Seagate has announced that its 3.5-inch, 3TB desktop hard disk drive Barracuda XT is now available for shipping. A 3TB HDD eliminates the need to purchase additional hardware or software to overcome the 2.1TB drive barrier seen in other hard drives.
The company has also said it was able to make the drive’s capacity available to PC systems with its free DiscWizard utility software, as well as an added virtual device driver. This allows legacy BIOSes and OSes like Windows XP to access capacity beyond 2.1TB on a drive. The DiscWizard can be downloaded for free on Seagate’s website.
This high-performance hard drive delivers the highest available capacity on a single drive for home computers and work stations, enabling users to perform demanding tasks such as high-definition video editing and PC gaming.
The 2.1TB drive barrier was set about 30 years ago to limit the logical block address (LBA) range on a hard drive. The LBA specifies where blocks of data are stored on a hard drive. This makes legacy BIOSes and operating systems like Windows XP unable to use hard drive capacities beyond 2.1TB.
The Barracuda XT can be installed in PCs just like any other hard drive, using Windows to format and partition the drive. A PC that runs on Windows XP can only access 900GB of the drive–the portion above 2.1TB–while computers powered by Windows Vista and Windows 7 will recognize the 2.1TB capacity. Users will then have to download and install DiscWizard.
After installation of the DiscWizard, the user interface would display two partitions: one with 2.1TB and the other with 900GB capacity.
The Barracuda XT features five disk platters, a 7200rpm spindle speed, a 63MB cache, and a SATA 3.0 interface for a 6Gb/sec throughput. It is now available in Seagate’s retail points, costing US$274.