Another limit is being pushed in computers: The 32-bit LBA addressing mode. Hard disk drives have simply become too big for the 2.1 TB allowed by 32-bit LBA and 512 K sectors. Western Digital was first to answer this challenge with “Advanced Format”, and Seagate took an alternate 48-bit LBA route. Now Hitachi GST introduced an Advanced Format drive of their own. Will the industry ever adopt 48-bit LBA?
Seagate, Western Digital, and others are introducing massive new 3 TB hard disk drives, but will they work with current computers? In order to take advantage of new hard disk drives over 2 TB, you must have a compatible operating system, BIOS, partition table, and file system.
Personal computer hard disk drive access methods have been repeatedly forced to adapt to ever-expanding capacity. But Western Digital is leading the change to larger 4 kilobyte hard disk blocks. Although this new “Advanced Format” includes mechanisms for backwards compatibility, buyers should be wary of these new drives for the time being.