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?
Microsoft already gave the world FAT and NTFS, and both have become common in the non-Windows world thanks to flash drives, SD cards, and portable disks. But the folks from Redmond are now introducing a new filesystem, exFAT. Do we really need a new filesystem?
The Tech Field Day events I organize generate a massive amount of HD video content, and moving half a terabyte or more of data is a real issue. We had been using luggable desktop drives from Western Digital and Seagate, but preferred a smaller, lighter, USB bus-powered portable solution. The Seagate Expansion Portable USB drive we bought this week packs an amazing 1 TB of capacity, but our experience with the product was mixed at best.