate doesn't advertise any internal drives at higher than 2 TB, I am guessing that is 2 drives in a RAID0 configuration. Which is a really bad idea - if either drive fails you loose everything, so you have double the failure rate.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by schnikies79 (788746)

        No it's a single drive. You can't buy the naked 3gb drive from seagate, but you can buy it already installed in various devices.

    • by qoncept (599709)
      Turns out Newegg isn't such a reliable source. Better try wikipedia.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by valhallaprime (749304)
      There's 2 x 1.5TB drives in that.
  • Why the space? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Lord Bitman (95493) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @10:34AM (#33946060) Homepage

    Can I please flip a switch to turn that into 20GB of hard-to-corrupt data?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by psm321 (450181)

      make 150 copies of it and take the majority vote amongst the copies when reading? :) (j/k)

    • Re:Why the space? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Tumbleweed (3706) * on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @11:17AM (#33946644)

      Can I please flip a switch to turn that into 20GB of hard-to-corrupt data?

      That would be an SSD, which fails on write, thus keeping any original data around. Over time, as an SSD fails, it simply has less and less available capacity, thus proving to be very reliable. As long as you don't fuck it up with a bad firmware update, of course. :)

      • Re:Why the space? (Score:4, Informative)

        by Guppy (12314) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @12:46PM (#33948400)

        That would be an SSD, which fails on write, thus keeping any original data around. Over time, as an SSD fails, it simply has less and less available capacity, thus proving to be very reliable.

        In theory, that's what's supposed to happen on the cell-level. In practice, companies are often not so considerate in making things fail gracefully. Often the whole drive just bricks itself.

    • Well, larger hard drives means greater density of storage in the server room, which in turn means cheaper online storage. Have you considered making backups?

  • "This solution is reportedly just temporary until the rest of the industry catches up."
    But by then, they will have a Petabyte drive and they will have to catch up to that too.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @10:47AM (#33946212)

    Other members of the Green line have an "Intellitpark" feature that can destroy the drive in a matter of months for certain workloads (like using linux). Any word on if WD has fixed that for these?

    https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=73573

    http://kerneltrap.org/mailarchive/linux-kernel/2008/4/10/1396844

    • by 0123456 (636235)

      Other members of the Green line have an "Intellitpark" feature that can destroy the drive in a matter of months for certain workloads (like using linux).

      I've been running 'Green' WD drives in my MythTV server for years with no problems. The oldest has well over 10,000 hours of run time.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Do you REALLY need to write to the disc 2x a minute every single minute continually for the life of the machine.

      Most likely the answer is no. For 99.9% of the people thee is no benefit to writing to the disc continually every 30 seconds as opposed to once a minute or less.

      For the 0.01% of people who absolutely must continually write to the disc all the time WD makes a drive series for that. Black series.

      Problem solved. Why should WD "fix" the green series drives (optimized for low power consumption) by m

  • To provide a solution for this compatibility issue, Western Digital bundles an HBA with the Caviar Green 3TB drive that allows the operating system to use a known driver to correctly support extra large capacity drives. This solution is reportedly just temporary until the rest of the industry catches up

    Reminds me of when ATA66/100/133 came out and in order to take advantage of the new larger HDs you needed a new controller. Maxtor kindly bundled one with their drives. Made it very easy to upgrade existing/

  • At least it's Western Digital, because Seagate drives sure suck lately (looks at the stack of dead Seagate drives).

  • With ever increasing densities on the platters, doesn't that just mean if there's a malfunction like a HDD head crash, you lose more data?

    • by dokebi (624663)
      With ever increasing densities on the platters, doesn't that just mean if there's a malfunction like a HDD head crash, you lose more data?

      Yes, if a full 3TB disk crashes, you definitely lose more data than a full 1GB drive crash. It's call the process of "bigger they are, the harder they fall".
  • old OS can't see the whole thing? That's not really a problem. No more then saying my dos 3.3 can't see 1T.

    Not that many people need 3T. yeah yeah, save me your 'people will use the space they have' argument. It doesn't hold up to reality.

    \

    • by 0123456 (636235)

      yeah yeah, save me your 'people will use the space they have' argument. It doesn't hold up to reality.

      I thought my netbook's 160GB drive would be plenty, but after six months it was down to 8GB free. I thought my laptop's 640GB drive would be plenty, but it's now down to 40GB free, and only after I deleted a few games from Steam. I thought my MythTV server's 3.5TB would be plenty, but it's down to 400GB free.

      Most people will end up using most of the disk space they have available, because it's easier than deleting old files.

  • Can't we just split it into nice little 540MB partitions like we did back in the day?
  • by Stooshie (993666) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @11:37AM (#33947120) Journal
    ... somewhere to store my ultra-secure password that I keep forgetting! :-)
  • Linux? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fearlezz (594718) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @03:13PM (#33950688) Homepage

    I'm sorry, isn't this Slashdot? Why isn't anybody asking about Linux support?
    A while ago, I read that Linux wasn't ready for 3TB drives yet. Is it now? Do we need 64bit Linux to use this, or is there a solution like PAE is to the 4GB memory limit?
    Is the bundled HBA supported?

    I'd love to use this disk to store multiple snapshots (rsnapshot) of my fileserver...

  • by D4C5CE (578304) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @03:55PM (#33951674)
    It's a known issue not only on Windows 7 / Vista http://support.microsoft.com/kb/977178 [microsoft.com] but also on XP http://support.microsoft.com/kb/317272 [microsoft.com] http://support.microsoft.com/kb/330100 [microsoft.com] - however the lastest incarnation of the flaw does not seem to get fixed for the older systems such as XP (or has anyone found a solution for this?), and Intel Matrix drivers as a workaround http://www.sevenforums.com/crashes-debugging/50479-1-tb-wdc-black-fails-wake-sleep.html#6 [sevenforums.com] require (and have their installer check for) one of a few specific boards.
  • BS about 3T (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bored (40072) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @04:55PM (#33952852)

    This article makes it sound like having a 3T hard drive doesn't work with anything other than the latest and greatest HW. This is mostly BS, sure there are a number of cases where it doesn't work, or you can't boot off a partition at the end of the device. On the other-hand, having used various RAID devices >2T, some of which were transparent SATA devices (aka 2HD's striped, exported as a single SATA device) for years. I haven't had a major problem since the 2003/4 with them. Back then many of the linux filesystem (ext2/reiser/etc) had performance or data integrity issues with disks that large. Back then switching to XFS or similar was usually the solution. With windows, I can't remember having a problem in a LONG time.

    Basically, if you don't plan to boot of the drive, its probably going to work just fine in any machine made in the last 5-7 years. Booting is another issue, but there are workarounds. Same as always, I remember having to have boot managers install in my boot sector to boot off a 512meg disk in the early '90s. Same game now, only there are a number of alternatives, including bootstrapping from USB flash.

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