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Seagate unveils first-ever 3TB external drive

updated 08:55 am EDT, Tue June 29, 2010

Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Desk hits 3TB

Seagate claimed a record in storage today by launching a 3TB FreeAgent GoFlex Desk drive. The first of its kind packs a single, 3TB disk inside and is large enough to need a 64-bit OS to work: it needs either Mac OS X Snow Leopard and either Windows 7 or Vista in their 64-bit versions to see more than the 2.1TB inherent to drives on most 32-bit platforms. Windows XP may not be usable at all.

As a GoFlex drive, it has USB 2.0 support out of the box but can be upgraded to faster transfer speeds using adapters from the company itself, such as FireWire 800 or USB 3.0. Only Windows users get 128-bit AES encryption, but Mac users get an NTFS driver to read and write to a Windows-formatted version of the drive if they choose not to reformat for the Mac's HFS+ file system.

Seagate is selling the drive today for $250. Cables to add new interfaces or support vary from $20 to $50. Internal drives are expected in the future but may wait until more systems can properly boot; using a larger than 2.1TB disk as a boot drive requires EFI firmware that most Windows PCs don't have.

By Electronista Staff


  1. MyRightEye

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008



    Don't do it. Seagate care more about size than reliability.

  1. IxOsX

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2009


    I want one...

    Excellent!!! And the upgrade of the interface comm is a fantastic solution. After pass the test/quality reviews and when arrives to Europe I probably will buy one.

  1. King Bob On The Cob

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Apr 2002


    What is this "32-bit" limit?

    Even Windows NT 4 with NTFS could write a file that was 16 TB. 64-bitness of the CPU has nothing to do with the size of file, or filesystem that can be written to a drive. That's a feature of the filesystem. HFS+ that Macs use supports filesystems up to 8 EiB, while the newest NTFS (NTFS64) supports filesystems up to 64 ZB. No one manufactures a drive anywhere near this capacity, heck, even in major datacenters you're lucky to pass a petabyte or two.

  1. mytdave

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2000


    limit - on PCs

    This arbitrary limit of 2.1TB is a 32bit Windows PC problem. I've been running/booting computers in our data center with 4+ TB disk arrays on Linux and MacOS for a number of years now, no 64bit OS required.

    The problem is a limitation within 32bit Windows. There could also possibly be BIOS boot support issues in a number of PCs that haven't gotten with the times, so your mileage may vary, but this has not been a problem for Macs and Linux (on PC server hardware), as those OSes and hardware already have EFI and/or upgraded BIOS chips and support massive filesystems.

  1. facebook_Scott

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jun 2010


    Not 32-bit, but who cares.

    You guys need to calm down about the 32-bit reason on the 2.1TB limit. 32-bit is a dying OS breed anyway. Good riddence! If you haven't moved to 64-bit, you should.

  1. gitcypher

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2007



    "Windows XP may not be usable at all"

    How's that expert reporting working out for you? Windows XP Pro 64bit has been out for a while.

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