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Seagate Confirms 3TB Hard Drive 467

Stoobalou writes "After a few weeks of rumours, Seagate's senior product manager Barbara Craig has confirmed that the company is announcing a 3TB drive later this year, but the move to 3TB of storage space apparently involves a lot more work than simply upping the areal density. The ancient foundations of the PC's three-decade legacy has once again reared its DOS-era head, revealing that many of today's PCs are simply incapable of coping with hard drives that have a larger capacity than 2.1TB."
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Seagate Confirms 3TB Hard Drive

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  • by crow ( 16139 ) on Monday May 17, 2010 @11:50AM (#32238228) Homepage Journal

    If you move to 4K sectors, that should change the limit to 16TB, meaning that this shouldn't be an issue for several years. Why would you want .5K sectors on such a large drive anyway?

  • XP + 3 TB?? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DinZy ( 513280 ) on Monday May 17, 2010 @11:52AM (#32238284)

    Why would anyone running XP fork over the dough for a 3TB HDD? XP is 9 years old and Win7 is a very good replacement for newer machines, particularly ones who's owners might want a 3TB drive for.

  • Not a huge deal (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 17, 2010 @11:55AM (#32238340)


    According to Seagate, this includes the 64-bit versions of Windows 7 and Vista, as well as modified versions of Linux, but it doesn’t include Windows XP. Not only that, but you may not even be able to see 2.1TB of a 3TB drive when using Windows XP.

    Sure, Windows XP won't allow it - but your grandmother who is still running XP isn't going out to buy a 3 TB drive. The early adopters who want or need this are the ones who are already running a compatible OS.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 17, 2010 @11:56AM (#32238362)

    If you move to 4K sectors, that should change the limit to 16TB, meaning that this shouldn't be an issue for several years. Why would you want .5K sectors on such a large drive anyway?

    I need quick read access for my ascii pron txt files, you insensitive clod!

    Now get off of my lawn!

  • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 ) on Monday May 17, 2010 @11:58AM (#32238406)

    Because 512 byte sectors allow for less empty space waste than anything larger.

    Imagine wasting 4095 vs 511 bytes for every file on your system (worst case scenario)

  • Re:XP + 3 TB?? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by psbrogna ( 611644 ) on Monday May 17, 2010 @12:00PM (#32238438)
    Win7 is NOT replacement for XP if drivers for your hardware aren't available for Win7 & this often the case.
  • Re:Mac OS X (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Low Ranked Craig ( 1327799 ) on Monday May 17, 2010 @12:17PM (#32238778)

    Safari 3.0.4 runs on 10.4.x
    Safari 4 runs on 10.5+

    What G4 do you have that you can't install leopard on? I shoehorned Tiger onto an ancient G3 iMac from 2000, surely you can install leopard on a fairly recent G4, and if you can't you could have tried this http://lowendmac.com/osx/leopard/openfirmware.html [lowendmac.com]

    Perhaps you simply wanted a new Mac?

  • by twidarkling ( 1537077 ) on Monday May 17, 2010 @12:17PM (#32238784)

    Yes, let's design and manipulate an entire standard in order to work around a problem based entirely on the fact that people won't upgrade. And then you just need them to buy this and upgrade their compu...

    waaaaaaaaaaaaaait a second.

  • Re:Can we move on? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Monday May 17, 2010 @12:18PM (#32238800) Journal
    Probably because "the big boys" in HDD manufacture have basically nothing interesting to bring to the SSD table(other than, possibly, some fairly generic interface patents). With the possible exception of HDD r/w head manufacture, which has gotten more chip-fab like as sizes and tolerances have gotten more demanding, the manufacturing methods for the two types of drive are basically nothing alike.

    Even the controller/controller firmware design isn't all that similar. HDD controllers have the task of extracting useful digital data from the ever fainter and denser analog magnetic fields on the platter. SSD controllers basically spend their time papering over the fact that Flash has highly asymmetric read/write behavior.

    Unless they fancy the idea of trying to recast themselves as semiconductor companies all of a sudden, the HDD guys are doing pretty much the most sensible thing available to them: running like hell in the direction of capacities that SSDs can't touch for less than a king's ransom.
  • Re:Mac OS X (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 17, 2010 @12:20PM (#32238832)
    You have no right to be bitter. The sweet fruits of The Walled Garden come at a price.
  • by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Monday May 17, 2010 @12:21PM (#32238840)

    Without multi-core, Moore's law would have ended recently.

    Since Moore's law is about the number of transistors on a die and nothing to do with performance (except to the extent that more transistors allows higher performance), multiple cores are irrelevant: we could be running Pentium-4s with 16MB of cache instead of hexa-cores with 12MB of cache and Moore's Law would be just as valid.

  • by kimvette ( 919543 ) on Monday May 17, 2010 @12:22PM (#32238858) Homepage Journal

    I'm just interested in how much longer we can expect to see capacity gains like this.

    Do you know how long that question has been asked, and how many times "theoretical limits" would be reached within a year at the current rate, and each time, new techniques have been developed which increase density many times more than anyone previously imagined? I think storage density will be increasing for that much longer.

    15 years ago when you were paying $500 for a 320MB hard drive, did you ever anticipate your home PC would someday have a capacity of multiple terabytes? Could you imagine that a laptop would ever be able to hold over a terabyte? The capacity we have nowadays is staggering, and when back when you had your 320MB to 512MB hard drive and were thinking "I'll never fill this up" only a few were bothering with MP3s and PVR technologies (I bought my first video capture/TV tuner card around that time) and I'll bet few ever fathomed that a user could fill terabytes' worth of hard drives. Now it's cheap to build home recording studios, or even engage in amateur independent movie production with only a few hundred dollars' worth of equipment, running free software.

    It's amazing, and with storage capacity growth increasing (not decreasing) we'll find new ways to fill up the storage media, very likely doing things we haven't anticipated even today.

  • Re:Mac OS X (Score:4, Insightful)

    by diamondsw ( 685967 ) on Monday May 17, 2010 @12:34PM (#32239084)

    And Firefox wouldn't work? If the machine still works for what you need to do, then you don't need to upgrade for the sake of upgrading. If it doesn't meet your needs anymore, then why complain about upgrading?

    Vendor support doesn't dictate what use you can get out of a machine. I have friends who are still running OS 9 (eek) on a G3, because it does what they need it to.

  • Re:Can we move on? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Voyager529 ( 1363959 ) <voyager529 AT yahoo DOT com> on Monday May 17, 2010 @12:42PM (#32239252)

    Why can't we just move on and apply the sweet R&D money on the SSDs?

    They are.

    I guess that the "classic" hard drives will reach some sort of physical limit sometime in the (not so distant) future.

    Of course they will. But at that point they'll start talking about alternative form factors if they can't squeeze more bits into the same space.

    Why won't the big boys start to work hard on the SSDs?

    They are. The problem is that they're still expensive to manufacture and they still need to pay off their R&D.

    It's almost as reading a headline like this "New awesome floppies will be released in a new 10 MB size! - 'USB flash disks are overrated and expensive, nothing beats a good old floppy disk' a spokesperson for a floppy disk manufacturer said"

    More like "New awesome floppies will be released in 500MB size and cost 10 bucks a pop" circa 2002 when 128MB USB flash disks cost nearly $100. the proportions might be off, but ultimately flash media outran the floppy disk 'cuz it quickly outpaced it in cost/MB, transfer rates were dog slow, and they were incredibly unreliable. Note that in 2010, I bought a 250GB external hard drive for $50 at Wal-Mart, whereas a 256GB flash drive costs over $800 on Newegg. A 1TB Seagate spinning platter drive costs $85 on Newegg, wheras 1TB of OCZ flash memory costs over $3,000 and is the highest I've seen commercially avaialable. I personally don't mind saving $2,915 by using an older technology.

  • by JoshuaJ ( 1757248 ) on Monday May 17, 2010 @12:48PM (#32239416)

    One other issue with this announcement; why did they bother with 3TB? Should the next step be 4TB? We are counting in binary are we not?

    Well, probably for the same reason that we had 1.5 TB drives in between 1TB and 2TB. The most popular sizes at NewEgg include 150GB, 250GB, 320GB, 500GB, 640GB, 750GB, 1TB, 1.5TB. So maybe you're counting in binary, but it looks like nobody else is.

  • Re:Mac OS X (Score:4, Insightful)

    by maccodemonkey ( 1438585 ) on Monday May 17, 2010 @12:54PM (#32239534)

    What price? He bought hardware that got old. It wasn't new enough to run the latest version of Mac OS X. He had many other options. He could have upgraded to Safari 3.0 which was supported on his machine. He may have been able to install Leopard with a new version of Safari. He could have moved to Firefox. He could have moved to Linux. He had plenty of options, I'm not sure why he didn't take any of them.

    As far as being able to upgrade the hardware, most things in an iMac G4 are perfectly upgradable, however, the CPU isn't. This is true of most all in one computers and laptops. I don't see anything implicitly Apple about any of this.

  • Re:I wonder (Score:2, Insightful)

    by VMaN ( 164134 ) on Monday May 17, 2010 @12:59PM (#32239646) Homepage

    I used to whine about this too, and my advice is just to let it go :)

    SI prefixes were never meant to be used like that (1024), and we should let the concept die.

  • by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Monday May 17, 2010 @01:35PM (#32240404)
    How recent? My 1tb disks have had no problems at all. I haven't had any trouble with them in years, I just like having the 5 year warranty. To date I haven't had any problems.
  • Re:Not a huge deal (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gumbi west ( 610122 ) on Monday May 17, 2010 @01:46PM (#32240646) Journal

    Wow dude, you have totally missed out on the last 10 years of OS improvements then.

  • Re:Mac OS X (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 17, 2010 @02:23PM (#32241294)

    Safari 2 may *ship* on Tiger, but I have Safari 4.0.x running on my G5 on 10.4.11.


  • by xororand ( 860319 ) on Monday May 17, 2010 @02:42PM (#32241666)

    There's a simple workaround for the MBR problem with 2TB+ hard drives - for Linux.

    1) Store your boot files on a small secondary device, e.g. a USB stick. That includes: Master Boot Record, boot loader (e.g. GRUB or LILO), kernel, initrd - about 10 megabytes are easily enough.
    2) Boot the USB stick. The initrd mounts your hard drive and starts the actual /sbin/init process.

    This comes with several nice options:
    - Encrypt every single byte of your hard drive. A script in the initial ram disk asks for the passphrase, creates the dm-crypt device and mounts /.
    - You don't need a partition table. Just use the LVM2 inside the encrypted block device.
    - Add a Live CD image to the USB stick (separate FAT32 partition, convert isolinux config to syslinux, chainload from GRUB)

    I'm using all 3 of the aforementioned options and you'd have to take them from my cold, dead hands ;)

  • Re:XP + 3 TB?? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Facegarden ( 967477 ) on Monday May 17, 2010 @02:44PM (#32241728)

    Why would anyone running XP fork over the dough for a 3TB HDD? XP is 9 years old and Win7 is a very good replacement for newer machines, particularly ones who's owners might want a 3TB drive for.

    Because some people are perfectly happy running XP, or don't want to pay $100-$200 for a legal copy of windows 7, and don't want to pirate.

    I have a perfectly good fileserver at home that just runs XP. I use XP because it is also my backup computer for various tasks, and mostly I've just been too lazy to move it to linux.

    Either way, i've got 5TB of storage and I'd love to throw in another 3TB. Even if I fork over the money for a 3TB drive, i might not want to spend *another* $100 just for a compatible OS, even if I have all the money in the world.

    XP is a perfectly good OS for most people for another 5 years if not longer. I love windows 7 and have it on 3 machines of mine, but that doesn't mean XP isn't totally fine much of the time.

    Plus, you can find legal copies of XP for free, in the trash. When someone throws out an old PC, it often still has XP, so I snap a picture of the license sticker and use that with an OEM disc next time I need a copy of XP on something. Legally gray but I consider it fair use.

  • by zaffir ( 546764 ) on Monday May 17, 2010 @03:01PM (#32242092)

    Anything short of a rather large scale, and therefore statistically valid, study is pretty much worthless. A pile of anecdotes in slashdot comments won't get you many facts.

    That said, I have never had a problem with a Seagate drive- including the 2 that I have been running in RAID-0 for the last 4 or 5 years.

  • Re:Mac OS X (Score:3, Insightful)

    by not-my-real-name ( 193518 ) on Monday May 17, 2010 @05:13PM (#32244672) Homepage

    I won't argue about what wikipedia and apple.com say, but I will add an anecdote. I just checked the versions and I'm posting this from Safari 4.0.5 running on MacOS X 10.4.11. I don't remember doing anything special to install Safari. I may have downloaded it separately rather than using the Software Updater, but it seems to be working fairly well. I'm also running Firefox 3.6.3 and it's running well too. This is on an iMac G5.

  • Re:Mac OS X (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 17, 2010 @05:29PM (#32244918)

    I am running Safari 4.0.5 on OS X 10.4.11 at home.

  • Re:Mac OS X (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Monday May 17, 2010 @06:10PM (#32245574) Journal
    I just checked my Powerbook, and it has Safari 4.0.4 (great version number for a web browser) running on OS X 10.4. I just ran Software Update, and 4.0.5 is in the queue. So, as per usual, you are talking complete nonsense. Oh, and for reference, that machine is 7 years old. It also has an iTunes update in the Software Update queue.
  • by dhanson865 ( 1134161 ) on Monday May 17, 2010 @06:45PM (#32246056)

    To any average user the GB on the box is one thing and the GB Windows shows is another. They look at it just like they do CRT diagonal size of advertised vs visible.

    Yes both measurements of the CRT are just measurements. One matters to the manufacturer one matters to the consumer.

    Take the WD6400AAKS
    BOX Windows
    640GB = 596.13GB*

    Yes 1000/1024 conversion takes me from 640GB advertised to 596GB usable. In your case you mentioned 3TB on the box is about 2,794GB in Windows.

    I know this is /. and MacOS/Ubuntu are changing to Base10 file size nomenclature but Windows is still 80+% of the market and 90+% of the installed OSes including older versions of linux/MacOS will still report file sizes in base2.

    Until the advertised disk capacity is in the same format as the OS reports for the majority of users I think it's fair to say that the average user considers this misleading.

    Call it crap if you want but I didn't create the divide I'm just straddling it.

Information is the inverse of entropy.